We offer handpicked South African industry experts and academics from all areas of the recording and music business. They bring a wealth of experience, expertise, skills and insider knowledge. Their roles range from producers, engineers and musicians to technicians, marketing and management. They include multiple award winners and nominees who we are proud to present to you. Please meet the team behind our Advanced Programme in Music Production & Sound Engineering.
Welcome to our Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg team. Here you'll find more information about our regular lecturers and visiting industry experts.
Johan van der Colff is an experienced sound engineer with over 20 years in the music industry. He is also an avid businessman that has headed up successful companies and his career in music has been something of note. He currently runs Mastermax Studios in Johannesburg as well as the international Post Production Facilities Network, Post|City, with its head office in Paarl, Western Cape.
He won a SAMA (South African Music Award) for Best Engineer for his work on Zahara’s hit album ‘Loliwe’. Johan is also known for his work with Mumford and Sons, One Republic, Jennifer Hudson, Westlife and Joyous Celebration. His work in film includes movies like Liefling, The Roar, Jagveld (Hunting Emma), Bhai’s Cafe, The Legend of Tarzan, The Giver, Intonga to name just a few. Alongside his role as Managing Director, Johan will also give lectures to our students at Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg.
You can find out more about Johan van der Colff in his interview on our blog.
Elsabé van der Colff has a background in digital marketing including blogging, social media and web development. Alongside this, she has been working in the creative arts for the past 18 years. She toured the country in a musical theatre company for 3 years leading in acting, singing and dancing and performs as a singer and songwriter under the alias Lily Green. After being the principal photographer and graphic designer for MMX Advertising since 2005, she has actively been involved in social media marketing, setting the stage for her new role in Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg.
Ben Ludik is a record producer, a film/multimedia composer and the Academic Coordinator at Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg. Ben has worked with some of South Africa’s leading film auteurs, including Katinka Heyns and Oliver Hermanus. Their collaborations on scores and songs for films have enjoyed international recognition, including selection for official competition at the Venice and Cannes film festivals. Completing a BA in Fine Arts (Visual Communication Design) at Stellenbosch University in 2007 and an MPhil in Music Technology in 2017, his creative approach to music production is balanced by an appreciation and understanding of rigorous research methodology.
Ben has a passion for supporting and developing up and coming artists, such as Kaleidoskoop and Joshua na die Reën, who won Newcomer of the year and numerous other awards at the prestigious Ghoemas. His commitment to the process of finding an individual’s unique voice is as much about persistence as it is about remembering to have fun in the studio – an ethos he loves to share with his students. You can find out more about Ben in his interview on our blog.
Thando Magwaza is a highly experienced audio engineer based in Johannesburg. His passion for the art of recording and mixing kicked in when he was studying civil engineering. He was constantly consuming music whilst studying at the same time and his passion grew from there.
Thando’s career started at Music House KZN studio, where he began as an intern and moved up to assistant engineer only 6 months later. He then moved to Johannesburg to further his expertise and joined the team at Mastermax Productions. This is where he has refined his skills, working with the country’s top and international award-winning artists like Khuli Chana, Naima Kay, Robbie Malinga, Junior Mambazo. As well as sessions with Lebo M on the African choir songs of the Lion King 2019 remake. He currently works as the studio engineer and manager at Mastermax Productions. Thando Magwaza will oversee the day to day running of the studio and technical support required by our students as Studio Technical Manager here at Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg.
Geo Höhn grew up in South Africa as well as Germany and Switzerland but received his initial musical training whilst in school in Germany. His professional experience covers a variety of genres from opera to commercial music and for many years Geo has scored the musical soundtracks of more than 20 local and international feature films, as well as myriad international and local documentary films and TV series.
Geo has taught sound engineering, both full time and as a freelancer as well as being industry chair at AFDA for music for the past 3 years. Alongside this, he has conducted masterclasses for postgraduate students in film music and sound over the last 7 years.
Not only has Geo been involved in the judge’s panel of events like the SAFTAs but he has also been the CEO of Insomnia Studios since 2015. He has mentored a number of composers and sound engineers in their journey to become industry professionals. Many of his students have excelled in their craft and have become successful in their own careers. Currently, he is also running the Insomnia Studios Team in Sound and Music post-production as well as running our Institute as Campus Manager.
Tim Lengfeld is one of South Africa’s most prolific mastering engineers. German-born and African raised, Tim has been working in the South African music industry for more than 20 years. He has a mile-long rap-sheet of more than 1000 albums including artists such as Mumford and Sons, Fokofpolisiekar, Freshlyground, Joshua na die Reen, Spoegwolf, Kyle Shepherd, aKing, and Dizu Plaatjies. With an immense amount of experience and 15 SAMA (South African Music Awards) winning albums under his belt we are privileged to have him as one of our regular lecturers. His mastering philosophy includes an emphasis on quality control and listening with a fresh ear. He has a preference for analogue equipment and refining the mix rather than dominating it. Tim has been teaching since 2016 and enjoys introducing students to the realities and techniques of mastering through scenarios from his daily studio work.
The curriculum is fantastic, extremely comprehensive, contemporary and relevant to today’s industry.
Applying for the diploma was the best thing I could have done for my career. I'm really amazed at how much I learnt in one year.
There is some real visionary foresight in Abbey Road Institute being established to preserve the cultural legacy of Abbey Road.
I had an incredible experience. The staff have so much to offer and cover so many different areas of music.
The course taught me what it means to be a producer and engineer in the industry, I learned things I couldn’t have learned anywhere else.
It’s a unique experience in so many ways, the location, the calibre of guest lecturers and access to Abbey Road Studios for classes is pretty amazing. There aren't many places you get to record a full orchestra!