On Wednesday, 12th of December, the Sound Design students Katharina Pichler, Gerd Juritsch, Lukas Benedicic, Markus Sternbauer, Severin Ströhle, Elisabeth Breuner and Reinhold Aschbacher went to Vienna to spend the following two days with sound mastering engineer Stefan Lainer, practicing and learning about professional sound mastering in studios. The first part of their study tour took place in the engineer’s workplace, the ORF Funkhaus, the fourth district of Vienna. There, Stefan Lainer showed the students the most important parts of the building and discussed sound mastering in terms of hearing, hardware and software, workflows and connections to the students’ field of study. Stefan Lainer shared his personal experiences with them and they also learned about possible work fields and the future of mastering. In the end, every student was surprised to better understand what he or she hears and what he or she hasn’t heard yet in various pieces of music.

The next day, Stefan Lainer and the students met in St. Pölten to visit a friend and a great professional in mastering, Martin Scheer, in his studio at home. With Martin, the students discussed all that is good and bad in music production, mixing and mastering and ear training in specific. Although there was not enough time getting to know Martin’s workstation in detail, the students learned a lot about helpful tools for their own practice. The study tour ended with a very nice lunch and chat at the ORF NÖ’s kitchen before going back to Graz.

Text & Photography: Elisabeth Breuner