Mastering Engineer. +12 Years Experienced. Several #1 Selling album.
My name is Michaël St-Amour. I'm a Montreal based Mastering Engineer with over a decade of experience. I've work mostly for Hip-Hop music but touched a lot of style across the time. I have several #1 Selling album in my list already. I'm based in Lariat Studio A.
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Interview with Michaël St-Amour
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I'm mostly doing Mastering jobs, I also provide mixing feedback to ensure the client is giving the best sonic and musical product.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Sonic and musical quality. I make the song translates better in every system. It's a polishing process that help getting the best out of the song.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Well, the mastering process. Giving the artist the best quality possible for his song.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: A lot of Hip-Hop, but also Rock, Metal, EDM, House, Country, etc.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less in more, don't do things that are not necessary, but don't forget to do things that are necessary.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would like to work with Kendrick Lamar. Such a very creative artist with a lot of talent. He's a perfectionist just as I am.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I do not have style, I try to be as transparent as possible.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: 12 years experience. Running my very own studio (Lariat Studio/ Lariat Mastering). Several #1 chart album
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What kind of music are they doing, what are they expecting from me, I ask them a music reference, etc.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: For now, not really unfortunately.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I'm really inspired by Mike Bozzi and Gavin Lurssen.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: For years now, I'm doing mastering entirely in the box, to ensure there is no actual loss of quality in convertion and clock. I am running in a very well treated room, with both Focal SM9 and Sonodyne SM300 and a Subpac S2 subwoofer.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I try to stay as close as possible with the mix engineer, the producer and the artist to be sure I'm respecting their vision of the project. Once I receive the file(s), I like to take 1-2 complete listen without any processing, then taking mental note about the sonic quality and the tonal balance of the project. After then, I do my processing and delivers the file to the client. I do revision if needed, but it's very rare.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My monitors, my converter, my computer, my headphone, and a BBQ.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Choosing the best for your music is hard. Take the time to speak to your Mastering engineers, try their services to see if it fits your needs. If yes, never look back.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That we are here to solve all the problems/mistake created in the previous process. Mastering can do correction of course, but it's a Polishing process.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you make it louder ? Yes, but it comes with loss in quality. Great Loudness/Dynamic ratio is the way to go.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The creative process of the Mastering, the very musia aspect when we get our hand on the song. And the way we can make a song, a hit.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Be as close as possible from you and your vision in the process. Be professionnal, Deliver the product you expected, no matter how many revision.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I decided to go In the box (Digital) to be sure there is no loss in conversion (A/D, D/A), Clock/Jitter issue, etc. As a Mastering Engineer, my job is to provide the best quality control as possible for my client. Digital audio become better and better and at this point, I feel like there is more positive point to stay in the box rather than go Analog.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mastering a Rock/Metal album and a Hip-Hop song.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I'm proud of every single project I've work on. Every project is special and different.