Mastering Engineer Michael Romanowski & producer Michael Winger (on RT)
‘Cannons and Clouds,’ ‘Francesca Lee’ and ‘Super Adventure Club’ Albums Mastered at SF Studio
San Francisco, CA – May 14, 2010 – Mastering Engineer Michael Romanowski recently completed mastering three albums for San Francisco-based producer Michael Winger. The three albums are “After All” by Indie Rock band Cannons and Clouds, singer-songwriter Francesca Lee’s “The Pieces Left” and Winger’s own rock band, Super Adventure Club. Winger is one of the producers that keep returning to Romanowski for many of his mastering projects. Located in the 1340 Mission studio complex that he leases with other like-minded audio professionals, Romanowski’s mastering studio features top-end analog and digital gear, a Bob Hodas tuned room designed by Paul Stubblebine, and some amazing Focal speakers that need
to be heard to be believed. All this adds up to what a producer like Winger wants: choices and great sound but also an accurate sound, so that his productions sound great out in the world too.
“Michael Romanowski was really instrumental in helping achieve a uniform sound across Indie rockers Cannons and Clouds‘ sprawling epic statement After All,” says producer Winger. “He ran the final mixes through the ATR (1-inch 2-track analog tape deck) and gave it the analog warmth that the band and I were insistent upon.” Winger, who also mixed the Cannons and Clouds album adds, “The whole album was mixed in about 10 days, which was a challenge since the arrangements got to be pretty large and the band believed strongly in making a massive epic statement. Artistically, I think it’s an amazing album and one of my favorite projects that I’ve worked on. Their songwriter, Zach Blizzard, is immensely talented and is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.” The Cannons and Clouds album is due out in 2010.
Pop singer Francesca Lee grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and her ‘wistful and dreamy’ music flows from her experiences in the Bay Area. “I met Francesca before she had finished writing all the songs for her record,” says Winger. “We were originally going to make a 5 song EP, but the process went so well that the project expanded to a full album. I really enjoy working with songwriters who want to explore and aren’t afraid to take chances with arrangements.”
“Francesca Lee is one of those songwriters that has such a moody vibe and requires a really deft touch dynamically,” offers Winger. “Her music is often delicate and dreamy but also has many moments of louder pop-like rock. Michael Romanowski was able to maintain the dynamics of the record in his mastering while still providing the punch and presence to make it commercially competitive. He really struck a great balance of making it loud without losing the dynamics and emotional impact.” Francesca Lee’s “The Pieces Left” album is out now.
Like many engineers, producers and studio owners in the music industry, Winger is a musician too, and he has a band. “Super Adventure Club is my musical alter ego. It’s a cross-cultural dance party of heavy beats, bass and synths. It’s pretty much the opposite end of the music spectrum from folk and singer songwriter type of work. I play bass guitar and keys simultaneously – sometimes doubling my bass parts with live bass synths – while Jake Wood plays keyboards and drums simultaneously too. It’s fun dance rock with no guitars and it ends up having a lot of low end to get the dance vibe going. In mastering, Michael Romanowski was able to take our ‘party record’ and turn it up, again without losing sight of the musicality of it all.”
“Much of the work I produce is for very beautiful, emotional artists who are just amazing vocalists,” notes Winger. “Singers like Francesca and Zach can really transport you to a different place. Michael Romanowski does a great job of bringing that work to life and giving it more impact and emotional punch without stomping on it obtrusively. We have a lot of dialogue about the projects I work on and he helps point out potential mix problems before we get into mastering which in turn saves my clients – and me – a lot of time and money.”
Michael Winger wears many hats in the music industry as a producer, engineer, musician, songwriter, arranger and sound designer. Winger has several live albums to his credit, including Regina Spektor’s “Live in California 2006” and Volumes 12 through 15 of San Francisco rock radio station KFOG’s popular “Live from the Archives” series. As a live engineer through his mobile recording company, ‘Flying Kitchen Productions’ with partner Boone Spooner, they have recorded live concerts with artists such as The Shins, Tom Petty, Feist, The Pretenders, Los Lonely Boys, Corinne Bailey Rae and Keane. As a studio engineer, Winger has worked with notables such as the Von Bondies (with producer Jerry Harrison), Kronos Quartet, and Alanis Morisette, among many others. He is also president of San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy. For more information on Michael Winger visit: www.michaelwinger.com
Michael Romanowski has mastered music in the Bay Area since his move from Nashville in 1994. He traces his legacy through several generations of mastering engineers in the Bay Area from George Horn and Phil Brown to Paul Stubblebine. Romanowski has worked with Stubblebine for over 15 years and is expanding his mastering techniques to include the art of cutting record lacquers from Stubblebine, who has 40 years of experience with vinyl mastering. Romanowski has mastered releases from rock and jazz to punk and folk. Some of the artists he has worked with include Badfinger, Will Kimbrough, Pete Ham, Norton Buffalo, The Dynamites, Joe Craven, Too Short, E-40, Jacqui Naylor, Mimi Fox, The Samples, Jim Campilongo, Dredg, Daddy, Dallas Wayne, Houston Jones, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Trichromes, Pat Monahan, The Radiators, Runaways UK, The Wilted, and Free Peoples, among many others. Romanowski uses a combination of his analog and digital gear in mastering, including an ‘ATR 102’ 1-inch, 2-track tape deck, Pacific Microsonics Model II A-to-D converters, and Focal Grande Utopia EM monitors.