Chapter 8

Step IV

Assembly—Links in a Chain

One day, early in my tenure at Capitol, a respected senior Mastering Engineer at Capitol named Wally Traugott1 explained to me, “Let me tell you something: if an album is mastered well, you can set your volume and EQ and listen top-to-bottom and you don’t need to reach for or adjust the volume or EQ knobs again. The songs flow one to the other like links in a chain.” Wally was revered in mastering circles for the prominent artists that sought his work, and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (1973) was among the albums he had mastered for vinyl release. He would elaborate on that seminal project occasionally: “The producer (Alan Parsons) didn’t show up as scheduled, but the tapes had arrived, so I ...

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