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Brian “Big Bass” Gardner Retires from Bernie’s After 40 Years of Mastering

Mastering engineer Brian "Big Bass" Gardner is retiring from his post at Bernie Grundman Mastering after a career that spans over 40 years.

Gardner Was Nicknamed “Big Bass” By Dr. Dre

Pictured (L-R) at Bernie Grundman’s are 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.

Mastering engineer Brian “Big Bass” Gardner is retiring from his post at Bernie Grundman Mastering after a career that spans over 40 years. 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 – 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. Just a quick selection: Beck, Blink 182, Cypress Hill, Destiny’s Child, Eazy-E, Herb Alpert, Ice Cube, Isley Brothers, No Doubt, Prince, 50 Cent, 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. 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.”

Brian Gardner reflected on his life in the studio: “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.”

The name Bernie Grundman is synonymous with Mastering.  His world-renowned facilities, responsible for a consistently large percentage of chart recordings, were launched in 1984, following Grundman’s 15-year tenure with A&M Studios.  In 1997, Grundman opened his Tokyo mastering studios and in 1998 relocated to expanded facilities in Hollywood.

Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood operates six mastering rooms, including a 5.1 mastering room.  All processing devices can be completely bypassed, resulting in sonic quality that is unsurpassed in the mastering industry.  Virtually all digital and analog formats are accepted for mastering, with the facility providing high quality disk masters, and sub-masters for CD, Mastered for iTunes (MFiT), DSD, vinyl, etc. Grundman’s custom consoles are built in-house with all discrete electronics and virtually all digital processors and computer workstations modified for improved quality. The studios are crisp and functional with a gallery atmosphere featuring paintings by internationally known artist Claire Chene.

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