Company History

Die­ter Dierks (Hans-Die­ter Dierks), born 9th Febru­ary 1943 in Stom­meln, Ger­ma­ny, as son of a Jewish mother and a Catho­lic father, is a Ger­man musi­ci­an, sound engi­neer, pro­du­cer, music publisher, stu­dio owner, and inno­va­tor. He achie­ved tre­men­dous world­wi­de suc­cess as pro­du­cer of the Scor­pi­ons. Their albums released bet­ween 1975 and 1988 all bore Dierks’ hall­marks. Befo­re that time he had alre­ady

suc­cess­ful­ly esta­blished Ham­burg-based band Atlan­tis in the US. Bet­ween 1969 and 1975 the stu­di­os, named after him, were the crea­ti­ve home of almost all rep­re­sen­ta­ti­ves of the »Kraut­rock« era. From 1975 onwards more and more inter­na­tio­nal artists star­ted boo­king his sta­te-of-the art sound and TV stu­di­os, thus put­ting Stom­meln on the map in the world of rock and pop. read more

The begin­ning

»Initi­al­ly I wan­ted to beco­me a film direc­tor«, Dierks remem­bers. Hence he took up stu­dy­ing acting and direc­ting and worked as assi­stant direc­tor to renow­ned direc­tors such as Kurt Wil­helm, Karl Frucht­mann, Jür­gen Gos­lar and the for­mer Burg­thea­ter artis­tic direc­tor Ger­hard Klin­gen­berg. At the same peri­od of time he also play­ed gui­tar and bass in various rock bands as well as set­ting up his own stu­dio behind his par­ents’ hou­se in Stom­meln, Haupt­stras­se 33, about 24 kilo­metres away from Colo­gne. He inheri­ted his musi­cal talent from his father, a con­duc­tor, vio­li­nist, sax play­er and com­po­ser and got his busi­ness sen­se from his mother who ran a gro­ce­ry store. The first stu­dio rooms were built in the nar­row attic of his par­ents’ hou­se. With his two re-vam­ped Revox ama­teur record­ing devices Die­ter Dierks soon mana­ged to attract many young, crea­ti­ve musi­ci­ans.

Again around that time Dierks for­med the band Hush toge­ther with Tom­my Engel who was then the drum­mer of the popu­lar Colo­gne-based band Tony Hen­drik Five, and addi­tio­nal mem­ber Frie­der Vieh­mann. In 1969 the band released the sin­gle »Oh ! Darling/Schau mir in die Augen«. The band’s live appearan­ces were known to be of a rather loud natu­re. Two years later dili­gent Dierks built a lar­ge stu­dio com­plex in the backyard of his par­ents’ hou­se. Short­ly after­wards, the small apart­ment buil­ding next door was tur­ned into a hotel for stu­dio guests. This way he had crea­ted an »all in one« ent­i­ty as far as music pro­duc­tion was con­cer­ned. Musi­ci­ans were able to work and live in the same place – a con­cept that was uni­que in Ger­ma­ny at the time. But this new­co­mer wasn’t just talen­ted, he was also lucky : in a par­ty mood in the year 1969 he pro­du­ced a dis­co hit which to this day can be heard in Ger­ma­ny and abroad. It’s cal­led »Loop di Love« fea­turing the then unknown sin­ger Jay Bas­tos. The sin­gle was released in 1971, went strai­ght to No. 1 in Hol­land, Eng­land as well as other coun­tries and sold several mil­li­on copies.

Pro­fes­sio­nal histo­ry as pro­du­cer, stu­dio owner, mana­ger and inno­va­tor

The Kraut­rock and Elec­tro­ni­ca era

In the ear­ly seven­ties Stu­dio 1 beca­me a place of pil­grimage for a new gene­ra­ti­on of Ger­man musi­ci­ans of the then flou­ris­hing hip­pie cul­tu­re. The mix­tu­re of »coun­try­si­de ambi­ence and high tech stu­dio equip­ment« lured hosts of aspi­ring young talent to Stom­meln, which in tho­se days was a total­ly unknown place. Howe­ver, the name of said vil­la­ge near Colo­gne star­ted pop­ping up more and more in Ger­man music maga­zi­nes (Musikexpress/Sounds, the tra­de maga­zi­ne Musik­ma­ga­zin, Pop-Rocky and many others). Their edi­tors dedi­ca­ted full pages to the »sound fac­to­ry« [3], the­se new crea­ti­ve bands, and the­se excel­lent pro­duc­tions. Dierks Stu­di­os – along with tho­se of Con­ny Plank in Wol­pe­rath – beca­me the home of the most renow­ned Kraut­rock artists, first gene­ra­ti­on Ger­man rock bands and Elec­tro­ni­ca pioneers, among them Ihre Kin­der, Ash Ra Tem­pel, Tan­ge­ri­ne Dream, Witt­hü­ser & Wes­trupp, Hoel­der­lin, Wal­len­stein, Birth Con­trol, Guru Guru, Embryo, Popol Vuh, Brö­sel­ma­schi­ne, the poli­ti­cal­ly ori­en­ta­ted rock bands Amon Düül and Floh de Colo­gne as well as Kraut­rock super group Cos­mic Jokers foun­ded by music visio­na­ry Rolf-Ulrich Kai­ser. They were all flocking to Stom­meln in order to have their inter­pre­ta­ti­ons of rock music recor­ded and pro­du­ced.

