Recently we had the pleasure of another guest masterclass from mastering legend Tim Young at Metropolis Studios (Beatles, Take That, Killers, Kate Bush, Manic Street Preachers). Tim demonstrated the mastering process of a new single from famed ACM alumna, Erika.
Erika is a vastly experienced vocalist, performer and educator. She has supplied guest vocals on Bastille’s Mix Tape (2013), and between 2009-2012 Erika performed with pop sensation Mika, including worldwide tours and festivals, TV performances on Jools Holland, Letterman and the X-Factor, as well as live performances on Radio One. She also has toured extensively with Skunk Anansie, providing backing vocals and piano for their acoustic shows. Erika is currently performing with Senser on their tour of UK and European festivals.
Students turned up for this intimate event to be treated to hear the mastering of Erika’s new single, “Fly Away Little Bird”, in one of the top mastering studios in Europe, Metropolis. Towering PMC speaker stacks and lots of twiddly knobs were the order of the day.
The track is to be released at the end of the month to accompany a new video that will feature a pole-dancing geisha, (yes, you heard that right…) and will be filmed and directed by Mark Richardson of Skunk Anansie.
Tim demonstrated his skills and expert ear in the mastering of the track, while explaining the methods and equipment he was using with detailed, yet logical terms. The students present were fascinated by the lecture and were very pleased to be involved and interact with both Tim and Erika, as well as to find out about the singer’s life post-ACM.
The interesting twist of the session was that Tim mastered three versions of the track, all with different recordings – a main single, an acoustic version and a dance remix. It was very interesting to experience how he made them all fit together in one EP, tonally and volume-wise. Erika was over the moon and commented that she heard things in the recording that she had not before, and it was the best mastering she had ever heard of her songs. Naturally, I was very happy to hear this too, as well as I was the fact that ACM and Metropolis continue to represent quality in music.
You can check out her website here www.officiallyerika.co.uk.
More mastering masterclasses are being booked in Metropolis for Industry Link, and are open to all students of ACM.
As an artist, it really helps to understand mastering as it is a process that all music you release will have to go through. Book up for the next one now!
As I say… see it, hear it, know it!