Garrett Haines

Mastering is all we do!

27 Reviews (16 Verified)
Garrett Haines on SoundBetter

Mastering Grammy winning and Billboard topping albums, Garrett Haines is a Tape Op Magazine Senior Contributor, and aspiring renaissance man. He focuses on styles: with driving beats, alternative rock, and melodic Americana (Jolie Holland, Watermelon Slim, Ryan Pollie, Wiz Khalifa, Zao, Victor Bailey, Struggle Session, Fuse, Sugarfree Allstars)

I tormented my parents until they bought me a drum set (age 9. The goal was to audition for KISS, but that didn't pan out). At 15, I rented a Tascam PortaStudio, which served as the real gateway drug of my engineering generation. Recording anyone I could in college, I wanted to be to be a tracking/mixing engineer. However, in the 1990s I received more and more mastering jobs, prompting me to full focus on mastering at the turn of the century. I was one of the first approved Mastered for iTunes (MFiT) engineers. (We are awaiting Apple's disposition on submissions now that iTunes is being folded into Apple Music). Presently most projects are optimized for lacquer cutting, digital distribution, cassette, or 8D Audio.

Many projects come in or tape or benefit from a tape-bath. Our Ampex ATR-104 was entirely restored by ATR Service (York, PA) in 2019. We also have a pristine analog signal chain and some of the finest AD/DA converters available as of this writing.

I bring care, perspective, and collaboration to every project I accept. Message me and let's discuss your music.

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.


AllMusic verified credits for Garrett Haines
  • Demitasse
  • Watermelon Slim
  • Carter Sampson
  • Emboda
  • Zao
  • Adrian Krygowski
  • Samantha Parton
  • Jolie Holland
  • Chet Vincent & The Big Bend
  • Benjamin Dean Wilson
  • Zao
  • Stardeath and White Dwarfs
  • Jolie Holland
  • Watermelon Slim & the Workers
  • The Brother Kite
  • Ravens & Chimes
  • Garage a Trois
  • Football, etc.
  • The Brother Kite
  • The Starlight Mints
  • Centipede Eest
  • Billy Joe Winghead
  • The Show
  • Hush Hush Commotion
  • Stone Cold Sober
  • Kiss Kiss
  • Heather Kropf
  • Watermelon Slim & the Workers
  • Dykeritz
  • Tut Tut
  • The Wheels
  • Houseguest
  • Charon Don
  • The Wagner Logic
  • TradeMark Twitch
  • Faults Positive
  • Poogie Bell
  • The Brother Kite
  • Trecherie
  • Wiz Khalifa
  • Student Film
  • Steve Goldberg
  • Watermelon Slim & the Workers
  • The Fairer Sex
  • Kaslo
  • Mama Sweet
  • The Rounders
  • Shade
  • Parker Longbough
  • The Starlight Mints
  • Sugar Free Allstars
  • The Brother Kite
  • Kim del Fierro
  • The Hi-Frequencies
  • Migration
  • System and Station
  • Lovecartel
  • Lovecartel
  • Sophe Lux & The Mystic
  • Kent Rose
  • Heartthrob
  • Broken Fences
  • Lauren DeMichiei
  • Holly Armstrong
  • Dead Man's Bluff
  • Denise Graves
  • Oil Boom
  • Heavy Favorites
  • Nathan Kress
  • Van Gough
  • Stacy Mitchhart
  • The Satin Hearts
  • Lovecartel
  • Tom Getter Slack
  • Scary Mansion
  • Randy Harris
  • Helen Kelter Skelter
  • Loam
  • Randy Harris
  • Docfell & Co.
  • Jim Wolf
  • Kevin Abernathy
  • The Willies
  • Billy Joe Winghead
  • The Bergamot
  • Up the Chain
  • The Wagner Logic
  • City Dwelling Nature Seekers
  • Tyson Meade
  • Chet Vincent & The Big Bend
  • Kalo
  • Be This Bell

27 Reviews - 3 Repeat Clients

Endorse Garrett Haines
  1. Review by Garrett L.

