Above, you will see a list of the reference tracks that Andy from Sigil Of Brass thinks is “Good” Mastering. These tracks are as good as it gets with Mastering Audio in mind. We have embedded the playist above if you want to check it out – we use Tidal for our streaming because you get the Master-grade audio. It is a lot more expensive than Spotify but then it gives a bit more back tot he artist. With these tracks, the mastering engineers are at the vanguard of their trade. The tracks are –
- “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk ~ This track is considered the go to track for all speaker / monitor manufacturers. I love the sound of the whole album, to be honest. The mastering, by Bob Ludwig, is perfect. I think this is because he basically left it ‘as is’ because the production was so spot on. The analogue live feel just moves speaker the right way, the separation between the instruments and groove are incredible. I listen to the bass guitar on this to hear the definition on speakers, if you can hear all the notes clearly you’re in business.
- “Veto” by Sohn ~ The way the bass synth is compressed is a masterstroke. To be honest, I love everything about this track. The voice is nicely augmented with the compressed harmonics of the synthesisers and that kick! The whole track is just a well mastered work of art.
- “Chan Chan” by Buena Vista Social Club ~ This track is a really busy live recording. On the right speakers just sings and you get really immersed in the sounds. On a bad setup the track just loses that and it sounds flat. This is a great track for the stereo image. The trumpets & guitars sound like they are in the room and you are there. Not at all harsh. Just clear and dynamic.
- “Angel” by Massive Attack ~ Flashbacks tot he nineties aside (it was a good time!) the mastering on Angel by Massive Attack is a triumph. You will know if you have any bass issues with your rig when you crack this up. Me and Allan used this track to remove small rattles from our room. There is just the right amount of top end on this because the snares are cutting but not crisp or hard. You want to be able to hear the double kick drum as that can get lost on systems/rooms with the low octave missing.
- “November 99” by Manu Katche ~ this is very dynamic. The double bass is a great sound. “November 99 gets busy in the low mids and therefore shows off great speakers. I use this to references top end of live or acoustic tracks because it always reminds me to try adding nothing to the top and work with the bass and low mids instead to gain space.
- “Family Tree” by Kings Of Leon ~ All of Kings of Leon stuff sounds great (especially Mechanical Bull album). The drums at the start are excellent for transients and you will then hear if the speakers can handle the speed whilst keeping the clarity. The bass/drums area are mega busy but with just the right amount equalisation – not too heavy with quick pump compression. It would have been easy for the mastering engineer to add loads of top but it would have ripped your head off, so it’s left not too bright but still sharp and crystal clear.
- “8B5C3B++” by Chris Parmenidis ~ Released on Focused Silence, the local experimental record label. This is sublime. Chris made the track using a Kyma System – an under-rated gem.