If u have some $ to play with, who do you hire? (mastering)

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kslight
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If u have some $ to play with, who do you hire? (mastering)

Post by kslight » Wed May 18, 2016 6:43 pm

So I've got a record that I'm almost done mixing that sorta coincides with the film I just scored, and we would like to do this one right. My first thought rang to Bob Ludwig, and we are definitely gonna contact Gateway Mastering...but let's say if that's unachievable money-wise, who else would be on your short list?

Budget probably has a limit, but you know looking for someone that's great so yeah it will probably be pricey.

I am a little picky.

We hired St*****g Sound for one album and I don't remember which engineer but I don't think that was a good fit?no thanks.

In a perfect world I would do an "attended" mastering session but that's probably not do-able from a practical standpoint with a great studio unless I can get some travel accommodations built into the budget.

I'm definitely not into the idea of setting the mix to nuke, so I'd love someone that maybe puts a dash of fairy dust and a classy dynamics treatment and that would probably make me most happy. I can do a crushing BS mastering job at home, I would like something better done by someone that does it every day.

I would love to be able to listen to this record 5 or 10 or 20 years later and not think we made a mistake in mastering.

Now the album is kind of best classified as "alternative," but you know there's a few "rock" songs, there's a heavy rock song, there's piano/string driven stuff, there's really fucking weird stuff, some crazy electronic indie thing going on?its not going to be an easy "load up the preset and go" kind of job.

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Post by dfuruta » Wed May 18, 2016 8:20 pm

morespaceecho

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Post by JWL » Wed May 18, 2016 10:56 pm

Based on what you wrote my first call would be Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering.

My second call (if Ludwig himself is out of budget) would be Adam Ayan, who started as Ludwig's protege at Gateway.

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Post by ubertar » Thu May 19, 2016 4:35 am

dfuruta wrote:morespaceecho
yes
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Post by Zacharia Matilda » Thu May 19, 2016 6:31 am

I'm not sure where you are located but Fred Kevorkian in NYC is a good person to call.

I worked on a record that was mastered by him and was able to sit in the room while he did it. I remember sitting there thinking "It will never sound better than it does right now in this room through these speakers". He has great ears, great gear and is very personable.
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Post by kslight » Thu May 19, 2016 8:23 am

I am in KC, so would rather pay for a respected name on the coasts than roll the dice here... I know there's a place in Omaha too but would like to see what else is recommended regardless of location, as long as in US. But it's possible I could fly out for an attended session.

For those recommending morespaceecho, do you have any examples of albums he has worked on for you? I would certainly send his info along to the office but just have a feeling that the one who is paying is going to expect a big name or at least a big name studio with an up n coming.

Two of the songs are big songs in the movie I scored, and I have another song which features a huge star singer, so its important for us to have a top person on it.

Thanks for giving me options, will definitely give me something to think about.

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Post by vvv » Thu May 19, 2016 9:29 am

Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering? Doug McBride at Gravity?

Both are in Chicago, and I see their names on records a lot.
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Post by Gregg Juke » Thu May 19, 2016 1:13 pm

Some highly recommended mastering houses, two of which I've seen in action personally, all of which have excellent reputations:

* MoreSpaceEcho (highly recommended by folks with juice here at TOMB, I have been threatening to send a project to him for years... I will when I have some money or an actual budgeted project comes through my doors... But seriously, folks, you can hear his mastering, recording/mixing, and personal projects/music on-line and it all sounds good!)

* Bob Olhsson (Bob is a great guy and has been mastering records since he was a teenager at Motown)

* Emily Lazar (big-time NYC; one TOMB poster here, I forget which, said that she has "bat ears"-- that's a good thing)

*Independent Mastering +

(+ I think it was Independent Mastering that we took a tour of on a trip to the Nash a few years back; they seem like great guys that know their stuff and have a nice room and lots of major and indie credits)


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Post by Nick Sevilla » Thu May 19, 2016 2:26 pm

Another one for morespaceecho.

And:

THE MAN:

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Post by dfuruta » Thu May 19, 2016 7:12 pm

my stuff is weird and marginal enough that i doubt it would impress your client. i've had seven or so things mastered by him over the years, and i've always been happy by the time we're done. i've had stuff done by better known people and didn't find them nearly as willing to work with me to make it come out right.

if the name is important, then scott's not the guy. but, if your client can suppress his/her ego and accept that the sound is as important as the name (what, having the right mastering person's gonna get them a record deal? seriously?) i think you'd be very happy with his work (and save quite a bit of money, of course).

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Post by Rigsby » Thu May 19, 2016 10:52 pm

Another vote for morespaceecho.
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Post by kslight » Fri May 20, 2016 7:30 am

dfuruta wrote:my stuff is weird and marginal enough that i doubt it would impress your client. i've had seven or so things mastered by him over the years, and i've always been happy by the time we're done. i've had stuff done by better known people and didn't find them nearly as willing to work with me to make it come out right.

if the name is important, then scott's not the guy. but, if your client can suppress his/her ego and accept that the sound is as important as the name (what, having the right mastering person's gonna get them a record deal? seriously?) i think you'd be very happy with his work (and save quite a bit of money, of course).

I realize I am a little ambiguous with details, I try not to push names around too much but that would probably clear things up somewhat.

At the end of the day, sound is most important. Not only is this record my clients record, it is also mine, I am a huge part of its songwriting and performance. If Scott is on the same level as big guys I have no issues recommending him to the office. However in prior history with these guys they are gonna ask who Scott is and what he has done, because they are used to big names. They have hired little names in the past however, otherwise I wouldn't be involved.

The necessity of confidence in the mastering engineer selected is based on paying respect to those on the record that are heavily weighted professionals, and less than great will not do. If my mixes weren't 100% we were prepared to find someone else. Getting a record deal is inconsequential to us, its in good hands.

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Post by markjazzbassist » Fri May 20, 2016 2:36 pm

Big names?

Ludwig
Bob Ohlsson
Bernie Grundman
Bob Katz
Scott Hull - Masterdisk
George Massenburg
Ken Love
Doug Sax
Emily Lazar
Glenn Meadows
Brian Gardner

used the google, these are the "bigs". cheers.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon May 23, 2016 11:14 am

markjazzbassist wrote:Big names?

Ludwig
Bob Ohlsson
Bernie Grundman
Bob Katz
Scott Hull - Masterdisk
George Massenburg
Ken Love
Doug Sax
Emily Lazar
Glenn Meadows
Brian Gardner

used the google, these are the "bigs". cheers.
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Post by kslight » Mon May 23, 2016 11:55 am

Looking like Adam Ayan maybe, Bob Ludwig is booked out for quite awhile.

Thanks for the recommendations.

I passed on Scott's info but is a tough sell to them for reasons I already mentioned, as expected. I am not paying so I do not have final say in much, but if they will go with someone I recommend, even if a pricey big name, that's better than them picking someone that I do not think is a good fit, which they could just as easily do.

As it turns out, my manager knows Bob Ludwig personally and Gateway Mastering sounds like a good fit, if we are gonna go with a big name.

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