We had a great mastering session at Ante Up. It was a kind of “first date” with Chris Keffer, who was the mastering engineer.
Mike, K-Billy and I really enjoyed the session. We were only working on a couple songs, so it didn’t last very long, but Chris was generous in sharing his knowledge and experience. We talked about the mastering process in general, tips for Mike’s live bass rig, and the super-secret colors of Chris’s patch cables (you know, certain colors make the music passing through them sound better…).
After the session we compared the mastered songs to the unmastered mixes. Sure enough, the mastered songs sounded cleaner and a bit brighter, and the mixes were just a little punchier. One thing I really like is that Chris’s application of mastering effects (EQ, compression, limiting and so on) was very subtle. There was no over-the-top “make this song uber-loud” stuff going on here.
(where is my umlaut+u character, anyway?)
We’re trying to complete a few more mixes so we have a larger pool of songs to choose from for our upcoming release. Having started the mastering process is really exciting, because it means that there is actually an end in sight and we can keep moving on to new material. Woo hoo!