Published February 22, 2022
Do you think your music should sound better?
In this episode:
Tahlia's career path from student to mastering engineer at Studios 301 Sydney
How Tahlia learned her craft from one of the best in the business
A typical day in the life of a mastering engineer
Tahlia's take on mastering analogue and digital
Mixing vs Mastering - why they require a different mental state
The Dos and Don'ts of mixing into a limiter
Mastering for digital release and for vinyl release
How Apple Digital Masters changes the game again, and what that means for
STEM mastering - Yay or Nay?
What's unique about mastering processors (as opposed to mixing processors)
Tahlia shares how she mastered Saphia Stone's song "Long Road Home"
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Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.
Transcript (auto-generated by a robot - please forgive the occasional error):
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome to the Production Talk podcast with me, Yarn, of mixartists.com.au. In this podcast series, we celebrate the modern way of producing music. We want to talk about all things related to songwriting, recording at home and music production. So, if you produce your music at home, this is the place to be.
Please subscribe and recommend this podcast to all your friends.
This is the production talk podcast episode 30.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome back to The Production Talk Podcast. Before we begin this episode, I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land that the following conversation was recorded on, the Arakwal People of the Budjalung nation, and pay my respects to Ancestors and Elders past, present and emerging.
Today, we are following up on last week’s episode with SaFyah Stone, and speak to the mastering engineer who mastered Saphia’s song ‘Long Road Home’. Today’s guest, Tahlia-Rose Coleman, is one of the Mastering Engineers at Studios 301 Sydney, where she works among industry legends such as Leon Zervos, Simon Cohen and Steve Smart. Studios301’s mastering department is among the most respected mastering facilities in Australia and beyond, with a worldwide clientele and countless influential releases under their belt. We are going to speak about many different aspects of mastering, the technical elements as well as the creative elements.
But enough of this now, let's go straight to the good stuff. Here’s my interview with mastering Engineer Tahlia-Rose Coleman:
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I'm absolutely amazed that you could be with me today. It's, it's phenomenal to have you onboard and Thank you. so much for joining me on the podcast. Talia, Thank you so much. Welcome on board.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: It's phenomenal to have you. Say, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself, uh, about, uh, your, your passion, which I guess you have for music about your career and your path, you know, you were working as a mastering engineer at Studios 301 in Sydney, which is, I guess, one of the most prestigious drops in the country.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Uh, I'm very excited about hearing more about your way to this position.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. Um, it definitely was quite unexpected. Um, I'm not sure, you know, when I was younger, I didn't really know audio engineering was a career. I started playing drums and I was in a lot of bands and was really excited about that. And, uh, you know, when you're a kid and you're thinking about your career and what you want to do when you grow up, everyone says that music's not really, uh, a good choice and how you going to make a living from that.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I kind of, you know, I panicked a little bit and I wasn't sure. And I saw, um, You know, at concerts and in venues live sound engineers and what they were doing. And I thought, well, that's, that's interesting, you know, maybe I could do that. I could stand there. I'm still a part of music. Maybe I could be on stage and in front of the stage or, you know, doing both of them.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So I had to look around and I, uh, found the audio engineering course at SAE, uh, which stands for school of audio engineering. Um, but they do a lot of other courses now as well. So I applied there and I got in and I studied audio and it was really cool. I had no idea what I was doing because you know, there was a lot of people in the course who were DJs or they'd had some experience.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I came into it. Really not knowing anything. I played the drums. That's all I knew. And so it was a bit of a scary kind of world. I didn't know. I didn't understand what compression was. I didn't know what reverb was really. Um, so it was, uh, a really big change, but I was very excited to get into it. So I finished my course and I immediately went into an internship that studios 3 0 1.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So that's how I came here.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And how long ago was that?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I started uni in 2016. So it was a two-year course and probably towards, I don't know, about June or July of 2017. I kind of had that moment of, okay. Now what I'm about to finish my course, how do I get into the industry? You know, a, there's a, there's a lot of people in the course, you know, a lot of people had started getting into live sound.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I was doing a bit as well. Um, just here and there and I, you know, it wasn't overly consistent. And I was really interested in going into the studio. I wanted to record, I wanted to mix, I wanted to do that instead of live. I'd kind of changed halfway through uni, you know, my idea of what engineering was and what I wanted to do.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I happened to stumble upon an event that 301 was holding a, what was it for? It was for ARIA week. Um, yeah, they throw an event and I put my name down and I showed up and I met everybody and they asked if I wanted to come and intern. And so I said, yes, of course.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, of course.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, yeah, and at this time I was actually living up on the central coast, so I wasn't even in Sydney.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I said, yes, it's like probably three or four months later. I moved out of home, came to the city and started interning here at the studio.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well,
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: it was, yeah, it was all just like, there were no breaks. It was just like finish high school, go to uni, finish uni, and straight into an internship. And it was really cool.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So I started my internship when 301 first opened here at the new facilities in Alexandria. So I started with the new building, which was really cool.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: well, okay. That was a big build. The new facilities are amazing.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, it's, um, it's very, we're very lucky to have a facility like this in Australia.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes. That's world-class.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: yes, and just to be a part of that process as an intern, helping, you know, set up the studios and helping patch everything in and learning all about that as well, um, was just very eyeopening and. Yeah, it was just a really exciting time.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I was surrounded by all these great engineers that I had read off about, you know, I'd seen them, they were my idols and then I was interning in the studio with them. So it was a little bit daunting of course.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Of course
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, yeah, so that was kind of my path. And how I got into mastering was, was interesting. I was, I was interning and, uh, I don't know if you know Steve smart, the mastering
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes. He's. mastered my, my mixes before. He's he's a