    Garrett is an amazing mastering engineer. He really knows how to treat a song. I wanted him to add a little mojo and that's what he did. Sounds perfect! Highly recommended!

  2. Review by Will R.

    One of the easiest mastering jobs ever. Garrett connected to my vision instantaneously and dialed in sonic genius!

  3. Review by Emily F.

    Garret was a lifesaver and worked with me to get my song mastered within my short deadline. Even with the short time-frame, his work was still exceptional and personal as he worked with me to achieve perfection.

  4. Review by Emily F.

    I am beyond impressed with Garret and his work. Working with him was a joy! His work is quite exceptional, and I am so pleased with the final product. Especially going into this as an Indie Artist with a limited knowledge of mastering, Garret was thorough in his explanations, patient with me and my lack of technical terms, and gave me options to choose from. I was unaware of just what my song was lacking until I heard the mastered track. I highly recommend him!

  5. Review by Sonny G.

    A seasoned industry profession with great taste and understanding of the client. There's no going wrong with Garrett!

  6. Review by Peter C.

    Garrett is in a class all of his own. Knowledgeable, kind, professional, and quick. He took what I had and made it shine. Highest of recommendation.

  7. Review by Harry S.

    Would absolutely recommend Garrett. Had amazing feedback for my music, showing me that he cared about the track and really listened to it. Will definitely use him again to master my tracks.

  8. Review by Jan S.

    Garrett was super helpful every step of the way. Communication was fast and easy and the mastering results were outstanding! Any question we had we could ask and got an answer.
    We'll definitely work with him again!

  9. Review by Christopher N.

    Another great master. Thanks for helping me with it.

  10. Review by Christopher N.

    Amazing work! I can hear every sound I put into my Daw loud and clear. Thanks

  11. Review by Pete F.

    The album sounds amazing!! Garrett was great to work with. Excellent communication, quick turnaround and I couldn't be happier with how it sounds. Definitely recommend

  12. Review by Brian B.

    I don’t claim to fully understand the esoteric and mysterious art of mastering but I do know that Garrett is a master of his craft.
    I sent him good sounding tracks that he glued together, brought clarity to, and ultimately elevated. He took assortment of disparate songs and, by creating sonic consistency, transformed them into an ALBUM.

    Garrett is very easy to communicate with and his primary goal is to please his clients. As for me, I’m not just happy, I'm thrilled! I recommend him highly!

  13. Review by MelJGrey

    Garrett was incredibly professional, knowledgable and helpful. He knows his stuff when it comes to mastering. I look forward to working with him again,

  14. Review by Electric Animal Studios

    Timely, professional, communicative and great ears! I'll be sending more mixes to Garrett for sure!

  15. Review by Anne S.

    Garrett is excellent at what he does and cares about each of his clients to an extent that I did not think was possible for someone who has worked with so many musicians for a considerable length of time. He first worked on an album of mine in 2012 and actually remembered my music when I contacted him again this year, in 2019. The work he did on that album was stellar--the difference between the unmastered and mastered songs was very clear. I would, have, and will work with him again.

  16. Review by Lou L.

    Super friendly, knowledgeable, and good at what he does. Highly recommended.

  17. Review by Lance Whalen

    Best Mastering engineer Ive ever worked with. Look no further.

  18. Review by Colin Suierveld

    Garrett did a fantastic job on my EP. I loved the mixes to begin with but he took those and he added so much more warmth and color to them. He met my time constraints with ease and also cared about my input. I would recommend him to anyone.

  19. Review by Mike Dufault

    Highly recommend Garrett. Amazing knowledge of the science of sound that makes for incredible mastering quality. Really cares about you as an artist, too, so there's a personal touch that you can't get from industrialized shops.

