Modern Mastering Matters
Artists have myriad questions when it comes to mastering their music. In spite of an overabundance of information, many find myths, half-truths, contradictions and misleading statements when researching the topic. Engineers and artists share common ground in how they brand and capitalize their respective businesses and careers. This understanding is often at the core of a creative relationship. A grounded discussion on the technical and creative possibilities will address what to expect from mastering today
Three time Grammy winning mastering engineer Joe Palmaccio has mastered major and independent projects of all musical styles for 25 years. His work on hundreds of albums has earned him a reputation as a respected expert in the field of mastering.
Joe is currently President and Chief Engineer of The Place…For Mastering, Nashville, TN. He has held positions at Sony Music Studios - NYC, Sterling Sound and PolyGram Records. A member of NARAS, The P&E Wing and AES, he frequently guest lectures at Belmont University, Middle Tennessee State University, SXSW and AES. Joe is an alumnus of Indiana University – Bloomington.
Mastering credits include: AC/DC, Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Donald Fagen, Jeff Buckley, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Hank Williams Sr, KISS, Heart, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Edwin McCain and Godsmack.
Michael Romanowski is the owner and chief mastering engineer at Michael Romanowski Mastering, based in San Francisco. Since 2002, Michael has worked to support the tradition of the San Francisco sound (having trained with Paul Stubblebine, who apprenticed with George Horn) and has become a national expert in the art and science of mastering (Mix Magazine, Electronic Musician, ProAudio News, AES, NAMM).
Michael started his audio career as a musician and live sound engineer in Nashville, where he quickly progressed to recording, mixing and producing pop, rock and alternative acts. In 1994, he relocated to the Bay Area to apprentice at Rocket Lab with Paul Stubblebine and Ken Lee, learning the craft of the mastering engineer. In 1999, he became the chief mastering engineer for Sausalito’s Plant Studios, and then reunited with Paul Stubblebine at the famed Studio C of Hyde Street Studios. In 2002, Michael and Paul built the two state of the art 5.1 mastering rooms at the Coast Recorders building, with expert advice from acoustician Bob Hodas. The business continues to thrive here today.
Michael serves as President of the The Recording Academy San Francisco Chapter (NARAS), and serves on the National Advisory Council to the Producers & Engineers Wing. He teaches at San Francisco State University, and is an active panelist at conferences such as TapeOp, AES, CES, VSAC and NAMM. He is a co-owner of a music label, with Paul Stubblebine and Dan Schmalle, The Tape Project, which exclusively releases direct copies of original analog masters on ¼” and now ½" analog tape. And, he continues to record, mix, produce and perform.
MIchael's credits include Third Eye Blind, Pat Monahan, Badfinger, Too $hort, Will Kimbrough, Tommy Wommack, The Dynamites, !!! , Dredge, Blame Sally, Jacqui Naylor
Since 1991, Gavin has established himself as a prominent mastering engineer in the industry having earned 3 Grammy Awards including 2 for Album of the Year for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” And Alison Krauss/Robert Plant’s “Raising Sand”. He also won a Latin Grammy for Diego Torres’ “Distinto” for Best Engineered Album in 2010. Gavin has worked on Oscar nominated projects including the soundtracks for “Crazy Heart”, “Up”, “Cars”, and “Slumdog Millionaire”, and has numerous Gold and Platinum records to his credit.
• Elton John/Leon Russell • Robbie Robertson • Gregg Allman • John Mellencamp • Eric Clapton • Matchbox Twenty • Lucinda Williams • Steve Earle • B. B. King • Elvis Costello
Gavin’s work has been recognized with two TEC Awards for Mastering and for Outstanding Facility as well as a Berklee College of Music Distinguished Alumni Award. Gavin has also served on the Board of Governors for the LA Chapter of NARAS.
Andrew Mendelson is the owner and Grammy Nominated Chief Mastering Engineer of Georgetown Masters in Nashville, Tennessee. Following a three-year stint at the highly regarded Telarc Records, Mendelson moved to Nashville to apprentice under Georgetown’s storied co-founder Denny Purcell. Andrew took over as Chief Engineer in 2002 and eventually acquired the company in 2004.
Andrew’s clientele is as diverse as it is impressive. He has mastered numerous #1, Grammy winning, and gold and platinum projects by artists including: The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Mariah Carey, Motley Crue, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Casting Crowns, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. His work has produced dozens of #1 albums and Grammy nominations. In addition to his traditional mastering work for CD and digital download release, Andrew works extensively on stereo and surround sound projects for DVD, Blu-Ray and Broadcast.