July/August/September ’14

Some mastering projects in the last 3 months include a split 7″ by Dwight TwilleyJosh Berwanger for Good Land RecordsRedHawks, drmanhattan, Air TightXposed 4HeadsMonkeeman (Germany), a split 7″ by Mark Steven Hillstrom & Christopher Gold, introvert, Bullhound Studio Compilation, White Problems, Dope Calypso (Italy), Westrin & Mowry, a split album by Josh Harty & Blake Thomas, King Mastino (Italy), Tara Terra, Old American JunkVince ChiarelliWealthy GhostPaul Trinko, Buffalo GospelElli de Mon (Italy), Michaela Thomas, Daniel and the LionReubens AccomplicePanalureThe Person & The PeopleThe KommissionersNoise ComplementThe Girls UpstairsDead Modern VillainsThe JeaniesFunktional Family, & Building on Buildings.

Aside from all the above mastering, I  continue to master the majority of the output for The License Lab. If you or anybody you know needs music for a video/film production, I highly recommend browsing their brilliant website.

I am also experimenting with a new endeavor. I’ve turned down a fair amount of opportunities over the years to record live concerts, or an occasional album project that I might have been interested in doing but didn’t have time or energy to round up all the equipment needed. Generally speaking, my brain-bandwidth and mastering workflow don’t allow me to get into any recording projects anymore, but putting together a simple but great sounding live recording rig is something I’ve been considering for awhile for unique projects, and rentals to other engineers. I can now say “yes” to the right projects. The system I have allows for splitting up to 24 XLR microphone channels on stage before the signals enter any of the live sound monitor or front-of-house mixing consoles and other equipment. This makes for a nice, clean, and excellent sounding multi-track recording that can be edited, mixed, and otherwise manipulated in the studio. The system itself can capture a total of 26 simultaneous inputs which is ideal for small to mid-size shows by artists that don’t have more than 24 inputs. Even with 24 channels, there are still two inputs for some crowd/ambience microphones.

In the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of capturing The Paegans (featuring Bun E. Carlos) in Rockford, IL and The Replacements at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, MN.

Here is a work-in-progress page with some system specs and other info:

http://mysteryroommastering.com/mobile/

The recording system (in full or in part) is available for rent to qualified engineers, feel free to email if you have a need for something.

April/May/June ’14

It’s been another busy & great few months for Mystery Room Mastering.

The Shivvers LP is finally out and getting some great reviews and feedback. The Sugar Stems album that I mixed and mastered is all finished and due out July 22nd on Dirtnap Records.

Some other mastering projects include a 7″ for Direct Hit!, an album by The Gazettiers, Zeti, Lisa Ridgely & The Fainting Room, Jackie BrownHeavy Hand, Midwives, Jeremiah NelsonThe HellfishStreetcar RailroadCanopiesJoey SparrowThe Family BusinessRonnie Jay and The StandardsStolen Silver, The Spastic HeartsDaniel and the Lion, the Bat BitesJodi Beach TrioEvergreenKieran Grogan, Go Curtis Go, TapebendersVolunteer, Space MagicMike CastleDope Calypso, Kaams, Greatest LakesLow Voltage Rangers, Opus DogHeartthrobZach Steinbach, & TIT.

Jan/Feb/March ’14

2014 is already on track to be the busiest year yet for me @ Mystery Room Mastering. With the help of Martin DeFatte at Guerrilla Digital, I now have a handy dandy mastering cost estimator on the Mystery Room website. This calculator allows you to enter different variables and see what your mastering project may cost. From there, you can also enter all your project details and upload your unmastered files as well. The Mystery Room site will be updated soon as well, with more current photos and equipment list etc.

Recent mastering projects include a new LP by Archie Powell & The Exports, a new full-length by Joseph Huber, an EP for Catch Kid, a new Mugwumps full-length, a split LP by The Hussy and Digital Leather, a full-length by Colin Swinney (formerly of Goodnight Loving), an EP by Points West, a new full-length by The Midwest Beat, a Springwater EP, a full-length by Jeff Parks, the Good Land Records 2014 Sampler, the Milwaukee Psych Fest 2014 compilation, a 1- song single for Canopies, full-length by Midwest Guitar Trio, a full-length for Brett Newski, an EP for Magnyfix, 3 songs for Big John Bates, a full-length for Centre The Image, a 3-song preview of an upcoming album for Sharon Alston & Created Image, a new full-length by Haunted Heads, a new full-length by The Delphines, an EP for Greasy Hearts, 8-song EP by Calico Flamigos, an EP for Rushford Mile, and over a half dozen releases for Dope Folks Records.

