Recently I had the absolute honor of attending the mastering session for Mikey Junior's upcoming album, "Traveling South" with some of my heroes, Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering. These guys have put the finishing touches on countless records that you all have undoubtedly heard, as well as on many that are personally among my favorite pieces of recorded music (particularly many T Bone Burnett productions). Sitting in the very room where all of these records made their final stop before going out into the world, was a surreal experience. It was truly amazing to hear that intangible and indescribable touch slowly working it's way all throughout this album, right before me.
Generally, there is a certain quietness in the role of mastering engineers, to not impart too much of something that wasn't the intent of the producer or the artist. However, while subtle and unobtrusive, there is a unmistakable sonic identity to the mastering of Gavin & Reuben. It's the gooeyness, the controlled but considerable low end, the warm texture in the midrange, the presence that never ever becomes brash, the air that's always in perfect proportion to the source, and the musical movement of compression. These are only six out of probably hundreds of phrases I could use to describe their elusive fingerprint, because after mentally absorbing innumerable diverse albums that they have worked on, all that remained between the recordings were these profoundly understated yet signature qualities.
I was glad to just sit back and let them do their thing, but it was an extra treat to talk quite a bit and then just listen to what they had to say. Highlight of the year for sure.
P.S. the record sounds AMAZING, so please stay tuned!!