photo: Dave Vann
The third day of the Q&A's featured another stellar lineup of guests. Mastering engineer par excellence Bob Ludwig, whose credits include the entire Rolling Stones catalog; Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy; most of the albums by the Band; the new CDs by Beck, Rob Thomas, and Bruce Springsteen; and many others; appeared for almost an hour, answering questions on a variety of mastering subjects. He demonstrated the power of mastering by playing a recording of the same song, before and after mastering. You didn't need golden ears to tell the difference, the mastered version was fuller, had more clarity, and was clearly superior overall.
Ludwig discussed the need for mastering engineers to be completely familiar with the sound of their room, so that they can quickly zero in on problems in a recording. He also related the story of how he got started in mastering when as a student at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, he took a recording workshop with Phil Ramone, who he subsequently ended up working with at A&R recording in New York City.
Remix's Rob Hanson (L) with members of the Nervous Return.
photo: Dave Vann
Ludwig was followed by Peter Klett of the band redlightmusic. Klett, the former guitarist for Candlebox, spoke about his Pro Tools TDM setup, and how he's had to learn the system on the fly while recording tracks for the redlightmusic CD. He also touched on the differences between being in an established group like Candlebox and an indie like redlightmusic.
The day also included interviews with the band the Nervous Return, which featured a spontaneous jam session, and the San Francisco-based rockers the Paradise Boys, as well as the return of Kinky, Will Masisak and the folks from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences.