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From Athens and back Again

Ilias Gogakis, re-recording engineer, mix and mastering engineer and owner of Vowlume Productions, talks to us about his work and the challenges of adapting Vowlume for the Greek market.


Ilias started out playing in different bands but quickly realised that behind the desk was where he wanted to be. “I began approaching the more technical side of things than the musical and was really enjoying the process of music production.”


Ilias began Vowlume Productions to combine creative services for both music and broadcast. Delivering a bespoke service to its clients, Vowlume acts as a ‘one stop shop’. “We are a group of people working together to bring new and fresh ideas to our clients ensuring the highest quality service yet maintaining budgets. We offer mixing, mastering, video production, digital marketing and everything in between.”   


After almost ten years here in the UK and after the pandemic broke, he made the decision to move back to Athens. In order to meet the needs of the Greek market Vowlume had to adapt. “We had to go through some in-depth changes to adapt the business to the Greek market. We divided the business into two divisions, Vowlume Digital headed up by his wife and Vowlume Productions. To be able to continue to serve the UK market I adapted the service to offer a mix and mastering online studio. The impact of the move has greatly improved business as I was able to bring the experience of working in the UK to the people in Athens who have never had the chance to work in big markets such as the UK market.”


Like many, Ilias has found the pandemic an extremely challenging time. “The pandemic certainly made me take a look at my business and see how I could meet the needs of my clients in a more flexible way. I was fortunate to already be active in forums connecting artists, musicians and songwriters so have been able to continue to work”.


When approaching a project, Ilias says listening is key. “Obviously I need to understand the client’s vision and listen to the recording that has been sent. There have been times when the recordings don’t allow for the desired outcome. I have been fortunate that this is not always the case as many problems cannot be fixed in the mix and I am still surprised at how many people still think it can be. I always respect the people I work with, the original creators, their vision and what they are trying to achieve. It’s also important to remember that having soft skills with people is very special in our work and really helps. ”


In the studio his favourite bit of kit is Presonus Studio One Pro v5.2. “I have found the Presonus to be a revolutionary DAW. As I work mainly in the digital domain I have two touch screens and use the Kii Audio Three for my main monitor system. I use the Raven MTi from Slate, the OLLO S4X and the Slate VSX as my two preferred headphones.”


So how does Ilias see the landscape over the next five years? “The pandemic helped me to think and re-evaluate everything and I know this has been the same for others. The way we work has certainly changed, not only moving to a more remote set up but we have more accessible technology so more people will have access to music tools which is good for people wanting to create music and us professionals enabling them to achieve their vision.”