An article that I wrote in Gearslutz

I wrote an article in Gearslutz called "Mastering - A Perspective." There's often a lot of mystery and fear related to mastering. Much of which has to do with bad experiences. Artists having their records mastered by dubious studio practices or not understanding how to make mastering work for you. I suggest if you're new to making records, or simply unsure about mastering, you should read this article.

Welcome to the Le Sonic Mastering website

Mastering has been a passion of mine for many years. Even though I started my career on the recording and mixing side of the glass, I always had my eye on this aspect of record production.

As many of you know, it sometimes seems that life can take you on a certain path and it's often hard to deviate from that path. How many times have we all had thoughts such as, I want to write that book, I want to be a chef, I want to own a bar, whatever burning desire there might be that keeps poking away at you while the clock is loudly ticking. Although I love to cook, it's Mastering that kept me up at night saying, I need to get off the stick and make this happen. At this point I already had Platinum and Gold awards for recording and mix engineering. With that said I felt there was this hole that needed filling, or perhaps it was unfinished business. So I did get off the stick, and started to make my passion a service to those who were willing to let me get my "chops" together with their music. Many of them are well established producers and artists that I knew from over the years. I'm forever thankful to these amazingly talented people, some of whom I call my friends.

I had the good fortune of being able to work alongside Mastering engineers such as Tom Coyne, Greg Calbi, Scott Hull, and George Marino r.i.p. Whenever I was in sessions with these incredible engineers I asked questions. Such as, why are you choosing that frequency? And while I anticipated hearing some scientific approach as to why, it was more often just like mixing, or record production - "because it feels right" which really is the essence of mastering and music. On the flip side I certainly was involved in some pretty serious audio geek conversations. Everything from cables to converters. All of these experiences truly gave me a solid foundation to work off of.

You see, I still record, mix, and produce records. And it was a hunch that mastering was the missing link between where I had been, to growing to the next level. I think it's due to how mastering changes the way one listens to music. Where in mixing one tends to listen in a vacuum, mastering is all about the big picture. In many ways it was an "ear opener." It was almost freeing to listen to music from this standpoint. Mastering to me is a philosophy, and believe me it took time to truly understand it. It's this combination of concepts and zen like ear for music that one needs to learn to do this well. It's less about being a technician or an engineer per say, it's more about getting in a mindset and using my equipment like a guitar player plays his instrument...without thinking and just being.

I do think that my career as a recording and mix engineer has been put to very good use in mastering as well. I've walked the walk so to speak, I know the language of record production like the back of my hand. I feel like I can almost jump inside of a mix and know exactly how it was molded and put together. Some mixes are served well by not only hearing in a broad strokes kind of way, but sometimes in a forensic type of way as well. How can I get that kick and snare drum to poke, or how can I get the vocal to sound more polished etc. These are very much things that as a mix engineer I'm constantly working on. In mastering I can take some of the things I've learned in mixing and apply them to mastering when needed. It's another tool in the shed that's been great to have. 

Over the years I've in a way been mastering "underground." I didn't want to come up for air until I felt that the timing was right. Some of that had to do with getting to a place where my studio was truly "mastering ready" and perhaps just overall feeling like I was ready to promote a service I was proud of.

With that in mind, welcome to Le Sonic Mastering...

-M