Mark Fuller, engineer and musician.
I specialize in mastering on a per-project basis. No 1 size fits all. Every project is unique.
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Interview with Mark Fuller Mastering
What are you working on at the moment?
Mastering several projects for producers in various parts of the USA and Germany. Planning an acoustical fit-out at The Tank in Rangely, Colorado, and a substantial gear installation in May so that's taking a lot of time for planning. www.tanksounds.org
What do you like most about your job?
Bringing projects over the finish line.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That louder is necessarily better.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Matches. Knife. Tarp. Hatchet. Water Filter.
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
The most recent 3rd Ear Experience album "Stones of a Feather" mastering job was difficult but I worked relentlessly and brought the project to a new level. It's being well received in Europe and stands strongly alongside their other 3 albums.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
Just got here. Don't know.
Analog or digital and why?
Both. Because both are great if used appropriately, and there is no single 'right' way to do anything.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
You'll be stoked when we're done.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
What is metadata? Answer: look at my website's blog.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What do I need to know about your project?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Communicate fearlessly. Listen intently.
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
Started as a musician - drumset and tabla - and studied in College, University and Ali Akbar College of music. By my early 30's I had begun working relentlessly as an engineer. Produced/engineered countless albums on analog tape, later with DAW's. Did 7 years as audio producer at an NPR radio station during which time I earnestly put my focus on mastering.
How would you describe your style?
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
If I had the chance before he passed, I would have done about anything to work with Joe Zawinul, the great keyboardist and composer.
Can you share one music production tip?
Stop using your eyes to listen.
What type of music do you usually work on?
There is no single answer to this question.
What's your strongest skill?
Good taste in music and sonics.
What do you bring to a song?
A ton of experience as a fan and musician.
What's your typical work process?
Have a conversation with the artist and/or producer and try to get an understanding of the aesthetics they're looking for. All projects are rightfully different, sonically, dynamically, emotionally and I need to align with each one as needed. Once we're on the same page, I get files and do a listen through making a starting point for signal path that I think will work for the majority of the album. I contact the production team with any questions that come up. From there I work, usually over 2 days time when mastering album length projects, and deliver DDP format or individual .wav files to the relevant parties via Dropbox. After they listen on various systems for a day or two they give me notes and I make whatever changes are necessary. Once everyone is satisfied I deliver the file-formats required, the possible list of which is available on my website.
Tell us about your studio setup.
It's a small mastering oriented rig in a very clear, tight room in the hills above downtown Sebastopol. There are chickens in the backyard.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
The list is too long to go into in depth but recently Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly" has been played a lot. Also Kneebody's "Anti-Hero". I've also been checking out how great Rick Rubin is with vocalists.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Primarily mastering for musical artists of all styles. I also mix and sweeten short films and videos and do productions for radio and corporate uses from time to time. I also mix full projects and do some tracking and editing for artists and producers. Finally, I write and play and do sound design gigs here and there.