One of the regu­lar cli­ents was Klaus Dol­din­ger with his jazz-rock for­ma­ti­on Pass­port. Their albums Loo­king Thru (1973), Hand­ma­de (1973), Cross-Col­la­te­ral (1975), and Infi­ni­ty Machi­ne (1976) were recor­ded in Stom­meln. Their live album Jubi­lee 1974, a record­ing of the live show at Rhein­hal­le, Düs­sel­dorf, was mixed at Dierks Stu­di­os. During tho­se years more than 40 trend-set­ting albums were pro­du­ced the­re which con­s­i­der­ab­ly ele­va­ted the repu­ta­ti­on inde­pen­dent Ger­man rock and elec­tro­nic music was enjoy­ing on an inter­na­tio­nal level. Many of tho­se works were released on the new Ger­man record labels Pilz, Ohr and Bac­il­lus. It was the first time the­se albums were released in the US, Fran­ce, Ita­ly, and Eng­land. Their head­lines almost always fea­tured Dierks Stu­di­os as well as its »sound magi­ci­an and wizard of tunes«, Die­ter Dierks. The crea­ti­ve envi­ron­ment and the home­ly atmo­s­phe­re of the stu­dio kit­chen whe­re Die­ter Dierks’ mother, affec­tio­na­te­ly cal­led »Mother Dierks« would tireless­ly cook until the morning hours. She would usual­ly also get an honoura­ble on the artists’ albums.

Ano­t­her bene­fit was the fact that Die­ter Dierks had con­ti­nued fit­ting his stu­dio faci­li­ties with the latest high tech equip­ment, thus tur­ning them into one of the lea­ding Ger­man pro­duc­tion loca­ti­ons. They inclu­ded self-devi­sed reverb effects, addi­tio­nal expe­ri­men­tal instru­ments like the mel­lo­tron, a key­board that could replay regu­lar tapings of orches­tra sounds. All the­se gad­gets enhan­ced this ›sta­te-of-the-art‹- esta­blish­ment, which was stri­ving for per­fec­tion.

Think local, act glo­bal

Around 1972 Die­ter Dierks expan­ded fur­t­her. Enab­ling cost-effi­ci­ent pre-pro­duc­tions, the base­ment of the stu­dio hotel was tur­ned into three small record­ing stu­di­os and a con­trol room bund­led as Stu­dio 2. In late 1973 a dining lounge cal­led »the Can­te­en« plan­ned to be used as a con­fe­rence room was built in front of Stu­dio 1 as an annex. Even­tual­ly the word of Dierks Stu­di­os being an excel­lent record­ing loca­ti­on also spread abroad. The com­pa­ny had beco­me an important eco­no­mic fac­tor for the small town of Stom­meln. Bands would often stay for several mon­ths and spend money at the local shops, restau­rants and pubs as well as attract repor­ters from all over the world. As men­tio­ned ear­lier, in the late 60’s Dierks wro­te the par­ty hit »Loop di Love«, an adap­tati­on of the Greek fishermen’s song »Dar­la Dirl­ada­da«, toge­ther with then Bel­laphon in-hou­se pro­du­cer Micha­el Sche­pi­or. Dierks, in fact, play­ed most of the instru­ments and did the record­ing him­s­elf.

The first inter­na­tio­nal band to come from Eng­land was Nek­tar. Bet­ween June and August 1971 this quin­tet recor­ded their debut album Jour­ney To The Cent­re Of The Eye in Stom­meln. They came back to record the albums A Tab in the Oce­an (Octo­ber 1972), the stu­dio live record­ing …Sounds Like This (Febru­ary 1973) and, Remem­ber the Future which in July 1974 reached No. 19 in the US album charts. At the time this album was con­s­i­de­red to be the most suc­cess­ful Dierks pro­duc­tion so far. In Decem­ber 1974 Nek­tar went back to Stom­meln for the last time to record Down to Earth. The album went to No. 32 in the US charts and was awar­ded gold in Febru­ary 1975.

