Tony Maserati is one of the world’s leading mix engineers, with a pedigree as impressive and sparkling as that of the Italian sports car of the same name. During his long career he has amassed a list of credits that runs into the hundreds, and that includes big names such as Beyoncé, Robin Thicke, Jason Mraz, kd Lang, Mary J Blige, David Bowie, Usher, Puff Daddy, Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, Cher, Keith Urban, R Kelly, Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Lil’ Kim, and the Black Eyed Peas. Maserati has won several Grammy Awards, and is one of the few mixers with a Waves Signature Plugin Series—The Tony Maserati Collection—turning his name into a global brand.
Born Tony Masciarotte, Maserati began his career in the 1980s, first obtaining an MA in Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and then working at Sigma Sound in New York, with the likes of Whitney Houston, Lisa Lisa and Tom Tom Club, and a variety of hip-hop and dance acts. Maserati went independent in 1989, initially working as an engineer, mixer and producer, but became a trendsetter when he focused purely on mixing at a time when the star mixer was still a rare sight. He became a pioneer in another respect as well, in that he helped shape the sound of New York hip-hop, with his style characterized by a big bass and a classy high end, memorably described as “outhouse in the bottom, penthouse at the top.”
Maserati worked for most of his career in commercial studios, but in 2007 he built his first personal studio, located north of New York and called Una Volta. In the summer of 2010 he moved to Los Angeles, where he teamed up with British songwriter and producer Stefan Skarbek (Amy Winehouse, Spice Girls, Lily Allen) to co-found Mirrorball Entertainment. Mirrorball calls itself a “music publisher, production team and recording company,” and its Los Angeles headquarter contains several writing rooms and studios, including Maserati’s current mix room.
Maserati’s studio at Mirrorball has the hybrid analogue/digital setup that he has favoured for many years, with an Avid D-Command control surface and Neve Melbourne and Chandler Mini Mixer analogue mixers, plus his favourite Tannoy DMT12 and ProAc Studio 100 monitors. In the same vein, his effects are a combination of the best of digital, with plugins by Waves, UAD, Soundtoys, Softube and many others, and the best of analogue, by the likes of Alan Smart, Telefunken, Shadow Hills, Pendulum, Universal Audio, Chandler, Neve and Urei. Analogue gear continues to prove invaluable for Maserati because of, he says, “the headroom.” In addition, Maserati also enjoys the portability of 21C digital equipment, and regularly mixes while travelling, using a laptop with Sennheiser HD600 headphones, Pelonis Model 42s speakers, and a Black Lion DAC.
Maserati has conducted two Mix With The Masters seminars to date, in July 2011 and September 2013, both of which turned out to be inspiring and exciting events for both tutor and participants—as so often with MWTM seminars, the classes proved career-changing for many of the latter. Maserati retains fond memories, saying that he particularly enjoyed “Getting to know young professionals from around the world and being exposed to the issues in their marketplace and in their studios.”
According to Maserati, the seminars were particularly effective and powerful because the “week long intensive and small group sessions make Mix With The Masters a very unique and focused training camp.” During his classes Maserati was able to share the full breadth of his experience, which ranges from the late analogue and early digital days to today’s cutting edge, and in the process his focus was “on accentuating young professional’s strengths and to find causes and solutions for their weaknesses.”
Tony Maserati hopes to be back for a third MWTM seminar at La Fabrique as soon as time and scheduling allows.
All Rights Reserved