"I've used Vestman Mastering for years and have always
been impressed with John's audio capabilities. When he introduced his
'Separation Mastering' technique, it just made sense. I can honestly
say that the mixes grew wider and deeper, creating a more 'lush' stereo
image. You gotta hear it for yourself to believe it, but once you do,
you'll never go back to the 2-track."
"We originally mastered the Kerry Getz album at a
'world class' mastering facility in Los Angeles, and the quality fell
short of my expectations (even after a second attempt). I brought the
project to you and now I couldn't be happier with the results. You
exceeded my expectations... at half the price of the 'world class'
Beal - Engineer for Narada Michael Walden, Carole King, Hanson, Howard
"I quickly learned to trust his ears and
opinions as accurate, tasteful, but not overbearing. I realized how
much more can be done in mastering besides level and eq changes. The
sounds I left with held up loud, quiet, in the car and in the next
-Otha Young: Juice Newton - "American Girl"
"Your sound that you got me was better than my last
[album] which was mastered at [world famous mastering studio]. One of
my tunes came on KBSR...after a 'Fourplay' tune. It sounded just as
good, if not better! The bass...was just FAT and everything else was
clear as a bell. You did an incredible job."
-Patrick Yandall, Jazz artist - "Of Two Cities" - San Diego, CA
"Everyone in the band is thrilled with the mastering
job. You did an amazing job...the songs noticeably rock harder. Our
drummer loves the drum sound and the vocals are much brighter. I will
definitely be recommending you to anyone I know who needs to master
Bordon - Producer, engineer, The Omen Room Studios
- Saccharine -
"The CD sounds great in everything we played it in Car,
Home, Boom box,
CD Walkman, and most important the Radio. Your
web site sold me. We left a lot up to you, which is really unlike us."
-Jeff Boyer -
Paint Box -
great job overall and everyone is very pleased. I'll be
in touch again soon as we've just begun another album."
Marlow - Moontracks
Publishing - Northamptonshire, England
with John because he hears details
in the mix, and simply makes everything sound better."
- Guitarist on
Electra, A&M records, Tanya Tucker on MCA, Olivia Newton-John,
Randy Meisner, etc.
for two days to come up with some
way to express our appreciation and thanks. The CD is phenomenal. But
it's also more than that. It's actually far beyond what we were
expecting, and we were expecting quite a bit."
-David Eden -
sent out 4
demos and yours was the best. Yours
had the most clarity of all. Yours also kept the original clarity
despite the added loudness, which is something that the others lacked."
Milano, Jr. - Peat
the Fertilizers - West Islip, NY
pricing is competitive and your turnaround is impeccable. Your detailed
notes, suggestions, and correspondence ensured that you had been paying
attention to the album. Perhaps I've been underexposed, but I haven't
encountered this elsewhere."
- Idols of the
Marketplace - Indiana
who is a seasoned veteran, was highly impressed with
the mastering job. I was shocked to hear his enthusiasm. He says that
this is by far the best mastering job he has experienced."
music to life. I didn't realize the
importance of mastering until he A/B'd the finished product with the
-John Stary -
want to thank
you for the killer job that you
did. The toms that you mixed in for us sound great. People have been
commenting how good the CD sounds."
-Pat Roche -
-Kim - The
Sympathy for the Record Industry)
"After reading [your articles], we applied [your
suggestions] towards our project. [You] worked magic above and beyond
the call of duty to make our CD sound it's best."
- Craig Smoot
Label - Huntsville, Alabama
"The [award-winning] Full Frequency album got a lot
of praise for the whole production and mastering process. So again, as
always, thanks for the great work you've done on Gonzo! releases."
- Gonzo! Records
- LA, CA
"The work you did
on the new
brought it to life! Your ear is impeccable. That's why we keeping
-Daniel Marish - Crashdove -
Las Vegas, NV
| "Without you
us sound great years ago, I probably would have become disenchanted
with the whole music thing. I know now how much apart of all those
songs you really were. I can't imagine how many countless clients came
into your studio sounding amature....and leaving sounding pro. Those
hours spent in your studio had a deep influence on me that I can draw
on as I venture into my own recording situation."