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: quite legendary. Yeah. Um, he's done some great albums in his time and I was always a big fan and I was just a little bit too scared to talk to him. Uh, cause I was only, I was only like, I think I was 19 or 20 and I was pretty green. And uh, he came up to me one day and I had asked him a couple of questions about mastering.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Cause I was really interested in, it seemed like such a dark art. And he said, you know, would you like to come into the studio one day? Um, I'm mastering from tape, which is pretty, yeah, it's pretty big in itself. It's not common to master off tape. And he asked if I wanted to come in and be the tape operator.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I was like, yes, of course. And then I went home and Googled how to use a tape machine. I had no idea.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Yeah, It's not easy.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: no,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: a lot to it.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: and you know, like it's not really something that my generation has ever used or I've had to use. So I went home and I Googled it and didn't get very good answers, but I was like, I'll do my best.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I'm going to come in. I'm going to work with Steve for the day and watch him master. And I, I really didn't know what I was doing. Like I couldn't tension a tape. I didn't know what the buttons were. It was a good time, but I must've made a good impression because he decided to take me on and mentor me in Moscow.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, wow.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So you learned from one of the best in the business.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, exactly. So that was probably two, two years ago. And he just offered for me to come in and sit with him as he was mastering things. He'd explained his process. Cause Steve is, uh, an analog mastering engineer. He doesn't use any plugins. He's completely old school. So it was very different because I had started mastering digital and I was going back to analog with him.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: But I think it helped a lot because, you know, it's all, hands-on, you're not looking at a computer screen, you adjust listening and yeah. So I just kind of, I sat in with him for a couple of years just learning from him. And then he said, okay, now go into the studio on your own. For as much time as you need, this is you make the call when you feel ready to start mastering.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I was like, I don't, I don't know. I don't know if I'll ever be ready. Um, and so that's, yeah, he kind of let me into his studio on my own where I would, you know, bring in my own songs or I'd pull up a work that he had done previously and I'd master it myself. And then I listened to his version and see, you know, how close I'd get to it.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Or if mine, you know, he was like, who knows? You might do a better job than me. We don't know. And now here I am. So I finally, you know, said probably half early last year, just before lockdown, I was like, I'm ready. Let's do this.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow. Okay. Well, that's a phenomenal story. Excellent. And tell me, what's a typical day, like in the mastering engineers world, you know, what do you do when you arrive in the morning? What do you do throughout the day? How does a day of a mastering engineer look like?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I mean, it depends. I, I would love to say I had enough work that it was a nine to five job. Um, but if I had maybe an album MoSo, that would take up a whole day getting in the morning, I turn everything on and let it kind of warm up. You know, I'll go make a coffee while everything starts up, especially all the analog equipment.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And, you know, you just gotta give it time to have its own coffee, get it, get some energy running through it. Um, and then I'll normally sit for a bit and listen to a few songs that I know really well. In the studio just to like, kind of reset my ears in this environment. Um, especially if I hadn't been in for a couple of days before, or, you know, I've had some time off I'll come in and I'll just have a good listen, you know, and then it kind of, you know, sets my head into the right space for mastering.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And then, yeah, I guess it depends on what I'm doing for the day. If it's a whole album, I like to have a quick listen through if I have time or just, you know, listen to the genres that is similar to it. Or if they've sent through any references, I'll sit down and have a listen. Um, yeah. And then I'll just get into it
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well,
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: just start mastering and, and see how I go.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And who are the typical clients these days who needs mastering and in this world nowadays, when, you know, I think per day, about 60,000 songs are released to Spotify. Do they all go through professional mastering? Who of these 60,000 songs needs professional mastering who can get away without your services?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Who are the typical clients?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: That's a good question. Um, I, it's crazy. Just first of all, how much music is uploaded every day? Um, it kind of blows me away that there's that many creatives out there. It's awesome. Um, I would like to say that everything needs mastering,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: um, but that's just my, I think my personal opinion, as well as an engineer, we, uh, very used to listening to a certain.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I guess you could say quality of music, but that's not always the case. So there's a lot of genres out there, particularly, you know, uh, you had, I don't know if you've heard of SoundCloud rap in types of, you know, different sub genres of hip hop and things where they might not necessarily need a really high professional analog or digital Mazda, it might not suit the song.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, I don't, yeah, again, I'd like to say that everything should be mastered
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Hm.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: just because I think that it's really important for people's art. It's like the final, the final touch up the final Polish. It really gets it ready to be released. It makes it competitive. It, you know, it really makes it stand out next to other top songs that are on the charts.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I think people don't necessarily always realize that or that, that is what mastering can do for your song. Um, but I think there nowadays, because of the way people are listening and what they're getting used to, there's a lot of music out there that people are just chucking a limiter on at the end and just turning it up.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And that's the sound
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I know
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: are getting used to that sound.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that's right.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing. I'm not sure what you think, but I,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I'm dying to hear your take on that.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I think there is, I think it can be done better. I think a lot of these songs. Would stand out a lot more to me if they had been mustered properly and not just being crushed by a limiter, but I also understand that it has become quite stylistic for a lot of tracks as well, to just be smashed by eliminator.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And that's the sound it's just clipping. It's, it's kind of distorting. It's just really hot and that's, that's what it is. And I respect it, but I would like them to master it,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: let me just rephrase that question. May be, have you ever received a mix that didn't need any of your work where you just said no, there's nothing that I want to do. It's just perfect. The way it
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, no, I haven't yet. Maybe in terms of creative changes, There's been maybe one or, you know, a couple of songs where I've gone, you know what? I didn't even need to do any EEQ. I didn't need to correct anything. I've just turned it up. I've done compression that allows it to jump out of the speakers and make it sound professional.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Like it's right in front of your face. And I've got it to a standard in the level that is good for Spotify. Did I need to do any creative changes? No, it was well balanced. It sounded really good, but I've just turned it up and made it really stand out. So if you're in the car, listening on the radio, it's just like right there, you know?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yep.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: it. Got it.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. So that means, you know, for every song you've received, there was something you could do to make it better than it was before. And I guess that answers the question in many ways that, you know, if people think that they do it themselves, well, maybe they should give it to you. And.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Take it to the next
