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Adjusting your tracks for vinyl. Here a mastering engineer is setting up a vinyl cutting lathe for producing a vinyl master

Hi I’m Ben and I’m a musician, enthusiastic audio engineer and analogue nerd. Ever since I bought my first 4 track cassette recorder from the classified ads in the back of the local newspaper (Yes, you read that right, before the internet) I’ve been hooked on turning dials, flipping switches and patching cables to record, produce and master music. I completed years worth of academic studies, going up to Masters level in music & sound recording but it was running a record label that really got me hooked on mastering. With the pressure of getting our releases radio ready I turned to all and any videos, books and online content (scarce when I was starting out) to hone the dark art and completed several mastering courses in person at various studios around the UK. The subsequent releases on our tiny label got some amazing press and radio play so friends started asking me to master their music. Then friends of friends. Then strangers.

And here we are. I’ve mastered singles, EPs and albums for artists all over the world and made a lot of friends along the way. The most important thing I’ve learned is listening. That might sound obvious but I mean *really* listening. Not just to the music, but to people. I find we get the best results when we take the time to have conversations about music before I even go near a mix file. Hearing your thoughts and interpretations of your music is the most valuable and worthwhile ‘mastering hack’ that I’ve ever tried. A 20 minute phone call is worth more than a dozen Fairchild compressors or vintage Neve mixing desks because it gets to the heart and meaning of your music. When I understand the emotion, the depth and the purpose of the music we can work together to create the right master for the music. Not every song should be loud and in your face, we want the darkness, the light, the openness, the closeness, the playfulness, rawness and the soul of your music to shine and speak to your listeners in the most authentic way. 

A professional online mastering engineer is working at a mastering console with mastering compression, EQ and limiting
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