Welcome to 1979 is an analog-centric studio in Nashville, Tennessee. With 7,000 square feet of space, all your needs from pre-production, to tracking, to mixing, to mastering (and vinyl cutting/electroplating) are housed under one roof.
Bobbi Giel - Head Mastering Engineer | Josh Sebek - Staff Mastering Engineer
Our mastering department has all the analog gear (as well as digital plugins) you might want. In addition, we have a Neumann VMS-70 lathe from 1973 used to cut the lacquer masters - step one of the record manufacturing process. After we cut your lacquers - we also do the electroplating, the second step. These metal parts are then sent to the pressing plant of your choosing.
Our goal for the mastering process is to make a collection of songs sound whole, as consistent as possible, across all mediums. This includes dynamic range adjustments, coloration from various analog gear and plugin emulation (transformers, tubes, etc.), as well as level matching, EQ, and noise removal. Any adjustments made should enhance, not detract from, the final product. That being said, just like any creative process, input and feedback from the client ultimately determines the direction taken.
Contact us for a more extensive list of credits and references. We look forward to working with you!
Disclaimer: We currently do not offer mastering services for immersive audio formats.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
18 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Welcome to 1979
Josh was so great to work with and did an amazing job! Very professional and kind! Would love to work with him again- highly recommend!
Excellent work, quick turn around and very attentive. Definitely knew what they were doing, highly professional.
Professional result, quick turnaround!
Bobbi at Welcome to 1979 did a great job with my master, the track is clear and present and optimised for streaming, very happy!
great communication and result. Will use them again!
Bobbi is seriously legit! She really helped us put the final sparkle on our song. She’s super chill and does great work. I will use her in the future and would recommend her to anyone!
Smooth experience, very responsive and great result. Thank you Bobbi for helping our song sound better.
Bobbi was nice to work with and did a great job with the song. I look forward to working with her again in the future.
Working with Maggie was, quite simply, a fantastic experience. She mastered an 11-track album for us, and the work she did was simply phenomenal, making the songs sound fresh, vibrant and alive in a way we never thought possible.
More than that, Maggie was super friendly and helpful throughout the process, explaining the finer details of the mastering process and providing us with great advice on the songs along the way.
All in all, we'd love to work with her again. Highly recommended!
Maggie is phenomenal. I had a very dynamic song that needed the right touch to complete it. Maggie knows how to bring out the best in a song and get the level where it should be competitively while preserving the dynamics. Very tasteful adjustments and added some "weight" that brought the song into that "There it is" moment. I cannot thank Maggie and Welcome to 1979 enough for mastering my song. Looking forward to future projects.
I was very happy with what Maggie did with the mix! Mastering 6 songs for my project with a very good flow of communication and references for me to listen two. The result was excellent; making every instrument come forward in a distinct way. The final product is a warm, clear and dynamic EP better than I could have imagined. I will definitely use Welcome To 1979 for my future projects! :)
Seamless workflow from start to finish. Great engineer with timely responses for edits.
Maggie is great to work with. Quick response and delivered my project when she said she would. But most importantly, the master was exactly what I wanted. The EQing she did was perfect, and rather than just slamming it into a limiter like so many songs today, she preserved the "life" of the song and kept it sounding musical. I will definitely use her again on future projects.
Maggie did a great job mastering my songs. Very nice and fast communication. I hope to work with her again in the future.
Maggie is top-notch. My favorite thing about her work in comparison to other MEs i've used is that she doesn't stomp all over your mix. She knows how to highlight the best parts out and leave it alone!
She knows how to let the music breath and how to keep the life in it.
She truly... lives for dynamics.
Maggie is a rock star! She's communicative and super talented at what she does. Great mastering engineers can highlight the nuances and dynamic range within your recordings without sacrificing them for loudness. It's an art that I think comes down to taste and she totally nails it.
Maggie did an awesome job mastering an album for my band, Grain Thief. Open line of communication throughout, fast turnaround, and incredible sonic results. VERY pleased!
Maggie is a super talented and friendly mastering engineer. Highly recommended!
Interview with Welcome to 1979
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Tape and tubes and digital EQs are all tools. Sometimes one tool works better on a project than another. Tape is lovely, but it can hurt a mix just as much as it can make it better. And we can use a digital limiter plugin artistically and also destructively. We try to tailor what we use for each project specifically for what it needs. We try to be transparent (pun intended!) about our process, which we think helps people understand it's not all a "smoke and mirrors" aspect of the production process.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To do the best job we can without trying to make it seem like it's some sort of "dark art" to be a mastering engineer. It's not. You need to have good ears, the technical knowledge, and the ability to communicate well with your clients. We try to do those things to the best of our ability, and charge a price that people can afford.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being a mastering engineer means getting to listen to all genres of music! We bring the same attention to detail and feeling to all projects we work with, whether it be rock, hip-hop, classical, etc. Keeps our ears fresh and workflows varied.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That mastering is simply about making things "louder." Simply, mastering is a very elaborate QC process where we make sure the audio sounds similar across all listening formats. We wouldn't use the same limiter settings on files destined for CD as we would for those destined for vinyl. Repeatability, consistency, and an ability to understand the artistic expectations of different genres of music - all these things are important for a mastering engineer to know and understand. There isn't one way to do things. Every project is different!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: We have a standard questionnaire that's sent via email to every prospective client, which is a bulleted list that answers questions about their project - it helps us learn quickly about their needs as well as get them a proper invoice for things. Some standard questions: artist, song titles/order, ISRCS or not?, what formats are you releasing on, and if vinyl what pressing plant, etc. Mastering engineers have to get to know a client quickly - a mix engineer might be working with a band for months, we have to learn about the artist seemingly overnight and be able to deliver to them a product that makes them happy! So it's important to get all the details up front.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: We try to enhance the vibe and feel of a song, while correcting any technical errors and making the overall balance appropriate for streaming services, CDs, etc. From a vinyl mastering perspective, the goal is to provide the most seamless and transparent transfer of your music to a record - taking into account the anomalies and nuances of the medium. Before starting the process, we like asking clients about what they are looking to achieve through the mastering process. It helps make the process more efficient and accurate!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For unattended mastering, we will start by providing you with two “reference” tracks out of all the songs you need mastered. If you have a preference for which two we start with, let us know. We’ll work with those two songs and get them how you like them before working on the rest of the album - we can use them as a rough “guide” for the rest of the tracks. For attended mastering, we’ll work through the whole album with you and then you can evaluate the masters in listening environments you are familiar with. The “full reference” will be an encrypted DDP (Disc Description Protocol, the Redbook CD audio format) player which allows you to see track titles, names, etc. as well as hear spacings and transitions between songs. When you approve the digital mastering, we’ll provide you with appropriate deliverables for each format. The next step, if needed, will be preparation for vinyl.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most of the work we do is either: 1) working from the "ground up," mastering a project for both digital and vinyl formats and 2) taking mastered material and optimizing it for vinyl, subsequently cutting the lacquer masters.