Garrett Haines

Mastering is all we do!

85 Reviews (72 Verified)
Garrett Haines on SoundBetter

Mastering Grammy® winning and Billboard-topping albums, Garrett Haines is a Tape Op Magazine Senior Contributor, and aspiring renaissance man. He focuses on styles: with driving beats, alternative rock, and melodic Americana (Jolie Holland, Watermelon Slim, Ryan Pollie, Wiz Khalifa, Zao, Victor Bailey, Struggle Session, Fuse, Sugarfree Allstars)

I tormented my parents until they bought me a drum set (age 9. The goal was to audition for KISS, but that didn't pan out). At 15, I rented a Tascam PortaStudio, which served as the real gateway drug of my engineering generation. Recording anyone I could in college, I wanted to be to be a tracking/mixing engineer. However, in the 1990s I received more and more mastering jobs, prompting me to fully focus on mastering at the turn of the century. I was one of the first approved Mastered for iTunes (MFiT) engineers. (We are awaiting Apple's disposition on submissions now that iTunes is being folded into Apple Music). Presently most projects are optimized for lacquer cutting, digital distribution, cassette, or 8D Audio.

Many projects come in or tape or benefit from a tape-bath. Our Ampex ATR-104 was entirely restored by ATR Service (York, PA) in 2019. We also have a pristine analog signal chain and some of the finest AD/DA converters available as of this writing.

I bring care, perspective, and collaboration to every project I accept. Message me and let's discuss your music.

Send me a note through the contact button above.


AllMusic verified credits for Garrett Haines
  • Demitasse
  • Watermelon Slim
  • Carter Sampson
  • Emboda
  • Zao
  • Adrian Krygowski
  • Samantha Parton
  • Jolie Holland
  • Chet Vincent & The Big Bend
  • Benjamin Dean Wilson
  • Zao
  • Stardeath and White Dwarfs
  • Jolie Holland
  • Watermelon Slim & the Workers
  • The Brother Kite
  • Ravens & Chimes
  • Garage a Trois
  • Football, etc.
  • The Brother Kite
  • The Starlight Mints
  • Centipede Eest
  • Billy Joe Winghead
  • The Show
  • Hush Hush Commotion
  • Stone Cold Sober
  • Kiss Kiss
  • Heather Kropf
  • Watermelon Slim & the Workers
  • Dykeritz
  • Tut Tut
  • The Wheels
  • Houseguest
  • Charon Don
  • The Wagner Logic
  • TradeMark Twitch
  • Faults Positive
  • Poogie Bell
  • The Brother Kite
  • Trecherie
  • Wiz Khalifa
  • Student Film
  • Steve Goldberg
  • Watermelon Slim & the Workers
  • The Fairer Sex
  • Kaslo
  • Mama Sweet
  • The Rounders
  • Shade
  • Parker Longbough
  • The Starlight Mints
  • Sugar Free Allstars
  • The Brother Kite
  • Kim del Fierro
  • The Hi-Frequencies
  • Migration
  • System and Station
  • Lovecartel
  • Lovecartel
  • Sophe Lux & The Mystic
  • Kent Rose
  • Heartthrob
  • Broken Fences
  • Lauren DeMichiei
  • Holly Armstrong
  • Dead Man's Bluff
  • Denise Graves
  • Randy Harris
  • Oil Boom
  • Heavy Favorites
  • Nathan Kress
  • Van Gough
  • Pride of Lions
  • Stacy Mitchhart
  • The Satin Hearts
  • Lovecartel
  • Tom Getter Slack
  • Scary Mansion
  • Randy Harris
  • Helen Kelter Skelter
  • Loam
  • Randy Harris
  • Docfell & Co.
  • Jim Wolf
  • Kevin Abernathy
  • The Willies
  • Billy Joe Winghead
  • The Bergamot
  • Up the Chain
  • The Wagner Logic
  • City Dwelling Nature Seekers
  • Tyson Meade
  • Chet Vincent & The Big Bend
  • Kalo
  • Be This Bell

85 Reviews - 18 Repeat Clients

Endorse Garrett Haines
  1. Review by Hayden S.

    Garrett enthusiasm and knowledge of his craft brings weight and professional to every project!

