A few weeks ago I testified about my work on production techniques for pop music. A new series, called Dub Radio Soundtrack, deals with this. You can click on the tag to read more about it. I am currently rounding up my recordings and will start up the post production phase (before heading into the mastering phase).

These pop mastering techniques I have used on an assignment earlier this year. I have been working for a New York based  artist who is currently in the NY charts alongside [ LCD Soundsystem ].  All new stuff intended for a future release. It’s really exciting to dive into the 4/4 beat world of guitar, drums, vocals, synths and bass. To do a master for a pop song is not easy at the start. You have to get a grip on the sound of a song; on the balance of the various instruments. It can be quite dense, especially if the pre-mix is already compressed and there is little headroom. Then you start to get a grip and an idea about how to brighten things up, giving specific instruments more ‘air’. and such. But once you have reached that point things get rolling. Because of their highly repetitive character you can add your mastering settings to long stretches of the songs. You can distinguish between chorus and other parts and you can give a solo a different ‘voice’. But who uses solo’s these days?

Mastering electro acoustic music is totally different. During the past months I have been working on a CD by Denis Kolokol which will be released by the Polish label [ Mathka ] in September. Here every (milli)second counts. Applying mastering techniques can result in different soundcolor and resonations which are specifically not what they should be. On this upcoming CD there are five works which Denis and I have been discussing a lot during the mastering process. Sometimes I hit the mark in one go but there were two compositions that took quite a lot of trial and error before we reached a point where we were both (and most importantly Denis, since it’s HIS music) satisfied.

And finally…

I have ordered [ Bob Katz’s ] book on the Art of Mastering. I am, by default, a self taught. And I like to explore and enhance my knowledge and wisdom through experience. But after reading a few pages in Katz’s book I was convinced that my wisdom would be much faster enhanced by reading this book. TBC.

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