In 1974 the first audio record­ing mobi­le was added to the com­pa­ny. It was the first stu­dio on wheels – at the time uni­que to Ger­ma­ny. Con­se­quent­ly, live per­for­man­ces of renow­ned inter­na­tio­nal artists such as Al Jar­reau, Fats Domi­no, Oscar Peter­son, Har­ry Bela­fon­te, Micha­el Chap­man, Ella Fitz­ge­rald, The Plat­ters, Bri­an Auger, Lou Reed, Nana Mouskou­ri, Santa­na or Chi­ca­go were recor­ded at dif­fe­rent venues. Thanks to his expe­ri­ence with major inter­na­tio­nal artists, their manage­ments and record com­pa­nies, Die­ter Dierks exten­ded his group of com­pa­nies by laun­ching his own pro­duc­tion and publi­shing busi­ness with his wife Cori­na Dierks-Fort­mann. This is how Bre­e­ze Music came to life. Dierks suc­cee­ded in signing one of Germany’s lea­ding rock bands cal­led Atlan­tis fea­turing blue­sy-voi­ced sin­ger Inga Rumpf. He pro­du­ced them on an inter­na­tio­nal level, got on a pla­ne to Ame­ri­ca and mana­ged to con­vin­ce major label Poly­gram to send the band on a US tour. Mana­ger Ira Bla­cker and Dierks cho­se the tour desti­na­ti­ons. The first show, sup­porting Lynyrd Sky­nyrd, took place in Phil­adel­phia in front of an audi­ence of 20.000 peop­le.

Mean­while the name Dierks Stu­di­os had beco­me a land­mark inter­na­tio­nal­ly and drew inter­na­tio­nal top stars to Stom­meln. Ike & Tina Tur­ner, Eric Bur­don, War, the Boom­town Rats with their star pro­du­cer Robert »Mutt« Lan­ge as well as the Irish rock and blues musi­ci­an Rory Gal­lag­her, who recor­ded two con­se­cu­ti­ve albums the­re. He pre­fer­red to sleep during the day and work during the night. He even star­ted a darts club at the pub next door. Deep Purple’s legen­da­ry key­boar­der Jon Lord pro­du­ced his solo debut Sara­ban­de, a live album, at Dierks Stu­di­os. The list of inter­na­tio­nal­ly acc­lai­med stars kept gro­wing lon­ger and inclu­ded Plas­ma­tics (USA), Accept (Ger­ma­ny), Twisted Sis­ter (USA), Warning (Fran­ce) and many others. In 1996 a very spe­cial guest che­cked in at Dierks Stu­di­os : Micha­el Jack­son. In Dierks’ Stu­dio 3 the »King of Pop« recor­ded his song »Ghosts«, which was first released on the Blood on the Dance Floor – HISto­ry in the Mix album released in May 1997 and was later added to the Delu­xe Collec­tor Box Set – Limi­ted Edi­ti­on. Also, »Ghosts« was the tit­le track of the same-named hor­ror movie, which pre­mie­red at the Can­nes film fes­ti­val on the 8th May 1997. The album cover incor­rect­ly credi­ted Die­ter Dierks Stu­di­os as »Dieder­dierk Stu­dio (Colo­gne, Ger­ma­ny)«. Ano­t­her pro­ject also emer­ged from the col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the »King of Pop«. Jack­son, who play­ed in Munich during his HISto­ry tour, hired Dierks to film each con­cert with twel­ve came­ras. Apart from the digi­tal video record­ing Dierks was also asked to pro­du­ce a par­al­lel record­ing, sin­ce his mobi­le broad­cas­ting unit was equip­ped with six HD came­ras, a tech­ni­cal sen­sa­ti­on at the time.

The Scor­pi­ons 1973 – 1988

Back in 1973 Die­ter Dierks and his wife Cori­na Dierks-Fort­mann went to a gig at a local sports hall in Essen whe­re they encoun­te­red a total­ly unknown new­co­mer rock band, the Scor­pi­ons. Despi­te the scar­ce audi­ence Dierks was impres­sed by the pro­fes­sio­nal atti­tu­de of the­se musi­ci­ans. After initi­al­ly being hired by RCA to pro­du­ce them, in 1976 he suc­cee­ded in signing them to his com­pa­ny, Bre­e­ze Music. In Tran­ce, the first album Dierks had pro­du­ced alre­ady sold three times as much as their pre­vious relea­ses. Con­ti­nuous work expe­ri­ence abroad as well as a high­ly suc­cess­ful Japa­ne­se tour, finan­ced by Bre­e­ze Music, the record­ings of which later released as Tokyo Tapes, even­tual­ly led to the band being signed in the US. This enab­led the Scor­pi­ons to release their albums all around the world with gre­at suc­cess.