- Ken Balagna -
"The Barela CD was mastered using a new cutting-edge, state of the art
process known as Separation Mastering. We are extremely happy and
grateful to our Mastering Engineer John Vestman for his complete
support, outstanding professionalism and overwhelming patience."
- Tony Barela -
Orange County, CA
"I am more than pleased with your work and the way we communicated
which each other to acheive the sound I was looking for. The
sound is better than I ever expected it to be and the Separation
Mastering technique realy did the trick.
You proved to be helpful, kind, patient and a real pro, Mr. Goldenears.
Thanks a million John, for doing an incredible job"
"I know I speak for a lot of your clients past, present and future who
could have gone to other places, but stayed with you for one reason.
You produced consistently great product in a number of capacities. Your
ability to adapt to the needs of the client in the moment was truly
I have no doubt that you can change the dynamics of a recording in the
mastering process. I think you may bring something extra to the project
that is God given. You have remarkable ears.
I have recited the story of my recording where while we were mixing,
you were hearing something that was bugging you. You slowed down the
tape and manually ran it until you found a John Mehler accidental tick,
where he barely touched the rim on his snare with a stick. You heard
this through heavy rhythm tracks, horns, percussion, lead vocals, and
layers of background vocals. It takes a lot to amaze me. I was amazed
that day while you spot erased it.
I also remember the first mastering of 'Gulf of Mexico.' Doug Sax [The
Mastering Lab in LA] came into the studio and called that "the cleanest
recording he had heard that year." Doug Sax! That was unsolicited. He
wasn't even mastering that project. This recollection stands out
because there were witnesses, and my credibility in the biz as a
decision maker with my music was thereby significantly enhanced.
That led to more money for studio time, and eventually to
Allegiance-EMI-Capitol. I was positioned to compete in Hollywood
largely due to your singular brilliance.
Then there was the Brian Wayy-recording that a black producer and I
brought to the Black Radio convention at Studio City. In a smokey
expensive suite filled with some true industry heavies, we managed to
slip that tape into the rotation. Immediately, the dancers jumped up to
boogie and the business people flocked to us asking who, where, and
rather poignantly, who produced in what studio. The quality of those
recordings certainly outlasted the voice emulators!
John, there are many more anecdotes that would support what you have
accomplished in the last 25 years. I think it is precisely the fact
that you have recorded so much, and have such a great ear that make you
a superior mastering engineer. It is your rare awareness of sound and
process that lead me to think you might just be pushing the envelope in
this field." -Bill Glass, Corpus
Email response to Secrets of Miking
" [Your advice]
positive reinforcement when it comes to getting the most out of a vocal
performance is 100% right on!" [We've felt bad vibes] when our engineer
would express the opposite of what he really means (eg., "Fred, y'know
that solo of yours really sucked...)"
Reply by JV:
There are people who use put-downs in a kidding way, and people who are
just plain cranky. No matter how "fun" the person makes a put-down, it
strikes a vulnerable place inside people and the people around them.
When requesting a different approach, I suggest having the whole band
there for a quick game plan discussion so that everyone is on the same
page. Then use the "donut" technique. Say something positive "I really
appreciate the sound you get on tape for us..." "for this project, we
want to take a new approach in giving feedback to the singer. We'd like
to all agree to not use any put-downs or negative comments or negative
words, even if it's jokingly." "I know this session is going to go
great, and we're looking forward to hear the sound you get for us."
If he goofs, just smile, take the "joke" for what it is, and then
simply add the positive phrase afterwards. It will add time to the
talking-back and forth, but it will neutralize the negativity. No one
switches this wording around overnight. It took me years, I mean years
to get automatic with my language. Never reprimand yourself or others
when a negative phrase is used, just follow it with a correction.
impressed with the quality of our recording after mastering. I don't
think we realized what a difference it would make."
-Lynnae Hitchcock - Relish -
"The sound quality
reviews, thanks for a job well done. Our music is getting picked up
daily by stations across the country."
-Mike Beloud - Rise - Montrose, CA
"My drummer and I
had a great
with you wherein we basically remixed our entire 3-song demo from start
to finish. We're thrilled with how the songs came out and owe it all to
you. Thanks for doing such an incredible job. "
-Andy Barr - headParade - LA, CA
"Please cut the final master without any
additional changes. It sounds great and we are very excited!"
-Michael Powers - Yellow
Dog Records, Memphis, TN