The Netherlands-based, Joost van den Broek has produced, arranged, and mixed albums since 10 years with great international success. Working for clients like Epica, Ayreon and Powerwolf, he is a chart-hitting producer with an impressive portfolio and gained a reputation in the rock & metal world by consistently delivering the highest standard in modern productions.
FULL PRODUCTION: Joost mostly does full productions being involved from the first demos until mastering. He manages the entire production process to keep a clear overview and create a great work environment to get the best out of everyone.
Joost is also available to handle separate elements of your production:
MIXING – in the highest standards of both analog and digital domain
ARRANGING / ORCHESTRATION – with a master's degree in classical arrangement
RECORDING – reaching the highest level in sound and performance
CO-WRITING – years of experience with an extensive discography
MUSICAL DIRECTION – manages the musical side of your live production
Epica is one of the biggest names in symphonic and female-fronted metal. Being a lot heavier and more extreme than most female-fronted bands in the genre, they combine fast and loud metal with the most epic movie-score esque arrangements and beautiful vocal melodies.After five studio albums, Epica was searching for a new producer and approach to get to the next level. The band had a few member changes over the years, grew a lot in performance skills, and now contained multiple composers consisting of six strong individuals, all being able to bring something unique and personal to their style. The goal was to create an Epica 2.0 both in production quality, modern sound, songwriting, arrangements, and most of all, authenticity.
The Holographic Principle is the second album Joost produced with Epica where he tried to create an approach that all band members would be able to reach new levels in creativity, performance, and character, forming a unique combination as a band and making the process a true group effort.
On this album, all boundaries of production, performance, and arrangement were stretched, recording every single aspect of this epic masterpiece live and with real instruments. It pushed all musicians involved, including the band itself, to their limits, reaching up to 1,000 audio tracks per song, making it one of the biggest and most comprehensive productions in the genre to date.
Epica, together with the work of a great team, have grown exponentially since their last two albums. World-wide sales have increased and they have garnered great reviews and appreciation by the press, more successful international tours, higher spots on festival bills, and reached a wider metal audience. The Holographic Principle reached #22 in the worldwide charts, meaning various international Top 10 positions.
Epica - The Holographic Principle
Credits: production, recording, orchestral arrangement, co-write, co-mix
The Ayreon Universe
Credits: lead producer, arrangement, keyboards
Ayreon is a worldwide successful and unique progressive/symphonic rock/metal project created and written by the Dutch composer and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Already for over 20 years he has been releasing albums in a rock opera format with mostly a futuristic theme, being in the absolute top of the scene by gaining a great reputation for his musical and production level. Ayreon always has a great cast on his albums, consisting of the most wellknown and talented singers and instrumentalist in the genre.
Never has Ayreon been a live act on stage, till he did a European tour called Star One/Ayreon in 2002 in which Joost joined on keyboards, as a rookie being the youngest in the band. This was an amazing experience and was the start of Joost's carreer in this genre, plus the start of a long-time relationship both on a professional as personal level with Arjen.
In september 2017 Arjen as executive and Joost as lead producer organised the first ever Ayreon live shows. 9000 tickets were sold out within 48 hours and the shows became highly acclaimed in the progressive rock/metal genre for their level of live production and musicianship.
A few months after the shows a live DVD was released, which hit the international charts and broke a the sales records.
In the summer of 2018 Ayreon produced a spectaculair headline show at Graspop Metal Meeting, being the first official festival show ever.
to be continued...?
Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin
Credits: orchestral & choirs arrangements, additional programming
Powerwolf is a power metal band and one of the most successful German bands of the moment. In the second half of 2017 I got contacted by Matthew Greywolf asking me to do a few choir arrangements here and there for their upcoming album. Most songs were already written back then and the preproduction was in the making. Without hearing the new material I got inspired right away, since I like the songwriting, style and vision of Powerwolf and its music a lot. I have a tendency to think big and epic right from the start in all projects and productions I'm doing and with this request in mind I got the urge to think even bigger. We needed both a Gregorian choir, a full classical choir and full power rock voices, since all of these elements are heard in Powerwolf's music, so why not take all these elements and drive them to the max?
But before I even wrote down one note I got contacted by the Matthew again since he heard some orchestral arrangements I did for other productions, which made him wonder how these orchestrations would sound on the new Powerwolf songs he had written. That was both a big complement and a big challenge for me, since I wanted to keep Powerwolf's authentic style and vision very much in tact, not changing anything in basis and to what all fans of their music love, but again enhancing and enlarging their style and vision. One of the things I love most about my work as a producer and arranger is diving into the world of a band, learning all ins and outs of their music, finding the sweet spots and uniqueness of their style, creating a kind of pallet both in sound, melody, harmony and attitude. For this first song (a fun fact: Fire & forgive, which is now the first song on the album) I didn't hold back and even created an extra intro, thinking about the possibility to always be able to leave elements out again.
