Audio mastering is an important step in the production of a music record, yet not many people know what it entails, or they may think it is a technical task limited to normalizing the tracks volume. It is actually a much more creative task, that requires technical skills but also taste and craft. No record you've ever loved would sound the same without mastering.
Just a few days before the pandemic hit, I sat down with the best of the best mastering engineers, Peter Doell, in his studio in Hollywood. If you know a lot about audio mastering you may not hear anything new - but it's worth hearing it from Peter! Conversely, if you don't know what audio mastering is, first of all you're in good company, and then you will profit from this interview just as much as I did. I say, to be continued!
This interview was recorded in Hollywood, at the end of February, 2020. I have waited one year to publish it, because I felt that during the past months the world's attention was somewhere else - as it should have been. Publishing content that didn't relate to COVID seemed out of synch with reality. But a year later, I think that this interview shows us a clearer picture of where we were before the pandemic, and where we are today (April 2021).
Fig. 1 - At the command post in Peter's studio.