Last week saw the world’s first mastering conference hosted by the new AES Mastering
Group at University of Westminster, Regent St, London. Mastering engineers from as far
afield as LA, New York, Australia, Sweden, France, joined the UK’s mastering community to
discuss the future of our industry.
Positive debate was sparked from the start with Guenter Loibl (Rebeat) laying out the
technical implementation of his laser cutting technology for vinyl reproduction. Sponsor
technical papers covered background behind AVAA base trap technology, delivered by
Roger Roschnik CEO of PSI. PrismSound’s new Verifile system to assist recorded file error
checking was warmly received. Continuing the discussion around new formats, Bob Stuart
creator of MQA discussed how he views the market place and parameters around take up
based on the experiences of past technologies.
After plenty of debate over coffee breaks and lunch, David Bell from Whitemark delivered a
considered keynote apprising the key aspects he considers in room design for mastering.
There was a very engaging paper by Magdalena Piotrowska regarding comparative
examination of automatic mastering systems and outcomes. Not surprisingly loudness
played a key part in the companies’ customer satisfaction targeting.
The final keynote of the day was from Darcy Proper, in conversation with Prof. Robert
Toulson. Darcy’s responses around implementation of surround were both eloquent and
insightful. To round off the day they were joined on-stage by speakers from across the
conference for a final plenary debate. This triggered some interesting discussions around
delivery, ‘the consumer’ and expectations of ‘us’ as mastering engineers. How our role is
perceived and what we need to change around this was also considered. Discussion
continued into the night at the following wine reception – a very productive day had by all was
the overwhelming consensus.
The Sunday kicked off with papers around remastering and how/can mastering effectively be
taught in Higher Education. Mike Wells delivered an engaging appraisal of loudness in the
marketplace and applications to address this with consumers. Mike Cave discussed his
approach to stem mastering, and Crispin Herrod-Taylor (Crookwood) delivered a compelling
exportation of the current and future market place for mastering engineers, sparking diverse
conversations in the room.
The day was rounded up with Mandy Parnell being interviewed by Katie Tavini from a new
generation of engineers. Mandy brought her ‘A’ game discussing value and the views on the
landscape for the community which led Mandy to invite her mentor to the stage. Sean
Davies who’s knowledge of vinyl cutting and the mastering process, legacy formats and their
real history is invaluable. It was a truly insightful and historic meeting of generations bring
the conference to the most positive close.
All in, the debate and communication between professionals has started the mastering group
off on a positive trajectory, leaving everyone involved looking forward to the next meeting.
Over the coming weeks a series of videos from the keynotes will be release on