Meet the Masters: Abbey Road engineer Geoff Pesche

Mastering engineer Geoff Pesche on why it’s a dream to work at Abbey Road and why online mastering is more important than ever.
Having worked on projects for the likes of Kylie, Coldplay and New Order, Abbey Road mastering engineer Geoff Pesche knows a thing or two about how records should sound.

But while the biggest names in music will often call on Geoff to help master their music, he is also available to work with artists through our online mastering service.

Online mastering allows an artist from anywhere in the world have their music mastered by Geoff or any of our engineers at Abbey Road.

Here Geoff explains why working at Abbey Road is a dream come true and why getting your music mastered is now more important than ever…
 

What made you want to get into music?

“I come from a non-musical family. My Dad, Bill, was a sportsman, so it was all cricket and football growing up.

“I remember coming home one day with a new Stevie Wonder record and my dad asking me why I’d bothered getting it as I already had another record by him!

“From the start I was into the way different records sounded, so when a bike messenger job came up for Tape One Studios back in 1978 I jumped at the chance and it changed my life forever.”
 

What is it like to work at Abbey Road Studios?

“It’s my dream job. It’s an island in the choppy seas of creative people – nobody shouts or screams, and everyone helps each other out.

“I’m so lucky that 40 years since I started in this business I get to work at one of the coolest places on the planet.”
 

What are some of your favourite tracks you’ve worked on?

“There are dozens. Off the top of my head I’d say Dizzee Rascal, Fix Up Look Sharp. Leftfield, Open Up. Pulp, Disco 2000. The Bluetones, Bluetonic. Kylie Minogue, Slow. And Enya, Orinoco Flow – how’s that for an eclectic mix?!

“It’s obviously great to work on big songs but a lot of the time the people you meet are the most interesting part of the job.”
 

How has technology changed your job in the past few years?

“Aside from plug-ins, the last few years haven’t seen massive changes in the way I do my job.

“Longer term the biggest change was from analogue to digital. All of a sudden I was using a computer to capture stuff instead of a tape machine.

“But you should never be scared to embrace change. Things always move forward – and that’s a good thing.”
 

Why is mastering so essential?

Mastering is more important now than it’s ever been.

“Most pop music now is created in home studio environments rather than professional studios with acoustic treatments.

“Gone are the days when the tape operator or second engineer could check the mixes – now it’s often just the artist and their cat.

“To have your music checked and hopefully enhanced by someone with a vast experience in a controlled listening room is absolutely golden.”
 

Can online mastering make a bad track a good track?

“Well, you can put a hedgehog in a dress, but it’s still a hedgehog.

“If you send a poor mix to mastering, there’s only so much we can do – we are not magicians.

“That said, I’ve thrown what feels like the kitchen sink at some mixes and the artist has been very happy with the outcome.”
 

What are the most common mistakes you see when people master tracks themselves?

“The most common mistake is that artists can prioritise loudness over everything else and create a mix that is so loud it teeters on the point of distortion.

“Also, if you record, mix and master your own material then you can be too close to the source to be subjective – fresh ears bring fresh results.”
 

If you could give one tip to aspiring artists when it comes to production/mastering what would it be?

“Be prepared. You don’t want to be wasting time with lots of back and forth with regards to the mix, make sure everything is in place and you have a clear idea of what you want.

“And if you have a record company then it’s even more important as they will recoup what you spend before you see a penny!”

Learn more about online mastering and working with our team of world-leading engineers now.
 
 

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