After the RCA US con­tract had expi­red Dierks nee­ded to find a new Ame­ri­can label for the Scor­pi­ons. Over and over he kept hea­ring the wor­ds »Die­ter, you can’t sell Coca Cola to Ame­ri­ca«, being tur­ned down con­ti­nuous­ly. His last chan­ce was Mer­cu­ry in Chi­ca­go. And that was whe­re Dierks found a like-min­ded per­son. Bob Sher­wood, the then Pre­si­dent was a rock fan and very impres­sed by the skills of this Ger­man pro­du­cer. Dierks, at that sta­ge often addres­sed as »the sixth mem­ber of the Scor­pi­ons« suc­cee­ded in signing music busi­ness »big shot«, David Krebs, as the per­so­nal mana­ger for his boys. With the backing of the Leber-Krebs-Manage­ment, a com­pa­ny which sole­ly loo­ked after top acts like AC/DC, Aeros­mith or Ted Nugent, the door for The Scor­pi­ons to debut live in the US was wide open. While Die­ter Dierks kept tra­vel­ling around the world to look after his bands and to nego­tia­te con­tracts for them, his wife Cori­na ensu­red that the Bre­e­ze Music publi­shing com­pa­ny car­ri­ed on flou­ris­hing.

The first Mer­cu­ry album Love­d­ri­ve – fea­turing an eye-catching chewing gum bre­ast cover, still a con­tro­ver­si­al issue to date – awar­ded them their first gold disc (more than 500.000 units) in the US and reaching world­wi­de sales of 1.5 mil­li­on copies. In Ger­ma­ny they secu­red a long-term con­tract with EMI Elec­tro­la, which also inclu­ded ter­ri­to­ries like South East Asia. This deal pro­vi­ded the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­du­ce the Hano­ver-based rock band on an inter­na­tio­nal level. For Black­out the Scor­pi­ons entou­ra­ge moved to the South of Fran­ce. They wan­ted a break from the day-to-day stu­dio rou­ti­ne in Stom­meln. Loca­ti­on : a huge man­si­on, which pro­vi­ded a cook and fea­tured an out­door pool and a ten­nis court. Their own record­ing mobi­le was par­ked on the pre­mi­ses and ready to go. Howe­ver, the trip to the South of Fran­ce stop­ped dead when sin­ger Klaus Mei­ne deve­lo­ped a sore throat, which a spe­cia­list dia­gno­sed as poly­pus – small knots on the vocal chor­ds. So, in the end it was all a was­te of time and money. Back home, Black­out – with Mei­ne going strong after his reco­very – was recor­ded in Stu­dio 2. The albums Black­out and Ani­mal Magne­tism bran­ded the Scor­pi­ons to be the lea­ding melo­dic hard rock band. With pain­sta­king efforts Die­ter Dierks had not only crea­ted a uni­que sound, but also esta­blished the Scor­pi­ons as a solid brand among the lea­ding hard rock bands.

The 1984 album Love At First Sting, fea­turing the hit sin­gle bal­lad »Still Loving You«, cata­pul­ted »the Scorps« to the then zenith of their care­er : 2,5 mil­li­on copies (dou­ble pla­ti­num) sold in the US, gold and pla­ti­num sta­tus almost ever­y­whe­re in Euro­pe as well as in Japan and South East Asia, ter­ri­to­ries whe­re the band had advan­ced to beco­me the most popu­lar rock band of all. In Fran­ce »Still Loving You« with more than two mil­li­on copies sold is the most suc­cess­ful sin­gle of all times. Howe­ver, at the begin­ning, the­re were a few pro­blems get­ting the pro­duc­tion run­ning : In the spring of 1983, Die­ter Dierks had ren­ted ABBA’s renow­ned Polar Stu­di­os. Just befo­re pro­duc­tion was due to start Her­man Rare­bell and Fran­cis Buch­holz had both fal­len ill. Her­man brought along Jim­my Bain (b) as sub­sti­tu­te and Rudolf got Bob­by Ron­do­nel­li (dr) invol­ved. But the results were not con­vin­cing. The groo­ve and cha­ris­ma, typi­cal for the Scor­pi­ons, were mis­sing. As a result the ent­i­re album was re-recor­ded and mixed one more time at Dierks Stu­di­os – this time fea­turing the ori­gi­nal line-up. It was worth the effort. This album con­ta­ins most of their hits and it beca­me the best-sel­ling Scor­pi­ons album of all times and the second best-sel­ling live album ever. The live album World­wi­de Live, released in 1985 was a com­pi­la­ti­on of high­lights of their shows during their world tour.

