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Gavin Lurssen - Lurssen Mastering

Gavin Lurssen operates a full-service mastering studio on the famous Hollywood Center Studios lot - a location steeped in over 80 years of entertainment industry history. Gavin is a four-time Grammy award winner, winning twice for "Album of The Year" - in 2002 for "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and in 2009 for "Raising Sand" with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Gavin and engineer Reuben Cohen each won a Latin Grammy in 2010 for "Best Enginered Album" for mastering Diego Torres's album "Distinto".


Monday, September 2, 2013

Queens Of The Stone Age

Like Clockwork - Queens of The Stone Age

Described by Queens principal Joshua Homme as "an audio documentary of a manic year," Like Clockwork is the band's first full length collection of all new material since 2007.

The album has received widespread critical acclaim, reaching number one on the Billboard 200, making it their first album to top the charts in the United States.

To checkout their US tour dates and venues visit their web page at

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite
Ben Harper teamed with renowned harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite to create Get Up!,  a striking mix of blues, gospel, roots and R&B.
"Charlie and I have been looking to make this record for over ten years and now that we've gotten to it," stated Harper, "I can't wait to play it live."

"Ben and I really locked in, personally and musically, when we recorded with John Lee Hooker," added Musselwhite. "


Get Up! features ten vivid musical character studies, all written or co-written by Harper.


Blues musicians Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite perform the acoustic
guitar-harmonica duet, "You Found Another Lover (I Lost Another Friend)."
The song is off the duo's recent album, Get Up - mastered at Lurssen Mastering.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Elton John - The Diving Board

Wlton John - The Diving BoardWe recently mastered a new Elton John record, "The Diving Board," due out in September. Every now and then worlds collide and give perspective far deeper than the everyday existence we normally feel. When I was a young kid I always took joy in listening to vinyl records in my Dad's record collection. One of the records I really enjoyed was the Elton John record with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" on it. I knew that album inside and out, the flavor, the tones, the colors it created in my head when I closed my eyes, the beginnings of the understanding of vocal harmonies, the look of the artwork on the package, the feel of taking the record out of the sleeve the proper way.

Working on his latest record forty years later, I am reminded of all that and can still feel those feelings. I know they won't mean the exact same thing to the readers here as they do to me, but I write this as some kind of inspiration to remind us to find those things in adult life that make us feel those feelings of purity and joy. It's those things that matter - the things of purity that take us from one place to the next.

The album is a mix of gospel, blues, jazz, brass band music, pop and a waltz.

From "The Diving Board" has Elton on piano and vocals, Jay Bellerose on drums, Raphael Saadiq on bass, Keefus Ciancia on keyboards, Doyle Bramhall on guitar and Motown legend Jack Ashord on percussion.  As Elton said, "This is the album I should be making after "The Union." It's my most adult album."  The album was written and recorded over two sessions a year apart (in January of 2012 and 2013). The 13 John/Taupin compositions comprise, according to Elton, “the most piano-oriented album,” of his career.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SXSW 2013

My experience at the 2013 SXSW music festival:

As I boarded the plane from LA to Austin, I had just a few expectations. I had VIP access to Dave Grohl's concert with the Sound City Players through Lurssen Mastering client Chris Shifflet, who is a guitar player with The Foo Fighters. Also playing was LM friend Rami Jaffee who plays keyboards with The Foos as well as with The Wallflowers. The base band for The Sound City Players is The Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl was the keynote speaker at this year's SXSW conference and the transcript of his speach can be read at

Sound City - SXSWI missed the keynote address because my flight was delayed, but I did manage to see the concert at a fairly large, yet still intimate venue - as far as Austin clubs go - called Stubbs. I would say about 1,000 people were there. Guests included Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield, John Fogerty and many others. What was most notable is the amount of respect Grohl gave to these rockstars. He brings them back into the fold with reverence and respect and allows them to perform to his audience showing directly how he was influenced in his early days by these musicians and how he became who he is. He also showed this in the movie documentary called Sound City in which he documents his purchase of the console from the legendary studio that recently closed down. Once the console was setup in his home studio he called in as many of the original clients of that studio to make a record - which is why the group of all stars was called The Sound City Players. It was a remarkable concert, one of the best I had experienced in many years and a wonderful way to start the three-day experience.

Mastering Panel, SXSWThe next day was the discussion panel, Modern Mastering Matters, on which I was a panelist. We had a packed room and the audience had the panelists stay for an extra 20 minutes to answer a constant stream of very well thought out and focused questions. This was another positive experience that I knew I could expect based on the many discussion panels I have led and participated in nationally and internationally.

Then came the mayhem. Wandering around the town of Austin every venue was alive with sound. Bands flaunting their sounds, playing loud and without apology until the wee hours of the morning. Taxi drivers telling me that they had been shuttling people from just about every country in the world to and from the airport. People flashing smiles at me as I walked the streets. No bad vibes, just great energy and great communication. Sensory overload when it comes to music coming at me from every angle. 

Street Musicians - SXSWI have always felt that music is the glue that bonds us all. The universal language that everybody can understand, even while in the womb. I saw positive proof of this at SXSW and I fear not that the music business is in dire straits. I did catch a comment that Grohl made at his Stubbs show about making records without the use of the big machine record labels. People cheered at that. There is a general sentiment that the music business is alive and well. It always will be. It always existed, way before any kind of economic infrastructure supported the business aspect of it. And it continues to be so. As the experts decide where the tollbooth should sit as the music industry gets re-tooled, the bands will play on . . . as they always have.