I also did some mix adjustments and remastered the first They Stay Dead EP and it’s getting reissued on Jailhouse Records and cut by Dave @ Lucky Lacquers.

On top of all that, I continue to master most of the output for The License Lab, if you need any library music for any video productions or otherwise, be sure to browse their catalog and website.

I’m not currently taking on any new recording or mixing projects because all the mastering work, as well as my work with The License Lab and About Face Media, does not leave me with much time to do anything else. If you’re looking to record and mix, I’d suggest these studios: The Midwest Sound (Rockford, IL), Bobby Peru Recording (Milwaukee), Rock Garden Studio (Appleton, WI). All three have been recently remodeled and/or relocated and produce great sounds and work.

Nov/Dec ’13

Recent projects include mastering a Christmas album for The Whiskeybelles and a special New Year’s Eve track by The Violet Lights, as well as projects for The Jeanies, Gen PopKurt Baker, Space Raft, Honey & the 45’s, The New Red Moons, The Mike Benign Compulsion, Fire Retarded, Blue Light Scene, Merging With Machines, Quarter Past One (Italy) & King Mastino (Italy).

Outside of the mastering world, I also mixed (and mastered) a new song by They Stay Dead (once again produced by Mike Kennerty) and I also did some miscellaneous editing for a few songs on Danen Kane’s upcoming album.

Thanks to everybody that helped make 2013 a great year for me and Mystery Room Mastering. Special thanks to The License Lab, About Face Media, The Midwest Sound and Dope Folks Records for your continued support. Exciting things are already in place for 2014.

Unsolicited equipment and software shout-outs to Crane Song LTD, Dorrough & Valhalla DSP.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Justin

Sept/Oct 2013

Recent mastering projects for late summer/early fall include a b-sides collection for The Gaslight Anthem that Side One Dummy is releasing, 88NINE Radio Milwaukee, The Shivvers (out on Sing Sing Records soon), The Rustbelt Boys, VolunteerFable & the World Flat, Inbound Kennedy, Dot Dot Dot, Calico Flamingos, The Goddamns, Tim Schweiger & The Middlemen, Holy Shit!, Mike Castle, Simon Chainsaw & another handful of projects for Dope Folks Records. I also did a unique vinyl master (CD master was done elsewhere) for the new Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound album titled “Fine Rude Thing” which should be out in a couple months. Finally, I am finishing up mastering a rather large project for The Manges (from Italy) which is a compilation of all their 7″ releases dating back to 1993 being released as a 3xLP vinyl set. I think it’s around 50 songs.

I just wrapped up mixing & mastering an album by Derek Luttrell from Rockford Illinois. The album was produced at The Midwest Sound by Dan McMahon & Miles Nielsen. It should be out on Rotown Records sooner than later.

I also remixed a live show by the Sugar Stems that originally aired on WMSE awhile back. They plan to do a vinyl release of the new remix/remaster on Dusty Medical Records sometime later this year.

In non-musical news, I recorded a few remote tape syncs for NPR and BBC Radio. The BBC project was interesting because I was recording Joel Whitburn being interviewed in his home office, which was quite an experience.

Ok, back to work now.

July/August ’13

Back in early July I had the pleasure of mastering a full-length album for the talented Wyatt Funderbunk. I’ve heard a lot of his work producing other bands/artists so it should have been no surprise how great his solo album is. You can listen to and purchase it here.

Other mastering projects include Tallymoore, Elli De Mon (Italy), The Rustbelt Boys Lamb’s Legs, Frank Calvagna, Seth Boyte, Tom Hilker, Commander Tang, Travis Agnew, The Tanked, Frankie & the Wheels, & another handful of new releases for Dope Folks Records.

I also wrapped up mixing & mastering the forthcoming Sleepwalkers album. I’m in the final stages of mixing a new record for Derek Luttrell that will be out on Rotown Records this fall.

Thanks to all the bands, artists and clients that keep me busy month after month.

March/April/May/June ’13

Some recent mastering projects include Pioneer, Cameron McGill, Avenues, The Family Business, The Hullmen, Crappy Dracula, The Hollands!, Kat Hunter, Circles, Fable & the World Flat, Jones Island Flood, Jetty Boys, Wealthy Ghost, Outside Lions, Twin Brother, Luke Sather, Doozey, Pudge, Wild Violets, The Violet Hour, Nora Collins, Mark Steven Hillstrom & a handful of projects for Dope Folks Records.  I am also still doing mastering for The License Lab as well as audio sweeting for video projects for About Face Media.

