Mastering - ITB, Outboard or Hybrid?
Time & Location
The goal of a mastering engineer is to serve the project in the best way possible to achieve a correct sound. Sometimes, great masters are achieved by using lots of different outboard, analog gear, and sometimes it’s only in the box and digital… sometimes it’s a hybrid of both. There is no wrong way to master a song, but there are best practices and things to watch out for that I’d like to share.
Note: This session is exceptionally 2 hours to have enough time to cover the subject.
Piper Payne lives for quality and equality in audio.
Piper Payne is a mastering engineer based out of Nashville, TN and Oakland, CA, where she works on albums for independent artists and major labels.
In Spring of 2019 Piper joined the famed Infrasonic Mastering team, merging her successful studio, Neato Mastering, with the Nashville based company, owned by Pete Lyman.
Piper is a Trustee of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) and she serves on the P&E Wing Steering Committee and the Advisory Council. She is a Governor of the Audio Engineering Society and she is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the AES’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee as well as an active member of Women's Audio Mission and she serves on the Board of SoundGirls.org.
In addition, Piper is the keeper of Quality Control and a consultant for vinyl record pressing plants. She is an audio professor and guest lectures often about mastering and recording.
Piper began her career with a BFA in Audio from The University of Michigan, continuing her graduate education in Audio at the University of Stavanger in Norway. She has apprenticed under some of the best-known Mastering and audio mentors in the world, including Bob Katz in Orlando and Michael Romanowski in San Francisco. Piper moved to San Francisco after working at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada as the Senior Audio Associate in a work-study program that had her climbing glaciers for film sound design and recording jazz orchestras in the same day! Her focus is mastering and she lives for quality and equality in audio.
Piper has a diverse background in musical styles. As a drummer, she knows that the best outcome of every project is that it has to feel good. As an engineer, Piper is focused on technical quality and correctness. But, at the end of the day, mastering is about format conversion and quality control so the project gets just what it needs.
Piper has mastered a wide variety of music including nationally renowned artists Third Eye Blind, Madame Gandhi, Geographer, The Steven Universe Soundtrack composers Aivi and Steven, Basement, Hundredth, Elettrodomestico (Jane Wiedlin/Go-Go’s), Blithe, ANIIML, Shamir, Betsy, Between You & Me, and Fritz Montana, as well as Bay Area favorites Kat Robichaud, Sioux City Kid, The She’s, Emily Afton, Lia Rose, Abbot Kinney, Travis Hayes, Kendra McKinley, Van Goat, and Diana Gameros.