Listening Beneath the Surface
In the production of recorded music, mastering serves as both the final opportunity in the creative process and the first technical step in making the finished product. Whether for CD, iTunes, streaming or vinyl, mastering is a chance to have a skilled and experienced engineer listen to your work in a highly accurate and revealing monitoring environment, to refine, preserve or enhance the presentation of your mixes, and to ensure that the highest level of quality is passed along to the final release medium.
Sonopod Mastering was founded by engineer Dave Greenberg, offering mastering to independent musicians, producers and record labels worldwide. At Sonopod, we work with a respect that every song, EP or album we receive has been contributed to and approved by a team of creative people. Our clients rely on us to ensure that all the best in their work is preserved or enhanced, ready to impact the listener at its fullest potential.
A quality of decisions and the experience that informs them is what distinguishes the work of a mastering engineer. At Sonopod, our crew’s technical skills are led by a love of and fluency with a wide variety of music, a dedication to sound quality, and decades of experience in engineering.
In the late 1980s, Dave began working as an assistant engineer in two of Boston’s premiere recording studios, while he was still an art-school student making experimental music, electro-acoustic instruments and sound processors. By the early ‘90s, Dave moved to San Francisco, and soon after, joined the engineering staff at Boomtown, a bustling recording studio owned by Clio-winning music company Keller & Cohen, an experience that brought the good fortune of learning from legendary engineer, Fred Catero. The years at Boomtown forged an invaluable skill-set, steeped in the traditions of analog recording and mixing, and of a studio etiquette and atmosphere rarely seen these days.
While Dave eventually became chief engineer at Boomtown, he also freelanced and continued to equip and develop his warehouse studio in the South of Market area. There, in addition to recording and mixing, the focus grew naturally toward mastering, continuing collaborations on projects developed in other area studios. After some years, Sonopod was officially opened to address the needs of an expanding workload.
With the early 2000s came the move from one beloved Bay Area back home to another. Unattended sessions and speedy FTP have enabled a geographically diverse client base while building new roots in the arts-rich community of St. Petersburg.
Over three decades, Dave has worked on a huge spectrum of music; from Grammy-nominated R&B to metal and math-rock, singer-songwriters, composers and award-winning artists, producers and labels all around the world. From the vantage of this finishing-stage in music production, Dave bridges the gap between the technical and the creative, helping to bring out the best in everyone he works with.
Melissa Harris Chambers
Melissa brings a diverse skill-set to her work as a mastering engineer, and the perspective of a lifetime spent immersed in music. Raised in St. Petersburg Florida’s iconic Asylum Records, her father its manager and former radio DJ, Melissa’s mental encyclopedia of what music sounds like is hard to match.
The first ever graduate of St. Petersburg College’s acclaimed Music Industry/Recording Arts program, Melissa has since spent over a decade working in professional audio across the spectrum of recording, mixing and even manufacturing (building analog consoles for Daking Audio). During the time she spent working as an assistant at Sonopod, she naturally assimilated the technological skill-set, led by an intuitive ear and great taste, the likes of which many spend decades to develop.
A sampling of some of the albums and artists we’ve worked with.
Studio & Equipment
A mastering engineer’s tools start with first-class monitoring and playback, along with processors that are customized or otherwise well-suited to the fine task at hand.
Everything we use here at Sonopod has been selected or modified with great care and scrutiny, affording a wide range of treatments for a wide range of music. Whether transparent corrections or euphonic enhancements, our goal is to deliver your listeners the best possible presentation of your tracks.
Analog Signal Processing
Sontec MES-482D7 equalizer
Neve 2087 equalizer
Focusrite 315 mkII equalizer
API 5502 equalizer (custom modified)
SPL PassEQ equalizer
Eclair La-La Model 62 vacuum-tube optical limiter
Crane Song STC-8H compressor/limiter
NTP 179-170 compressor/limiter with Chris Muth modifications
Dolby 740 spectral processor
Crookwood custom M-S processor
Digital Audio Workstations and Signal Processing
Pro Tools HDX with DSP by DMG, FabFilter, Waves, iZotope, Brainworx, TDR, MDW, McDSP, Massey, and far too many more
Assembly and masters via WaveLab and Sonoris
iZotope, GoodHertz and Z-Systems sample rate conversion
Monitoring & Transfer
ME-Geithain RL901K monitor loudspeakers
AD and DA conversion by Forsell, Mytek and Crookwood
Custom Crookwood monitor, insert and transfer console
1/4" and 1/2" analog tape playback is available on request
While we love our gear, there is no 'default' processing scheme applied; every project is approached with an intention to hear into the mixes and work in a continuation of the production. So, our work starts and ends with listening, making our studio, its accurate acoustics and ME-Geithain monitors the most essential elements. They allow us to decide what, if any processing is needed, and to know definitively when we’ve got it right.
Have an album, single, or EP that requires professional mastering? Use our estimate request form and make contact now.
Sonopod by Phone
In addition to mastering at Sonopod, Dave is still active as a mix engineer. Our clients benefit from the insights that this experience brings to the mastering room. Some of our repeat clients routinely consult with Dave as their mixes progress for objective feedback and discussion before mastering.
If you’re in the midst of a mix project and would like to talk about it, just click on the contact link below.