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Masterclass from Bruce Leek the Mastering Master!

Erik, Bruce Leek, and Jordan

Me, Bruce Leek, and Erik

Last week Bruce Leek came to record the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra and, fortunately for us, he also taught not just one masterclass, but “mentored” students for three days! (Click for Photos.)

Bruce is one of the first mastering engineers having mastered Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, and many other artists. He is a master at recording and mastering. He shared with us so many lessons that are already invaluable as we are recording and mixing our next albums.

Erik’s favorite thing he learned is Bruce Leek hates compression–so does Erik! Unlike what many sound engineers like to believe, compression DOES change the sound. Of course it does because compression makes the sound louder, so it’s going to be changing things. To quote Leek, “Compression sounds like crap!”

Erik learned that instead of using compression he can use a limiter and an expander. That allows for individual control on the high end and the low end.

Working almost 20 hours besides his regular job at BYUB and going to school, Erik helped unpack and set up Leek’s equipment. Erik is an old hand at setting up and striking audio equipment–well, just about any equipment really!

I was able to go learn from Bruce on the Saturday morning when pick ups (sections of the music that are recorded to be spliced back in with the performance) were being recorded. I learned so much by listening and observing!

I had to borrow Erik's work gloves...sensitive hands!

I had to borrow Erik’s work gloves…sensitive hands!

The funniest part of all this is I helped pack up his equipment. Do you believe it? Yes, me!

I am so grateful that Bruce Leek enjoys teaching the rising generation of audio engineers. He gave us priceless gifts of knowledge that can only be gleaned from a master.

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About Jillaine: As a professional jazz singer who also studies law, savoring daily nosh with family refreshes me. You are invited to my table to try great food, hear tasty music, and join in upbeat conversation!

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