Why Steve Kitch became a die-hard Van Damme cable fan

2nd Mar 2023
Posted by

VDC Trading

Steve Kitch has been a mastering engineer for more than 20 years and his passion for audio runs deep

He's based in Devon, UK, and works from his custom-built studio hidden in the woods. He's had the privilege of working with a ton of different artists and genres, mastering thousands of albums, EPs, and singles.

Read on to find out what kit he cannot live without, who he's worked with and how he became a die-hard Van Damme cables fan.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My main goal is to make each recording sound the absolute best it can, so the music can really connect with listeners on a personal level. I’ve amassed a large, eclectic collection of gear over the years and yeah, I'll admit it, I'm a total analogue gear nerd.

Tell us about one tool or processing unit in your studio that you couldn't live without?

That's a tough one! Being a mastering engineer means I have to be flexible and switch up my gear depending on the vibe and style of the project. But if I absolutely had to pick one piece of gear that's essential to my sound, it's got to be my Knif Pure Mu tube compressor. This is my secret weapon for getting that classic "record" sound that everybody wants. It's built like a tank and super easy to use. The 10 tubes also keep me nice and warm during the winter. Jonte Knif, the guy who made it, is a straight-up genius. 

If you can tell us, who was the most revered person you've had the pleasure to work with?

I've had the pleasure of working with some pretty amazing artists and producers over the years, so it's hard to pick just one as the "most revered." I absolutely love working with people who are super passionate about what they do, have an enthusiasm about top quality audio and willing to take risks to create something truly special. It's inspiring to see artists and producers who really care about their craft and are always striving to push the boundaries and make something unique. Whether I'm working with a big-name veteran or a fresh-faced newcomer, I always approach every project with the same level of enthusiasm and commitment, doing whatever I can to help the artist realise their vision and create the best possible final product.

How did you get introduced into the world of Van Damme cables?

I first heard about Van Damme when I was just starting out in the business and it was pretty clear that these cables were the gold standard for pro-level cabling. Every legit studio in the UK was using Van Damme, and all the mags and forums were raving about them. So when I decided to get serious about my setup, I knew Van Damme was the way to go. I've been a die-hard Van Damme fan ever since and all the cables in my studio are Van Damme.

A few years back, I invested in a Crookwood analogue router that has this crazy relay system allowing me to patch any gear in any order. It came with a ton of custom DB25 looms which were all made with Van Damme cabling. The guy who made the system, Crispin Herrod-Taylor, is a very well-respected engineer and if he's using Van Damme, you know it's ok.

Most importantly, I know in the world of mixing or mastering noise levels have to be as low as possible or not there at all, what was the deciding factor for you to go with our line of cables?

I've learned that the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to audio quality. And when it comes to cables, it's not just about the brand name, it's about performance. Having a low-noise floor is absolutely crucial to achieving high-quality results and if you’re mastering ‘outside the box’ then you don’t want to be collecting unnecessary rubbish and interference along the way. Plus, the durable construction means they can handle the wear and tear of regular use without letting me down. When you're working on a deadline or under pressure, the last thing you want is to waste time troubleshooting issues that could have been avoided by using the right cabling. With Van Damme cables, I can plug in and get on with the job, knowing that I'm using the best possible product to achieve the best possible results for my clients

Which of our cables or devices specifically are currently the bread and butter that connects all the amazing analogue gear you have collected to put together a sound engineers heaven?

In my studio setup, I am utilising Van Damme Pro Grade Classic XKE install cable for inside my racks and connecting everything via my Crookwood router. I am using Van Damme Tour Grade Classic XKE cable for my gear interconnects. Both have proven to be excellent with zero issues.

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