Piper Payne

20 April 2021 · 1 hr 14 mins

About this Episode

This week, Skipper chats with Piper Payne, an audio mastering engineer.

Currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, Piper starts off the episode with her professional introduction and then tells us "who she actually" is, including her being originally a Midwesterner, having three dogs, being an Aries, and her love of cheeseburgers.

We talk about how if she wasn't a mastering engineer, she might be in some form of construction or maybe a carpenter. We get into how she's a drummer, starting when she was a "shrimpy kid", her technical music studies at the University of Michigan and then her graduate work in Norway, and working under Bob Katz and Michael Romanowski. Then, Piper dives into how she calibrates her mastering console with sine tones and noise, how music is mastered from a high level, her growing up on young country, her love of top 40 pop music, how vinyl records are made (think waffles), how musicians get paid (in the past and more recently), and the potential of non-fungible tokens to help artists get paid for their work as well as keep better track and make decisions about their efforts to tour, promote, and construct release plans.

We also talk about some of the assumptions that people have about being a mastering engineer, how it's not alchemy.

Below is a snapshot of the record shelves Piper mentions on the show as something she built recently that she's proud of:

Piper's record shelves

Stay tuned after the outro music to hear Skipper work out the right way to introduce Piper as an audio mastering engineer or a mastering engineer.

Episode Links