  20. Review by Clayton Hartley

    Garrett is one of the very few people in Pittsburgh that truly defines the title “Music Professional.” His communication is second to none; I was kept up to date on every aspect of his work on my project and he went out of his way to make sure the work was done right and everything sounded as great as possible. I couldn’t have felt like my work was in more capable hands. Every step of his process is extremely well thought out. From start to finish, I found that almost every single question I had was answered in detail before it was even asked. There’s an undeniable value in his work.

  21. Review by Kinsley August

    From the very first interaction I had with Mr. Haines, via a phone call from Texas to Pittsburgh, I knew that I had connected with a true legendary talent and individual. His attention to the fine details in every mix, the golden sparkle of the sound of a perfect master and his communication throughout the entire process has proven that he is truly bout the music. At his core, Garrett shares his love for the artist, song and overall vision. I have worked with Garrett on multiple projects, countless genres and I have not once doubted his abilities. Thank you for bringing life into the mix!

  22. Review by Destin LeCornu

    Garrett is absolutely top-notch. He not only has world-class gear and vast experience, but lends a discerning ear and attention to detail on every project to ensure it's the best it can be. A true professional and a pleasure to work with. I will definitely be working with him again in the future.

  23. Review by Di Gomes

    Garrett is the only person I've ever trusted for my mastering projects! He has not only years of experience, but the right ears and the right equipment. Many people will offer "mastering", but he is a true expert of his work and gives your project just as much care and attention as you would hope for. And of course, the tracks sound amazing! Helps you through the process, too; a pleasure to work with all-around.

  24. Review by Samuel Hazo (SingAH Music, LLC)

    The best qualities about Garrett are that he is patient and meticulous! These are exactly what you need in a mastering engineer. His masters comeback with clarity and power, and they don’t distort no matter how much you turn up the volume. Garrett listens to the artist/producer and works to get exactly the vibe they want. I would highly recommend Garrett Haines as his mastering jobs for me have been tremendous, and I am extremely particular.

  25. Review by Dylan Ray

    When I send a project to Garrett, I know that I not only get an extra pair of discerning ears, but also that I'm adding someone to the project that cares as much as I do. Any questions I have are always answered, and he shares his vast knowledge of the industry freely. As impressive as his gear list is, it is matched by his knowledge of audio platforms and the specific demands of the file formats that each will need. Whether you are duplicating to CD or Vinyl, Streaming, uploading to iTunes, or even making cassettes, Garrett can not only provide the files, but he can also advise throughout.

  26. Review by Greg Joseph-The Clarks

    A real pleasure to work with Garrett. Always professional, always turning out a great finished product without any surprises. We will be using his services again!

  27. Review by Lionel ash

    Great environment! Excellent service! Professional n dependability Top shelf! Garette's experience priceless

Interview with Garrett Haines

  1. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  2. A: I work on 300 projects a year and prefer to collaborate with the artist / producer. Although I can expedite communication with people I've worked within the past, I believe the mastering engineer needs to bring the most out of a project, and that is best achieved through understanding the vision and aesthetic of the music.

  3. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  4. A: Dunlavy Monitors (with power amp and cables), Maselec MTC-1X controller, Prism Converters, Headphone monitoring (Benchmark DAC3 DX and Audio Technica headphones), Maselec MEA-2 mastering equalizer.

  5. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  6. A: I have been known to work on virtually any audio genre as I view myself as a physician first and foremost. Some engineers need to like the music to do their best. There is plenty of time for me, as a fan, to do that once the project is completed to the artist's satisfaction. At this point, the song needs a neutral third-party more than anything.

  7. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  8. A: Bob Clearmountain developed bold and creative approaches, yet remains humble and approachable to this day. Tony Visconti has juggled composition, production, and therapist responsibilities and makes it appear easy. King Britt decided at age five that he was going to be a force for music in the world, and he's taking over the globe. The late Mike Spitz devoted his entire energy to keeping ATR machines and magnetic tape viable in the modern era. I could keep going. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

  9. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  10. A: We are a dedicated mastering house. We don't do 5 things and mastering. Mastering is all we do.

