Magic Garden Mastering

Up Close: Magic Garden Mastering

No Perfection, Only Connection: Driven by a singular philosophy “there’s no perfection, only connection,” veteran mastering engineer Brian Lucey sees his two decades of work for bedroom projects, signed indie artists and Grammy-winning legends as the “art of enhancement, facilitating the connection between artist and audience.” Take it from Neil Young, quoted on Lucey’s website, “That guy is fucking great…” Located on a street in Atwater Village with artists from every genre, Lucey’s Magic Garden Mastering uses a fresh concept in studio design. The freestanding walls treat mid and high frequencies, while the low-end escapes into the four-story, open floor plan, concrete and glass structure—providing effortless low-end clarity. The windows and fresh air bring a human connection to the outside world in a design that enhances his work in a way that a windowless cave studio cannot.

A Fellow Musician’s Ear: Lucey moved to Los Angeles six years ago after establishing a successful mastering room in his hometown of Columbus, OH. As a veteran professional musician, he is a minority in the mastering community, most of whom enter from the production/engineering side. As a result, he brings a musician’s musicality—not a technician’s perfectionism—to the mixes. He believes this is the only hope an artist has of making a real connection with listeners.

Launching his career in the late ‘80s in NYC’s East Village, Lucey (who sings, plays guitar and piano) later studied with Guitar Craft and Robert Fripp in the ‘90s. He has many years of experience in band creativity: writing, arranging, performing, tracking and mixing organic music using the Ampex MM1200 2” 16-track. Frustrated by the digital sound of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Lucey started mastering first for himself, then for others in 1999. His vision has always been to restore some of music’s “juicy and musical” naturalism from the vinyl era, using the digital opportunities for clarity and control.

Clientele: “My biggest thing is potential,” Lucey says. “I want to help artists fulfill whatever their potential is in music, so that they’re happy and the people who listen to their work are elevated today, tomorrow, always.” While the majority of his projects are singles, EPs and albums for indies, Lucey’s clientele also includes numerous major label projects, including Liam Gallagher, Marilyn Manson, The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Shania Twain, Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco and Michelle Branch. Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Greg Wells says, “Brian has vast musical range and gets everything from indie recordings to full-blown productions like The Greatest Showman Soundtrack, Katy Perry or the new Grace VanderWaal.”

Contact Magic Garden Mastering, 614-620-4567, magicgardenmastering.com