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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- Josh Dion Band
- Wynton Marsalis
- Willie Nelson
- Chrisette Michele
- Flight of the Conchords
- Sugarhill Gang
- Jimmy Webb
- Dead Leaf Echo
- Rebecca Pronsky
- The Shaggs
- Amanda Palmer
- Fiery Furnaces
- Brent Green
- Vijay Iyer
- Black Dice
- Bryce Dessner of The National
- Sufjan Stevens
- Team Genius
- Glenn Kotche of Wilco
- Josh Dion
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Interview with Justin Colletti
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Filling out my SoundBetter profile!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Oh, many of them, I'm sure! I'll have a look around.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both and because.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: 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.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working with people, working with music, and working with audio.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: 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."
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That if you're doing it to your own mix, it makes sense to call that "mastering."
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What records are you loving the sound and feel of lately?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Shoot me an email! I'd love to hear from you.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Matches, pointy stick, gaff tape, great speakers, source of power.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: 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.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Too many! Try here: http://justincolletti.com/free-resources-for-musicians-producers-and-audio-engineers/
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Making your records sound like you meant for them to sound. Only better.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Relentless optimism, determination, and taste.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Working out of JLM studios and loving it. Best room on earth.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Anyone with an interesting sense of rhythm and a distinct personality.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mastering, mastering and more mastering. (Also some writing and editing.)