Seasoned mastering engineer Billy Stull shares his secrets in new video series
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — Since 2006, Masterpiece Mastering owner Billy Stull — referred to by the legendary Rupert Neve as a man with “golden ears” — has taught audio engineers from around the world the craft of commercial CD mastering at one of his intensive three-day training sessions on Texas’ beautiful South Padre Island.
In response to persistent customer demand, the veteran mastering professional is now officially releasing the first installment of an in-depth four-part video series showcasing the key points from his “Masterpiece School of Mastering” sessions.
Part one, titled “21 Steps to Master a CD”, is 86 minutes in length and covers a broad range of mastering procedures and topics, including how and what to listen for, how to determine the sonic artistic image, client relations, avoiding problems, and how to approach mastering as a business or additional income stream. This segment serves as the essential foundation, or as Stull puts it, “The important stuff you need to know before you start turning knobs.” By first defining the goals, techniques, and procedures vital in mastering a recording, part one will give engineers and other music industry professionals the knowledge base and confidence to ensure a successful start.
Three additional segments are currently in the works. Part two, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road”, will be a tutorial on the use of both digital and analog equipment, how it is most effectively chained in sequence, and how to use the actual tools of the trade, in detail, to adjust, remix, and improve sonics, volume, and consistency, among other things.
Part three, “Billy’s Proprietary Techniques, Audio Gymnastics, De-bugging, and Emergency Room Mastering”, will cover the veteran mastering engineer’s own advanced procedures and solutions to seemingly impossible audio problems, while part four, “Session of the Day”, will feature actual projects mastered by Stull. In this final segment, the engineer will explain the characteristics and challenges of each session and describe how he overcame them by using the techniques detailed in the first three video segments.
“Just like my Mastering School, which I’ve taught for the past seven years, this new video course is loaded with valuable information not found anywhere else,” Stull describes. “It is a culmination of a lifetime spent in the music and mastering business and includes everything from beginning instruction to very advanced and proprietary ‘magic tricks’ that I’ve personally developed over the years. This series will be beneficial for everyone from amateur engineers interested in mastering as a career choice to studios wanting to offer in-house mastering services to established mastering engineers looking to focus, enhance, and improve their business.”
Already available for instant download as 900MB MP4 file, the first session, “21 Steps to Master a CD”, is priced at $99.00 (USD). The three remaining segments will be comparably priced and available soon. When compared to the $900.00 cost of tuition to attend Stull’s Masterpiece School of Mastering — not including travel, hotel and meals — the new video series is considerably more economical and an invaluable addition to any engineer or studio library as a permanent resource.
For more info or to place an order, email [email protected].
Located at South Padre Island, Texas, Masterpiece Mastering is a 2,500-square-foot facility built around a 1,000-square-foot mastering suite owned and operated by Billy Stull. A protégé of the renowned producer/engineer Norman Petty (Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings), Stull has spent more than four decades immersed in just about every aspect of the music business, including being an artist, manager, publisher, producer, engineer, major label A&R and marketing executive, retail store owner, pro audio gear manufacturer with Legendary Audio, and, for the past 15 years, respected mastering professional. A few of his many clients have included Julian Lennon, artists from NBC’s The Voice, Andy Johns, Okkervil River, Warner Bros, Universal, and hundreds of indie labels. For more information on both the engineer and his studio, visit www.masterpiecemastering.com.
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