The eight Scor­pi­ons albums of the Dierks era can jus­ti­fia­b­ly be con­s­i­de­red the essence of the band’s oeu­vre. For Dierks, too, the­se albums were the most suc­cess­ful ones in his care­er as a pro­du­cer. While working toge­ther on Sava­ge Amu­se­ment – the last album that was pro­du­ced by Die­ter Dierks – dif­fe­ren­ces in opi­ni­on bet­ween the band and the pro­du­cer emer­ged. As a con­se­quence the pro­duc­tion con­tract was not rene­wed and the col­la­bo­ra­ti­on ended in Novem­ber 1988 by mutu­al con­sent. Drum­mer Her­man Rare­bell reflec­ted in 2011 : »For the Scor­pi­ons Die­ter was the right man in the right place. The more his influ­ence wit­hin the band grew the more our record sales increa­sed. This inti­ma­cy howe­ver also cau­sed con­tempt becau­se with his gro­wing influ­ence dis­crepan­ci­es bet­ween the band mem­bers were fla­ring up. At the end of the day, though, he did mana­ge to soot­he all the egos and suc­cee­ded in stee­ring the band into one direc­tion.«

It will fore­ver remain Die­ter Dierks’ credit to have tur­ned an unknown new­co­mer band into a world-famous brand. At the time they par­ted, the Scor­pi­ons were a musi­cal insti­tu­ti­on.

Expan­ding the group of com­pa­nies : Mobi­le 2, Accept and more

Thanks to the suc­cess with the Scor­pi­ons the com­pa­ny Bre­e­ze Music was able to secu­re long-term con­tracts with major Ame­ri­can and Euro­pean record labels and music publi­shing com­pa­nies. So, the expan­si­on plans were apt to be con­ti­nued. In 1985 Stu­dio 3, the big­gest stu­dio com­plex so far, was built. Not only did this stu­dio with its vast space offer enough room for orche­s­tras, choirs and big bands, but right from the start it was also desi­gned for film and video record­ings thanks to its mobi­le came­ra and lighting rigs as well as its high­ly effi­ci­ent air con­di­tio­n­ing sys­tem. Stu­dio 3 con­for­med to Ame­ri­can mega stu­dio stan­dards. Sin­ce all faci­li­ties were con­nec­ted via a sub­ter­ra­ne­an cor­ri­dor it was pos­si­ble to switch around and use the ent­i­re tech­ni­cal equip­ment ran­ge of all three stu­di­os. At the same time the can­te­en loca­ted bet­ween Stu­dio 1 and the stu­dio kit­chen was enlar­ged fur­t­her.

In 1986 the Dierks Stu­di­os Mobi­le 1 – which had been put into action all around Euro­pe to record con­certs of renow­ned artists as well as having pro­ved to be of good use for live broad­casts of the WDR shows Rock Palast and Rock­näch­te – was repla­ced with Mobi­le 2. This mobi­le unit had a com­pu­te­ri­sed mixing con­so­le, a sta­te-of-the-art audi­to­ry sys­tem as well as fea­turing ana­lo­gue and digi­tal record­ing devices and, a big lounge area. In 1991 this mobi­le stu­dio was used to record a Rol­ling Stones live album in Moscow and other Euro­pean cities.

Mean­while big US record com­pa­nies star­ted knocking on Dierks’ door asking him to pro­du­ce their artists. Among them were Gef­fen Records’ glam metal band Black’n Blue, hea­vy metal rockers Twisted Sis­ter who Dierks pro­du­ced in New York and Los Ange­les for Atlan­tic Records, and Capi­tol Records’ New York punk avant-gar­de group Plas­ma­tics fea­turing a stri­dent eye-cat­cher, sin­ger Wen­dy Wil­liams. US band Mother’s Finest recor­ded a live album with Die­ter Dierks as well, using the audio and video mobi­le with the mixing being done after­wards at Stu­dio 3. The num­ber of inter­na­tio­nal­ly acc­lai­med artists who came to Stom­meln kept increa­sing steadi­ly.

