The East Nashville Podcast with special guest Jason Eskridge.
Great talk: Lyle Lovett, Sunday Night Soul, diversity by design, and NASA.
Exceptional Audio Mastering
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This whole thing started in an 8’ x 8’ bedroom in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn. I was a singer/songwriter disappointed with the studios I could afford. Being the stubborn type, I decided to spend my recording budget on equipment for my own little space. I tracked and mixed my first album, In Light and Shadow, myself. It did well, charting an ACQB Top 100 song “Anchor,” which led to me recording music for other artists. This pet project developed into The Brooklyn Outboard, a full-service recording and mixing studio. Thankfully, by the time the studio had a name, I was able to rent a bigger space.
That first solo album had been mastered by Joe Palmaccio, one of the greats. But as I neared completion of my second record, my entire budget to release, promote, and support the album was stolen. A momentary acquaintance with [celebrity name redacted] led me to hire a lifelong friend of his as my manager. A few months into working together, he used his access to my business finances to take everything I had and disappear. Anything I couldn’t do myself was now off the table.
I had already put a year of work into making the album, I wasn’t about to publish “heated” mixes. I had no choice but to tackle the dark art of mastering. I bought Bob Katz’s Mastering Audio, the only print resource available at that time. I studied plug-in manuals, memorized the user’s guide of every piece of outboard gear I had, and fell asleep each night reading one of two textbooks: The Science of Sound or The Physics of Sound. I experimented for weeks with those 8 songs.
In completing that record, I discovered a new passion. I spent the rest of my time in NYC taking on less tracking, in favor of mastering work. And in late 2013, I moved to East Nashville to pursue a career solely in mastering. My first big projects in town were O’Shea: The Famine and The Feast – which went on to be nominated for several Golden Guitar awards in Australia – and local crowdpleasers, The FUTURE: Blood Moon. Today, I’m thankful to have broken into the Nashville music scene, mastering my fair share of albums and singles heard on Lightning 100, as well as artists from all over the USA, and occasionally the world.