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Bye-Bye, Big Bass

(l-r) Mastering engineers Brian “Big Bass” Gardner, Paul Grundman, Chris Bellman, Mike Bozzi, Patricia Sullivan, Bernie Grundman, Beno May (technical director) and Scott Sedillo.
Photo by David Goggin.

Hollywood, CA (October 23, 2015)—After a career spanning over 40 years, mastering engineer Brian “Big Bass” Gardner is retiring from his post at Bernie Grundman Mastering.

Gardner began mastering on vinyl at RCA Records with such artists as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Jefferson Airplane.

“Brian has played a central role in our success from the very beginning in 1984 and through our expansion in 1997,” said Bernie Grundman. “Of course, we’ll miss him and his remarkable talents, but we surely wish him the best that he so richly deserves.”

Gardner has amassed one of the most impressive discographies in the music industry, with well over 1000 credits. Thanks to his association with Dr. Dre, he is thought of as mainly a hip-hop/R&B engineer, but he has worked successfully with all styles of music, from alternative rock to classic jazz, including: Beck, Blink 182, Cypress Hill, Destiny’s Child, Eazy-E, Herb Alpert, Ice Cube, Isley Brothers, No Doubt, Prince, 50 Cent and Eminem.

Mastering engineer Mike Bozzi has been Gardner’s second engineer for over 20 years and will take over Gardner’s spot beginning in November. “Brian was so great in encouraging me and sharing some of his little tricks over the years,” says Bozzi. “It is amazing to hear mixes before and then after they’re mastered. The challenge is to figure out what he does to make the final master sound so good. It’s also important to remember that what makes our studio unique is the signal path and the hand-built analog consoles that we’re constantly upgrading and fine-tuning. It gives Bernie’s an edge that nobody, no matter how much software they acquire, can replicate.”

Reflecting on his life in the studio, Gardner says, “It’s been a fantastic run, and both Bernie and I realize how lucky it is to have seen the evolution from vinyl to the latest digital formats. Very few have witnessed that first hand.”

Bernie Grundman Mastering