Even­tual­ly the stu­dio hotel couldn’t host that many inter­na­tio­nal long-term resi­dents any­mo­re. Too many wan­ted to check in. So, in 1986 Dierks bought a man­si­on with abundant gar­dens, about two kilo­metres away from the stu­di­os. This was a rela­xing retre­at for musi­ci­ans whe­re they were able to »feel at home« during long-term stays and crea­ti­ve breaks. The man­si­on was also avail­ab­le for rent for stu­dio or hotel guests. Many cele­bri­ties stay­ed the­re over the years, for examp­le Frank DiLeo, who later beca­me Micha­el Jackson’s per­so­nal mana­ger.

In 1987, after having finis­hed the Stu­dio 3 expan­si­on, Dierks deci­ded to con­so­li­da­te the base of his group of com­pa­nies on a long-term basis by con­cen­tra­ting fur­t­her on the moving pic­tu­re side, a divi­si­on of the com­pa­ny, which had been gro­wing steadi­ly. So far only Stu­dio 3 offe­red faci­li­ties for film and video record­ing. In order to expand in this field, a video record­ing mobi­le was acqui­red to meet the gro­wing deman­ds. With the help of experts an out­side broad­cas­ting unit was bought from West­deut­scher Rund­funk (radio and TV chan­nel), equip­ped with the latest ›sta­te of the art‹-gear and trans­for­med it into a giant mobi­le. Dierks Stu­di­os’ first video unit, Mobi­le 1, was ready for action in 1988. In 1991 Stu­dio 1 and Stu­dio 2 were com­ple­te­ly refur­bis­hed and the tech­ni­cal equip­ment was brought up to date, which enab­led simul­ta­neous pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses of equal rank in Stu­dio 3 and Stu­dio 1. 1992 the tem­pora­ri­ly dis­ban­ded group Accept got back toge­ther and pro­du­ced three more albums through Bre­e­ze Music.

In ear­ly 1995, qui­te a few inno­va­tions were in store for the group of com­pa­nies. Rock music gra­dual­ly had lost its attrac­tion. New gen­res like tech­no and dance music beca­me more and more popu­lar. This type of music doesn’t need to be pro­du­ced in huge stu­di­os, but ins­te­ad small »living-room-style« stu­di­os suf­fice. The Dierks group of com­pa­nies embraced this new trend by adding two new hard-disc record­ing stu­di­os, name­ly Stu­dio 4 and Stu­dio 5, in 1995. With its new cut­ting-edge com­pu­ter tech­no­lo­gy, this invest­ment pro­vi­ded an ide­al work envi­ron­ment for dance, hou­se and tech­no music pro­jects. In order to cater to such new music styles the Bre­e­ze Dance Divi­si­on was foun­ded. Thanks to its sub labels Bio­nic Beat, Reform­hou­se and Neu­form, Bre­e­ze Dance Divi­si­on was able to cover the ent­i­re ran­ge of dance music.

1996 and 1997 the record­ing stu­dio fleet was addi­tio­nal­ly equip­ped with two new digi­tal video mobi­le broad­cas­ting units. They were 18, respec­tively 21 meters long, trans­por­ted on ela­bo­ra­te trucks, exten­si­ble in width and equip­ped with the latest digi­tal equip­ment, pic­tu­re direc­tion moni­tors and mixing con­so­les. With up to 12 came­ras on board they were able to record huge events. They were used for examp­le to record the two Micha­el Jack­son shows at the Munich Olym­pia­hal­le. After this, the units came into action to tape The Dome shows for RTL II TV, the Bra­vo Super­show, the Sabi­ne Chris­ti­an­sen Talk­show as well as the Pope John Paul II trip to Aus­tria in June 1998. In 1997 Die­ter Dierks went one step fur­t­her in moder­ni­sing his video tech­no­lo­gy. He bought several mobi­le units fea­turing HDTV tech­no­lo­gy. This tech­no­lo­gy in short cal­led HD (high defi­ni­ti­on) pro­du­ced extre­me­ly high-reso­lu­ti­on images by using spe­cial came­ras. This was par­ti­cu­lar­ly popu­lar with the tech­no­lo­gy-affi­ned custo­mers from the US and Japan who ten­ded to order nume­rous clas­si­cal record­ings. The Kirch Group for examp­le, boo­ked the­se units for the record­ing of the Wag­ner Fes­ti­val in Bay­reuth.

In 1997 the for­mer engi­nee­ring lab and the lob­by of Stu­dio 3 were tur­ned into a new video-editing stu­dio (avid room) in order to be capa­ble of hand­ling the nume­rous mixing and cut­ting jobs that came in. With its avid editing sui­te, recor­ded images could be edi­ted, mixed and enhan­ced with any­thing the cli­ent desi­red.