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: exactly. Like what they're doing is great. It sounds good, but there's a lot of things that we spend hours every day doing that not everyone can necessarily do. And a lot of that isn't always creative changes. So it might not always be, you know, making that kick a little bit punchier or making it a little bit brighter, but the skills that you learn to make things louder without distortion, without losing that Sonic quality of the track and making it yeah.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Making it jump out of the speakers and sound professional sounds. Like it's right there with you. Like you're in a live performance that it's like, it's just there in front of you. It's not sitting in the speakers, that's a different skill. And I think that is something special that mastering engineers have.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And that's the difference between chucking a limiter on it and just turning it up and actually bringing out the performance of the track.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: w that is so well said. And, you know, I once ran into a client who basically said, oh, I mastered myself, you know, I've got this plugin and preset three is the one that I always use. And I was just pulling my hair out when I heard that. And I wish that person could listen in now and hear your take on it, because that's exactly the opposite.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So is it fair to say that mastering is like a custom treatment that is different for every single song? Or do you sometimes find yourself going back into the same procedures or same settings?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I mean, it might be a bit different because I work in analog now just because of the way that I was mentored by Steve. So we can't save anything. Um, I have to write everything. Yeah. I have to write everything down by hand once I'm done so that I can remember what I've done. And so if I ever have to change anything, I have to go back to my notes and read what you know we've done.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, I think. If it's a particular genre, you start learning a few different skills. Like, okay, well, if it's pop, we know that, you know, maybe this type of ache really works for a radio track, or I know to put on this limit of, because it's really going to get those high frequencies that if it goes through a radio, it's just going to compress it and make it sound terrible.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So there's a few different, you know, you kind of know a few techniques for different genres or you know, that the am techs that we have here really good for bras or the manly compresses really good for rock. So you've got kind of, you know, a few different tools,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: but specific settings, I. Really have any, I like to just, you know, start playing around and see what sounds good.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I spend a lot of, I, I would be happier to spend a little bit more time being creative and, you know, seeing what works and, you know, maybe going more over time than you normally would mastering a track just to see what I can bring out of it then to go. Okay, well, here's my standard IQ that I know for pop and I'm just going to Chuck that on and it's going to be good.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: well, my suspicion is that a lot of people who do mixing and mastering, and sometimes people refer to us as, as mixed during, you know, where it's just bundled together, that that's often what happens. Um, and I know that discussion a lot from, from my own clients who approach me and ask, can you, can you mask that as well?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And then I need to sort of talk my way out of it because I don't like to do that at all. Um, I just don't believe. Mixed being the mix engineer and also the mastering engineer. That's just not right, because in my mind, when I, when I switched to mastering, I'm still actually continuing to mix in some ways, if that makes any sense.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. Yeah. I understand. I think as well, there is a benefit to having a different set of ears, um, at the last stage of the project, I know, um, I also do a bit of recording and mixing myself. And so I know that when you're mixing a song, you've spent so much time in that song, dissecting all the parts that it can be quite hard to kind of disassociate from being a mix engineer and then mastering it.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: couldn't agree more.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: you've heard it for so long. You're not here. You're not hearing it in a new way.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And so if I mix things, I try and recommend. My clients to go with a different mastering engineer, or I tell them I need a good couple of weeks off, and then I'll master it later. I
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: a smart
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: separate my brain from mixing and mastering because it's such a different process.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, yeah. So I do agree. I think it's really good to have just a different set of ears at the end, because there's always things that might surprise you or that, you know, you might've missed because you've spent so long focusing on the snare or the vocals. And you've just like, your picture is a little bit distorted because he might've spent weeks on it.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Whereas a mastering engineer spends, I don't know, 45 minutes on it most maybe. So they really just like they're right there. Here's their first listened to it. They're doing all their changes and then that's it. They're not playing it over and over and losing perspective.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. Okay. Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that makes perfect sense. I often explain that it's a little bit like zooming in, in pro tools or logic, you know, when you mix it as zoomed in really deep and you don't see the entirety anymore, but you know, all the details and it's quite different than mastering. You've got to zoom out.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Sorry. My share just collapses on me. Sorry about.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: That's okay.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That doesn't happen every day.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: This is the interlude everybody.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Not very well prepared here with my okay. That's better. Alright. So what was I, but you know, when, when it comes to mastering yet to zoom out and just only look at the entirety and sometimes ignores small details and, you know, look at how the big picture comes
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: picture works. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: it's a different mental state, isn't it? Okay.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: it definitely is.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Do you sometimes find yourself struggling with mixed mistakes? Do you sometimes need to go back and say, listen, can we just turn that kicked on down by attendee bees please? Or otherwise it won't come together. Does that happen?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, it doesn't happen often. Um, fortunately I seem to have had a good run of mix engineers. So there hasn't been too many changes. The only thing that I've come across, and this is more from maybe bedroom produces and people who have mixed things themselves, is that when working in your bedroom, it's not always well acoustically treated.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, so sometimes I get tracks that adjust insanely bright, like piercingly bright, and I just awesome. Hey, you know, what, what monitors are you working from? And, you know, they'll let me know. And I'll have a look at that little frequency, you know, response of those monitors. And it's a massive dip. And I go next, you know, if you can just send me a track, that's maybe not that bright next time, or if you want to send me this one again, Um, and just calm down a little bit on that, that pot, because it's just so bright or, um, what else people have sent me tracks that are just too loud already.