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, dancing, while she also 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, (no comma) working with the country’s Top and International Award-Winning Artists like Khuli Chana, Naima Kay, Robbie Malinga, and Junior Mambazo. He has also been part of (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) oversees 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 a myriad of international and local documentary films and TV series.
Geo has taught Sound Engineering, both full-time and as a freelancer. He has also been an 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 on 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 SAMAs (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 analog 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.
Larry is one of our highly qualified lecturers at Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg. He has 20+ years of experience in the South African Music and Entertainment Industry, reaching the level of Senior Sound Engineer in the Live Sound Industry as well as Holding a Senior/Key Position on almost all Music Festivals and Large Format events (Corporate and Government Functions) throughout South Africa. He has achieved Industry Awards (five-time Naledi Theatre Awards Nominee, Best Sound Design Winner 2016 to name a few) in the Recording Industry presenting Recording, Mix Engineer, and Co-Producer roles as well as the role of Sound Designer and FOH Engineer in the Theatre Industry.
Larry is also a five-time SAMA award nominee and two-time SAMA award winner in Music and Live DVD categories and has spent the past 5 years working as an A1 Audio Engineer/ Mixer in the Broadcast Audio Industry in OB-Audio and Music Mix.
Kevin Godfrey, a lecturer at Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Electronics Engineer by Qualification. Today, Kevin is the Director of Inventworx Group, a Technology Innovation company, and co-founder of LUMIN8, a company Designing and Manufacturing Technology solutions for Malaria control and other health solutions in Africa.
He is also a passionate musician, and has a passion for the Entertainment Industry, and has worked on various Live events as a Lighting Operator, and occasionally as an Audio Engineer. Kevin played in various bands as a keyboard player. During his career, he fulfilled various roles in training Electronics, Audio, and Business mentoring.
Gideon is a diverse Audio Professional and has been working with either Music or Sound professionally for more than 18 years full time. He started as a full time touring musician and transitioned behind the desk as a Studio and Live Engineer, as well as a Composer for Film/TV.
Gideon has deep roots in the Abbey Road Institute Johannesburg Studio’s, (when its name was still SOLO Studio’s, then later MMX studios) when his band recorded there with Johan van der Colff as an Engineer in 2002. Since then he has freelanced at the studio working with names and projects like the 2010 FIFA World Cup Opening Ceremony with Lebo M, Busi Mhlongo, and Hugh Masekela. He has recently worked with MMX on Sound Designing feature Films and premixing Post Audio in Dolby Atmos.
Gideon started his own Production Company called Katalyst Music Productions (based in Cape Town) in 2008 where he produces records for artists, works in Advertisement and Corporate Media, and composes music for Film/TV in his studio. He initially started working on Pro Tools and then found a liking in the workflow and compositional tools Logic Pro has to offer and has since worked on Logic as his main DAW for the past 12 years.
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!