During the same year Die­ter Dierks laun­ched the com­pa­ny Bre­e­ze TV GmbH, which with its so-cal­led P.O.S. (point of sale) TV was set to pro­mo­te con­su­mer goods via TV screens instal­led in retail out­lets. In coöpe­ra­ti­on with much acc­lai­med eco­no­mist Pro­fes­sor Dr. Hagen Back­haus, Dierks suc­cee­ded in secu­ring a long-term con­tract with the Schle­cker drugsto­re chain, which at the time had more than 8,000 affi­lia­tes in Ger­ma­ny, Aus­tria and other coun­tries. The deal invol­ved the con­stant broad­cas­ting of TV com­mer­ci­als in con­ti­nuous loops on three screens instal­led in each out­let. This way the com­mer­ci­als could reach more than two mil­li­on con­su­mers in Ger­ma­ny alo­ne. For the Dierks group of com­pa­nies this meant they had come full cir­cle from the pro­duc­tion of sound and image car­ri­ers to the sale of such, by means of an advan­ced sales stra­te­gy.

Based on con­ti­nuous expan­si­on, con­stant diver­si­fi­ca­ti­on and increa­sing in-hou­se net­wor­king bet­ween its indi­vi­du­al divi­si­ons in 2001, Dierks’ group of com­pa­nies con­sisted of

  • the Bre­e­ze TV GmbH being the big­gest divi­si­on of the group with its 50 employees covering the are­as POS TV, direct mar­ke­ting, e-com­mer­ce and online sales
  • the video mobi­le divi­si­on with its video mobi­le units 1 to 4, the »film like« and »slo­mo« van
  • the record­ing divi­si­on with then seven stu­di­os, wher­e­by Stu­dio 3 was at the time equip­ped for super audio (SACD) mixes in 5 chan­nel dol­by sur­round sound
  • the Bre­e­ze Dance Divi­si­on which suc­cee­ded to secu­re con­ti­nuous chart ent­ries as well as to con­stant­ly increa­se their artist ros­ter
  • the pro­duc­tion and music publi­shing com­pa­nies Bre­e­ze Music and
  • the record label Venus Records which by means of con­ti­nuous reper­toire exploi­ta­ti­on and the pro­duc­tion of new com­pi­la­ti­ons suc­cee­ded in esta­bli­shing its­elf firm­ly among major record labels in Ger­ma­ny

During the years 2001 until 2005 Die­ter Dierks was busy with exten­si­ve busi­ness tra­vels and nego­tia­ti­ons pre­pa­ring the launch of the DVD plus image and sound car­ri­er.

The DVD­p­lus patent

Die­ter Dierks was not only a step ahead as far as crea­ti­vi­ty was con­cer­ned, but also as far as tech­no­lo­gy went. As far back as 1974, Dierks Sound Stu­di­os – accord­ing to the Maga­zi­ne Der Spie­gel – were ran­king among the top 40 of Germany’s most renow­ned stu­di­os. No mat­ter whe­ther it was qua­dra­pho­nic, digi­tal record­ing tech­ni­ques, mobi­le record­ing or HDTV tech­no­lo­gy – Dierks almost always did the pionee­ring work. And he did it again in 1999 when his inven­ti­on of the DVD­p­lus patent (trade­mark : DVD[plus]) enab­led him to add a new source of inco­me to his group of com­pa­nies thanks to the licence exploi­ta­ti­on of the patent. The DVD[plus] patent is a com­bi­na­ti­on of a DVD with a regu­lar CD, which by bon­ding enab­les dou­ble-sided play back of the sound and the image car­ri­er. While for examp­le the gol­den side of the DVD plays a film or a live con­cert – it plays a sound­track, a music score or pre­vious­ly unre­leased live record­ings on the sil­ver flip side.

In 1999 Die­ter Dierks mana­ged to secu­re a deal with the big­gest CD and DVD manu­fac­tu­ring equip­ment pro­du­cer Sin­gu­lus Tech­no­lo­gies. Sony USA is using the Dierks licence under the tra­ding name of Dual­Disc. Mean­while several natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal top artists have had DVD­p­lus respec­tively Dual­Disc pro­ducts pro­du­ced, among them Her­bert Grö­ne­mey­er, Die Toten Hosen, Micha­el Jack­son (a who­le box set), Santa­na, Emer­son, Lake & Pal­mer, Ste­ve Har­ley, Night­wish, Bruce Springste­en, Destiny’s Child, AC/DC (more than 500,000 copies of Back in Black sold in the US alo­ne), Aeros­mith, and many others. But also foot­ball clubs like Bay­ern Munich or the film com­pa­ny which released »The Blair­witch Pro­ject 2« are using the new for­mat. The DVD­p­lus of said movie sold more than 600,000 copies. So far several mil­li­on sound and image car­ri­ers have been pro­du­ced in total. For more infor­ma­ti­on plea­se visit : http://​en​.wiki​pe​dia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​L​i​s​t​_​o​f​_​D​u​a​l​D​i​s​c​_​r​e​l​e​a​ses.

