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Musicians that are mastering engineers
Old 13th August 2020
  #1
Gear Head
 

Musicians that are mastering engineers

Curious how many of you are active musicians as well as mastering engineers? It seems like i don't meet many mastering engineers that are also musicians. Thanks!
Old 13th August 2020
  #2
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Hippocratic Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by neufeldjon View Post
Curious how many of you are active musicians as well as mastering engineers? It seems like i don't meet many mastering engineers that are also musicians. Thanks!
I think most (not all) MEs started out as musicians, myself included. But there are a million ways to be creative and since I started engineering full time I've found that I don't have a great desire to spend my leisure/creative time making music. 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week is already a lot of time to sit in front of a pair of speakers.
Old 14th August 2020
  #3
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polybonk's Avatar
I am.
I write and release all the time.
Just wrote this the other day.

Old 14th August 2020
  #4
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by neufeldjon View Post
Curious how many of you are active musicians as well as mastering engineers? It seems like i don't meet many mastering engineers that are also musicians. Thanks!
i would rather want my tracks mastered by a tech who happens to be a musician than say a war criminal...
Old 14th August 2020
  #5
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Surbitone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i would rather want my tracks mastered by a tech who happens to be a musician than say a war criminal...


But no, I'm not a musician anymore. I stopped playing piano about 25 years ago and bass 18 years ago.
Old 14th August 2020
  #6
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X-Pand Sound Mastering's Avatar
 

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1 Review written
I am aswell
Guitar player for more than 20 years, I played with many bands.
Then I've been touring for the last ten years as a DJ/Live performance under the name "The Unik".
Had the chance to play in some amazing cities like Hong Kong, Geneva, Bangkok, Amsterdam, Beijing, Paris, Rangoon and many others. Big to small venues, it was very time consuming, and sometimes hard to keep up with the clients demand during the week...I slow down all that 3 years ago to focus entirely on my new Electronic business, which is now looking at it's first release in a few weeks .
Now, I thing you don't HAVE to be a musician absolutely, as everyone has differents ears and taste in music anyway, but it can be a big "plus".
Old 14th August 2020
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surbitone View Post


But no, I'm not a musician anymore. I stopped playing piano about 25 years ago and bass 18 years ago.
i occasionally still play drums but just for my mental hygiene...
Old 14th August 2020
  #8
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Surbitone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i occasionally still play drums but just for my mental hygiene...
Yeah, I can totally understand that. When I need to cleanse my mind I like to write code... I spent morning mastering, then some coding and lunch, now back to mastering. Depends on the day though
Old 14th August 2020
  #9
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scraggs's Avatar
Been a musician since I was 10, haven't played out in years but I still play all the time. After 40 years I feel like I'm sort of starting to figure this music stuff out a little bit.

Working on a new record right now, recording guitars all day today yessir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week is already a lot of time to sit in front of a pair of speakers.
At the dentist's last week, the hygienist asks me "what kind of music do you like? Like, what do you listen to in the car?" And I laughed and said I listen to music for a living, in the car I listen to the sweet drone of road noise.
Old 14th August 2020
  #10
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thermos's Avatar
During non pandemic times, I tour between 100-200 days a year. Master the rest of the time at home. Always wear ear plugs!
Old 14th August 2020
  #11
Deleted 49af092
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I don't really play live music anymore, but playing live music in my middle school years though my 20s really helped me create a wide network of studio clients. Clients that I used to record and mix, and now do mastering work for. That network has grown to friends of friends of friends of all these bands and left me with a solid flow of work to this day. That's something that no amount of advertising or word of mouth could have replaced.

I'm sure it also helped my overall understanding and relationship with music and all things related.

As I got more busy in the studio, I had to be more selective about how much live music I played because it became harder to be away from the studio for more than a few days. I had to really want to do it to make it work. I found a few great bands that were mostly doing flyout long weekends rather than longer tours so that worked out great.

