Mastering for Kate Tempest. Photo: @CW_abbeyroad
Would you say you’re a balancing point between the artist’s goals and the business’s goals?
I think that’s probably producers more than myself. Sometimes artists and producers must go down roads to work out what they do and don’t want. That happens much earlier in the process. If someone gets to mastering and they’re trying to fix things like that then it’s at the wrong stage to do it. More often than not, by the point you’re at the mastering stage everyone has already gone through that process and has an understanding of what’s possible at each stage. Having said that if they do need help then I’m always happy to work through that and communicate everything.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into mastering?
Start mastering now at home. There’s no time like the present. When you’re mastering at home don’t master on the main output of your mix session. Bounce out your track so that you begin mastering in a fresh and new project. You’re now just dealing with a stereo track, if you are choosing to master like that, or balance the stems out if you’re choosing to do stem mastering.
Also look online and to the information that’s out there. There’s some advice from Abbey Road available online, and we've also been doing a partnership wth MusicTech so there’s lots of information out there. I think it’s a wonderful time for people to absorb knowledge and learn, and when you feel you’re ready then start to apply your knowledge and take your skills to different places.
You find a lot of the time people tend to do many different roles so if you have evolved different skillsets you may give yourself more opportunity to get work.Many well known artists that are A listed across several radio stations work as producers when they’re off tour. It’s key to understand that it may take tackling different roles to get to where you want to be.
Talk us through some albums that you’ve worked on recently that stick in your mind.
I would say the last two Kate Tempest albums. I think they’re such wonderful pieces. Kate’s voice in every sense is so unique and lyrically she’s such an amazing storyteller. It’s a different type of music to what I spent my teenage years listening to but you really get an understanding that she’s such a real artist. Dan Carey who collaborated with her on the music helps to form an amazing team who always deliver something that’s sonically exciting. It’s great storytelling, great music, and two beautiful albums.
In terms of guitar music the Fontaines D.C. record from last year sticks out to me. It’s been really cool seeing an exciting new band make their mark and seeing all the love they’re getting.