  2. Review by Kid B.
    by Kid B.

    Garrett's work on my last song resulted in an accumulation of subtleties and a vibe that was just so right!

  3. Review by Deyan K.

    If you want your music to sound amazing, you gonna have to meet the wizard of oz. Yes he is! Looking forward to the next project with him!

  4. Review by Hayden S.

    I have used Garrett multiple times now and every time he has delivered an outstanding service. Kind, professional and very knowledgeable. He’s your man!

  5. Review by Deyan K.

    Personal contact and understanding! Garret is able to understand your idea, but give freedom to his creativity and you'll get even more, than you've expected! Amazing work of the art!!! Really looking forward to send him my next project!

  6. Review by Hayden S.

    Garrett is the king is mastering, open to ideas and has amazing knowledge of his craft. Most importantly you can trust Garrett, which is paramount!

  7. Review by Eric Kendall (Busking Around)

    Garrett has mastered my last 4 tracks, and does not disappoint. What I like best is he remembers my preferences and applies them to the next track beautifully! Plus, he's just a really nice guy...

  8. Review by Emily F.

    Garrett always does a sensational job! I greatly appreciate his thoroughness and attention to detail in his work. He is quick to respond and make adjustments based on my notes, and he is always a pleasure to work with in getting the finished product absolutely perfect.

  9. Review by Max
    by Max

    The masters have a nice thick analog sound. It fits the songs well! I'm happy with the results.

  10. Review by Eric Kendall (Busking Around)

    Garrett is very professional and easy to work with - always giving insights to the Mix that helps me improve with each song. Highly recommend his services!

  11. Review by Guy Grogan

    Garrett is great to work with. I don't know anything about what he knows inside and out... all I know the sonic output is always killer!

  12. Review by Mark Wilson

    Garrett is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his craft. His approach made my song really shine and I can't recommend him highly enough. Thanks!

  13. Review by Hayden S.

    Garrett is a straight up master, his ears are priceless. Having his input is always trusted. Thanks

  14. Review by Max D.
    by Max D.

    It was lovely working with Garrett. If mastering is all they do, then you better believe you are getting some great masters, and of course having your audio experience a tape-bath is always intriguing. I’m glad I trusted Garrett with my entire album.

  15. Review by Eric Kendall (Busking Around)

    Garrett did a great job of taming the vocal while still letting the acoustic cello parts shine through. All while managing to beef up the kick drum somehow as well! Will definitely look his way on my next release

  16. Review by Hayden S.

    Garrett always does an exceptional job! He really cares about the material and always elevates it. Most importantly I can always trust Garrett and that’s hard to come by.

  17. Review by Guy Grogan

    Garrett is a great mastering engineer--thoughtful, thorough, and has heaps of technical expertise. What more could you ask for?

  18. Review by Jeffrey O.

    Garrett sticks with it until the job is done.

  19. Review by Tony A.

    Garrett did a fantastic job making our song sound top-notch. He was a great communicator and provided us great options along the way. In the end, the final master files were given in an organized and easy to understand format. I will be using his service again!

  20. Review by John L.

    Garrett has a fantastic ear. Incredibly professional and really down to earth. I have found my go-to mastering engineer.

Interview with Garrett Haines

  1. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  2. A: An artist who is organized, committed, and collaborative. Too many artists make great songs but don't have the discipline or planning to make their career happen.

  3. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  4. A: I work on 300 projects a year and prefer to collaborate with the artist / producer. Although I can expedite communication with people I've worked within the past, I believe the mastering engineer needs to bring the most out of a project, and that is best achieved through understanding the vision and aesthetic of the music.

  5. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  6. A: Dunlavy Monitors (with power amp and cables), Maselec MTC-1X controller, Prism Converters, Headphone monitoring (Benchmark DAC3 DX and Audio Technica headphones), Maselec MEA-2 mastering equalizer.

  7. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  8. A: I have been known to work on virtually any audio genre as I view myself as a physician first and foremost. Some engineers need to like the music to do their best. There is plenty of time for me, as a fan, to do that once the project is completed to the artist's satisfaction. At this point, the song needs a neutral third-party more than anything.