Even as recent as 2017 I still found myself playing bass in a band I couldn't say no to, but eventually had to stop because the touring schedule got to be too much for my studio workflow.

This probably goes without saying but I'd highly recommend a good set of fitted/molded earplugs from Sensaphonics if you need to be around loud/live music but rely on your ears to make a living.
Old 14th August 2020
  #12
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audiogeek1's Avatar
I currently tell people that I am a drum owner. I don't have much time to play anymore. But occasionally I do get a chance.
Old 14th August 2020
  #13
Gear Head
 
OTRM's Avatar
Grew up taking piano lessons from about age 5 until Sophomore in HS. Took up guitar when I was 12. Picked up bass guitar around 15 and played it thru HS and then bass in a band after HS then back to guitar. Played bass then guitar in church for many years. Don't play much at all anymore but occasionally pick up a guitar and fiddle around on it for a little bit.

Almost always have some song playing endlessly in my head though......
Old 14th August 2020
  #14
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I started playing guitar when I was 10, but I was performing concerts in my bedroom to my favourite albums long before that. Does that count?

I played in a range of bands: blues, funk, death metal and loved it all. Like a lot of people who are around music a lot, I also liked to fool around on any instrument I could get my hands on. I stopped playing live about 10 or so years ago but can still get the odd call to go into the studio and record some guitar or "We need you to play drums at a gig tonight!"

Clients seem to like that I'm a fellow musician. They seem to trust that I'll get what they need and know what's important to them and what it feels like to be on their side of the process.

For me, mastering is my way of being around music and musos.
Old 15th August 2020
  #15
I've been a musician for 56 years, and write/arrange/track/mix/master my own stuff. I've only been recording for 42 years, so I'm still learning there...

I've done maybe 10 or 12 albums for ither artists, but concentrate on my own work most of the time.

A few samples of recent work is at
soundclick.com/philboking
Old 15th August 2020
  #16
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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Used to play harmonica, trombone and drums (not at the same time). Honestly just haven't had the time or energy for it for years though.
Being busy mastering, merely getting out to gigs can be challenging, let alone playing them (booking sessions to avoid late nights).

But here's to our renowned and diverse live music scene here, all utterly put on hold.
Old 15th August 2020
  #17
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Hippocratic Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
Used to play harmonica, trombone and drums (not at the same time).
Amateur.
Old 15th August 2020
  #18
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Trakworx's Avatar
Electric guitarist/bassist/vocalist in suspended animation.

To be reanimated at first sign of free time.
Old 15th August 2020
  #19
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scraggs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
funk, death metal
Back in the day (ok, waaaaay back...) I was great at metal and absolutely completely useless at funk....they both require a formidable picking hand/wrist but it's totally different motions, almost opposite. Curious if you have any thoughts on this.

All these years later I'm still pretty lousy at funk guitar. You watch Nile Rodgers do it and it looks so easy....
Old 15th August 2020
  #20
DAH
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DAH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
Back in the day (ok, waaaaay back...) I was great at metal and absolutely completely useless at funk....they both require a formidable picking hand/wrist but it's totally different motions, almost opposite. Curious if you have any thoughts on this.

All these years later I'm still pretty lousy at funk guitar. You watch Nile Rodgers do it and it looks so easy....
Add a reggae strum to the mix.
Old 15th August 2020
  #21
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
Back in the day (ok, waaaaay back...) I was great at metal and absolutely completely useless at funk....they both require a formidable picking hand/wrist but it's totally different motions, almost opposite. Curious if you have any thoughts on this.
I've always been the opposite. Funky rhythms come fairly naturally where as fast muted metal riffs stretch me. There's a certain level of fitness required for sure. It's always impressed me that guys like Hetfield can play the riffs they do while singing!

I think metal is really picking hand/wrist focused, whereas with funk your whole body is kinda involved. To get that groove you've kinda gotta move a certain way to get the feel.