  11. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  12. A: The main studio is about 1000 sq feet with 14 foot ceilings. Dunlavy SC-VI mains with acoustic tuning by John Calder of Acoustic Geometry with additional absorbers from GIK

  13. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  14. A: All I do is listen to new songs day-in-day out. Things that have slipped past the mixing team (who have heard a song hundreds of times to get it to me) stick out like a nail on a hardwood floor. Having a fresh perspective from someone who focuses on listening to music is invaluable before releasing in today's market.

  15. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  16. A: I'm blessed to be able to work on a wide variety of music from Rock to Choral to Rap. I am partial to anything with a strong beat or melody. Rhythm and melody do not care about genre. They care about being alive!

  17. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  18. A: Gain staging is one of the most important things any engineer does. With modern digital workstations it is very easy to accidentally clip or distort at some point in the chain. Optimizing the audio custody is critical to jump to the professional arena.

  19. Q: How would you describe your style?

  20. A: My default style is to collaborate with the producer and or artist to determine what their artistic intent is. Of course, I'm happy to provide my opinion, if that is requested. But I believe I work FOR the project not AT the project.

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. A: I started professional engineering in the 1990's but didn't go full time until early 2000's.

  23. Q: What's your typical work process?

  24. A: For albums I try to determine if there is a keystone song or a climax to the presentation. From there I often work backwards trying to use this as the foundation for the release.

  25. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  26. A: Are you happy with your mixes? Do you want me to preserve the mix and polish or do you want me to put a new spin on the program?

  27. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  28. A: Few people understand what the mastering stage is. Most think the mixing engineer can master. Or some think mastering is not important. Every record an artist competes with will have been mastered. That's what people in law enforcement call a clue.

  29. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  30. A: The creativity and talent of independent artists is staggering. After the project goes to the plant I oven listen to records in my personal time. I love so much of what comes across my desk. I'm lucky that way.

  31. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  32. A: My policies originate in the dissatisfaction I had with some mastering houses from back when I was in a band and releasing material. I treat the clients as if I were part of the band (in terms of commitment to the project).

  33. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  34. A: YES. Both have strengths. I try to choose the appropriate tool for the situation.

  35. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  36. A: There are like 999 great mixing engineers on SoundBetter. Three that come to mind are Larry Crane, Greg Gordon, and John Siket. Larry's records sound timeless. Greg has a long track record of shaping metal and hard guitar music, and the work John has done with Peter Murphy blows me away.

  37. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  38. A: I am working on a 33 song punk record, a crooning vocalist (with full orchestra), and an industrial club project. (I'm never bored).

  39. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  40. A: I recently did a record with the Portland Cello Project where the artists were on the road and didn't have access to a studio. They needed changes and I used stems to make tweaks that would not have been possible otherwise. They were really happy, which means I was happy.

  41. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  42. A: "Can I have this for my release party that I already booked?" Never book release events without the masters in hand. Otherwise there is no time for publicity, generating buzz, or reaction time should the plant have a manufacturing delay.

"Who Dat, Mama?" The Commonheart

I was the Mastering Engineer in this production

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    "Who Dat, Mama?" The Commonheart
  2. play_arrow
    "Black Water" Watermelon Slim and the Workers
  3. play_arrow
    "Get On, Me" The Brother Kite
  4. play_arrow
    "Vengeance" Paul Luc
Terms Of Service

We try to quote fixed-fee prices to avoid surprises and overage fees. All payments for SoundBetter projects must go through the SoudBetter system.

GenresSounds Like
  • Portland Cello Project
  • Father John Misty
  • Brand New
Gear Highlights
  • Dunlavy SC-VI
  • ATR-104
  • Prism
  • Maselec
  • Hendy Amps
  • Spectra-Sonics
  • DW Fearn
  • Manley Labs
  • Mytek
  • Apogee
More Photos
More Samples
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