Justin Colletti is a mastering engineer who has spent over a decade helping his clients make the best-sounding recordings possible.

He is also one of the most widely-read journalists and educators in the pro audio field, specializing in the art, science and business of music and sound.

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Interview with Justin Colletti

What are you working on at the moment?
Filling out my SoundBetter profile!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Oh, many of them, I'm sure! I'll have a look around.
Analog or digital and why?
Both and because.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
We are done when you are thrilled. (Fortunately, that usually doesn't take long.) I have an unlimited revisions policy. 95% of the time we don't have to do any. 4% of the time we might do one. 1% of the time... Well, you have a policy for a reason! It almost never gets used. But clients sleep easy knowing it's there.
What do you like most about your job?
Working with people, working with music, and working with audio.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Back in my live sound days, it would have been: "Do you really know what all this buttons do?" and "Yes." Today? It's probably: "That sounds amazing, what did you do?" and "You know: Compression, EQ, Level, Taste. All the normal stuff."
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That if you're doing it to your own mix, it makes sense to call that "mastering."
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What records are you loving the sound and feel of lately?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Shoot me an email! I'd love to hear from you.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Matches, pointy stick, gaff tape, great speakers, source of power.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
More than 10 years if we're talking about making a living from it. More than 20 if we count it from the first day I met a cassette 4-track and became obsessed.
Can you share one music production tip?
Too many! Try here: http://justincolletti.com/free-resources-for-musicians-producers-and-audio-engineers/
What's your strongest skill?
Making your records sound like you meant for them to sound. Only better.
What do you bring to a song?
Relentless optimism, determination, and taste.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Working out of JLM studios and loving it. Best room on earth.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Anyone with an interesting sense of rhythm and a distinct personality.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Mastering, mastering and more mastering. (Also some writing and editing.)