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I've said, I, I can't really do anything else. It's already so loud that I can't turn it off. I need you to go back. I need you to turn that all the way down because I'm not going to get the best out of your track because it is already just, it's on fire, it's cooking,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: know, and there's too many cooks in the kitchen already, you know?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: What's your recommendation? When, when people mix, should there even be a limiter involved?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I think it's good to mix into a limiter of some type, because you're preparing a mix for what it's going to sound like when it's mastered. So it's just like a very kind of, you know, quick reference of what it's going to sound like at that level. Um, and I think there are some mixes where if they haven't done that the balance can be quite off.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: The second it's too loud. Suddenly that snare is just crazy or the vocals are lost in the chorus. So it's a, I think it's a really good thing to do. Mix into a limiter or something.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: but shouldn't the mix engineer, write the faders and do it that way on the individual signal rather than letting the limiter do it at the end of it.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, I think automation is really good as well. Of course, like, I think you can achieve a lot that way. Um, but as well for the artists who are listening, you know, if they're listening to the reference mix, I know a lot of engineers who will send that reference makes across and that's their version with the limiter.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I mean, it's each it's hard and this is a personal preference. Like if I'm mixing, I mix as though it's about to be mastered and I'm not sure if that's just because I spend all my time mastering. So I'm kind of, you know, I already know what to
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, You know what to do and mixing and what you can leave for mastering, obviously, you know that better than anybody else, I, guess. yeah.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I just think that whether you keep the limiter on the whole time, or if you're using it there as a reference, it's just a really good point that if you're bringing it up to a level for Spotify or apple music streaming, having that quick reference, this goes okay. While the, the high frequencies in this is just way too sharp.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And the second that we turn it up, that's going bananas. We need to turn that down. It just helps a lot, whether they, you know, use it the whole time or not, that's up to them, I guess, but it just really helps. I think the mix engineer and the artist understand a very rough idea of what it's going to sound like once it's mastered and it's turned up to that level.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And do you recommend doing this temporarily or actually to leave it on all the time and actually bounce through it before shipping the songs? Were you
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: That's a hard one. It depends.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: sorry about that?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I've spoken to a lot of mix engineers and I've heard both opinions. I've heard people who say you always have to mix to eliminate. I've heard some that say you don't have to mix to eliminate it's. Um, a bit of a personal preference.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: makes your job easier? Which way can you, can you make the most out of it?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I think there is a. Degree to which you can use limiting and compression at the end of your mix. Like you can have it there to an eight, you know, I guess if we're going to get technical, if you're mixing around, you know, minus 20 minus 16 lofts or something, you know, it's quite low, it's there. It's just, you know, looking after all the peaks in the track.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, but you're not cranking it really loud and then getting someone to master it if you're doing it quietly and it's just more there to remedy peaks, I think that's probably the best way to use limiting and compression at the end.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So you're saying that it's not really whether you use the limit or not. It's how you use it.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: do you understand correctly that you are preferred when people don't slam it into a limiter, but just use it very, very subtle? Is that correct? Yup.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: exactly. Because if you,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: would call that glue compression. You know, that's a term that some people use, which is sort of barely audible,
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: just there. yeah, I
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It's definitely the
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So think sandpaper, not a hammer yet.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. And I think because you know, a lot of clients, they want to hear it loud already when they get that first mix back. And so engineers will keep it at that level. Cause they're like, well, this is what the client wants. I'm mixing that loud. And then they think that that can either go on to the, you know, mastering engineer.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: There's a lot of engineers who won't, they'll send that reference and then they'll have dialed it all the way back from fostering. And then, and that's great. Cause then I can hear what the client has first heard, which is, you know, the, the one that's been slammed.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: then I can hear the one with the mix engineer has taken all that off, just left the glue, but that they haven't just slammed it anymore.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: it would help you, if you receive two versions of the song, one with you doing a temporary loudness improvement or limiting, and the other one would back where you backed it off a little guarded.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, exactly. Um, I even have mix engineers who,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's great advice.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: who send a loud version and a safe version. So they're like you can master, you can master the track where I've slammed it a little bit. Um, you know, maybe they've been pushing into whatever the interface is a bit, they really liked that saturations. They've pushed it a bit harder.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And then they've also sent her a safe version, which is a lot quieter. I tend to always use the safe version, but you know, you might listen to both of them and go, okay, well actually it is a bit loudest, so I can't do much to turn it up, but that saturation's really nice on the guitar or it's really just brought out that snare.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I like that. Um, so that's always a nice option as well. Where, okay. If you are a mix engineer that does makes loud and does slam things a little bit. Both versions I'll have, listen, I'll see which one I like better
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: pick that one the way I think I can get more out of the track.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes. I think that's, that's fantastic advice. That's good. That makes a lot of sense. And, you know, I know what it's like as a mix engineer that, you know, I just don't want to hammer it too hard on the master, but then the client say, wait a moment. It's not as loud as, and then, you know, come all the typical names and, uh, finding, you know, having to navigate that.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's a really good way to do it.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Let me just change the subject if that's okay. Um, a lot of artists these days, um, release a series of singles instead of an album or AP, and sometimes bam bundle them up again as, as an AP at the end of it or an album. Would you prefer to receive all of those songs at once and master them? Or would you, is it okay to just receive, you know, a single, let's say every month or two months, and then by the end Of it, you just turn this into an album.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I would personally like to receive everything at the same time. And that's because once you get into that head head space of mastering, you know what this album sounds like, you know, creatively, what you're going to do to it. You can really get in the zone and you can listen to it as an entire piece of work, not just as individual pieces.