AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - December 5, 2019

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This was the first sponsored event organized by the CRAS Women of Audio group in collaboration with our Student AES Section. CRAS Women of Audio is a group set up to help support, guide and promote our women at CRAS and beyond. 

Waves own Michael Pearson-Adams, International Director of Education and Training kicked off the event with a walkthrough of a Pro Tools mix session.  As an opener, he demonstrated using simple single-band filters, like an HP filter on the piano to tighten up the low end and bring more headroom back to the mix.  He also stressed to not use more processing than you need, he specifically mentioned this for sampled instruments.  He processed the vocals using the Waves Tune Real-Time plug-in then set up an aux track with an H-Delay set to ping pong.  This helped create movement and a wider vocal image with some added compression and reverb.  He demoed the Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain on the master buss but then removed it before printing the final mix for Piper.  Leave this for the mastering engineers who have the expertise and the best equipment for the job.  

Mastering engineer Piper Payne then continued with an introduction to mastering.  She briefly shared some of her history and how she got into mastering.  Piper explained that mastering is the quality control process at the end of the record-making process.  It is about making a song or an album sound as good as possible on as many systems as possible.  She stressed the importance of critical listening with others so that you can get a broader perspective on what people are hearing in a piece of music.  She played a few songs and asked the audience to tell her what instruments they were hearing.  This was an excellent ear training example to see how much detail you can pick up from a song after only one listen.  She then played a mastered version against a mix and asked the audience for feedback.  On Michael's mix, she focused on maintaining the intended dynamics from section to section.  She used the Abbey Road TG Chain on the finished master.  Everyone left with a much clearer understanding of what mastering is and how it serves the song.

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