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Audio Post Production, Commentary, Discussions, In the Studio, Mastering

The Secret to Success in the New Music Business?

4 times Grammy nominated, Adrian Carr of ACMastering

Adrian Carr is a 4 times Grammy Nominated mastering engineer, and resident mastering advisor and contributor at the Music Producers Forum. He shares some precious words of wisdom for us all, making a career in this new music business.

    As a mastering engineer I’ve seen many people hit hard by the restructuring in our industry and the economic downturn. And although the promise of technology is to make life easier for us, I find myself working harder than ever.
A motivational coach might ask you something like:  Are you somehow able to pull more out of these trying times than what you’re losing? And if you had to name one positive thing that’s happened to you in this restructuring, what would it be?

Here’s my insight for success in the music business: try referencing a positive balance to the two factors that have created the most change in our industry: internet and technology.  For example, I might lose a job over the internet because the band had no budget for mastering and they went to the cheapest guy they could find.  However, if they love what I did, and I’ve made some new friends on Facebook, I’m betting that when they do have a budget, they’ll be back. Or maybe they’ll tell somebody else about me.  Do you see what I’m getting at?  Being conscious of your checks and balances not in terms of bottom line but rather in terms related to the Internet.  The other factor that has changed the music business is the availability of technology.  Here again try applying the idea of positive balance:  Can I apply new technologies with my experience that will keep me ahead of a novice who buys a mastering plug-in?  It may not make my life easier, but it raises the bar on what I now deliver.

Finally here’s my one positive thing that’s happened in this industry restructuring:  I joined forces with another mastering engineer Bryan Martin and we share a fantastic mastering studio, Sonosphere, in Montreal.   We have more gear and know-how than we would have had individually thereby creating a center for CD and surround sound mastering in Canada.  Rather than competing, we’re helping each other.  What’s more, we can have a beer together to celebrate our successes or disappointments.  What’s that worth? Priceless.

Please share your experiences or reactions so we can all benefit.

About Adrian Carr

Trained as a musician and composer at Juilliard and Princeton, Adrian has a unique, global perspective on mastering. Back in the day, Adrian began his audio career as the recording engineer for the bands he performed in as a teenager in Buffalo. He was so good at it that he landed a full-time gig recording concerts at the University of Buffalo.

After graduating from Princeton, he launched Adrian Carr Music Designs in midtown Manhattan, a studio that became recognized for its excellence in acoustic recording and mastering. During his 15 years in the Big Apple, Adrian mastered over 500 CDs, including everything from private projects to major label releases. He was recognised with four Grammy Entry Nominations for his work as an Engineer/Producer.

 Adrian learned his craft from Vlado Meller, a world class mastering engineer whose clients include The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Barbara Streisand, Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, and Celine Dion.  

Today Adrian actively works with clients around the world from the U.S.A. to Canada and Europe.

Adrian Carr on Linkedin

Other links: ACMastering.com, Sonosphere.com

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About ACMastering

Full service professional, CD and Surround Sound Mastering, Audio Post Production Facility

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