Black Monolith 

Engineering Philosophy

There is a lot of mystique as to the mastering process, with some considering it a "black art".

Whilst there are some technical aspects of mastering that generally might not be considered at the production stage, the main skills of an engineer come from experience with sound and music, both in listening and working.

I have spent 18 years working with sound, from playing in bands and engineering bands, to producing and mixing music with both electronic and with conventional instruments dealing with all sorts of genres. I have set up, installed and engineered live and club sound with sound systems of over 100k in power as well as running my own record labels both vinyl and digital.

I know how music should sound whether it is designed for the home, the cinema, or the club.

My unique perspective of all sides of the audio process gives you years of sound experience dealing with YOUR music.

I approach every task with a fierce passion that comes from an unadulterated love of all music.

The tools I use are always dependent on what is best for the task, using a blend of analogue and digital technology including my modified/modernised all valve 1960's Studer reel to reel.

The real "secret" of mastering is, in my belief, being able to "see into' the mix, and make decisions that lead to a good spectral balance via a process of empathetic equalisation. Correcting the the balance of the mix is the main stage of mastering before final compression and limiting to get loudness and to bring the mix together.

Good equalisation in mastering ensures that the mastering compression and limiting works in the correct way, and it really is the experience and ability to judge the spectral balance of a mix that makes a mastering engineer.

My love of music pushes me to retain as much of the detail in music as possible so I prefer to keep as high a dynamic range in the master as possible, I am against the loudness war, which does nothing but damage the quality of music. Where I can, if the client is willing, I try to conform the the K system as set out by Bob Katz, however in dance music this isn't always possible, so I try to work to a certain level of loudness whilst still preserving as much dynamic information as possible.

Anything from heavy metal, industrial, ambient, breaks, techno, dubstep, classical and more can be dealt with to your requirements.