Alex Balzama

Mastering Engineer

Alex Balzama on SoundBetter

Although I love working with indie artists, I have also worked for artists such as Snoop Dogg, Garou, Lethal Bizzle, Donaeo, Plan B... My work went platinum, nominated for Mercury Prize etc...

Artisan of sound, sonic sculpturer o more commonly known as a mastering engineer. I have been told I have great communication skills, perhaps that is why I am still in business after 16 years.
I like extremes. Personally, I love BASS and therefore I like to work on any bass-heavy music genre such as Hip-Hop, Grime, Techno, House, Electronica. BUT I also love working on acoustic/folk projects where velvet gloves are mandatory.
I started as a tracking engineer, went into mixing after that. For five years I have worked mainly as a music composer, before diving into Mastering full time in 2004-2005.
This is why I still pick up the odd mixing or production gig

Send me a note through the contact button above.

Interview with Alex Balzama

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

  2. A: Mastering for Snoop Dogg last year

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

  4. A: This week was hard rock from Italy, Hip-Hop from the UK, Prog Rock Moog music from the UK and EDM from Poland

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

  6. A: I am new here...

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Both...and why not?

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

  10. A: If I am not 100% confident to meet your deadline, I won't accept the work

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

  12. A: Everything

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

  14. A: Why are you so expensive? Why are you so cheap?

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

  16. A: Mastering is not expensive and hiring the right mastering engineer could be the best thing you can do for your music.

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

  18. A: Not sure, but a very common question I put forward is "What are your distribution channels?"... It normally goes silent after that.

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

  20. A: Make sure your music is ready for mastering. Always ask for advice first!

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

  22. A: A guitar, a fully loaded Kindle, a small solar panel

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

  24. A: This is the only job I ever had... I have been doing it for 25 years

  25. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  26. A: That would be Frank Zappa or John Coltrane but it ain't going to happen... Jokes aside I'd love to work on Massive Attack music. I have immense respect for the guys and I love their sound.

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

  28. A: Bring the snare up

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

  30. A: It varies alot.

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: I believe is my musical sensibility ( I am a musician myself) and my communication skills

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

  34. A: I am quite good at reading the "in between the lines" of a mix. It is important to understand what the original intention of the production was and make sure that the mastering process facilitates it and not hinders it.

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

  36. A: I make sure that I have an established communication channel open with any new clients. Online forms are useful but not useful enough to give me a proper picture of what the project it is all about. Once I am confident that I have understood the pitch, I move one to the mastering side of the project.

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: Our new suite is located in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. It has been built from scratch in 2018-2019 and it has been fitted with a pair of brand new Dutch and Dutch 8c high end full range mastering monitors.

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

  40. A: Frank Zappa, John Coltrane, Massive Attack and Django Reinhardt

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

  42. A: Like many other ME's I adopt an hybrid approach. I use both high end analogue outboards and digital tools. I believe conversation is key and therefore my first port of call is always to establish a good communication channel with my clients either via email, phone, WhatsApp or Messenger

Terms Of Service

All mastering revisions are included in the price. This does not however include re-submissions (e.g. a new mix with a different EQ on vocals, editing on drums, vocal tuning etc..).

Gear Highlights
  • Cranesong STC8
  • API 5500
  • API 2500
  • Porter Net EQ
  • Manley Vari Mu
  • Manley Stereo Pultec EQ
  • Dutch & Dutch 8c
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