John Greenham has more than two decades of mastering experience to draw from. His client list is about as versatile as it can get, from Jerry Lee Lewis to Ice Cube to Queensrÿche, Susana Baca to Ae$op Rock, Kimya Dawson to American Royalty and up-and-comers Bad Suns. Now ask him to explain just what “mastering” is and he turns to metaphors to help explain the process. “Closure” is the word that comes up again and again. For Greenham it’s less about certain processes since every album, track and artist is undoubtedly different: “Mastering is like framing a piece of art. You have a bunch of paintings lying around but no one’s going to be able to look at them and appreciate them until they’re framed properly and hung. That’s what mastering is, it’s framing the art, not changing it’s essential character.”
Now ask John Greenham what mastering is not, and he gets pretty adamant. For him the job of the masterer is NOT to put their signature mark on the work. The job of any good mastering professional is to achieve the sound, feel and character that the artist intended. Greenham says, “You’ve got to get behind the artist’s music and their vision. You’ve got to love it and feel passionately about it, otherwise, it just won’t work out very well. Ultimately, you’ve got to allow it (the song) to speak directly to the audience and get all the technical stuff out of the way.”
We are honored to have John Greenham of Infrasonic Sound on board as our newest Recording Connection mentor. We look forward to placing our students with this gifted master of mastering.