One of my bandmates was once famously accused by another bandmate of "playing organ like a white man." Cruel; but true. I think some styles/feels are just more natural to us than others. The organ player is now a very successful electronic artist.

Last edited by SmoothTone; 15th August 2020 at 10:17 PM.. Reason: Grammar mastering
Old 15th August 2020
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i would rather want my tracks mastered by a tech who happens to be a musician than say a war criminal...
Musicians are more numerous than ants. Where exactly can I find that elusive war criminal mastering engineer?
Old 16th August 2020
  #23
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scraggs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
Add a reggae strum to the mix.
The reggae strum is another thing that seems simple, and I suppose it's simple to do poorly, but doing it well is a fine art IMO.

Somewhere here I have some Wailers multitracks, I remember soloing the guitar and organ, and good god the pocket was just a mile deep. Really incredible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothtone
It's always impressed me that guys like Hetfield can play the riffs they do while singing!
Right? How did Mustaine play those insane early 'deth riffs and sing?

And as far as the fitness, it was reassuring to watch some late-model Metallica studio footage and see James massaging his forearm in between takes. Even the master's wrist can only take so much brutal downpicking.
Old 16th August 2020
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocratic Mastering View Post
I think most (not all) MEs started out as musicians, myself included. But there are a million ways to be creative and since I started engineering full time I've found that I don't have a great desire to spend my leisure/creative time making music. 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week is already a lot of time to sit in front of a pair of speakers.
Neither Howie Weinberg, Tom Coyne or Herb Powers were trained musicians or were trained engineers( Herb has always been a geeky audiophile type) before they started mastering. All apprenticed under mastering engineers.

Ted Jensen background is what you think most mastering guys are, parents were musicians( classical), he built electronic equipment, has an audiophile background(worked with Mark Levinson) and recorded classical concerts.
Old 16th August 2020
  #25
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Hippocratic Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Neither Howie Weinberg, Tom Coyne or Herb Powers were trained musicians or were trained engineers( Herb has always been a geeky audiophile type) before they started mastering. All apprenticed under mastering engineers.

Ted Jensen background is what you think most mastering guys are, parents were musicians( classical), he built electronic equipment, has an audiophile background(worked with Mark Levinson) and recorded classical concerts.
Yeah, I did specifically say ‘not all’.
Old 16th August 2020
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by neufeldjon View Post
Curious how many of you are active musicians as well as mastering engineers? It seems like i don't meet many mastering engineers that are also musicians. Thanks!
Nice to meet you!

Musician first (Guitar, bass and drums), then i became an audio engineer and later down the road, a mastering engineer
Old 16th August 2020
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Mastering7's Avatar
 

Mastering engineer and musician

I continue to be an active musician, play several instruments. (no loud gigs)
As I see, it is extremely important to understand music and musicians. Mastering is still an art sub-ordained the client's goals.
Old 16th August 2020
  #28
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
It's interesting to me that the two most influential mastering engineers of the past 50 years, Doug Sax and Bob Ludwig had both been first-chair orchestral trumpet players.

As for me, I bounced between the first and last violin chairs in our high school orchestra. I took a year and a half of music literature in college (and worked in the student radio station) before dropping out to accept my job at Motown.
Old 16th August 2020
  #29
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Yes, Jazz Guitarist!

https://youtu.be/8yPRQXCjWAY

But I’m not looking for any Gigs.

Mastering is my Gig.

JT

Last edited by Jerry Tubb; 18th August 2020 at 12:38 PM..
Old 17th August 2020
  #30
Gear Nut
 
jBranam's Avatar
got into mixing and mastering because there is not much call for lead tambourine anymore. lol

seriously i quit performing and being in bands about '95 due to a tragedy... started mixing seriously around '05 and just recently started mastering a few years back now. sadly since i started mixing i hardly pick up my guitars anymore or any instrument for that matter. i still play around and create from time to time for fun when bored but i have really been enjoying manipulating audio, learning and helping others. at my age the drive for performing is all but gone. cheers
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