For the first time on MWTM, renowned mastering engineer John Davis reveals his techniques and shares knowledge acquired from decades in the music business! Hosted at Metropolis Studios in London, this series covers a wide range of topics related to John’s vocation. He describes the purpose of each tool he uses, compares the qualities of analog and digital formats, and demonstrates his workflow on two contrasting projects – ‘Royal Morning Blue’ by Damon Albarn and ‘Hannah’ by Fete Sad Girls. The former is mastered from half inch tape and altered with subtlety, whereas the latter is mastered from an audio file and treated more drastically to achieve desired results. Aside from teaching his methods, Davis elaborates on other topics at the forefront of any mastering career. These include dynamic range compression in broadcasting, managing clients’ expectations, charging appropriately, and being flexible.
Different approaches, overanalysing, managing expectations, broadcast compression, client relations
Mastering room, speakers, outboard gear, plug-ins, console, DAW, purpose of each tool, sample rates
Mastering from half inch tape – ‘Royal Morning Blue’ by Damon Albarn
Metering, streaming services, targeting a demographic, different tastes, mixer relations, rough master template
Mastering from a digital file – ‘Hannah’ by Fete Sad Girls
Mix versions, mastering rates, fixing problems, artificial intelligence, controlling artists, flexibility, loudness