Earlier this spring remastered the two Death Head EPs by Daniel & the Lion as one full-length release.  I also just mastered a new EP for Daniel & the Lion called “Final Night” that will be available very soon from Rotown Records.

 

January/February ’13

2013 is off to a very busy start.  Lots of projects for About Face Media and The License Lab.  I mastered projects for My God, The Heat, Dr. FrankBig Leaf Linden, Adam Douglas, The Hussy, Terra Rising, Cassanovas, IDFK, Shadows of Light, and  a few projects for Dope Folks Records coming out this spring.  I also mixed and mastered a 4-song project for Catch Kid from Madison WI.

I’m currently in the process of getting both websites updated so more news to come soon…

October/November/December ’12

There was so much action at the end of an already action packed year that I haven’t had time to update this site in a few months.  I was down for about a week while I moved my studio back to the Bay View area.  I’m still doing all the mastering work for The License Lab but now I’m doing it much closer to home (rather than at their location) so I can be more productive overall and better serve all my clients.  I also did live sound for one final Promise Ring show this year at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX.  I had a great time working with the Promise Ring for the run of shows I did with them in the 2nd half of 2012, which brought us to Philadelphia, Washington D.C, Boston, L.A, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Chicago.  At the end of November I was invited to be a part of the 88 NINE Radio Milwaukee awards show meet & greet where I was able to meet a lot of clients that I’ve done work for but hadn’t had a chance to meet with person before, as well as some other great people interested in the mastering process.  Just last weekend, I did live sound for another Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons show at Lawrence Chapel in Appleton, WI.  I’ve been doing these shows with Cory for about 5 years now and it’s been great to see them grow each year.  This time he was able to sell out this 1200 seat venue and his band sounded better than ever.

Along with mastering music, I’ve been doing a lot of audio editing/mixing/clean-up/sweetening for some short video documentary pieces for About Face Media and I also did one for 371 Productions.  It’s something I hope to do more of in 2013 and beyond.

I didn’t really do any album engineering in 2012 but I did work with the Sugar Stems from Milwaukee with help from Shane at Bobby Peru Recording.  I really wanted to work with these guys but couldn’t fit it in my schedule to do the entire album, so I sort of oversaw the recording process while they worked with Shane, and then I was able to mix and master the album in October and November.  I’m very pleased with how it turned out and you can order it on vinyl from Screaming Apple Records in Germany or on CD from Dream On Records in Japan.  I think that Dirtnap is also distributing it in the US.  I also mixed an album for the Spastic Hearts which recently came out.

As far as mastering projects go, there were plenty.  Some highlights would be full-length albums for Pageant from Nashville, Beach Club Crashers, Little Otik, Charles Walker Blues Band, Nathan Mathes, Shaker & the Egg, Devin Quello, The Guilty Wanted, Ron Rawhoof, a 4-song EP for Boy Blue,  and a remastering of all the CONTROL EPs that I previously mastered as one full-length release for vinyl which should be out soon on the fantastic Science Of Sound record label.

I also did the vinyl pre-mastering for a 7″ box set for The Gaslight Anthem that is coming out on Side One Dummy as well as some restoration/remastering work for a few Dope Folks Records which mainly focuses on re-issusing classic out-of-print hip-hop from the 90’s.  One other unique project was doing the mastering for Ted Kirkpatrick of Tourniquet for his latest release of Edgar Allan Poe pieces set to original music by Ted.

August/September ’12

I had the pleasure of mastering The Figgs Anthology Volume 1, marking the 25th anniversary of the band.  The compilation features 25 tracks (a few from pretty much every studio album and EP), plus a couple previously unreleased tracks and alternate mixes.  This should be out sometime later this year on CD.

I just wrapped up mixing a Smoking Popes song that was recorded during the “Born to Quit” sessions but never mixed or released.  I’ve also just started remastering the entire “Born to Quit” album.  Side One Dummy Records is re-issuing the album later this year with a few bonus tracks.

I also mastered Volume 2 of the 88NINE Radio Milwaukee live 2-CD set featuring some great bands such as The Jayhawks, The Shins, Fitz and the Tantrums & Jaill.

Other mastering projects include Midwest Death Rattle, IZZM, All These Runners, Matt Davies, Into Arcadia,  and a compilation 7″ record by The Fatty Acids, Sat Nite Duets, Radical Dads and Dinosaur Feathers.

Some other notable projects include mixing and mastering EP’s for both The Saltshakers as well as Daniel & the Lion who recently relocated to Nashville from Wisconsin.

Another fun project was mixing 2 songs for Limbeck for an upcoming 7″ record on Side One Dummy Records.  One of the songs is an original that was recorded during the sessions for their last full-length album but never got mixed or released.

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