Analog or digital and why?
Both. Digital is the way today, with modern DAWs and processing... But there's still a certain something special about analog gear that I don't think will ever be replicated in the digital world.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
That you'll never pay before you're happy, and If I can't make you happy, you don't pay!
What do you like most about your job?
I work with music all day.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Mastering isn't a change-all... It can be, and when a client wants it I'm more than happy to oblige, but I presume an artist is 100% happy with their mix and my first inclination is to keep the master sounding quite like the mix whenever possible.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What album, song or other artist in general would you recommend I listen to to get a general feeling of the final product you're looking for.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Get a sample master from whomever you're working with, and then 3 more from other engineers. Do a blind listening test to see who you really want to work with without the stigma of names, credits or prices clouding your thought.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I came from the world of Touring, and spent 10 years on Busses and Planes with bands like AWOLNATION, OK Go and They Might Be Giants. Mastering is my passion though, and I've since retired from touring (in 2012) and been doing mastering full time ever since!
How would you describe your style?
I add a bit of an analog feel while maintaining the integrity of the mix.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
I LOVE working with artists who know what they want and can verbalize what they're looking for. As much as I love doing what I'd like to do with a master it's really all about what the artist wants.
Can you share one music production tip?
Be happy with your mix. Things CAN get fixed in mastering, but 9 times out of 10 the fixes will sound much more natural and cohesive if done in mixing.
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on a lot of indie rock and rock, as well as a fair amount of americana, bluegrass, electronic music and pop... Every day is different, which is why I love my job!
What do you bring to a song?
I bring only whats needed. I tend to try and keep my masters sounding as natural as possible while getting a song to a commercial volume and tone.
What's your typical work process?
I listen to a lot of music I start working on a project, and tend to occasionally reference a track from a similar genre (or a reference track from the artist) when working on a song or album.
Tell us about your studio setup.
My mastering studio is a low acoustic profile studio, meaning that there's as little between myself and my monitors. All rackmount gear is in a low profile and angled rack, and even my mouse/keyboard stand is as small a frame as possible to avoid it causing any low end issues.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Mastering is what I do full time, with some occasional mixing or production.