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So signage. It will be more consistent. So, you know, obviously not every client can do that. They may only be able to afford to pay for one every month or so, but then there's occasions where myself or other mastering engineers. I know when they come back to do it as a whole EAP or album, we've had to charge for a little bit of extra time because we've had to readjust one or two songs.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Now we listened to them in its entirety. We're like, oh, well actually we made the second song a little bit brighter than the other three. So I'll just adjust that one and balance it all out again. So that's the only downside. It's not the worst thing. And, you know, often doesn't take a long time to readjust it for an AP or an album, but I just find getting into that zone, like a cat, I'm going to spend half a day.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I'm really going to dive into this piece of work and just get the best out of the whole thing, you know, and enjoy it as a full body of work. If you want to release it one by one after that, that's fine. But it sounds great together. It's not as choppy as I guess, mastering one by one.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So you're saying that if you master an album, it still works a single releases, but if you do the other way around, if you, if you have a series of singles, they don't necessarily turn into a cohesive album by the end of it. Is that right? Yeah. That, that makes, makes a lot of sense. I'm one.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: of the few people on this globe who still listen to full albums, start to finish.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Uh, I understand I'm a dinosaur and a dying breed, but I still enjoy, you know, the, the journey that an album can have, how, you know, the transition from one song to another can actually make him better than each song individually.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, and I think that's great.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I really enjoy it, you know, especially when I drive, I just love to.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Turn on an album and listen to the whole thing, but, okay. That's another story. So look, these days, most clients release their music for streaming services, meaning Spotify, apple, and all of those. Um, some are old school and go back to the old days of cities. Um, it doesn't happen that often I understand, and some are even more old school and go back to vinyl.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Can you do one master? That is good for all of them. Would that work?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Uh, not really. So there's multiple different formats for each medium. So if we wanted to start with vinyl, that's a lot quieter than streaming. So I'm not overly technical on how vinyl is made, but you know, it has the little needle and that's, what's reading the sound. So you need to actually make it a lot quieter than what streaming is.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: You have to look at all the high frequencies that are going to be picked up by the needle and also what's happening with the low end as well. So, You might not use something called elliptical equalization in a, maybe in a streaming format or something like that because you don't need it, but in vinyl you really want to tighten up that bottom end and make sure it's nice and clean.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: You don't want to freak that needle out. You want it to be really coherent and it
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: you know, quite a bit of work just to turn it down, clean up that top and bottom end to make sure the needle's not gonna freak out and fly off the vinyl. Um, and so it's just a different process. So you can, you can do CD and streaming together because you know, they're the same format in terms of, you know, bit depth and all that fun stuff.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: 16 44 1. Um, but vinyl is just because of the way the format is and the needle and the way like we used to record. Well, it wasn't that loud. The loudness was just, they don't work with the final.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's right.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: it has to be done separately. I mean, you could send your digital track to a ma a vinyl pressing house and they can turn it down for you, but they're not going to master it for vinyl.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: They'll just go, you know, let's cut the top and bottom end and like, turn it down. You're not going to get the best result from that. So vinyl is important to have its own separate files. CD is okay. CD and streaming. We normally do that in the same tracks because of the. The format that they are in, because CD is still a really high quality track.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It's still a high quality format, you know, in some would say, it's still the best sounding quality of audio out there. That's debatable. I'm not, you know, I'm not
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: better than MP3s.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: That's true. That is true. So yeah, it's normally vinyl is one pot just because of how old school it is and the way that a needle, you know, turns grooves into music.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It's just, it blows my mind. I didn't even understand vinyl properly. So even before my time, you know, um, but CD and digital, um, they can be done the same.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay, but that's, that's really good to know. So it's an artist wants to release their music, let's say on streaming platforms and on vinyl, they need to allocate a bit of extra budget to get a separate for that. Okay, good. Um,
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: and then I guess just quickly, uh, we even, we have apple digital masters and analysis. Apple's changing the game even further
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: as to Sabato ask that. Great. Please explain.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, so apple, digital masters, uh, it's a different type of file, which is higher quality. Um, then you have standard digital eSafety Mazda. So it's, it's a bit debatable if you haven't recorded in a high quality, there's no point turning a mastery into high quality.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And that's a conversation we have often with clients, but if you've recorded at a higher quality than I think apple digital masters are great.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: okay.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And yeah, it's, um, that's a bit of a rabbit hole as well. That one.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Know, this is probably a subject for an entire new podcast episode, but let's just very briefly just talk about how that practically works. So apple now allows for higher sample, right. And, uh, you know, um, the original sound. Definitely up to 96. I'm not going to be sure if they might even go higher, but they also allow for 24 bid, which is very dear to my heart.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I think that's, that's a really big step forward. And I literally switched from title to apple when they introduced that change, because I can now literally listen to lossless audio from, from apple. And, uh, I personally enjoy that a lot. So I'm very excited about that change and thankful that they did it.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And I really hope they're building a pressure on the competition and force others to follow suit. That's probably a good development because we still have the choice in apple to turn it down in quality and the listening end, but the masters are maintained. So let's say you mentioned this argument of, you know, what's the point of making a larger file when the source was the normal quality.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So. Be more specific. We talk about San bright Sierra. So let's say if somebody recorded at 44.1 and mixed at 44.1, what's the point of providing a master at 96? Is that the problem that, that you were referring to?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. So I think people start to get a little starry-eyed about high resolution, audio and apple. It just, it, you know, it's very glossy. It's very exciting and it is great when it's done properly. Of course, you know, as audio files, you want to hear lossless high quality audio. And the fact that we can stream that now is really cool.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: But if you don't record and mix.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: agree so much. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: but if you don't record at that sample rate, you know, at 24 bit 96 kilohertz or 192, if you really want to go that far, um, but then you ask for that, you're not creating a better sound. You're actually just adding artifacts and, you know, filling in that space. It's like, if you got, you know, for people who may not completely understand, if you had a really low quality photo and you tried to blow it up, you know, you really wanted to, you know, get a small photo and just zoom into it.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And it's just all pixelated and blurry. That's kind of the same thing. So,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that's right. That's right. And that's what real life is. And it's not like on television where it's CSI, they just take this pixelated image and they blow it up. and suddenly you see
