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Engineer Bob Katz, interviewed at Sae Institute in Paris, explaining how he became a recording engineer, and eventually, a mastering engineer.

Enjoy. :)


audiokid Thu, 06/25/2015 - 12:19

I love this interview. I've posted a few times already. Just a few months back in fact :D ! Its part of our Media Library now, see Interviews

Doesn't this remind you of us. I mean, all the musicians and engineers who care about what we do? We all relate to him.(y)
Makes me feel like I am on the right track. He is such a cool guy and so smart. No wonder he is where he is. A true leader.

Thanks for posting it, Donny. This should be a continued revisit on a monthly basis. Keep it coming Pal!

DonnyThompson Fri, 06/26/2015 - 02:36

I visited Bob's website,, and he has the best mastering/audio related FAQ section I've ever seen, hands down.

In this section - - he has personally addressed and answered hundreds of questions from followers, clients, and "audio people" in general, on a vast number of audio and mastering related topics.

Here's just one of many that I came across that I found interesting... and while this post is obviously a few years old, I find it to be just as appropriate now as it was then, maybe even more so, because these days, everyone has all kinds of GR methods available to them.

When asked his opinion of the current state of mastering, related to the loudness wars, here's what he said:

"Uniform loudness = boring = fatiguing. Only the first 10 seconds may sound exciting, but only because you have your volume control set to a position where it sounds loud, but you will soon turn it down. This trend will not sell CDs. It may be helpful in the context of a single, it's a bit like advertising. But I prefer being like Taj Mahal, "I'm built for comfort, not for speed."

Do I not make "loud CDs"? I do, when my client asks for them and has already been educated on the issues. We usually agree after we smash a CD that the sound has been compromised, but if he's happy, then I have to accept it!

The issue of "competitive volume" or loudness is a difficult one because the sound quality goes down as the loudness goes up
(above a certain limiter or compressor threshold). I promise you that when you get your mastered CD it will be at the hottest level I think I can make it without deteriorating the sound quality. But if you still would like me to try to make it louder, then I will try, but I cannot promise that the sound quality will not go downhill. I work for you, so you will make the decision! "

Katz then references an article in The Orlando Weekly that he read, that mentions The Loudness Wars:

"Two recent releases by Bruce Springsteen and by Paul McCartney, which were mastered overly-loud, have been smashed by critics and critical listeners for losing their sound quality for the sake of loudness.
For years, Rush was one of a handful of bands whose records were excellent source material for testing stereo equipment. Go into any hi-fi store, and propped up next to the latest high-end player or turntable was a 24K gold CD of "2112" or a Mobile Fidelity pressing of "Moving Pictures." It's ironic, then, that Rush's 2002 album, "Vapor Trails", has become a standard-bearer for how abysmal the art of album mastering has become. Smothered by the compression techniques so prevalent in today's landscape, the album lacked any of the crystalline dynamics that once defined Rush. Even the band's guitarist, Alex Lifeson, acknowledged the problems and promised a remaster (which has yet to materialize)... "