Mastering a masterpiece produced and mixed over 4 years.
Simone Carbone, Italian Record Producer, Mixing Engineer and Lead singer in the band Asymmetry of Ego spent a long time stint producing, recording and mixing a collection of works from 2014-2018. With his skill sets evolving along the way so did the sound of each of the songs, the mission of this mastering project was to embrace the diversity whilst still maintaining a cohesive collection fit for an album.
The impact of mastering on this project was purely for the listeners experience enjoying a deep creative connection with the bands music. Simone and the band pushed forward alongside a very successful campaign to release the album, two singles, sign international distribution and tour europe.
Through strong communication, briefing and a developed understanding and empathy for Simone, his productions and mixes I was able to appropriate the best of each track whilst keeping a distinct "sound" Simone and the band imparted on each of the tracks.
Case Study Session #580
Italian alternative rock band Asymmetry of Ego are an energetic and big sounding band, piecing together a record which best presents that energy and emotion to a listener is no easy task. Vocalist and producer SImone Carbone spent 4 years developing the material and mixing an album to best present those energies for a fan base very familiar with their live sound.
Towards the end of mixing the album Simone purchased a new pair of monitors and wanted some fresh perspective on the mixes from a third party. When he reached out I responded identifying some key issues in the vocals mid range and their respective balance within the mix. (This song later went on to be their second single release premiered by Billboard Italia → The Monster)
#1 It's evident in the intro the mid-range of the vocals aren't dynamically consistent which at times make them feel like they're buried in the mix. Trry some multiband around the 900-1.1k range.
#2 There is no real space for the vocals to slot in when the guitar gets heavier. If you have access to a multi-band with sidechain features, use the vocals to trigger some compression in the 1k range of the guitar to help them slot in a little more favoura ble.
#3 I love the drums, wouldn't change.
#4 The Piano/keys are a little too forward and distracting for my liking.
At this stage the project was only a 2 track project and the prospect of mastering an album was far out of the picture, but as time progressed, we continued to liaise on productions and mixes and eventually the label Sorry Mom! requested a full length album from Simone and the band and this is where things took a turn.
Recognizing a familiarity of one another strengths and weakness Simone reached out to enlist me to Master the bands Album. He was very clear on two things which would predict the success of this mastering session;
The songs were produced over a long period of time so the sound qualities differed, and it was critical that the masters presented as a cohesive album experience
The sound had to be aggressive whilst still maintaining intelligibility of the individual parts.
After this briefing and some key identifiers on the qualities of each of the mixes which he observed I was sent ahead to do my damage.
The mastering session was a long slug as there was quite a bit of flicking between mixes and masters to pair up the timbre and dynamic consistencies along the whole record. The session was completed in a days work.
Tech talk → One of the lovely things about this sort of sound is that I could use the Manley Vari-mu liberally to help "glue" the sound of the more dynamically loose mixes and it gave a great sense of depth and roudness to the sound pairing them nicely against the more polished mixes.
When processing the masters were completed, the typical top, tail, and rendering of the final formats took place, they were sent back to Simone and I awaited to hear back.
Due to the time delay and also Simone living with the masters for a little bit I anxiously awaited, **ring ring, ring ring ** Simone called, masters were signed off with great success amoungst all parties involved, and the mastering wrapped up succesfully!
This wasn't where the payoff ended though.
The Pay off
The goal and mission for this project was to translate the bands energy, connect their records with fans and most importantly give listeners an EXPERIENCE; fast forward 12 months they;
Sold out their Album Launch
Accrued over 130k plays on YouTube
Premiered on some of Italy's biggest rock music media including Billboard Italia.
Signed an International Distribution deal.
Knowing that their fans and many more people will be listening and connecting to the musical experience I played a part in was the greatest reward in this journey.
Since this album project, the studio has continued working on records with Simone Carbone; one which has since been released; for Italian band, Closer To The Sun