I am a mastering engineer from Knoxville, TN in the USA, delivering high-quality digital masters.
With a background in folk and acoustic music, I began mastering music at the age of 22. I fell in love with looking at the big picture and helping a song compete on radio and streaming. I master digitally, using premium plugins and advanced techniques to create the best sound possible. I do my absolute best to deliver the sound you hear in your head as the artist.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
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Interview with Jacob Sowell
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital for now.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to deliver a high-quality master, doing my dead-level best to achieve the sound you hear in your head.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I absolutely love the big picture of things, and hearing how things work together in a song.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What sound do you hear in your head for your song?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: I prefer a high-quality mix, so that I can focus on making it compete and making it sound amazing. I will spend time repairing and cleaning if I need to, but only if necessary.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I’ve played the banjo for 10 years, guitar for 13. I’ve toured nationally for the last 5 years in a bluegrass band. I just began working as a mastering engineer, slowly and surely building up experience and studio gear.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would absolutely love to work with Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, and Josh Turner, because the sound of their albums have influenced my musical tastes and also influenced my mastering.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am most familiar with acoustic music, but I am willing to work with any genre.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A critical ear and a burning desire to achieve the best sound possible.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I listen to tracks that I’m sent, first listening for cleanliness issues, then tonal issues, then balance issues. I do my best to fix each of those in order, cleaning, enhancing tone, then balancing everything together. I add color and saturation along with EQ and compression, striving to get the sound the artist desires. Then I add loudness using a premium limiter.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Audient iD44 interface into the latest version of Pro Tools.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mastering work
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I’m working on a bluegrass family band’s first ever CD. They’re newbies, but it’s been a great learning experience for both sides, learning how the whole process should work.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming I had a computer and a banjo to play, I’d bring a Lewitt Audio 440 and 940, Sonic Farm Silk Road, an Audient iD44, my AudioTechnica M50’s.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Ron Block of Alison Krauss & Union Station, Ben Isaacs, Mark Capps, Jacquire King, Greg Wells.