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Studio Designer, Acoustician Vincent van Haaff Remembered

Vincent van Haaff

Photo: Courtesy of the Audio Engineering Society.

Vincent Amaury van Haaff (pictured), renowned acoustician, studio designer, and principal of Los Angeles–based firm Waterland Design LLC, passed away on Monday, May 23, 2016, according to multiple reports. Waterland’s design projects include such landmark facilities as Capitol Records (Hollywood), Conway Recording Studios (Los Angeles), A&M Studios (Hollywood), Village Recorder (Los Angeles), Sony Music Studio (New York City), Sony Music Studios (Santa Monica), Woodstock Studio Karuizawa (Japan), and Burnish Stone Studio (Tokyo, Japan). Van Haaff’s work has appeared and been mentioned within the pages of Mix magazine in numerous issues, often featured among the studios profiled in Mix‘s annual June issue “Class Of” cover feature.

Van Haaff stated Waterland’s operating philosophy on its Website: “From its inception Waterland has made designing acoustic environments for entertainment production facilities a centerpoint of its business. It is our opinion that sound and the acoustics of music have left an incisive mark on the history of architecture and habitable space engineering. On the journey from the medieval cathedral to the modern-day music recording studio, millions have perceived the art of sound reproduction through a constantly evolving process of replication. Through this process, music has become a universal language and a vanguard of the impact that sound reproduction will have on the future of mankind.

On Facebook, many of van Haaff’s studio clients, friends and collaborators posted their remembrances:

The Village Recorder: “There are no words to express the loss of Vincent A. van Haaff. He was an incredible human being, and we wouldn’t be the studio that we are without his genius and dedication. We love you, Vincent, and you are forever a part of our family. RIP.”

Producer/engineer Rafa Sardina: “Dear Vincent A van Haaff, my heart is broken, but I know you must be sailing your way not far from us. What an artist, colleage.. friend you are!!! You encompass everything a renaissance man is all about. You are kind, funny, considerate, opinionated, unique, and had more heart to spare than anyone I’ve met. Made you a promise less than a year ago that I hope I can fulfill one day! … I know I will! Love you Vincent!!!”

Skip Saylor Recording: “We are very heartbroken to learn of he passing of studio design legend Vincent Van Haaff. He was instrumental in the acoustic design of our Hollywood area studio and so many other iconic recording studios in this town… We will miss you very much, Vincent! RIP.”

On A&M “The A&M Family is mourning the passing of Vincent Van Haaff, sound designer. A legend in L.A. for the great rooms he created. Vince was responsible for renovating A&M’s studios and keeping their sound world class.”

Mix magazine will offer remembrances from the professional audio community in its upcoming July 2016 issue.

Read more about van Haaff’s projects at

In April 2011, Gearwire posted a series of four video interviews with van Haaff on Gearwire’s YouTube channel:

“Studio Designer Vincent Van Haaff: Interview, Part One (Video)”

“Studio Designer Vincent Van Haaff: Interview, Part Two (Video)”

“Studio Designer Vincent Van Haaff: Interview, Part Three (Video)”

“Studio Designer Vincent Van Haaff: Interview, Part Four (Video)”

And in December 2012, posted this interview with van Haaff on its YouTube channel: “An Interview with Vincent Amaury Van Haaff on Waterland Design LLC”