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Toronto AES Bulletin


Nov 1999

CD Mastering Unveiled and a Tour of The Lacquer Channel

Presented by George Graves and Phil Demetro, The Lacquer Channel
Date 23 Nov 1999
Time 7:30 pm
Place The Lacquer Channel
Address 297 Lesmill Road
South of the 401, east of Leslie
TTC - take bus #51 from Eglinton Station
Pre-Meeting Dinner 5:30 pm
Windfield's Restaurant - 801 York Mills Rd. (York Mills and Leslie)
Pre-registration is Required Call National Mail Box at (416) 922-8122.
Attendance is limited to the first 30 people.


Mastering: definition - the transfer of a musical signal from magnetic tape to an acetate master disc...But it isn't that simple. Mastering is really more art than science. And for the past 22 years, The Lacquer Channel has been creating art in the form of some of today's most popular recordings. On November 23rd, we will have the opportunity to get a first hand look at one of Canada's premier mastering facilities and unveil some of the mysteries behind the dark art they call "mastering".

Some of the questions we hope to have answered include: 1) Why is mastering necessary? 2) What can a mastering engineer do for my recording? 3) How can I prepare for the mastering process?

They will also take us on a tour of their two Neve/Sonic Solutions powered mastering suites designed by Group 1 Acoustics. On this tour, we will see everything from their vintage analog equipment like the Sontec and Pultec EQ's to the newer classics like the latest EQ from Manley and The Lacquer Channel's custom mastering compressors from Tubetronix.


GEORGE GRAVES - Chief Mastering Engineer: In 1963, George began his career at Century Records pressing plant in Saugus, California, which was the start of a long and well-documented career as a mastering engineer. George also spent some time at RCA, after which he went to work with Doug Sax at the Mastering Lab in Hollywood from 1971 to 1974. In 1974 George moved to Toronto and later settled in as the chief mastering engineer at The Lacquer Channel in April 1978.During his long career, George has worked with some of today's top recording artists including: Rush, Peter Gabriel, U2, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, and Harry Nilsson. He list also includes more contemporary artists such as: The Killjoys, Gandharvas, Jaymz Bee and Holly Cole to name but a few.

PHIL DEMETRO - Phil got his start in the music industry interning as a music therapist at a prestigious Toronto hospital. With his heart set on music production, Phil enrolled in the Producing/Engineering Program at the Harris Institute for the Arts. Upon completion, Phil sought an apprenticeship with George Graves at Lacquer Channel Mastering. After a stint of free-lance work with bands such as ST8OFMIND, 3rd Degree, Earrl, Phil was hired to help manage the facility and operate Studio A's mastering sessions and production work.

For more information on the Lacquer Channel or the services they offer please check out their website at:
or e-mail them at:

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Originally posted: 16 Nov 1999
Last update: 16 Nov 1999