The posi­tio­n­ing of Dierks Stu­di­os today

Having under­go­ne several sta­ges of rest­ruc­tu­ring, the Dierks Stu­di­os group of com­pa­ny is cur­r­ent­ly posi­tio­ned as fol­lows :

  • The »Edit-Sui­te« is used for editing and scree­ning pur­po­ses, colour gra­ding, colour matching and colour cor­rec­tions as well as the res­to­ring of movies… all this can be done in 4K and HD.
  • Stu­dio 1 will be tur­ned into a 4K scree­ning room sized 100 squa­re meters with a sea­ting capa­ci­ty of 30 peop­le. This stu­dio, too, pro­vi­des faci­li­ties for res­to­ra­ti­on work, colour cor­rec­tion and colour gra­ding.
  • Stu­dio 3 com­bi­nes ana­lo­gue and digi­tal record­ing tech­no­lo­gy. For sound ana­lo­gue record­ing, it is used howe­ver with a digi­tal sur­face – solid-sta­te con­so­le meets D com­mand, ana­lo­gue warmth and digi­tal speed go hand in hand.
  • Stu­dio 4 and 5 are used for dub­bing, pre-pro­duc­tion respec­tively song wri­ting and com­po­sing. In the­se stu­di­os ide­as can be gar­ne­red, notes can be out­lined, and the results can sub­se­quent­ly get their finis­hing tou­ches in Stu­dio 3.
  • Stu­dio 6 and 7 will be made into pic­tu­re editing and con­ver­si­on faci­li­ties, whe­re for examp­le, 2D can be con­ver­ted into 3D.

Cur­r­ent­ly Die­ter Dierks is working on various film and video pro­jects. Howe­ver, he never loses sight of his main pas­si­on : music.

The acc­laim

During his care­er Die­ter Dierks pro­du­ced more than 70 albums, which reached gold or pla­ti­num sta­tus. Apart from his com­mer­ci­al suc­cess this »crea­ti­ve tin­ke­rer« is also pro­mi­nent thanks to his wil­ling­ness to try out new things and his knack for tech­no­lo­gi­cal inno­va­ti­on. In 2013 Chris­toph Wag­ner wro­te : »Die­ter Dierks as well as Con­ny Plank both made sub­stan­ti­al con­tri­bu­ti­ons in esta­bli­shing and con­so­li­da­ting an inde­pen­dent Ger­man rock music mar­ket. Thanks to the power of their ima­gi­na­ti­on and their crea­ti­vi­ty the­se very new sounds were able to emer­ge. The­se sounds gave Ger­man rock music its own iden­ti­ty. At the same time both their stu­di­os ser­ved as an »artis­tic medi­um«. US music maga­zi­ne Rol­ling Stone descri­bed Dierks as »the best hea­vy metal pro­du­cer of the world« and as far back as 1974 for the maga­zi­ne Der Spie­gel he was alre­ady then con­s­i­de­red to be »the lea­ding Ger­man rock music pro­du­cer.«

Dierks owns the music publi­shing com­pa­ny Bre­e­ze Music and the record label Venus Records.

The per­so­nal life

Die­ter Dierks was mar­ried twice and has four child­ren with four dif­fe­rent women. His second wife Cori­na Fort­mann is the sis­ter of Swiss com­po­ser Tho­mas Fort­mann. For many years she was an instru­men­tal part in buil­ding the »Dierks Empi­re«. Their daugh­ter Domi­ni­que Schil­ling lives and works in Los Ange­les as a film direc­tor and screen­wri­ter. His eldest son, Micha­el Dierks is an actor who is known for his appearan­ces in several TV movies and TV series (such as »TV Kai­ser«, »Schö­ne Wit­wen küs­sen bes­ser«, »Haus­meis­ter Krau­se« among others). His eldest daugh­ter from his first mar­ria­ge, Michae­la Dierks, works as a TV and music pro­mo­ter in Colo­gne. His youn­gest son, Juli­en Freundt, works at his father’s com­pa­ny as sound engi­neer, com­po­ser, pro­du­cer, and also as a manage­ment assi­stant. Dierks’ mother Ursu­la who hel­ped shape the cosy atmo­s­phe­re at Dierks Stu­di­os with her hear­ti­ness died in 1991.

Com­pa­ny Histo­ry als .pdf