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: and then it's
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: details. That's not what life is like. That's a really good analogy. So you basically have a case there that if you want to cater for, you know, edit, uh, apple digital masters at a highest separate, it should start at the recording stage.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is that what you're saying?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yes, I think that's important.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: absolutely on board with that. That's exactly what I tell my clients and that's how I work. I just try to never change
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I understand,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: decide at the beginning and carry through.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I understand that. Yeah, I totally, and I know obviously like before apple and creating HRA files, like high resolution audio there wasn't, there wasn't really a need to record at such a high quality, especially if you're going to CD, you have to go back to 16 44 1. But now that we have this opportunity, I see a lot of mix engineers who are going back to recording 24 bit 96, or even just 24 48.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And that's great because then we go into mastering. It's like, perfect. We have the right, you know, high quality version for an apple digital Mazda. And then I can sample right down to create CD or MP3 or whatever they need from there. It's so much better to start high and go low than it is go, you know, start low and then try and go higher.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It doesn't really work.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that is so true. And you just explain that so well, um, that's, that's really good to, uh, to remember, you know, I guess we always need to consider what our computers can do, but modern computers are usually more than capable to record at a higher rate and definitely 24 bid. So I would say, you know, with sample rates, there's certain area of discussion to be had, but when it comes to a bit depth, 24 bit is mandatory.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's at least my take. Um, when in tracking it really makes a difference. I can hear it if it's was recorded at 16 bid in mixing things, turnout, grainier, that's the best word I have for that, but I can pick it. Yep.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: No, that's, that's exactly right. It is a lot grainier. And, um, I will often go back to clients. If they've asked for an apple digital master, they've asked for a custom format, which we can do here at the studio, you can book in for a custom format and I'll go back to them and say, Hey, you've sent me 16 44 1, but you're asking for 24, 48, I don't want to do that because that's, you know, I'm sample right converting.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It's going to sound bad. It on paper, it looks like it's going to be better, but it's actually not. And I know that, you know, a lot of music is now done on the computer, in the box. It's not always recorded. So it's actually, you know, it's easy for me to say, Hey, can you just go back export that at 24 48 or 24 96
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Um,
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: and send it to me again.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And then we're going to get really good results.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That is so spot on. Okay. So you just mentioned that a lot of music is not done all digitally. Um, for all producers. I think if we look at our email inbox, we all know that there's a certain similarity. We have packet loads of emails from all the plugin manufacturers, pushing products into the market and trying to sell us things is your email inbox, just like that.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mine is just full with them. And I even
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I'm pretty sure every day.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that look what I see again. And again, is that somebody has a new product out and they call it the master new queue, or that's a mastering compressor. What do they mean? Well, how is that different to a normal compressor on normal queue?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is there a difference? Is that our snake oil, is that marketing or is there a real difference? Well, what makes the difference between M mastering Q and a normally Q?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I guess you could say it's, it's like one is more like a microscope and one is ego and just eat. Like one is a real high quality laboratory microscope. And one is just a handheld just with mastering AQS, it's incredibly specific, like the bandwidth that they have, the frequencies that you can choose from the steps that you can take the same with, um, compresses as well.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: You know, the ratios that you can choose on a mastering compressor compared to maybe a mixing compressor where it's like, okay, you could do, I don't know, a ratio of one to two or two to four, three to six. There's a lot that just have, you know, kind of big steps. And they're like, all right, choose one of three.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: That's all you got mastering compressor might be one, 1.1, 1.1 0.1. 1.2, 1.2 0.1. And it's just, so everything is just minuscule steps and same with frequencies. Um,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Um,
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: it's, it kind of blew me out when I first saw a mastering ETQ and I'd been using, you know, pro tools, stock, EEG, plugins, and uni, and it went up to 20 K cause all you can hear is up to 20 K and I was like, okay, that makes sense.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: We'd eat you up to 20 K. And then I got a mastering ETQ and it went up to 40 K and I was like, why,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: would say the human hearing range. Yeah. Okay. Why.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: do that? What's the point? And then I it's all subliminal. It's all in your head. Like it's but it's crazy how much it can change the sound. Um, So, yeah, if you're going up to 40 K you're adding like air to the track and suddenly in, you know, you can't actually hear it, but suddenly the snare just pops out a little bit more, or there's just a cleanness to this half of the vocals of just there's all these such subtle changes that you don't expect to happen because you can't hear above 20 K.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And that's the difference between mastering ETQ and mastering compression. It's that it's just all these tiny things that a mix engineer, or if you're using a mixing EEQ or. Compressive might not give you that option. Like for example, everyone knows what an 1176 is. It has, you know, ratios of 4, 6, 8, and 12 or whatever it is, you know, those four options pick one of four.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: You're good to go
