Barry Olthof is the founder of Olthof Audio Productions and O.A.P Records.
At the age of twelve, Barry started to play drums. The first lessons were followed at the local brass band in the town were he was raised: Zutphen, The Netherlands. In this same city he took lessons with the music school just one year after he’d started playing drums. Soon Barry was asked to join the “Zutphense Big Band”.
In 1986 this band made a tour through the U.K. At the age of fifteen, Barry started to tour through the Netherlands with several Swing and Dixieland bands. The Swing masters, Cake Town Jazz Band, Orchestra Ger van Son were the bands Barry played with. When Barry reached the age of seventeen, he joined the conservatory in Arnhem. He started with the preparatory course for jazz drumming. Barry was the originator for the Olthof Jazz Trio: his first own band, formed by colleague – students.
The stage experience as jazz drummer, which he has gathered through the years, brought him to the conservatory in The Hague. His main subject was recording engineering, his musical subject jazz drumming, of course. From the beginning, Barry was often asked to join groups and bands, the students and the city liked his sound! Some names: Edgar van Asselt Trio, Nathan Drohm Quartet, Dimitry Shapko Swing Quartet.
During the third year of the recording engineering course, Barry started with a second major study: jazz drumming. Many projects and classes conducted by guest teachers were organized at the conservatory.
Barry followed the following projects:
Workshops from several top musicians like Barry Harris, David Liedman, Scott Hamilton and Nic Bricknola.
A big band workshop by Maria Schneider, followed by a live broadcasting at the Vredeburg in Utrecht.
Producing records from the Royal Conservatory Big Band.
Not only this firm made Barry what he is today: a professional recording engineer. His experiences in freelance sound engineering formed the young man’s ears.
During the first years of working with professional equipment and musicians, Barry discovered an exciting area of recording: that of the acoustic engineering. This brings automatically an excellent knowledge of different recording systems, pre-amps, microphones and effects.