Mastering with Hannah Sumner "To The Almost"

November 22, 2015

Listen here.
 

When Hannah told me almost a year ago that she had been working on new music, my eyes lit up and I smiled at her. I had a pretty good feeling that whatever she was cooking up had to be something especial. As time went by, we kept chatting about life and music, she'd also been collaborating with my band in the midsts of the writing and producing her EP. That kind of creative interaction always strengthens our relationships with people, I believe part of that artistic collaboration had something to do with our ability to communicate better, both before and throughout the mastering process of this record.

 

We got ourselves started with her first official single "How to Stop", a strong and spontaneous pop song with a touch of African colors and straight up rock textures. Avi Gunther (producer and arranger) and Hannah came through the studio on a Wednesday night to work on it. This was the first night working as a full team and the beginning of our record making relationship.

 

Fast-forwarding about 4 months and the time for the EP had come. Avi, Hannah, and Steve Bone (mixing engineer) had been working on the final production and mixing of 4 additional songs that would complete the EP. Fingers on the gear and ears tuned to work, 4 mixes, each one precisely distinct from the others, great strings arrangement and, strong dynamics all around with vocal textures and throw delays that capture your attention instantly.

"My job here is clear" (I said to myself), polish up the edges and make sure that the vocal stays in the right place. Subtle scooping around 180-300 Hz (-0.5, -3dB nulls), some lifting of the low end with light shelving with our Sontec 432C, small boost around 70-80Hz to make sure all kicks hit with a nice thumb to them and, some additional but slight M-S scooping EQ (Massive Passive) around the vocal to make sure it stayed on top with the right exposure in relation to the rest of the parts of each song. By the time I was done, I invited Avi and Hannah to come in the room and listen to the masters, as soon as the last mastered played I heard two very sincere "amazing" coming from, if I remember correctly both Avi and Hannah. "My work is done!" - I said to myself again, But wait a sec! I know Avi is a detailed oriented music architect, so as I expected, a couple of questions came up and we decided to touch up two of the songs, slight EQ changes and we were back to printing the finals. The same files that are released and - arguably - are on every media streaming platform out there for you to enjoy!

 

Please give this record a good listen, there is a mixture of styles/rhythms that speak to a wide range of music lovers, I think you'll find something for you.
 

If you like it, I invite you to stretch that dollar and support not only an artist and her craft but an independent industry that is in need of support from its audience. Our contribution reaches much further that what we can see, it motivates a group of entrepreneurs that devote their lives to making records for everybody's enjoyment, making our days a little brighter.

Written by: Hannah Sumner
Arranged/Engineered/Produced by: Avi Gunther
Mixed by: Steve Bone
Mastered at Engine Room Audio by: Nacor Zuluaga Morelo
Published by: Big House Publishing

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