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It might have 32 options. And just the difference between 0.1 and 0.2 could change an entire track. It's that subtle. And it's, it's a little bit daunting, still daunting. Sometimes I'm like, oh, it's 1.1, a 1.2. I don't, you know, it's just a tiny change, but it makes all the difference.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I see. I guess an 1176 is probably typically used on individual signals, but not on a subgroup or, or even an entire mix. Yep. Yep. Okay. That, that makes a lot of sense. Um, look from all the gear that you use on a daily basis, which is the one piece of gear you would take with you on a deserted island.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: What's the one thing you can't live without.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, that's funny. Um, probably the mastering compressor. It's right in front of me right here. And I can't see what model it is.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And I can't remember off the top of my head, but the, the mastering compressor,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is it the presser?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: all the alpha, the alpha compressor.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: The alpha.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, that has just been amazing. And I bought the plugin recently as well, and I've tried to, I've been trying to AB them to see, is it really like the real deal?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, that compressor is just awesome. It really is. And I use it on mixing as well, and I use it with every Masa that I do. It's just, it's great.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I'm dying to find out whether the plugin is anywhere near the real thing. Is it like the real one?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Ah, to be decided. I, um, I'm still. Having a listen and trying to AB them like it's for mixing and cause you know, mixing has done so much in the box now. I think it, it does hold up for sure. But nothing compares to this analog version. Like, uh, yeah. I would take this with me to a deserted island. I don't know what I do with it on an island, but it would come with me.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It's just really cool. It's got, you know, it's got a transformer option in it as well. So you can add color if you want to. It's very clean. It's got a soft clip option, which is really fun to play with. Um, you can have it linked to, you can do mid side compression if you wanted to do that as well. It's just got heaps of options.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I didn't pick it. Um, so everything in this room, I work in the same room as Steve smart. Um, he picked everything. I'm not debating any of his choices. They are really good. The whole system is good, but
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: nice
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: that compressor just, yeah, that compressor just works on everything.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well, oh, that's great to hear. Tell me a little bit more about your speaker system. How has the mastering speaker system different to what makes engineers use or people have in their home studios? Or how was that different?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Well, we have here PMC.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Describe the sound. What, what difference in sound? What do you hear? A mastering speakers that people may not be able to hear at home.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Ah, it's a little bit terrifying how much you can hear. Like they're so transparent.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: You can just hit absolutely everything, every little mistake and problem that you may not have heard and mixing in a different room when mixing it home. Suddenly you pull it up in here and it's, it's like, Ooh, there's everything, everything good, everything bad, everything that wasn't meant to be
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Ride.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: that is meant to be there.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And that's, you know, that's what you want because you're trying to look at the whole picture. Right? Whereas a lot of mixed speakers are kind of quite musical and they're made to be musical because you really want to get that vibe. Monstering speakers. Aren't always musical. They're just exactly as it is, which is perfect because you just need to hear it as it is.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: You need to adjust things. To make it sound better or get it ready. You don't want it to be musical. You don't want the vocals to be louder, or, you know, you don't want to have a massive sub because you're not here to listen to the song necessarily as though you're, you know, one of the many listeners out there, you're here to look at it surgically and go, okay, this is what I'm going to do to make this sound awesome.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So you get a lot of mixed engineers who might come into the mastering room and they get quite nervous and they go, I don't, I don't know if I want to hear my mics in here. Like, it's going to show some things that I'm not ready to hear, you know? Um, which is, yeah. It's, it's interesting. How just, yeah. How they just show every little detail.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well, well, well, I guess that is another good reason why, uh, mastering at home or mastering one mixing may not be the very best option. Yeah, That explains that. I guess.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: for sure.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: What is your thoughts? What are your thoughts on stem mastering? Is that something you do? Is that something that you believe is a good thing?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I think that's widely debated. I,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: why I'm asking.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: yeah, I personally don't really have an issue with it. I don't get it. I don't often stem master. Like it's a very rare, and I think that's because it's widely debated and I think people kind of unsure, I think, in the right. Environment, the right kind of song. It can actually do more than maybe mastering a stereo file, but there oftentimes you might get stems and you bring it up as is and you go, oh, actually that sounds fine.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I'm just going to sum it all together and just lost it from there. I don't actually need to adjust any of the individual files, but there's been many a song where I've gone. Ah, if I could just have those guitars on its own, just those guitars, because if I just adjust this, I'm going to lose the vocal.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: But if I brighten this, then the snake is going to be too loud. And if I just had those guitars on their own, so I could just do a, you know, a tiny adjustment there. That would be great. So I think sometimes it's really good. Probably nine, you know, even 10 times out of 10, it's probably not really necessary.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I think most tracks you just get a really good result from the one file.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yup.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, and yeah, and if there are any major problems, I like to go back to the mix engineer or the artist anyway and say, Hey, let's do a slight adjustment near and then bring it back and we'll see what we can do again.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And that's what you would prefer over having stems delivered to you.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. Like I said, I'm not, I'm not opposed to it. If someone wants to do it that way, I'm happy to oblige. I'm like, that's fine. We'll do it that way. I'll just bring them all up. You know, if I need to make an individual adjustment, it's a bit, I'll put this out there. Now. It's really annoying with analog because I have to run each individual one a conduit all at the same time.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So I normally will go back to a digital master if I have to do stems.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yep. Yeah.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: really time consuming, but I'm not opposed to either. I think it's kind of it's situational, whether we actually need stems, probably not. Um, but there are some times where I'm like, well, actually that would have been quite cool or, but then, you know, where's the line between, are you going, are you starting to mix or are you mustering?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's the
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And at what point?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: it introduced us mixing at the mastering stage
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. And would it just be better to talk with the client and take it back to the mix engineer and then bring it back? Which is what I do often, like I said, it's really, I'm not sure about other mastering engineers, but for me personally, it's quite uncommon. I don't often get asked to do stem mastering.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay, good. In just a couple of weeks ago, uh, you must set a song for my friend Sophia, which is actually a song that I mixed about a year ago. There was a lot of time in
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Oh, really?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, it was a fair bit of a gap and I would die to find out what your thoughts are about the song when you received it. Did it need much work at all?