The choirs were a 3 step process: I started with programming the choir with samples for which you still have to use a lot of imagination, then turning the demo programmings into a real score (choir book) with lyrics for the singers to read and then record everything for real. What started as 'just a few parts here and there', ended in close to a 100 different choir parts, containing both Gregorian, classical and full rock power choirs, plus a few additional solo parts. I formed a combination with a great group of people.
A section of the Pa'dam chamber choir of Amsterdam, which are all classically trained, amazing vocalists with a very dedicated conductor. They are really versatile and most of all really enjoy making a crossover between their classical style and heavy metal. They loved doing all the different sounds and styles, from max power to ambient Gregorian. On top of this choir I also recorded 4 very different lead vocalists in multiple sessions, from the dramatic soprano Dianne van Giersbergen to the raw rock voice of John Jaycee Cuijpers. Adding a lot of extra flavours and dynamics to the choir's sound pallet. Creating and recording choirs like this is truly one of my biggest passions, so this has been a real treat to work on!
As a special addition to their release we’ve created ‘the Symphony of Sin’. A orchestral only version of their new album…a huge honour for my work!
VUUR - In this moment we are free
Credits: production, recording, mix, co-write
VUUR is a new metal band formed around Anneke van Giersbergen, who is a big name in the female/symphonic metal scene and famous for being the original lead singer of the Gathering, having a very characteristic and unique vocal sound. The new formed band is a true all-star band, consisting of ex-members of bands like Gorefest, ReVamp and Stream of Passion.
When Anneke released an album with Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon) in 2015 called 'the Gentle Storm', she made her return to the metal scene after years of playing in a more alternative/pop scene. This album and the following tours, in which Joost also joined as a keyboardist, were a great succes, re-opened doors for her in the genre and gave her the urge to do her own metal album with a full band again.
The vision for the album was to create a heavy metal album, with lots attitude, a modern and in-your-face sound, not polished and not symphonic, having technical/progressive elements while hearing a great band performance on the record. This all to stand out in between of the 'more traditional' symphonic female fronted metal style acts and better reflecting Anneke's taste for bands like Mastodon and Gojira.
Anneke and Joost wrote the major part of all the songs together, searching for the right style and balance of all elements in the preproductions. Once the blueprint was set, also a few songs of the band members and 'guest writers' such as Mark Holcomb (Periphery) and Esa Holopainen (Amorphis) Joost transformed and rearranged to the new found VUUR style.
With this strong vision Joost started working with the (instrumental) band. First finalizing the songs in the rehearsal room all together each band member, bringing a personal touch to the songs, later on doing fully miked preproduction sessions in the studio. Preparing the band maximum for the studio period, getting the songs in the exact form and arrangement and finding the perfect attitude and sound on each aspect of the band. The production should be 100% honest, drums/guitar/bass driven and with a really high performance level, so the band had to be brought on top of game. Every effort made during recording should be heard and felt on the record, which also ment a very transparent and highly detailed mix.
The album was released in october 2017 by Inside Out/SPV, hit the international charts and has received overwhelming reactions by the inner circle listeners, the business partners and Anneke's huge fanbase. The first song 'Days go by - London' just got released in order for VUUR to head some big festivals in the summer of 2017 and get the fans excited for what's to come.
Navarone - Oscillation
Credits: production, recording, mix
Navarone is a self-made, old school rock band with great live reputation. Being influenced by bands from the 70s and 90s, they combine pumping drum grooves with sexy guitar riffs and cutting-edge vocals.
The band released two studio albums on their own before working with Joost, but never focused on production like they did on their live performance. The goal was to create a modern sounding rock album, full of great songwriting, with a strong and one-of-a-kind productional vision, reflecting the band's creativity, attitude, and individual musicians. A lot of time was spend in the studio searching for the ultimate sound per instrument, per song. Nothing was taken for granted and every experiment was embraced in order to reach the perfect approach on every aspect. The band was very hands-on during the whole production, using the studio as an instrument instead of just a recording facility – coming up with a great and fulfilling end result.
After the album was finished, the band signed an international record deal, teamed up with great management, gained lots of attention by the media, was recognized by commercial radio, entered the Top 10 album charts, and plays, streams, and bookings went up. The band managed to get their great live reputation reflected on a studio album for the first time.
The Holographic Principle
Shades of Black
Credits: arrangement, co-write
The Theater Equation
Credits: musical direction, arrangement
Sandlane Recording Facilities is Joost's headquarters, established in 2009 in Rijen, The Netherlands. A state-of-the-art recording studio with a big live room characterised by stunning acoustics, a Neve mixing console, a phenomenal collection of microphones, amps, instruments, and a wide range of high-end outboard equipment.
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