Up Close: Liquid Mastering

Lifelong Passion For Sound: The branding line on the home page of Liquid Mastering––“Passion for the Art, Science & Emotion of Sound”–– truly reflects the lifelong mindset and dedication that Eugene, OR based mastering engineer Thaddeus Moore brings to every project. At the age of 19 in 1997, he launched Sprout City Studios which has since been a popular recording and mixing, rehearsal and educational facility, recording thousands of albums for indie artists.

Ten years in, Moore realized he was interested in mastering after work- ing with other mastering engineers on client projects. His passion for this final creative step in the recording process led him to start Liquid Mastering in 2008. While working with artists ranging from punk to electronica, black metal to church choirs, EDM to jazz, Liquid Mastering gives equal attention, love and care to each project. No matter the kind of music, podcasts, audio- books or TV shows clients create, Moore––who works with clients all over the world––goes through all the steps required to make the tracks sound clearer and more vibrant.

Liquid Mastering’s Mission: “I have always been extremely passion- ate about the emotional intensity of great sounding music and its power to create feelings in a listener,” Moore says. “There are a lot of exciting, emotionally impactful elements that mastering can enhance at the end of the recording process. Mastering allows me to get technically nerdy about the mix balance of songs, while helping artists achieve their vision.” He adds, “That sense of having the hair stand up on your arms from the beauty or intensity of someone’s composition is what I try to bring out of every session, regardless of style. I enjoy using both the analog and digi- tal systems available now to remove any obstacles decreasing the clarity of the sound.” He says, “We’re trying to capture and convey something so immersive and potentially life altering.”

Stem Mastering: For artists and songwriters who aspire to have their music considered for sync rights for film and TV, Moore encourages stem mastering. “When stems are combined, they approximate the sound of the final mix but allow for deeper control over all the separate elements of a song, without full mix limitations.” Though many mastering engineers resist it, he embraces it and believes that it’s good for future remixing possibilities as well. As he writes on his site, “Stem mastering can be a great way to correct problems or make changes without affecting other components of the mix. Essentially, we’re still mastering it as we would a stereo file, but because everything is separated into groups, we have a greater degree of control over how we make changes.”

Workshops: Moore has been conducting classes for many years out of Sprout City Studios. He started doing audio classes for LCC Continuing Ed Dept in 2004, but now lists them for anyone in the community. He also does recording workshop lockouts at the studio where his students get to record and mix a real band EP, in addition to mixing workshops that help people working at home on hip-hop, rock and pop get better at what they do. He shares some of his mastering expertise in a free mastering ebook, which can be downloaded by scanning the bar code in his ad in MC.