Interview with Brian Gardner on Mastering Clockwork Angels

Geddy Lee
Audio Times has just posted an interview with Brian “Big Bass” Gardner, the engineer who mastered both Snakes & Arrows and Clockwork Angels for Rush.

From the article:
The overall sound on Clockwork Angels is very clean compared to the dense sound of Snakes & Arrows. Was that a deliberate move? And how did it affect how you mastered Clockwork Angels?

The one inch 2 track approach is interesting and can lend that ‘thickness’ to mix in a different manor than 1/2 inch. I basically work with what I have at hand and make the best of it. The digital domain is getting better and better. Still a ways to go yet to match that analog sound the die hards love. Currently I’m fooled often in the world of digital in that I swear it’s an analog production, which goes to show you that we are ascending and analog as we know it is fading away... The new album mixes were digital and Nick had it pretty well laid out requiring less to do in mastering.

As to my approach in mastering Snakes and Arrows, whenever I need to enhance a vocal or a guitar solo for instance, I have to be very careful on what range to boost or attenuate, which bandwidth to use, and how much etc. These approaches are very program dependent and knowing when you can get away with it or not is very tricky. When you start messing with the whole program material, everything in that range you are tweaking is of course affected. One db of boost in the guitar range which can be anywhere from 800hz to 4khz will also bring any percussive elements or keyboards or even the vocals with it. So knowing when to or when not to do anything is where my decades experience helps. This same approach can be applied to too much of any frequency range and the ‘backing off’ of any particular frequency can be equally tricky if not more so.
You can read the entire interview at this LINK.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for passing along the news.


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