Oakland, CA (August 31, 2017)—Neato Mastering, a new purpose-built facility in Oakland’s Sharkbite complex, has opened its doors for business, headed by mastering engineer Piper Payne, most recently of San Francisco’s Coast Mastering.
The centerpiece of Neato Mastering is a pair of twin-cabinet, pure analog PMC BB5 XBD-Active high-resolution monitors, with 15-inch Radial drivers and separately housed PMC power amplification—more than 2,400W per channel and a bass response that goes down to 17 Hz.
“The magic in a great room is in having the right full-range speakers, the right treatment on the walls, and great room acoustics, but also, critically, how the system itself is tuned,” explained Payne. “Inside this space, I can approach each project with fresh ears and best serve it in whatever way is needed.”
In addition to running Neato, Payne is an audio professor and guest lecturer at several colleges and at the Women’s Audio Mission in San Francisco. She has degrees in Classical Recording and Audio Engineering, as well as holding leadership positions in the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and is President of the Recording Academy San Francisco Chapter. Payne recently mastered the Madame Gandhi album, The Future is Female, and the Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin’s new project, Elettrodomestico, plus the soundtrack and vinyl release for the video game, Headlander.
“My paramount goal in mastering has always been to honor the original intentions of the mix, so I take a ‘give-it-only-what-it needs’ approach,” said Payne. “At the same time, it’s critical to make sure that the final product is technically correct and ready for manufacturing—which is what mastering is really all about,” said Payne. “Deciding to go independent gives me the freedom to embrace this approach in my own shop. It’s freeing, exciting, and I couldn’t be happier.”