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The Engineer

My name is Matt Ramer and Ive been mastering audio for nearly 30 years.  My entrance into the music industry seems to be a common tale albeit with one twist.


I was in a band in college. Yeah yeah… I was involved in the recording process while making our first record because, as well as being a musician, I am a tech geek and I was fascinated by the process. I was particularly curious about the new studio quality digital multitrack capabilities. (It was the mid ‘90’s.). At the time, most engineers rightfully described pro digital audio to be “cold” or “sterile”. And compared to its studio quality analog counterparts, it was. It was also a fraction of the price- like 1/10th!!


For the first time, any band with a small budget could matriculate from cassette based 4 tracks to high resolution, CD quality 16 tracks without a lot of fuss. I argued at the time that a Volkswagen Jetta was not as fast as a Ferrari, but it was far more efficient in modern society than a horse and buggy. With a small investment in some gear and a laughably small marketing budget, I was making considerably more money recording other college bands than my friends waiting tables.


Quick education related interlude. I earned my undergrad degree from Brandeis University, I completed a 2 year music production program at Berkeley. And studied with Friedman Tishmeyer for 6 months a few years later. Back to not waiting tables.


Over time, I became more and more intrigued by the mastering process, particularly the relationship between sound and psychoacoustics. And this relationship is this very core of why analog gear, even today, remains prevalent, and in some cases, irreplaceable.


Fast forward 30 years, and the result is a carefully assembled mastering chain forming the musical instrument we use in the final phase of the your artistic masterpiece. And the hysteria of my obsession with analog gear is that my roots came entirely from the introduction of professional digital recording gear. And I do miss my ADAT. Aside from dreaded error 9. (If you know you know. LOL)


If we have a speciality, its not a genre of music, it’s a genre of sonics. We are most impactful with highly textured dynamic music. This is often associated with folk and jazz, but in reality, it’s anything produced with complexity and color in mind. From the taste and feel of the fiddle strings to the thump and resonance of a dance kick… This is where our ears, room and desk shine. That’s what gets our juices going!


(For the record, I am not a proponent of recording or mixing mostly in the analog domain. As opposed to mastering, in mixing, due to the concept of multilayer masking, the benefits do not outweigh the advantages. See our video about the difference in usage per application)

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