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Were there any big problems with that for you?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Honestly, that was a, that was a really cool song. I brought it up and, um, I think I was doing it on a weekend, so it was nice. It was, you know, fresh and ready for the day. And I brought it off and I was like, oh, this is, this is really cool. This is a bit, Amy wine has very bluesy. I really have fun with those tracks.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: And because of just the genre and the style, you can do a lot of creative work and I listened to it and they're really good mix. Didn't have to do any corrective mastering. I just went straight into, okay, let's make this really hit. Really turn this into like a big piece of work. So that really just sticks out, stands out.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: It just sounds warm. So it was quite cool. I use the amp techs, um, on the track just to add a bit of warmth to it and it just it's subtle, but it changes a lot of the sound, which is nice. And I, yeah, I just had a lot of fun with that one. Um, I didn't, yeah.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I'm so glad that you picked up on that Amy Winehouse mood, because there was literally on my mind when I was mixing it, I sort of, you know, often close my eyes and visualize the artists on a stage. And I sort of, you know, saw an image of, of Amy Winehouse and sort of replaced it with Sophia's face. And so her acting out this song and, you know, that's definitely something that was really deep in, in, you know, in the mix.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And I'm baffled that you picked it up, you know, maybe it was super obvious, but, uh, I'm really happy that you picked up on that. That's fantastic.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: yeah, no, it just like, just the Sonics of that track. It was so warm. It was quite powerful as well, but also felt a little bit lazy, but like in a good way, you know, it was a little bit swung. It was just like, okay, well the track is like that now, how do I do a bit of a. Uh, swung lazy, warm master, you know, without turning into sludge with, you know, with keeping all of that, but just making it bigger and super powerful.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, it was just, yeah, it was a really fun time. That one, because again, I wasn't like, whoa, that's too bright or I really need to fix, you know, this thing that's sticking out in the master. It was just, let's just play, let's try this out. Let's boost this or that sounds, you know, that's a bit too much. Well, how about we try the manly compressible?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: That's a little bit too much saturation. It was just all about like, let's see how big we can get this and how beautiful we can get this. And it was, yeah, it was a really fun process.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: excellent. Well, I'm glad to hear that. I'm glad you enjoyed that because I had a lot of fun mixing it and, uh, I'm not sure if you know, but, uh, recorded this song with very simple, basic means, and it was not recorded in a professional studio, so it's quite amazing to see how far she could push it and how far we could take this
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, no, I didn't know that.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah, it sounds, it sounded beautiful. Um, it sounds very professional in like, yeah, it just sounds great. I mean, you'll mixing was awesome. I just got to have fun with the Masa, which is always a pleasure when it's not, you know, always doing corrective stuff and it, yeah. I just super stoked to hear what she has next as well.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Cause that was a really big track.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Good. Well, um, if somebody wants to reach out to you, um, what's the best method to get in contact with?
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: So I have a page on the studio, 3 0 1 website. Um, so if you go onto studios three oh one.com, you can see the little mastering panel on the top, right hand, click on it. You can see my face. And if you want to book me for work, there's a little form down the bottom and you just fill that out. You can book in that way.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: I'm also on Instagram. My handle is Rosie's audio cause my name is Talia rose. So you can find me there as well. You can always send me a message. Um, my link to 3 0 1 is on there as well. So it all comes full circle and yeah, that's it. Instagram and the website.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And, um, let's say if somebody makes us the only production at home and they're not quite sure if the mix is finished, do you offer mixed feedback? You know, can somebody approach you and say, look, I think it's finished, but would you check it first? Is that something you offer? Excellent.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Um, I've done that many times.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's very kind.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Not every mastering engineer
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. Um, I do that personally, also at the studio, we have, um, a wonderful mastering assistant end mastering engineer, Havi. He also listens to people's tracks for them as well if, um, myself or other engineers busy. Um, or, you know, if I have time, I'll have a listen to, and I'll just say, Hey, you know, adjust this or it sounds great.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Let's go straight into mastering.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Fantastic. Well, I really appreciate you spending the time with me today. It's a pleasure chatting to you, your wealth of wisdom. You know, that's, that's really good to have this discussion and, uh, I hope to work together one day on another song who knows we'll probably cross paths, uh, sooner or later.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: me too.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Um, thank you so much for being on the podcast today.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Of course. It was a pleasure. All right. If I'm ever up in a Byron, I'll come say hi
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes, definitely. I would love to, you know, buy you a coffee or lunch or whatever works for you. If you're in the area, please, please connect. That will be amazing. And hopefully I'll make it down to Sydney one day again, as well and stop by.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Yeah. Come and have a look at the mastering room.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes. Well, I've seen the mastering rooms before. Uh, I've heard the tour at 301, many times with my friend Steven Crane, but we've never crossed paths.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So I'm glad that happened today. So thank you so much for making the time today.
Tahlia-Rose Coleman: Of course it was fun. I really appreciate it. And yeah, I look forward to hearing you mixes SU.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That would be amazing. Thank you.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow, thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom with us, Tahlia. I’m looking forward to catching up again some time, and to working together on music in the future. Please check out Tahlia’s work on the studios301 website, all the links are in the show-notes.
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Next week, we are going to speak to a phenomenal person, a business coach and mindset specialist, about the business side of being a self-producing musician, and the challenges that come with it.
This is all for today. Thank you for listening, Have a fantastic week, bye for now.