If you are like me, you. may have some "friends" on Facebook that you really don't know. Maybe they're artists or public figures that you admire. You see and "like" their posts, but you wouldn't know how to initiate a conversation or call them on the phone. I have a lot of "friends" like that on Facebook.
A couple weeks ago, I was feeling pretty good. My new album, "No Hard Feelings..." was finished and sent to my digital distributor and to the CD manufacturer. After seven months of writing, recording, editing and mixing, it was done - and I was REALLY happy with it. I posted something on Facebook to let my friends know to expect the album to be released on February 1.
Then, I received a comment from Daniel Brummel: "Do you need it mastered?'
Mastering is a difficult process to explain, even for musicians. I would say that 95% of them don't really know what it really is. I will give you a brief and probably incomplete explanation of what a mastering engineer does:
The mastering engineer puts the finishing touches on a completed recording. He applies various processes such as equalization and compression to sonically enhance the music. He adjusts the tracks on an album to make sure that they are all about the same volume. He cleans up any fades or transitions between songs. He makes sure that the music will sound good on a variety of playback devices. He prepares the music to be released commercially.
I have used a variety of mastering engineers and methods to master my music in the past. The reason I say "methods" is that there are now a few companies that offer mastering services online. These service use computer algorithms to analyze and adjust music automatically. It's fast and cheap. Since I really had a very incomplete understanding of the mastering process, I decided to use one of these online services to master "No Hard Feelings..."
A couple days later, my son, Sam, called me. "Daniel Brummel offered to master your record?!!!! Are you going to do it?"
"Sam, it's already done." I said.
"So what! This is a great opportunity! You should do it man!"
I told him I'd think about it.
My wife asked, "What did Sam want?'
I told her about our conversation.
She said "So tell me why you're not doing this?'
"Well," I said, "I've already paid this service to do it, so I'd be out that money, plus the various distribution fees that I paid. Plus, Daniel Brummel isn't going to do this for free, you know. He's a real pro."
She replied, "Didn't you tell me that this is your best album? Isn't it worth it - if we can afford it?'
I hired Daniel Brummel the next day.
Here is a brief summary of his career:
Daniel Brummel, M.M. is a Los Angeles-based mixing & mastering engineer, producer, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. He received his Master of Music degree in Commercial Music Composition & Arranging from CSULA and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition from UCLA. In a career spanning more than two decades, he has performed and recorded with artists including Weezer, Nada Surf, Spain, Ozma, Sanglorians, Scott & Rivers, and The Elected.
Working with Daniel was a wonderful experience. I'm sure that I tried his patience more than once, but he never showed it. He was always upbeat and professional. He intrinsically understood my style and how to get the sound I was looking for. He took "No Hard Feelings..." to another level in a number of ways. I am sure that we will work together again in the future.
Now there is another line in his bio that I think is really cool:
Recent mixing, mastering, and production clients include Jose Galvez, Diabolyk, David Prince, Jonathan Mann, and Rivers Cuomo.