It's simple: We have a little chat and you send me your song, I listen carefully and adjust; pushing the song in the your direction, Let me know what you think and I'll tweak it to your taste, Then it's yours to keep, less than 14 days after we meet. Sound good?
Diploma of Sound Engineering at SAE in Adelaide, South Australia.
Working from my home studio and Spare Second Recording since 2016.
Playing in bands and as a solo artist for 8+ years.
I work best when I know what you're after, so let me know how I can help you achieve your sonic goals.
Soundstage, saturation, tonal balance, loudness preferences. It's all up to you.
Are you going to put your music on streaming services? I'll make sure it meets their loudness targets, and help you find the right distribution service for you.
Making CDs? I'll add metadata to make the burning process easier.
Pressing to vinyl? I'll communicate directly with the pressing plant to ensure the best sounding results.
I'm also happy to offer free mix feedback if you're unsure whether the songs are ready for mastering, and I include three revisions in my price, so you don't have to stress if I haven't got it right the first time.
My studio has been professionally acoustically treated and tuned with Sonarworks, so I can hear even the finest details. I have a heap of plug-ins for precision metering and mastering, and some outboard gear for analog saturation.
I also offer stem mixing, podcast editing and vocal comping.
Feel free to contact me with any queries.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
1 ReviewsEndorse Small Steps Mastering
Sean was absolutely fantastic to work with and I am thrilled with the results he provided. Communication was efficient, clear, and easy, and my expectations were exceeded. I came in with 13 tracks that I wanted polished up to a level I couldn't achieve, and Sean mastered them perfectly in the timeframe he provided. He made the small revisions that I asked for ASAP, and it's been awesome being able to hear my album the way I fully intended it to sound. Will definitely be looking forward to working again in the future.
Interview with Small Steps Mastering
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The newest Quinton Trembath single 'Warm Beer'. I mastered from stems, and feel like I really delivered the energy of the song. The double bass was in a unique position sonically, and balancing this with the drums and violin are the heart and soul of this production.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Mastering a full length by Quinton Trembath, folk-punk artists from Melbourne, Australia. And buying more gear. I recently acquired a 500 series rack with Neve and JFET colour modules, so I can impart real analog saturation to my masters.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. They serve very unique and specific needs and a good engineer will always recognise the benefits of both.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: Excellence. Client satisfaction is ultimately the end goal, and my job isn't done until that's ticked off.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being part of an artist and engineer's creative process. Being able to make new and incredible music and delivering it to the world.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you add more weight to the kick? Yes.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's the same as mixing. Mastering is a discipline in and of itself.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What kind of sound are you looking for? How much loudness vs. dynamics are you after? Would you prefer me to mix from stems or a stereo bounce? What kind of file delivery would you like?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Open a dialogue. I may only be as good as my last piece of work, but the next one will be better.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A good laptop, decent monitors, a pair of LA-2A compressors, a Studer tape machine, and a coffee machine.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Audio engineering has been my craft for 6
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Transparent; taking in the needs of the genre and applying that to the track.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Frank Ocean. The unbridled creativity and raw emotion that goes into his tracks are something I would relish the opportunity to be a part of.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Listen carefully, then adjust. Repeat.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock, indie, and punk. Occasionally folk, hip-hop, RnB and pop.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: The ability to highlight the important parts of a track, while bringing up everything in the periphery, so every facet can be heard clealy.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring out the strongest points of a song. Music is meant to be a dynamic performance, and I tailor each and every master to shedding light on the bright moments of a performance, as well as maintaining the feel and imaging of a commercially viable track.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I communicate with the artist and mix engineer; assessing what ideas they have in mind for the end product. I listen carefully and take notes, then begin at the low-end and work my way up. Finishing with (often) subtle bus compression, stereo imaging, and saturation.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: A carefully assembled dedicated mastering space in a humble townhouse in Adelaide city. I listen to records here all day every day, and use mastering-specific plugins and outboard gear to inch closer to the perfect sound. The room is acoustically treated and tuned, with Focal Solo 6 monitors, an Antelope audio interface, MacBook Pro, and 500 series rack for analog summing and saturation.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Eric Valentine, with his open-book approach and no-nonsense mixing and mastering techniques. Sam Pura, a pop-punk heavyweight that stops at nothing to serve the song and make the best music possible. Ace Enders/Lumberyard Recording, a studio that gives artists the musician's approach to making records.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.