Thread: Genre specific mastering engineer?

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  1. #1
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    Default Genre specific mastering engineer?

    I'm in the midst of finishing of a long project wich is due to release sometime before June this year.

    It's a band I'm a part of and I have recorded everything and am about to finish mixing.

    Normally when I record and mix other bands, I try and tell them about the profits of hiring another person to do the mastering. But most often, they ask me to do it, and it usually turns out fine (I think).

    But this time, I'm to caught up emotionally in the music. It's been difficult to mix the record and I have recommended the (my) band to try having an outside person mastering the tracks.

    But - I can't find any people here in Denmark, that has any specific experience with the genre we play. And this leads to my question:

    Is it important, when picking a mastering engineer, that he/she knows and have experience with a specific genre when mastering? I would think so when it comes to mixing, but maybe mastering has a more scientific approach than mixing...?

    I also remember reading posts here about high profile mastering and mixing engineers offering "indie" bands a lower "indie price" between projects.

    If we choose to go for an American engineer due to the type of music we play, can any of you recommend someone?

    We play roots / blues inspired by the sounds of the 20's to 40's blues music with resonater, washboard and arch top electric bass and guitar.
    You can hear some samples that are not finally mixed here:

    http://www.thecornfeds.dk/booking.html

    Hope to hear what you guys think about this.

    Cheers

    Kasper

    www.lydsalonen.dk
  2. #2
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Only if they want to sound like everybody else (loudnessly speaking). People tend to forget mastering is about not making the needle jump. But getting someone outside a project you feel too involved in is SOP. How about Bob O?
  3. #3
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Only if they want to sound like everybody else (loudnessly speaking). People tend to forget mastering is about not making the needle jump. But getting someone outside a project you feel too involved in is SOP. How about Bob O?

    Bob did a great job for me!
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  4. #4
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    For me too.
  5. #5
    Middle Handicapper...short game needs work Real purdy mouth
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Bob Ohlsson or Jason Fee - both have done excellent work for me
    wtf do I know...I hit mixes with sticks
  6. #6
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Sounds like, I should try an get in touch with Bob.

    Mmmmm.... Motown


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Sounds like, I should try an get in touch with Bob.

    Mmmmm.... Motown


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    Yeah. Sucks doesn't it?
  8. #8
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Sounds like, I should try an get in touch with Bob.

    Mmmmm.... Motown


    www.lydsalonen.dk
    Well, like most of the best MEs, Bob is pretty much genre agnostic as far as I can tell. After starting at Motown he moved to SF where, among other things, he worked with some of the greatest of the SF psychedelic bands, most notably Quicksilver Messenger Service (look them up if you don't know.) Now he's in Nashville, with all that implies. He did a brilliant job of making my album sound like it should, which is more or less pre-"Nashville Pop" country. He took the time to work with me and probably gave me more and better care than many others of his stature would do for a first album by an unknown.

    I think that an ME who is essentially genre agnostic is more likely to approach each project on its own grounds with no preconceptions.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  9. #9
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Great input - thanks John. It was information like that I was looking for. You can't find that on people's websites...

    www.lydsalonen.dk
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    If a mastering engineer ever claimed to be "genre biased", I'd run like hell. A good mastering engineer makes the best of the material at hand, no matter what the genre or mix aesthetic.

    Since you're in Scandinavia, I'd drop my 2 cents on Svante Forsbäck at chartmakers.fi. He's done excellent work for me for the past decade or so.


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Thanks Otek. I would never have thought, that someone called "Chartmakers" would fit the bill... You think they would be great for roots/blues music with a sonic preference wich is not that modern?

    I hear you on what you're saying about genre. But if I look at Chartmakers.fi I can't seem to find any artists that operates in the same genre as this specific project. So to conclude, that their great work on Rammstein would benefit my banjo-song is not that straight forward. I mean - mixing Metal and mixing Classical music calls for different strokes (doesn't it?) as it would in Mastering - or am I mistaken?

    We have a well known Mastering Engineering in Denmark called Holger Lagerfelt, but he also works with a lot of high profile chartbusters and that made me start looking elsewhere.

    Are there no aesthetic choices made in mastering that are genre specific? Cause if there are - shouldn't you pick an ME that is experienced in the field in wich your specific project operates?


    www.lydsalonen.dk
  12. #12
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    So I guess the 1$ question is: can a mastering guy master music he does not like or understand?

    From mastering 101 - of course - mastering is about the groove not jumping and the music translating.
  13. #13
    Highway to Hell is for Children Area 51 gardener
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    If a mastering engineer ever claimed to be "genre biased", I'd run like hell. A good mastering engineer makes the best of the material at hand, no matter what the genre or mix aesthetic.
    But would you consider track record of a ME when choosing him for a particular project? I.e. if guy's work is mostly hip-hop and r'n'b, would you call him for your black metal record?
    Personally I would be happy if I'm called to mix a record with a genre outside of my normal scope. But I would definitely talk to people who hire me and make sure they understand the background I'm from.
    When in doubt, mumble!

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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Part of mastering is doing your homework and studying the recent recordings a project is likely to be sequenced with. I've found that solving the problems in a variety of genres has given me a comprehensive toolkit that can be applied to just about anything.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Why do you almost all the time feel like an idiot when Otek or Bob comes in the room?
  16. #16
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Why do you almost all the time feel like an idiot when Otek or Bob comes in the room?
    Imagine how does it feel for them
    When in doubt, mumble!

    EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE SHIT IF YA LISTEN LONG AND HARD ENOUGH.
  17. #17
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    But would you consider track record of a ME when choosing him for a particular project? I.e. if guy's work is mostly hip-hop and r'n'b, would you call him for your black metal record?
    I would think the main criterion for deciding who will master your project would be hearing and being impressed by work that an engineer did that's similar to the results you want.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Although you might enjoy the result, would you truly respect a chef who could only make pasta dishes?

    I believe that it is you, as the producer, who puts the metal on a metal record. Or the hip-hop, if you so prefer.

    The mastering engineer, if he is any good, should sense where the record is heading, and make the best presentation possible of your work. Like Bob says, you gradually acquire an understanding by listening to and working in a multitude of genres and styles, and by listening to the thoughts of your clients.

    My MEs have done great work in just about every genre there is. If anything, I appreciate that versatility and what it can bring to my record.


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?


    My MEs have done great work in just about every genre there is.
    Right. So, no guess work, no buying a pig-in-a-poke. If the genre you want mastered is conspicuously absent from the ME's reel, would that give you pause?

    Bjerre mentioned that the MEs he knows of in Denmark haven't done '20s-'40s Blues/ Roots music but he doesn't mention what else they haven't done.

    I would think that an ME that does a good job on Folk or Jazz would do a good job on Blues also.

    However, it doesn't seem impossible that Danish MEs only do Metal

    And I wouldn't truly respect a chef who could only make roadkill dishes
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  20. #20
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    Default Re: Genre specific mastering engineer?

    Here you would.

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