One of the main professional services I provide is CD pre-mastering of completed recording. I have been focusing on avant-garde and new music recordings for the last several years, but have recently been doing more folk and songwriter work (primarily due to my engineering work in this area).
- Temporary Habitations (Loochtone)
- Amalgam: Aluminum/Hydrogen (Palace of Light)
- Amalgam Edits/gamma details (Palace of Light)
- DR.OX (C74 music)
- Voiceband Jilt (C74 music)
- Many releases for the Atomic City label
- Live in Coal Creek Canyon (Gabrielle Louise)
- Simple Life (David Rynhart)
What do I do when I master a project? It all depends. If a recording is dead-on, I do little more than help sequence the songs and provide the ancillary information needed for pressing. If the recording/mixing was less successful, I will perform a variety of processing tricks in an attempt to make the music sound its best.
I'm probably not a great mastering option for people in a hurry - I tend to "live" with the music for a long time prior to clearing it for release. However, people are invariably please with the result, and I don't charge very much for the work!
Both "New Music" and "Americana" are not well-served by the typical mastering engineer. The overriding goal of most mastering houses is to maximize the volume of each and every sample in the recording. This leads to horrifying results: the songs may jump out of the radio or iPod, but seldom draw people into more careful and reflective listening.
The reason I've been drawn to these two types of music is simple: I feel like they are best served by a presentation that draws the listener in, rewarding thoughtful listening with a depth of sound. The groups I've work with are in tune with this concept, and produce the perfect soundfields for me to work with. While they pay me, I end up being grateful for the opportunity to work with their music.
If you have a mastering project that could benefit from a different sort of mastering engineer, please contact me. I'll take a listen to the project to see if I can help. In any case, I'm more than happy to provide an opinion on your work...