lacquer channel mastering: blog

The curious case of mastering Shad’s Your Boy Tony Braxton – Adult  Contempt

The curious case of mastering Shad’s Your Boy Tony Braxton – Adult Contempt

Mixing engineer (and friend) Howie Beck called me up one day and told me he was mixing an interesting album and that I might be mastering it. He had a question about delivering the clients some reference mixes (usually somewhat psuso-mastered). I asked him who the artist was. He told me he wasn’t yet able to say but that he is a Canadian radio personality. That narrowed it down to a surprisingly large amount of people, most on CBC. Tom Power, Rich Terfry, Shad, Grant Lawrence, Randy Bachman, Alanna Stuart or even Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

His question didn’t narrow it down any further; How can I make a mix sound like it was from the late 80s early 90s? I thought about this for a bit. Someone might want an album to sound musically like it was from that era but rarely sonically. Digital was still young at that time and The Sony 1630 UMatic tape was the prevailing mastering format, CDr still not being a mature technology yet. Many albums from that time sound thin and weak when compared to albums that were released before digital and after digital matured.

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Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled Unmastered

Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled Unmastered

ou should listen to Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled Unmastered.

The songs are amazing. You’ll also get a rare glimpse into what we hear every day. Unmastered mixes. If you listen to it from beginning to end you’ll hopefully understand why mastering is important. I’m not sure if that was Kendrick’s intention but I do appreciate it.

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We Cut Wax – The Origin of Recorded Sound

We Cut Wax – The Origin of Recorded Sound

Mixing engineer (and friend) Howie Beck called me up one day and told me he was mixing an interesting album and that I might be mastering it. He had a question about delivering the clients some reference mixes (usually somewhat psuso-mastered). I asked him who the artist was. He told me he wasn’t yet able to say but that he is a Canadian radio personality. That narrowed it down to a surprisingly large amount of people, most on CBC. Tom Power, Rich Terfry, Shad, Grant Lawrence, Randy Bachman, Alanna Stuart or even Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

His question didn’t narrow it down any further; How can I make a mix sound like it was from the late 80s early 90s? I thought about this for a bit. Someone might want an album to sound musically like it was from that era but rarely sonically. Digital was still young at that time and The Sony 1630 UMatic tape was the prevailing mastering format, CDr still not being a mature technology yet. Many albums from that time sound thin and weak when compared to albums that were released before digital and after digital matured.

read more

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