As co-founder of plugin specialist Leapwing Audio, director of education at Miami’s Abbey Road Institute and an award-winning mix engineer, Robin Reumers is one of the busiest men in audio. His company’s plugins provide a diverse array of solutions for everything from rock and electronic music to film scoring, while his commitment to education is helping shape the future of some of the industry’s brightest new talent. So what was it that led him to embark on his own career in audio?
“Around 15 years ago, after studying at audio college I left Europe and moved to the US to train with [mastering engineer] Bob Katz,” he explains. “After that I returned to Europe and started working in post-production house Galaxy Studio in Belgium. I got there at the right time, immersive audio was very new and Galaxy was at the forefront of it. It was then I really got into the mindset that I wanted to make plugins. Everything evolved in a very natural way – three of us co-founded Leapwing and we all met at Galaxy.”
The company launched with its DynOne plugin, a product that would lay the groundwork for all that would follow.
“DynOne took a long time because we had to develop filters and learn a lot of different things,” he says. “It took about a year and a half to get everything in order. It was a complex product to make but we wanted it to have a very simple and intuitive interface. With all the plugins we create we want to solve a problem that we or other engineers face.
“We want to target people that have creative mindsets and help them create. CenterOne is a spatial plugin, so it allows you not just to do MS processing, but treat left, centre and right individually, so you have way more control. That led us to release StageOne, which is all about width and depth. And this year we released our Signature Series - the first plugin was with the late Al Schmitt. That’s a new range for us, trying to capture the sound of an important engineer in a plugin that is really unique.”
As for Reumers’s role with the Miami Abbey Road Institute, it is one that has been in the making for the past five years.
“I started working on this around 2016,” he reveals. “Back then I was in Amsterdam. I really wanted to build my own studio so I partnered with two other people there and we were talking to the Abbey Road team in London, as they wanted to set up a new school in Amsterdam. I’d known the people running the Abbey Road Institute for years so it felt like a nice way to make it happen. So, we started in Amsterdam, then in March last year I moved to Miami to set up the institute here.”
Unsurprisingly, it’s a role he is relishing. “It is something I really wanted to do,” he concludes. “I get to work with students every day, listen to their work and help them. Our role as educators is really powerful.”