A celebrated mastering engineer takes us inside his craft.
Mastering—where the finishing touches are put on music before it heads off to manufacturing and then into record shops—is always a bit of a dark art. But there are a handful practitioners who manage to achieve some level of fame for it regardless. Matt Colton is one of them. After art school and a stint in radio, he found himself in a mastering apprenticeship in London and soon realized he'd found his calling. Though he (like most mastering engineers) works across genres, he's become a byword for wonderful sound and fantastic vinyl cuts in dance and electronic music—worlds this long-time fan of the genres is happy to inhabit. Jordan Rothlein sat down with Colton at Alchemy Mastering, the West London studio he co-owns, for a chat that sheds light on his field.