You've worked hard on your mix... the kick, snare, vocal and bass are sitting where they should. Everything vibes but it needs to be elevated to commercial levels while retaining depth, punch, space and clarity. My goal is to elevate your mix to satisfy your vision. Mastering shouldn't redefine your work, it should actualize it.
As musicians and artists, we strive to create, express and connect with others through our craft; putting our hearts, souls and experiences into our music. To reach a listener though, our music ultimately becomes sound waves traveling through the air, regardless of which medium a listener chooses. This interplay of physics and art is amazing when you think about it, that you can emotionally connect with another human, or millions of them, that way. This is why mastering is important - while we can’t control a listener’s physical environment, we can ensure a level of consistency across playback systems so our music translates as beautifully as possible to others.
I’ve spent many years on all sides of music production: writing, performing, producing and mastering music that has been broadcast worldwide. These days, I focus exclusively on the final step: mastering. I get immense joy in making music impactful for both the artist and listener.
I look forward to discussing your project. Contact me to request a free test master and discuss rates.
You'll see a list of the tools I use, but my experience, approach, sonic aesthetic and open communication will be even more important to the success of your next work.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
- Jeff Brinkman
- Selasee & the Fafa Family
- James Thorp
- Joe Kuckla
- Showtime Networks
- Discovery Networks
- X Factor
- American Idol
- Wrecking Room Studio
- Joel Stott
- Violet Recording
- Reason 2 Rhyme Music Publishing
- Jeff Jones Music
- Alpine Pictures
- Reef Pictures
- Autism Media Channel
- Scorekeepers Music
- New Media Entertainment
3 ReviewsEndorse Peakwave Mastering
The Master sounds really really good! I'm gonna register so I can work with you here.
Mark came highly recommended for my mastering project, and he hit it out of the park. Both the digital masters and the vinyl masters sound amazing, and are distinct in their adaptation to the medium. I also really appreciated Mark's communication and professionalism; I had a pretty tight deadline and he worked with me to get everything submitted on time. Great price, great quality, great service--couldn't really ask for more!
I've worked with Mark on a couple of albums, an EP and some movie and TV pieces and they all came out sounding incredible! He has an incredible ear and knows his art.
Mark knows how to make recordings shine.
Interview with Peakwave Mastering
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both!! There are things well-designed analog will always do extremely well. Likewise, there are things digital can do that analog will never be able to. It's a perfect marriage, with your D/A, A/D converter being the officiate.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to help make your recording something that you are proud to play for the world. The journey to get to the mastering stage is long, complex, often expensive, and requires patience and attention to detail. When someone hires me, they're entrusting me with a project they've worked on for weeks/months/years, so I take that responsibility seriously and do all I can to make their project shine.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love helping make people's projects come to life. I love it when a client says, "This is the best sounding album I've done." I never take it for granted that they are entrusting me with the final step before it goes out to the world, and I work my hardest to make sure they are proud of the end result.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I always say that mastering should accentuate and elevate the great things you've already accomplished in your mix, not redefine it. I think sometimes people want mastering to redefine their sound and take it in a whole new direction. Also, make sure your tracks are clean from buzz, hum, hiss and other things before going into mastering. There used to be an old saying, "Fix it in the mix", which has now become "Fix it in the mastering", which doesn't always work. Luckily, I've been able to clean up guitar hum and similar things at the mastering level, but it's always best to deal with during tracking or mixing.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I can get it down to three - assuming I have access to a computer there: my B&W monitors, Knif EQ and Neve Master Buss Processor. I'll trade my last two pieces of gear for a fishing rod and water treatment device.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When mixing, make sure the elements within your mix are balanced with respect to each other. It doesn't matter as much if the overall mix is too boomy, too bright or has other issues... that's what the mastering engineer will work on. The biggest challenge is when there is one very bright element within an otherwise "dull" mix. For example, a super bright ride cymbal mixed in with softer vocals and guitars poses a unique challenge that might require a mix touch up.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening....both in a musical context and by having open communication with the people I work with. Listening is everything!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: In addition to bringing a fresh perspective and being an objective "final stage" in the recording process, I bring a long history of writing and producing music that comes into play more often than not. In mastering, we aim to make mixes balanced, with depth, clarity and impact, but there's a level beyond that with requires a very musical approach. For example, small volume automations to make sure certain parts "pop", knowing when to automate stereo information to let an intimate vocal stand out, and understanding that some little "imperfections" in an instrument can sometimes add to the musical character of a piece (so I check with my client before cleaning everything little thing up). It depends on the song, artist and genre, but it often helps to have been in the artist/producer chair when helping others bring their vision come to life.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start with a discussion about the project scope, timeline and goals with regards to mastering. I like to ask for recordings from other artists that the producer/artist really like, so we can refer to them along the way. In most cases, mastering will bring forth details in the music that people didn't notice during mix (ex. cymbals or vocals may become more present, small noises tend to surface) so I like to check in with my clients partway through a session so we can address minor things together. Lastly, I try to schedule the delivery of final masters with a day or two to spare before pressing/distributing, so everyone can feel confident that this is how we want to present this project to the world.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I'm fortunate to have some of the finest analog and digital mastering tools available, including Knif, Sontec, Maselec, Requisite and much more. I've fine tuned my approach to minimize cabling for the shortest signal path possible. That said, great equipment is only as good as the user and the listening environment they are in, which is why my 25 years experience working in studio environments and my wonderfully treated room enable me to create masters that stand out.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most commonly, I work with mixing engineers, artists and producers to add depth, space, impact, clarity and volume to their mixes. I work with really high end analog and digital equipment, and strive to deliver their vision for the overall sound, which really is unique from person to person. I also pay close attention to giving album projects a cohesion and flow that enhances the listener journey from song to song.