Welcome back to the truths about recording and mixing.
After returning her social work license with a note that said “do not call,” Amy Dragon made her way to Portland, Oregon to pursue her love of music. She is now the Digital Mastering Engineer and Vinyl Cutting Engineer at Telegraph Mastering. She was General Manager at Cascade Record Pressing for many years just as they were getting their factory up and running.
In this episode we talk about the process of making a vinyl record from start to finish. Amy’s in-depth knowledge and natural curiosity make for a fun and educational listening experience.
The truth about recording and mixing is brought to you by the Fretboard Journal by Crackle & Pop! Studio in Ballard, Washington and supported by Izotope. Get 10% off any Izotope product by going to their website and using code FRET10 at checkout.
1:00 TARAM at Fretboard Summit, August 25-27.
2:00 This podcast was recorded with Universal Audio Apollo Twin and Cleanfeed.com and edited with UA’s LUNA DAW
3:25 Welcome: Amy Dragon. Beginnings Moves across the country, studies and early career as a social worker.
12:30 Relocate to Portland and seek new opportunities. Met Adam Gonsalves of Telegraph Mastering and started an apprenticeship there. History and Growth of Telegraph.
17:20 Working with the Scully lathe versus the updated Neumann VMS70. Completion of her training as a full-fledged mastering engineer.
24:40 Work at Cascade Record Pressing as they start up the pressing plant. Overhaul old record presses and find out! Fully utilize a press shop.
34:00 Left Cascade to pursue a full-time freelance position as a mastering engineer.
36:20 The steps involved in making a record, from when the mixes are done until a product is in your hands. Cutting a real paint and the challenges in it.
43:45 Electroforming and making stamps.
46:45 Straight to the metal mastering.
47:45 Rammers arrive at the press shop. Next, test pressing. What happens if there are problems with the test pressings? And what are common problems? Non-filling, regrinding ratio, warpage, center hole is off, wandering, warping…
01:00:00 Our test pressing is approved, now we move on to the actual production run. Issues that may arise at this stage of the process. Quality control processes at Cascade Pressing.
01:04:45 How is mastering for vinyl different from mastering for digital? Working with the physical limitations of the vinyl groove and cutting head.
01:17:00 What questions should a band or an artist ask themselves when they want to make a record?
01:22:30 Are new machines an advantage?
01:26:30 Should one ask for a test acetate?
01:28:30 Why does it take so long to make a record these days? Apollo Masters fire, pandemic, supply chain issues, helium shortages, a perfect storm.
01:34:00 Teaching, public relations & getting more women interested in audio!
01:39:00 What’s up? Independent Mastering Conference in Portland 2022. Temporary job at Soursound Transformers.
Thanks for listening to the truth about recording and mixing. Please continue to send us your questions (voice notes are great!) to firstname.lastname@example.org