  9. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  10. A: Bob Clearmountain developed bold and creative approaches, yet remains humble and approachable to this day. Tony Visconti has juggled composition, production, and therapist responsibilities and makes it appear easy. King Britt decided at age five that he was going to be a force for music in the world, and he's taking over the globe. The late Mike Spitz devoted his entire energy to keeping ATR machines and magnetic tape viable in the modern era. I could keep going. We stand on the shoulders of giants.

  11. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  12. A: "Can I have this for my release party that I already booked?" Never book release events without the masters in hand. Otherwise there is no time for publicity, generating buzz, or reaction time should the plant have a manufacturing delay.

  13. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  14. A: I recently did a record with the Portland Cello Project where the artists were on the road and didn't have access to a studio. They needed changes and I used stems to make tweaks that would not have been possible otherwise. They were really happy, which means I was happy.

  15. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  16. A: I am working on a 33 song punk record, a crooning vocalist (with full orchestra), and an industrial club project. (I'm never bored).

  17. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  18. A: There are like 999 great mixing engineers on SoundBetter. Three that come to mind are Larry Crane, Greg Gordon, and John Siket. Larry's records sound timeless. Greg has a long track record of shaping metal and hard guitar music, and the work John has done with Peter Murphy blows me away.

  19. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  20. A: YES. Both have strengths. I try to choose the appropriate tool for the situation.

  21. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  22. A: My policies originate in the dissatisfaction I had with some mastering houses from back when I was in a band and releasing material. I treat the clients as if I were part of the band (in terms of commitment to the project).

  23. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  24. A: The creativity and talent of independent artists is staggering. After the project goes to the plant I oven listen to records in my personal time. I love so much of what comes across my desk. I'm lucky that way.

  25. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  26. A: Few people understand what the mastering stage is. Most think the mixing engineer can master. Or some think mastering is not important. Every record an artist competes with will have been mastered. That's what people in law enforcement call a clue.

  27. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  28. A: Are you happy with your mixes? Do you want me to preserve the mix and polish or do you want me to put a new spin on the program?

  29. Q: What's your typical work process?

  30. A: For albums I try to determine if there is a keystone song or a climax to the presentation. From there I often work backwards trying to use this as the foundation for the release.

  31. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  32. A: I started professional engineering in the 1990's but didn't go full time until early 2000's.

  33. Q: How would you describe your style?

  34. A: My default style is to collaborate with the producer and or artist to determine what their artistic intent is. Of course, I'm happy to provide my opinion, if that is requested. But I believe I work FOR the project not AT the project.

  35. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  36. A: Gain staging is one of the most important things any engineer does. With modern digital workstations it is very easy to accidentally clip or distort at some point in the chain. Optimizing the audio custody is critical to jump to the professional arena.

  37. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  38. A: I'm blessed to be able to work on a wide variety of music from Rock to Choral to Rap. I am partial to anything with a strong beat or melody. Rhythm and melody do not care about genre. They care about being alive!

  39. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  40. A: All I do is listen to new songs day-in-day out. Things that have slipped past the mixing team (who have heard a song hundreds of times to get it to me) stick out like a nail on a hardwood floor. Having a fresh perspective from someone who focuses on listening to music is invaluable before releasing in today's market.

  41. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  42. A: The main studio is about 1000 sq feet with 14 foot ceilings. Dunlavy SC-VI mains with acoustic tuning by John Calder of Acoustic Geometry with additional absorbers from GIK

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: We are a dedicated mastering house. We don't do 5 things and mastering. Mastering is all we do.

"Who Dat, Mama?" The Commonheart

I was the Mastering Engineer in this production

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    "Who Dat, Mama?" The Commonheart
  2. play_arrow
    "Black Water" Watermelon Slim and the Workers
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    "Get On, Me" The Brother Kite
  4. play_arrow
    "Vengeance" Paul Luc
Terms Of Service

We try to quote fixed-fee prices to avoid surprises and overage fees. All payments for SoundBetter projects must go through the SoudBetter system.

GenresSounds Like
  • Portland Cello Project
  • Father John Misty
  • Brand New
Gear Highlights
  • Dunlavy SC-VI
  • ATR-104
  • Prism
  • Maselec
  • Hendy Amps
  • Spectra-Sonics
  • DW Fearn
  • Manley Labs
  • Mytek
  • Apogee
More Photos
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Analog Stem Mastering

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