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Old 2nd February 2014
Beware of mastering engineers who are just frustrated recording engineers! They insist on putting their sticky fingerprints all over your carefully polished mixes, often gumming it up with too much EQ and compression. Or worse yet, they sausage your mixes through their standard settings without listening for what the track really needs!

I don't leave much for the mastering engineer to screw up. I finish the overall EQ on my mixes by running them through a GML 8200 for a bit of pre-mastering detail. I also usually use a stereo compressor, a Neve 2254, Fairchild 670 or Alan Smart C2. I like to have the mix leave my studio as close to absolutely complete as possible, so it will compare to any commercial release it may be played against, even before mastering.

I had a well-known L.A. mastering engineer argue with me on the mastering of a guitar heavy track. The mix sounded big and ballsy with a nice crunch when it left my studio. But what I got back from his mastering was unlistenable, harsh and thin! He said: "This is what I always do to rock guitars". I knew I was dealing with an cretin. Last time I ever went to that mastering house!

The magic of a guy like Bob Ludwig is that he won't attempt to fix what isn't broken.