Mastering Engineers Emily Lazar & Joe LaPorta Get Dangerous on Foo Fighters Grammy Winning Release

The Lodge mastering studios use Dangerous ‘Master’ transfer console on multi-Grammy Winning “Wasting Light”

Edmeston, NY – March 7, 2012 – At the 54th Grammy Awards show Dave Grohl proclaimed proudly that his band recorded and mixed the Foo Fighters album in his garage and used all analog gear throughout the production, including recording all the tracks to tape. But the analog sound didn’t stop there. The multi-Grammy winning album “Wasting Light” was mastered by engineers Emily Lazar and Joe LaPorta at The Lodge Mastering in NY, using the highly analog Dangerous MusicMaster” which features the appropriately rock and roll named “S&M” capability for processing the ‘sides’ and the ‘middle’ of the stereo field separately. “Let’s just say…the Dangerous S&M process found its way into the analog chain on the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light quite a bunch!” says Emily Lazar, Chief Mastering Engineer at The Lodge. 

“I’m a huge fan of the Dangerous Master’s S&M circuitry. It always seems to add an elegant width and depth to the mix and can at times even fix mixes that lack dimension. It’s super versatile with its side-chain capabilities, and I even love running things through it flat!” adds Lazar.

The Foo Fighters won five Grammy awards this year for their “Wasting Light” album including Best Rock Album, which was produced by Butch VigDave Grohl and Vig had worked together 20 years ago on the classic Nirvana release “Nevermind.” The Foo Fighters song “Walk” from their “Wasting Light” release won a Grammy for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance, while the song “White Limo” won for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, and they also won Best Long Form Music Video for the “Back & Forth” music video. 

At The Lodge, Emily Lazar’s mastering facility in New York, the Dangerous Master is a key ingredient for sweet analog success in their mastering studio. “I have always favored gear that allows me to effect changes without artificially coloring the sound too much,” says Lazar. “My choice pieces from our arsenal are both musical and clean but without being too clinical – with that in mind, I can always rely on the Dangerous Music Master with its S&M capability to give me a true and desirable result. The versatility and overall transparency of the Dangerous gear has allowed me to remain flexible regardless of the genre of music that I’m mastering.”

Offering a glimpse of her studio’s history Lazar offers, “I started The Lodge in my apartment in Greenwich Village in 1996 and then moved it to its current location in 1997. I wanted to create a comfortable and relaxed environment where musicians could feel free to communicate with their mastering engineer and truly be heard.”

She continues by illuminating the Dangerous Music connection and how product designer Chris Muth ended up making gear for her studio, “At the time that I was first starting The Lodge, Chris (Muth) was working out of Absolute Audio. I had known him for a few years and was originally interested in having him design some wiring schematics and patch bays for the first rendition of my console. I ended up, very happily I might add, purchasing the central monitoring and routing section of my custom console from him,” states Lazar.

As one of the busiest and most successful mastering facilities in NY, if not the world, The Lodge uses Dangerous mastering gear and it sets the studio apart from the competition says Lazar, “The Dangerous gear has certainly created an advantage. Another reason we have been able to establish ourselves in a highly competitive field is that aside from the gear sounding great, we take pride in the fact that the stuff actually works! In a world of highly fragile high-end audio pieces, our Dangerous gear has been truly steady and stable and has rarely, if ever, caused us any downtime — I don’t think I can say that about many other lines of equipment.”

At the Foo Fighter’s mastering session, band members Dave GrohlTaylor HawkinsPat Smear,Nate Mendel, and Chris Shiflet were all there, along with producer Butch Vig and engineer James Brown. “One of the main challenges for this mastering session actually occurred during the mixing process,” discloses Lazar. “We originally received the first batch of tapes that Alan Moulder mixed while at Chalice Studios in LA. Those mixes were really good with a solid low-end texture, but intrinsically Dave [Grohl] was looking for something more raw and aggressive. We originally mastered a few versions of those mixes and discussed where the new mixes sonically could go next.  Dave decided to return to his garage where they originally tracked the album and determined to mix with the energy of that environment. Dave along with Butch, Alan, James and the Foos had all hands on deck for the mixing process and the results have a particular flavor to them. As a mastering engineer, it was incredibly exciting to hear these new mixes come to life.  The garage mixes posed different technical needs than the Chalice mixes, but they had captured an intense rock sound and a unique vibe.”

Staying 100% analog for the whole process from recording and mixing to mastering was a goal of the Foo Fighters’ “Wasting Light” production, so there was a special moment in the studio at The Lodge during the very final stage of mastering, preparing the music for distribution, “We mastered from 1/2-inch analog tape at 30 IPS using our ATR-102 tape deck for playback into the front end of the Dangerous Master. In fact, while looking over my shoulder at the computer monitor, the guys were marveling about the fact that this was the first time they saw a digital wave file depicting the songs throughout the entire recording process!” says Lazar. “It was all analog awesomeness until the very end!”

For more information on mastering engineer Emily Lazar and The Lodge studios: 

Check out the Foo Fighters‘ website:

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