Mastering Engineer Emily Lazarus – Spotify for Artists

Emily Lazar makes the records sound as good as possible. As a mastering engineer, he found out how to create records by choice The Beatles, Fu Fighter, Deception, And Panic! At the disco No matter where you are, it feels good to run through headphones or on the beach, through Spotify or on a vinyl LP. His mastering work is going on BeckOf Color In 2019, the album won the Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) award and received its first Grammy of Masters. Vampire weekendOf The bride’s father He was nominated for another Album of the Year in 2020.

Lazarus, who is based in New York studios and is the chief mastering engineer Beaver, Has a sharp ear that has helped over 4,000 albums sound their best. We asked him how he got into mastering, what his vision was when working with artists, and what advice he had for aspiring engineers.

Spotify for Artists: Describe what you do and give an overview of how you got there.

Emily Lazarus: A mastering engineer takes stereo or multichannel audio and prepares it for distribution. This may mean that it is optimized for digital streaming in physical media such as vinyl, cassette and CD, or in broadcast formats such as radio, TV and film, or on platforms such as Spotify. But it’s really much more than that. Mastering is an art as much as it is a science, and I believe that the best mastering engineers do the job with creativity and ideals out of the box.

Just as the mastering engineer is assured that the final masters can translate well into the many possible formats available, so it is the job of the mastering engineer to ensure that it looks equally good in different playback situations. From in-ear headphones to laptop speakers to audiophile speakers to large PA systems এটি it needs to be heard optimally in every situation. Since mastering is usually the last stop before releasing songs to consumers, it is a unique part of the process where lots of decisions are finalized.

I started as a lyricist and musician, playing in bands throughout high school and college. As an artist, I loved spending time in my music recording studio but ended up getting frustrated because it wasn’t coming out the way I had imagined.

In the end, I wanted to be in control of what I looked like, and working as an engineer and producer gave me the control I desperately wanted. After working at some of the most famous recording studios in New York City, I joined NYU and earned a Masters in Music Technology. After graduating, I worked at a renowned mastering facility, and that’s where I really started to improve my skill set and focus on how I wanted to get into the mastering industry. A few years later, I received a call from the Chairman of the Department of Music Technology at NYU, who asked if I would be interested in joining the faculty at NYU to teach undergraduate coursework in their Tonmister Studies program with a focus on mastering. I took over the summer and started teaching. At the time, I also dreamed and planned to put together a plan to build my own studio. The following year, in 1997, I opened the doors of The Lodge – a boutique studio designed as an alternative to the already existing mastery house. The lodge was built to provide a welcoming environment where all producers, artists, producers and mixers would feel comfortable investigating whatever is needed to complete their album.

Were you an artist fan of growing up, the story you heard, or an artist with whom you crossed paths that inspired you to pursue a career?

I always knew I wanted to follow music one way or another. I grew up in a musical home – my mother taught me guitar, I always wrote and played songs. But I had no idea that mastering engineers existed when I was growing up. It was actually going to the studio to record with my own band which increased my interest in pursuing it as a career.

What are you looking for in the artist you want to work with? Who are the artists you have worked with now or recently and how do they align with that ideal?

I admire all kinds of artists. Working with artists is a fun challenge with a unique and highly defined idea of ​​the end result, because when they know their destination, I have the opportunity to help them navigate the turns and turns to get there. It’s also great to work with open-minded artists and those who have no idea beforehand. Some amazing things can happen during the mastering process, and I really enjoy the collaboration – an offer or alternative possibilities can change the way you create an entire album.

I am proud of every project I work on. There have been so many great albums through The Lodge over the years – more than 4,000 so far – it’s impossible to name one over the other. I have considered all the albums I have given as “baby”. Just as you can’t pick a favorite kid, I can’t pick a favorite artist or album!

From your perspective, what is the biggest tool for an artist in 2020 and why do you see it that way?

I’m excited about the ability to record and publish music on VR and immersive audio formats like 5.1 Surround, Dolby Atoms and Sony 360. This is a new frontier for both manufacturers and consumers and a new opportunity to really capture what happens. Studio. The emotions of the performance, the dynamics of the music and all the details of the instrument can be heard in a significantly different way. After working on this new format, I can confidently say that it really is an incredible opportunity to sit inside the music.

What is the best advice for you at the beginning of any artist?

Judge with your intellect. Trust your ears. This is advice for everyone, not just artists at the beginning of their careers. Have confidence in your creative direction. Surround yourself with people who can help you get your words and perspective. Success in any profession requires clarity of purpose and direction. It’s important to have that confidence in the sonic image you imagine in your own head and be direct about drawing that image.

– Maura Johnston

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