The award-winning mixing and mastering engineer, who has worked with some of the most famous artists in electronic music, gave our students a masterclass. We asked him what fuels his creativity.
It has been said that mastering is a dark art. To the lay person, it is all too easy to imagine shadowy figures performing musical wizardry in the dead of night. There they stand, waving wands and hands, conjuring impossibly smooth and balanced audio from a frenzied cauldron of sound.
But when you meet mastering engineers like Conor Dalton, the reality is clear. There are no elusive secrets to this highly skilled craft; great mastering and mixing relies on a well-trained ear, experience, good judgement and, of course, the best equipment. When Conor dropped into Catalyst for a Guest Session, his beaming smile and inspiring, comprehensible masterclass instantly dispelled any preconceived enigma.
From his Berlin-based studio, Glowcast Audio Mastering, the award-winning engineer has mastered music for an impressive artist roster including: Daft Punk, Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Ricardo Villalobos, Carl Craig, John Digweed, Andrew Weatherall, Pan-Pot, Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex, Ben Sims, Sandwell District, Green Velvet, Luke Slater, Alan Fitzpatrick, and many more. (Excuse us while we pick up our jaws from the floor.)
We touched base with Conor to ask him what is the one thing that fuels his creativity.
"The main thing that fuels my creativity is collaboration. I’ve found that working with other people can open up possibilities and ideas that would very unlikely be discovered alone.
It’s a really effective way to learn new mindsets and techniques. It helps to multiply the enjoyment and divide the stress involved in creation too, and an immediate second opinion can help move things forwards quickly.
You can take the strengths from everyone involved and mix them together to create something greater than the sum of their parts, and overall it’s helped me rediscover my joy for the creation of music."