Gavin Lurssen has been a mastering engineer since 1991 and has been in the forefront of, and contributor to the many technical developments that have taken place in the industry over the past two decades.
Gavin is a twelve-time Grammy nominee and a four-time Grammy winner. Artists whose albums he has mastered include the Foo Fighters, Ben Harper, Queens of the Stone Age, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Eric Clapton, and Sara Bareilles, to name just a few. Soundtracks he has worked on include Game of Thrones episodes, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, The Hunger Games and Westworld.
Gavin has always supported the independent music community. He feels that technology advancements have a positive effect on the arts in that the more people can express themselves artistically in an affordable manner, the more it leads to a healthy industry.
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18 ReviewsEndorse Gavin Lurssen
I have known Gavin Lurssen since the mid 90s when he first moved to Los Angeles. I am an independent engineer in an outside market who relies on the mastering process to ensure the quality of my mixes. From the very beginning, Gavin connected with me and the music that I recorded. Whether the project is classical, jazz, chorale, musical theater or rhythm section and vocal, Gavin and Lurssen mastering are my go to mastering home. He is sensitive to the scope of the project I’m working on and always makes sure we come in on budget and on time with no compromise. Thanks for making me sound good
I was fortunate enough to meet Gavin in the mid 90s back in the Mastering Lab days. Since then, he’s been my go-to mastering engineer, for so many reasons. I mostly work with independent artists, so the budgets are always tight. What I love about working with Gavin and Reuben and the Lurssen team is that they always strive for the best possible outcome, no matter what the artist can afford. In the rare instance of needing any revisions, they are always fast, courteous, and accommodating. I cannot recommend Gavin and Reuben any more highly - they are amazing! I feel lucky to know them!
Gavin and his team is great to work with. They have mastered various projects that I have been involved with. Every time we don't master a project with him, we wish we did! For real! Thank you for the great work, great service and awesome vibes Gav!
Gavin, Reuben, and the entire team at Lurssen Mastering possess an unparalleled mastery around the art and science of music and sound coloration. With their artistic and technical gifts, they can turn a standard musical capture into multi-dimensional, extraordinary experience where every detail becomes polished to be deeply heard and profoundly felt. They have mastered several of my vocal and multi-instrumental recordings. My voice is primarily a classical voice which contains much resonance and dynamic range, they have always known exactly how to make it shine to it’s fullest vibrancy.
I was advised by a very reliable source in Los Angeles to go to the Mastering Lab when I started producing. I met Gavin and we hit it off immediately.
Gavin left and started his own company and I joined. I’m really glad I did because we now have a great relationship and history, and we are still working together.
He’s also someone that I call when I have a larger audio related question.
I highly recommend Gavin Lurssen for his ears, expertise, and willingness to make your music sound quite special.
"White glove service with a golden ear!" Two Grammy-winning albums with Gavin, and several more Grammy nominations to boot. He has great gear that adds just what I need but respects the work already done. He is the best!! And Reuben too! and the staff is always great. 15+ years of working with Gavin and always happy with the result AND the process. I'd recommend him to anyone (but not everyone....I don't want him to get too busy for me!! :-).
Lurssen Mastering’s track record and discography speak volumes. Gavin is the consummate professional with an ear for detail. His team are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and there to make the process seamless. I know I can always rely on Gavin to sprinkle the “Magic Dust”.
Once I met Gavin around 10 years ago I must say I looked no further, as this has become the place where I master every single record I produce.
What I love the most about his work is the respect that Gavin has for the vision of the producer and the artist. Being a musician himself he has the sensibility to understand your sound and will apply all of his knowledge to help you reach a common goal for the greater good of the project rater then anyone's ego. He has also been able to create a beautiful team of very professional talented people. 5 Stars are simply not enough to rate Gavin's work !
Gavin's professionalism and passion to perfection is second to none! The end result has always exceeded expectations! Whether you are a local artist, a multi platinum Grammy Award winning superstar or the producer of a hit TV series, Gavin makes sure the end result is always what the client was looking for when they walked in the door!! It's no mystery why the shelves are lined with Grammys .
Only 5 Stars available?! Hardly does justice. Gavin and his crew are unbelievable. Fastidious, detail driven Quality. These guys CARE and have the credentials to prove it. I am so fortunate to have them to count on. Also consider myself fortunate to have gotten to know Gavin on a personal level outside of the music industry. He is all heart and I am grateful for our time together. Thank you Gavin! Steady on the throttle.
I have used Gavin for many different types of projects and I have been more than pleased with all of the results. He is caring, has a sharp ear, and has tons of expertise and knowledge. Extra bonuses are the awesome turnaround times, the customer service, and the follow through on all details of a project. Lurssen Mastering is the only place I will ever take my records to be mastered. I can't say enough good things about this place - been mastering here for 15+ years and always a happy customer!
Gavin always gets your tracks back in a timely manner beautifuly wrapped in all of his mastered glory. The communication from him and his team is very welcoming and extremely helpful. A true legend at the top of his game. Hail Hail Gavin Lürssen Mastering!
I’ve been very lucky to know Gavin, Reuben and his incredible crew at Lurssen Mastering for years and they have always been amazing to work with, Always!
Gav and Reuben’s meticulous approach to audio is so refreshing and their feel, soul and magic they bring to every mix is incredible.
Apart from the standard they achieve and the attention to detail, there’s like this three-dimension thing they’ve got going on and so I’ve stopped trying to figure it out and just smile and shake my head instead. The industry is lucky to have them.
Gaven and his crew always do a great job and are very attentive to the needs of the artist in getting the sound just right. A real pleasure to work with.
