A successful career in music doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and an unwavering sense of dedication to achieve your goals and reach the dizzying heights of your dreams.
#TilYouMakeIt is a collection of stories chronicling those moments and capturing wisdom from the game’s most esteemed producers, mixers and engineers.
This time around, Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer and owner of Nashville-based mastering powerhouse The Hit Lab, Nathan Dantzler (Niall Horan, Megan Moroney, Teddy Swims, Kelsea Ballerini), sheds light on the importance of creating emotionally impactful listening experiences for artists and fans alike.
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We’re trying to remove as many barriers as possible between the artist’s heart. And the listener’s heart.
Make it feel as effortless as possible. When a fan or a listener listens to a song to connect with the song, we don’t want anything getting in the way of that. Sometimes that’s something as nerdy as sibilance. You know, like I find sometimes like if something’s overly de-essed, then you kind of struggle to pay attention to the vocal.
And so we try to figure out how to get that right on the edge to where it’s intelligible again. So that’s like a technical example, but sometimes we’re working on a master.
We don’t know what it is that we’re looking for, but like it’s like as soon as you’re kind of find that thing, it’s almost like the light and the air of the room changes and it like clicks into place.
And so it’s a really fun experience when you’re working on something and maybe it’s a small move, maybe it’s a big move, but sometimes you feel that and it’s almost like the air changes density and everyone in the room can feel it.
And it’s really fun to experience that when no one’s saying a word and we all just click, we all just feel it.
Like, boom, that’s it. We got it. We work on a record. And sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s really special when it does.