As difficult as it is to admit, I have come to the crossroads of my career. No, I am not in a hurry to retire. And I haven’t made a deal with the devil. Not yet, anyway. But I am at a stage where I need to think about what’s next. The past five years have been the busiest of my career and I’m immensely proud that I continue to attract new generations of artists. The question is, what happens when I eventually ride off into the sunset? I’m not so vain as to think my clients won’t be fine without me, but after forty-five years of carving out my own sonic niche, it’s a bit depressing to think of everyone scattering to the four winds. I want to continue to offer clients everything they expect from me for the immediate, foreseeable future and beyond. So here’s my plan.
Some of you already know Steve Fallone. Steve has been with me for over 25 years, but I’ve always struggled to describe his role. To call Steve an assistant is an insult to all he’s accomplished as a mastering engineer and the impact he has on my work. In fact, I think it’s safe to say I’ve learned as much from Steve as he has from me. But I’m not writing this to convince you that Steve is talented. Every engineer at Sterling is talented. What’s unique about Steve is that he and I hear things the same way. We share the same “sonic vision” for how a project should sound, and that was apparent to me from the moment I met him in 1995. In short, if you like what I do you will love Steve.
Starting today, I’m elevating Steve to be an equal partner on all our projects. Book me and you’ll also get Steve. Book Steve and you’ll get me. “Co-mastering,” will be the new normal on all our projects. This will take different forms depending on schedules and workload. Sometimes Steve will start a project and I will finish it. Sometimes the reverse, but every project will have our combined attention and focus, and nothing will go out without both of us leaving our mark on the project and being proud of the result.
This an incredibly exciting time for both Steve and I, and, hopefully, for our clients, as well. It’s true, I may be at the crossroads, but I’ve never been more certain about the direction I’m taking.