Gavin Lurssen is a master mastering engineer and has the accolades to prove it. His thinking and feelings on music, sound and vibrations and his unique and customized analog chain have made him a powerhouse in his field. Gavin has mastered my projects for the past 20 years and he always helps me create something greater than the sum of its parts. His ears are golden. He brings out a warmth and depth in my music and it feels like magic to me. I always put my trust in Gavin to put the finishing touches on my music projects.
Gavin Lurssen and his team are the ideal place to go for your mattering needs. They have tons of experience and their approach makes it easy to get great sounding results for your music whether you’re an independent artist or The Foo Fighters. I’ve known Gavin for many years and he’s a compassionate caring person who likes to help people. I highly recommend him and Lurssen Mastering to anyone. You send him your album and he runs it through his infamous analog mastering console tweaking it to perfection. Keep the music flowing!
Gavin is at the top of the game when it comes to professional sound engineering with more than just accolades to show for it. A great collaborator, amiable, and always on point Gavin is a joy to work with and the results are always music to your ears.
Gavin is the master masterer. It blew my mind to find out that he worked on so many of my favorite records. He's an alchemist. He adds something golden to every project. He finds some depth and air in the tracks that you didn't know was missing but after you do you can't live without. He's a soulful guy and that soul comes alive in his work.
Interview with Gavin Lurssen
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Always making sure my monitoring environment is up to speed.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I see Dave Way on here and everybody loves Dave. He has a tremendous body of work as a producer, engineer and mixer. Reuben Cohen as well, my partner at Lurssen Mastering, Inc.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: We have a custom built analog console that came from years of experience and knowledge. The bulk of the processing is done in this way in the analog domain If we use any digital processing at all it is mostly done to the mix file before it sees the console and usually just to help the mix in some way be ready for the analog console. 100% of what I do goes through the analog console.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That they receive consistent service. Consistency is key. We can’t be on for one day and off for the next. It has to be the same level of service to anyone no matter their circumstances and no matter which day or time of day we provide our service.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being of service to the larger community. Being of influence as to audio standards and integrity. Being a member of the community of music makers. Working on music.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: There are three pillars by which we exist. If we hit the mark on them all, we generally leave everybody we deal with, with no questions. How fast can we get the music back? What’s the best deal you can give us? Can we make the song as great as it can be under those circumstances? Those are the three common scenarios and questions. This is where we live, on these three pillars of concept.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That we can remix a song. There is a very large grey area between mixing and mastering. This space has increased each year since I have been doing this. It's something just to be aware of. Mastering is the coloring of the sound, the impact that gets created. Mixing is the integration of the elements and less so about impact. Put it all together and it’s one entity, but breaking it down, particularly if the mastering engineer is different than the mixing engineer, it’s nice to have knowledge of where the lines exist between the different processes.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Are you 100% comfortable with your mix? This is a necessity before we begin work on the mastering.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: One--I would make sure I had the best monitors I could find, so far I have never used anything but ATC (one piece of gear). Two--One laptop with a suite of plugins. Three--An electrical generator. Four--Some kind of satellite link. Five--A machete.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started in 1991. I graduated from Berklee college of music that same year and loaded up my mothers car with my clothes, a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar, my cassette tapes and a futon mattress. I drove to LA and almost immediately got a job at The Mastering Lab as an entry level employee. All I knew at that time is that I wanted to work in the music business in any capacity that I could. I stuck to it and really enjoyed the process of mastering but also the process of being a service oriented business. I worked under the tutelage of the legendary Doug Sax for 14 years before we started Lurssen Mastering, Inc. I’ve enjoyed many things about being in this business but one of the highlights is acting as mentor to star mastering engineer Reuben Cohen. Working with him as he has earned his stripes I consider my greatest honor. We are now working together as partners and enjoying a steady stream of really great music coming through our studio and working on other projects as well, things like software solutions for audio processing among other ideas.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Efficient, service oriented, full sonic integrity, warm and lush with smooth top end and a nice supportive swirling and moving low end to completely support the music and melodic content.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Less is more, almost always.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: There isn’t a genre that can be specialized in because every audio professional should be versed in the needs of the genre they are working in. The gear knows no bounds so I also follow suit in that. We work on some hit records and then the word gets out, but rarely do we get pigeonholed in our specific role as mastering engineers. I’ve enjoyed being of service to the hardest punk bands to the loud rock and roll to the most delicate and classically oriented film scores and everything else in between. Staying current in the knowledge of the sounds that people like to consume is key to earning my seat at the table in this role.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: What we bring as mastering engineers is an objective point of view that is crucial in determining the artistic and also the commercial aspect of the sonic shape of the music. In my case there is three decades of experience exclusively doing this. It has always been the benefit of sending music to a mastering engineer that has not been part of the creation of the music, this objectivity that comes from coming in at the tail end.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: We have two custom built from scratch analog consoles that use vintage analog technology. We combine this with carefully curated digital hardware and software. We generally have mix files that get decoded through UA equipment that is externally clocked with Antelope clocks which gets run into Benchmark D/A converters which have also been modified. These mods help us with our gain structure going into the console for audio processing through tube and solid state eq’s, compressors and d’sr. Once we get the processing where we like it we then convert back to digital through Benchmark A/D conversion and encode using either UA or Metric Halo interfaces and again Antelope external clocking making the necessary high resolution files which then lead us to the master files that go out to the clients and then ultimately the fans.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by moving parts that all come together to make a whole greater than the sum of the parts. I particularly like it when it's a team of people who gather to create this scenario. When the personalities all mesh to create a powerful team, I am inspired.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: It is important to delineate that we are a service to the audio community of artists, producers, engineers and record labels. Their job is to service the fans and our job is to expedite the audio processing required to bring the music over the finish line in terms of overall sonic integrity. It’s all about the overall sonic shape and size. Therefore, conceptually, what we do for everyone no matter who, is consistent by concept.