Saturday, 22 August 2009

Mastering the album at Abbey Road

Well the album is finally done now.

The final bit of the recording process involved a trip to Abbey Road to master the record. Mastering basically means putting the album through a very fancy equaliser, then compressing and limiting the record to beef up the sound.

The mastering equaliser we used at Abbey Road was an old EMI-designed piece of kit from the 70s; despite advances in recording equipment, these EMI mastering consoles remain incredibly popular with artists and producers (due to the way that they give records a more warm, 'analogue' sound) - so Abbey Road haven't got rid of them.

I was very lucky to have a chap called Steve Rooke master the album. He's done a lot of very impressive stuff in the past, but his recent big project was doing the Beatles remasters. I had great fun during our lunchbreak hearing how he went about it. Steve's a really nice chap - not to mention an extremely experienced mastering engineer - and working with him was both a pleasure and a privilege.

I took some shots on the day which I thought I'd post up here - a photo diary of sorts. Hope they're of interest.

The tube station at St John's Wood, the nearest station to Abbey Road. It's got a very funky staircase and lamps.



As I walked down from the tube to Abbey Road, I encountered something very odd, and which looked like it could have come straight out of a Sgt. Pepper-era promo film: a bunch of impressive-looking dudes on horses.



In Abbey Road they have tape machines like this just lying around the place in the corridors. I was drooling over this one. I'm surprised they don't get nicked more often.



This was the mastering equipment that the record went through. It dates from the 70s but people love the 'warm' sound it produces so much that they continue to use it in Abbey Road to this day...albeit hooked up to computers. You can "see" two of my new songs on the computer screen.



And here's yours truly in the mastering suite. I look like death, due to having been up all night putting the final touches to the mixes. A lot of coffee was needed during the session. Excuse my dishevelled appearance.



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2 comments:

  1. Looks really cool Chris! Must have been really special being there especially with all the furore over the 40th anniversary of the cover sleeve photo!? I was at St Johns Wood last week as I went to Lords to see the cricket (middlesex). Just saw a load of Beatles fans! Hope I dint miss you on the stairs! Looking forward to the warm album :-) Fred

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  2. Congratulations on everything! Can't wait to hear it!

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