Up Close: Maor Appelbaum Mastering

Maor Appelbaum Mastering


Creating “Sounds with Impact: Since launching his continuously thriving state-of-the-art, L.A.-based mastering suite in 2008, Maor Appelbaum has worked with a wide variety of international clients in a multitude of genres. Among the biggest names seeking his unique expertise and sonic perspective are Yes (six albums, five live and one studio), Faith No More, Meat Loaf’s final recording Braver Than We Are, Canadian metal bands Voivid and Annihilator, Starset, blues/rocker Eric Gales (three albums), blues guitarist Walter Trout, Limp Bizkit, Lita Ford and Sepultura. Appelbaum has also worked with top producers and mixers Sylvia Massy, Mike Clink, Matt Wallace, Mike Fraser, Bob Horn and Billy Sherwood. His studio is equipped with an impressive array of Digital External Gear and Analog Tube and solid-state processors to give clients an expansive slate of sounds–from warm, lush and crispy tones to bold, tight and punchy sounds full of depth and emotional impact. The room acoustics were provided by Sense & Sound and Prime Acoustic. Using custom tailored high-end mastering equipment, Appelbaum’s work embodies his branding slogan “Sounds with Impact.” He offers an extensive equipment list on the Studio page of his website. 

Maor’s Unique Approach: I can only speak of what I’m doing, but the actual tangible result is on the receiving end, when the client hears it,” Appelbaum says. “My approach comes from absorbing the tracks I receive and using my mastering techniques and technology to finish each one in a fresh and unique way. My listening is pure ‘sponging’ and absorbing what’s coming from the music to me, without bias. I come in with a clean slate and intuitively feel the elements of the music that I should bring to the sonic forefront. My goal is to extend the listening experience to make it more engaging, so that the listener can connect on an organic level. To me, the best moment is when my clients say they love how it sounds. Of course, I will make changes when requested, but it’s a great feeling knowing that I got someone excited about their music even more than when they first bring the project to me.” 

A Passion for Indie Bands: Though his website is filled with album covers of the high-profile artists and legendary bands he’s worked with, Appelbaum’s deeper passion is working with independent artists on the rise who are seeking that dynamic something extra that only a mastering engineer of his caliber and experience can provide. He encourages indies to get in touch with him to take their projects to the next level.  

A Diverse Background: Back in his home country of Israel, Appelbaum launched his career as something of a jack of all trades in the audio industry. While creating a unique niche for himself playing and recording experimental industrial gothic metal, he also did audio and video broadcasting in the field of education. While producing bands, he also served as a DJ in clubs, did freelance music journalism, hosted online radio show and worked in rehearsal rooms. Though he admits he was not a master of each craft, this background led him to his ultimate defining role as a mastering engineer. “I found that I enjoyed the process of sometimes fine- tuning projects and on other occasions taking a more intrusive approach, depending on what the artist needed,” he says. “It felt natural for me to be a listener with control.” 

Check out maorappelbaum.com