Garage Masters is an audio mastering studio in Nashville, TN. We offer professional quality at an affordable price, flexible rates for projects, and we do not charge for additional versions and revisions.
We have been offering professional mastering services for clients around the world for over 7 years. We specialize in working with indie artists on a budget, and we have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of artists, including yearly work at the Bonnaroo Haybale Studio. We bring fresh perspective to each project, and we are only happy with the best end product. Contact us for project rates!
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- Chelsea Lankes
- The Choir
- Regan Lorraine
- Tal & Acacia
- Bernhard Lackner
- Michael Booth
- The Arenos
- As Isaac
- Blessed Are The Broken
- Brique a Braq
- Cloud Cover
- Flo Oakes
- Oh Jeremiah
- Good Buddy
- Hunter and Tara
- Jason Lovins Band
- Joe Fournier
- Josh Shook
- Leena Culhane
- Opas Diandl
- The Pursuits
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Interview with Garage Masters
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The Bonnaroo Haybale Studio. It is a studio setup backstage at Bonnaroo every year that captures live performances of bands that are playing the festival. Some very talented/big name artists come through, and we setup/record/mix songs live, then I quickly master the recordings and upload to a server where songs are played by radio stations around the country within an hour of the performance. It is crazy, but rewarding.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A few pop singles, a hip hop album, and an indie rock album!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Not sure! We're new to this.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Digital is easier, but analog undeniably can have a sound. It depends on the vibe of the project and what the client wants.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: We will always give it our best, and we want you to be happy with our work. We never ask for payment until the project is complete.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Making sure projects sound as great as they can, and giving people products that can be proud of.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: We get asked a lot about average loudness/perceived loudness, how vinyl masters are different, and ISRC codes. The answers can get lengthy, but in short, average loudness goes up as compression and limiting are applied to the track, but transients (drum hits, etc.) will be tamed as a result. There is a sweet spot, normally, and there is such a thing as too loud. Vinyl masters may not have to be different depending on the final level of the masters and how bright/sibilant the mixes are, but sometimes a level adjustment and taming EQ curve will be applied. ISRC codes are like a digital fingerprint for each song that allow the client to track the usage of their songs and get paid.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Many people do not understand mastering or think of it mostly as making things louder. We think of it more as quality control, the last set of ears, making sure your product is great and feels cohesive as a whole!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your timeline for the project? How many songs in the project? What sort of versions do you need delivered (digital, CD, vinyl, etc.)? What are some albums that capture the vibe you are aiming for with this project?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Ask for project rates and timelines, research your prospective provider's website and credits, and if you are unsure, ask for test masters! It is not so uncommon to have several mastering engineers take a stab at a master to see which one best captures the vibe you want.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Computer, Dynaudio BM5As, Apogee Duet, UAD satellite, Pendulum Audio PL-2 Peak Limiter.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Originally I moved to Nashville as a guitarist, then transitioned into recording, then mixing, and finally landed on mastering. It stuck. I've been doing it for about 8 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Keeping the vibe of the album intact while ensuring that the quality remains as high as possible.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Paul Simon. One of the most brilliant songwriters and musicians alive.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Trust your instincts and make sure to capture the feeling of the performance.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: All kinds! For some time, it was primarily rock and singer-songwriter, but we have been doing a lot of pop and hip hop recently.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Listening and making objective decisions based on what we hear and how it relates to other songs on the album or the reference tracks that the client provides.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A fresh perspective. It is very common for a mix engineer/producer/artist to have heard the album so much that they can miss little problems or discrepancies in the mixes. We always point these out and make any suggestions that could improve the project as a whole.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Typically we receive the final mixes, put them into sequence, listen, make notes, and aim for a similar level and feel across all the songs as we listen. Then go back as many times as is needed to make the album flow well as a whole,
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: We are largely in the box, using Lynx Aurora 8 convertors, a Grace m905 monitor controller, and Focal SM9s as our listening chain. We have outboard gear available that will be used as needed. Often we print the masters
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Joe Laporta, Bob Clearmountain.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: We master songs out of our studio in Nashville for clients based here and anywhere else. Clients are welcome to attend the mastering sessions if they would like, but our work is primarily remote. In addition to our work, we often offer mix suggestions if we feel that certain aspects could improve for the better of the project.