Mixing engineer (and friend) Howie Beck called me up one day and told me he was mixing an interesting album and that I might be mastering it. He had a question about delivering the clients some reference mixes (usually somewhat psuso-mastered). I asked him who the artist was. He told me he wasn’t yet able to say but that he is a Canadian radio personality. That narrowed it down to a surprisingly large amount of people, most on CBC. Tom Power, Rich Terfry, Shad, Grant Lawrence, Randy Bachman, Alanna Stuart or even Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

His question didn’t narrow it down any further; How can I make a mix sound like it was from the late 80s early 90s? I thought about this for a bit. Someone might want an album to sound musically like it was from that era but rarely sonically. Digital was still young at that time and The Sony 1630 UMatic tape was the prevailing mastering format, CDr still not being a mature technology yet. Many albums from that time sound thin and weak when compared to albums that were released before digital and after digital matured.

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