Steve, Mao, and Oliver come from a variety of backgrounds and, as such, bring immeasurable professional experience, creativity and widely-respected technical knowledge to their roles. Their skill is evident in every aspect of recording from large choral productions, film, jazz, performance and composition right through to electronic production and authoring. Between them they bring many decades of experience into the studio every day.
Steve’s parents had a glimpse of the future with his second spoken word “Records”.
By age nine Steve was organising sound and recording his own primary school productions, mastering the flute and singing as a boy soprano in operas. He still has the 30-watt kitset stereo amplifier which he built up at home when he was 13 years old.
By age 15 Steve had gone professional - recording, editing and co-ordinating live sound for the Northern Opera, The Northern Ballet Company and the Queen City Big Band. Around the same age he was also doing live sound playback for pantomimes with his own gear and working as a ‘part copyist’ transposing and writing individual instrument parts for TVNZ programme orchestras.
Steve began his employment at Stebbing Recording Centre back in 1982 just before his 17th birthday, starting off as a junior dubbing and cassette mastering engineer. He evolved into a recording engineer with his analogue 4-track studio debut in 1984, later moving on to 16 and 24 track scenarios for both music and advertising. Digital recording became an everyday event in 1992, and since, he has worked extensively with advertising clients on a vast body of work, as well as engineering many choir, ensemble, classical and jazz albums in both the analogue and digital domains.
In more recent times, Steve has been the driving force in the ongoing re-issue of the Stebbing, Zodiac and Key house label catalogue on to digital platforms. This has involved the specialist tape transfers, restoration processes, compilation creative, art direction, mastering and part of the marketing. He is also the in-house specialist for vinyl and shellac (78rpm) transfers for new releases, as well as mastering for new vinyl releases, which is gaining momentum rapidly.
With his considerable experience, Steve lends an intelligent and intuitive ear to all productions, all with good humour and a generous ounce of wisdom. In his spare time he likes to chase a small black ball around a squash court, lift large pieces of metal in all directions at the gym, and yes you guessed it... listen to music!
Mao holds a degree in broadcasting from the Philippines and has almost two decades of experience in the field of TV and film post-production, optical media, and media asset management.
He began his career in 1990 with the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, the Philippine's top television network. His career there included heading up the research team of a top rated news and current affairs program and production head of the Broadcast Design and Creative Group where he played a major role producing TV spots and network idents. His work was also recognised in the international arena, earning him awards and citations from PROMAX BDA, New York Festivals and the Asian Television Awards. A decade later, Mao was offered the opportunity to head the operations department of one of the top post production houses in Manilla. Mao was also tasked to oversee both Film and TV Commercial production and spearhead the creation of a new digital intermediate workflow.
Following on from broad experience in the broadcast industry, Mao decided to start a new chapter of his life, leaving his native country in 2011 to move to a place he would like to call home - New Zealand. On his arrival, he specialised in multimedia and technical work for Silver and Ballard, an Auckland multimedia and distribution company. During his three years there he worked in CD and DVD duplication, DVD authoring, audio-video-film transfers, graphic design, company website design and media asset management. In 2014 the company ceased operations and a year later Mao joined Stebbings where he was tasked to oversee the DVD authoring and media asset management of the video side of the business.
After hours, Mao is also a DIY’er, doing car repair, house repair, any repair that involves power tools.
Oliver Allan comes to Stebbing with a background strong in music and composition, underpinned by his recent graduation from the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand as an audio engineer.
It began back in England where he was born and where, at the age of 10, his Aunt and Uncle donated a small keyboard to him and his family. He taught himself the basics of the keyboard which stoked a passion for all instruments and a keenness to learn that even his relatives never envisaged when they handed over that keyboard.
In 2008 Oliver and his family moved to New Zealand in time to settle into secondary schooling and get himself acquainted with the music department at Westlake Boys High School. It was here that he honed his skills, practising piano, guitar and drums, both during and after the school day.
It was during this time that he received several individual awards and endorsements for his compositions that added weight to his academic record.
All the signs for his tertiary education pointed him in the direction of the Auckland University’s music department where he began his studies in composition. This led to close study and working relationship with top New Zealand composers Dr Leonie Holmes and Dr Eve de Castro-Robinson. It also put him in touch with the noted American composer Jay ‘Bluejay’ Greenberg, a student of de Castro-Robinson at Auckland and an occasional lecturer at the School of Music. During this time Oliver produced several musical works including three pieces for solo piano, clarinet and violin which attracted high praise from his tutors.
However partway through those studies he became increasingly intrigued with the mechanics of recording and he chose to continue his tertiary studies at the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ). Eager to get out into the workforce, he opted for the one-year Certificate in Audio Engineering and Production, graduating in May 2016. Shortly afterwards he was handpicked for audio engineering duties at Stebbings and he soon began building a significant profile of studio work including television commercials and music albums for CD.
On the personal side, Oliver enjoys socialising and meeting people from all walks of life and this has been important in building relationships with Stebbing’s new and long-standing clients.
He’ll also likely be found on the football field, indulging yet another childhood passion. His other hobbies include travelling and photography which he combined beautifully on a recent trip to the United Kingdom and Budapest in Hungary.