LABORANTES stands for my sound recording laboratory, my name Gregor Antes and the Latin word for working people. In my first profession as a Physicist specialised in Coherent Optics, Laser Technology and Holographic Applications I worked with my crew as a Development Manager in a big Swiss company inventing and industrialising new Optical Security Devices now used all over the world. But with strong artistic and musical roots in my family I was eager to put my technical skills also into the art of music recording and reproduction.
Shortly after learning to read and write I started to develop some early technical projects . Later as a student I modified tape recorders to boost their performance to the limits. Then I developed exotic electroacustic transducers such as ionophonic and electrostatic headspeakers. I had the unique chance to test and improve everything in a real-world environment during a period of more than 30 years, at first in the excellent concert hall Tonhalle Zürich where my uncle Marius Meng (at the same time a professional conductor and gynecologist) gave concerts with his amateur symphony orchestra Orchestergesellschaft Zürich as well as with professional orchestras and world known soloists.
Of course, I was happy to jump into the digital age of sound recording, first using various DAT recorders, and finally with Multichannel Recording directly to the harddisks of a computer. I had recording sessions in many churches and famous halls, such as the KKL Concert Hall Lucerne (set to different acoustical configurations). Various microphone settings and "recording philosophies" had to be tested, including microphone stereo-setups, artificial heads, quadrophony and multichannel miking. The acoustic signatures (impulse responses) of several halls were recorded and analyzed in order to eventually optimize the final sound balance in digital sound editing.
Another activity in the field of music production and reproduction was sampling all the sounds of selected church organs, in order to play them at home with 3 manuals and the pedal. The reason to do it the hard way was, that I did not like the organ sounds produced by commercially available electronic organs available at the time.
A highly special challenge was to design, build and implement microprocessor devices into the biggest organ of Switzerland, allowing all actions by an organist to be recorded, eventually modified and to be played back by the organ automatically. This giant organ at the Monastery of Engelberg comprises 4 manuals, 1 pedal, 137 registers and 9600 pipes. In a 2-year project I installed more than 800 electrical cables. The Organ-Computer Interface System is used for CD- and DVD-A-recordings, to optimize register settings and for some new avantgarde compositions that, just for practical reasons, could not be played by an organist alone.
For more than 16 years I have focused on CD-Productions to promote young, outstanding international pianists attending the Master Classes of our family friend Alexis Weissenberg. Most of the final concerts given in the prestigious baroque festival hall of the monastery are available on CD's. Some of them have been broadcast on our Swiss national DRS II Music Channel.
To promote classical music to an unconventional audience, I recorded a concert for invited young people of all schools of Central Switzerland at the KKL Concert Hall Lucerne. The CD was then distributed as a free gift. Participants included The Lucerne Festival Strings and a price-winning pianist from the Master Classes Alexis Weissenberg.
In 2001 I started to produce probably the first multichannel DVD-Audio Disks in Switzerland. This is a new "Super High-Fidelity" standard comparable in quality to Super Audio CD and should not be confounded with ordinary multichannel DVD-Video sound. The new sound format is quite popular in Japan and the United States but still hardly known in Europe, although compatible multichannel playback devices are readily available. My first DVD-Audio Albums included recordings of Strings of Zurich, two recordings of concerts at the new KKL-Hall Lucerne, many recordings of the Great Organ at the Monastery of Engelberg and three recorded concerts of the international festival Música Romântica of Saas-Fee 2003 with the Russian Wolgograd Philharmonic Orchestra and various soloists. At the festival 2004, I have recorded again three Concerts by the excellent Russian Ural Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Eliane Rodrigues and others.
I am proud to offer to potential customers an All-in-One Service: all steps leading to a final state-of-the-art CD or DVD-Audio I would do myself: Recording, Digital Processing, CD- or DVD-Audio- Authoring (including Navigation Menus, Still Images and Comments), MLP-Encoding, Photography, Booklet Contents, Graphical Artwork and the Production of Master Disks.
A highly compact and mobile multichannel system is used in the recording process. For small productions printing of the artwork and replication of the disks can be made in my Laboratory. For large volume productions I work together with printers and disk replicators.
As my activity in the world of music is not commercially oriented but rather aimed at creating "little pieces of musical artwork", I keep my prices very low, but I carefully choose my projects and partners.