LOS ANGELES, CA – GRAMMY® Award- and multi Latin GRAMMY Award-winning Italian vocal superstar Laura Pausini is beloved by her fans across the globe – a fanbase that adores her vocal talents in Italian, English or whatever other language she chooses to sing. For her brand new holiday album project, Laura Xmas (released November 4 on Warner), Pausini went the extra mile, actually releasing different album configurations – Laura Xmas (standard version, mostly in English, with a bit of Spanish and Latin), Laura Navidad (mostly in Spanish) and Laura Xmas French Edition. Great care was taken in showcasing Pausini’s trademark lyricism across these three configurations, and this attention to detail extended to the mastering process. Culver City, CA-based mastering facility The Bakery and its founder, mastering engineer Eric Boulanger, were hand-picked to master the album by the project’s GRAMMY-nominated producer Jason Lee (Patti Austin, Patrick Williams) and veteran multi GRAMMY-winning engineer Al Schmitt (Neil Young, Paul McCartney). Patrick Williams and Pausini herself served as co-producers, and Steve Genewick served as co-engineer.
Lee and Genewick were present with Boulanger for the mastering sessions, which went very easily and efficiently. Boulanger recalls, “It was very smooth sailing on this one. I think there might have only been a couple of revisions, if there were any at all. I am familiar enough with Al Schmitt’s work to know that the mixes will always be right in the sweet spot, which makes mastering a dream. Everything will be where it needs to be. They were very specific though – the main goal was to maintain Al’s lush sound in a 192kHz high-headroom, high-resolution mix while boosting the overall level and creating consumer formats – CD, digital download, streaming and vinyl. That was a lot of different versions to keep track of, but we accomplished it without any problems.”
Boulanger also wanted to create the right festive atmosphere, even though the sessions took place in late summer. “I strung lights around the studio, and I found some other holiday decorations to put up,” he recalls. “I wore a Santa hat too. It’s important to get the right vibe in the studio, no matter what kind of project you’re working on. A holiday project needs a holiday atmosphere, as far as I’m concerned.”
Jason Lee noted, “It’s always a pleasure to work with Eric, and I do so whenever I have the opportunity. I worked on the Laura Xmas record for about five months, but from day one, before any music was written or recorded, I already knew who I wanted to master it. Eric simply ‘gets it.’ After working with him on a record from last year titled Home Suite Home that garnered two GRAMMY nominations, It just furthered the confidence in my choice. Aside from sharing a couple of mentors between us, I appreciate his technical knowledge and his ears. He’s a very talented musician. I know that, when I bring a project to Eric, it will be approached from not only a solid technical standpoint, but most importantly, a solid musical standpoint.”
Photo Caption: Pictured L-R: Steve Genewick, Eric Boulanger and Jason Lee. Photo credit: Jett Galindo, The Bakery. © 2016.