SXSW Music 2014
Exploring Mystique in the Art of Music Mastering
Despite the industrial infiltration of low-grade listening, the mastering field has maintained its relevance and progress of precision. Without this finalizing step in the elaborate journey from birth of an idea to its sonic realization, so much of the energy and excitement that is most desired in music would be lost. Mastering's essentiality is heard in the refined grooves of a vinyl record to the restrained output of an mp3 format alike. The name of this line of work in itself presents a supreme obligation: to masterfully enliven a piece of music to its fullest potential. Though even with this understanding of the objective, much remains obscured to artists and consumers regarding where and how mastering engineers mold the elaborate signals into an alluring whole. These engineers brand and specialize their services in specific ways to both highlight their own individual approaches and to illustrate the versatility and pristine relationship with sound that is essential to master
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- How has the mastering field had to reform itself given the obsession with speed and simplicity that has recently come to define the music industry?
- Who should be involved in the decision-making processes that go into mastering a record, and what roles should they serve?
- How should a mastering engineer reconcile the authenticity of analog sound with the necessity of digital adaptation?
- How does the universal language of musicality translate specifically to the field of mastering?
- What should all listeners know about mastering that they don't already?
Gavin Lurssen, President, Mastering Engineer, Lurssen Mastering, Inc.