John Dent – Professional Mastering Engineer

Professional Mastering Engineer for 40 years
Red Bull Music Academy lecturer

john in melbourne oct06 lecturing

John Dent

John Dent – CV

1973 Trident Studios, London W1
Joined as one of three tea boys in training, had short spells as studio librarian and assistant to the recording staff. Then trained under Ray Staff and Howard Thompson to cut vinyl.
Quickly developed own clients including Miles Copeland, Island Records and United Artists, Vic Maile, Vic Keary, Spark Records.
Producers include Chris Blackwell, Vic Maile, Stuart Copeland, Robert Ash, Phil Brown and Lee Perry.
Cut Many ‘Punk’ era records, artist include Police – “Roxanne”, The Stranglers – 2 albums “No More Heroes”, “Rattus Norveticus” plus singles off both. Bob Marley & The Wailers – 3 albums “Live At The Lyceum”, “Babylon By Bus” and “Kaya” plus many singles starting with “Waiting In Vain” and “Exodus”. Tom Robinson “2468 Motorway”. Dr Feelgood – many releases, David Essex, The Only Ones – “Lovers Of Today” and “Another Girl, Another Planet”. Buzzcocks, Sham 69, Vibrators, Inmates, Steel Pulse – “Naya Love” and many more singles. Aswad – “Back To Africa” album and others, John Martyn – “One World” album and singles. Eddie & The Hotrods albums, EP’s and singles. Ultravox first album with John Fox. Albums with John Cale, Lee Scratch Perry ,Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Heptones, Jah Lion, Rock Follies, Andy Mckay, Band Of The Black Watch – “Amazing Grace” single.

1978 Chris Blackwell expressed an interest in me running a cutting studio for him at Island Records. I found equipment for sale and got myself a job. The Sound Clinic was born and built at British Grove, Hammersmith behind Island’s headquarters in St. Peter’s Square. The design of the room was overseen by Michael Glickman who had built the “War Room” operations centre for Island Records. Started with ‘in house’ cutting: Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Survival” and “Legend” albums and many singles including “Could You Be Loved”. Grace Jones numerous singles and albums, U2 – “Boy”, Robert Palmer numerous singles including “Addicted To Love”. Steel Pulse many albums and singles including “Tribute To The Martyrs”, Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Linton Kwesi Johnson including “Forces To Victory” album. Steve Winwood 3 solo albums and singles including “Higher Love”, “Valerie” and “While You See A Chance”. Tom Waits, Sly & Robbie and many new acts and releases for licensed labels including Zee Records, Taxi, Bearsville and many cuts for the Fourth & Broadway label.
The client base rapidly expanded and artists I worked with included The Clash – “Bank Robber”, Peter Gabriel – 3rd album including the “Games Without Frontiers” single. Motorhead 3 albums – “Bomber”, “Ace Of Spades”, “No Sleep Til Hammersmith” and many singles including with Girl School “Please Don’t Touch”. 2 Girlschool albums, Dire Staits “Alchemy Live” album and “Twisting By The Pool” single and many other film and solo projects for Mark and John. XTC “Drums And Wires” album including the single “Making Friends For Nigel”. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – some of the many versions of “Relax”, “Two Tribes” and “The Power Of Love”. The Buggles including “Video Killed The Radio Star”, Erasure “Sometimes”, Alan Tarney producing Cliff Richard – 2 albums including “Wired For Sound”. Leo Sayer albums and singles including “More Than I Can Say”. Barbara Dixon album and singles including “January February”. The Specials – “Ghost Town”, The Go Betweens, China Crisis, The Smiths, Phil Collins, Paul Young.

1987 Left Island (with Chris Blackwell’s blessing) to start The Exchange, Camden, with Graeme Durham. Island were happy for the lion’s share of their back catalogue to be mastered for CD. This included Traffic, Free, Fairport Convention and Cat Stevens working with producer Paul Samwell Smith (ex Yardbirds). Nick Drake, Sandy denny, Bob Marley, Steel Pulse, Aswad, John Martyn to name a few. Many of these transfers were ‘classic albums’.
Mute was a major client of mine, I mastered numerous Erasure singles, Depeche Mode projects, Frank Tovey, Diamanda Galas, Barry humpfreys, Nick Cave, Miranda Sexgarden and many other Mute artists.
Albums and singles by D:Ream, Mica Paris, and many bands for Vinyl Solution, Island and Beggars Banquet including Bauhaus and Love & Rockets. House Of Pain and Prodigy for XL. Rory Gallagher albums (he even overdubbed guitar chords live whilst cutting an album. John Martyn’s own label releases. Sugarcubes (Bjork), Massive Attack, Smith & Mighty.

Departed The Exchange end of 1994, to move location and build LOUD.
1995 onwards artists include Goldfrapp – “Felt Mountain”, Timo Maas – “Loud”, Robert Plant’s “66 To Timbuktoo” anthology, Baaba Maal, System7, The Orb, Banco De Gaia, Midge Ure, Charlie Watts, Mark Pritchard, Tom Middleton, Global Communication, Spleen, Way Out West (2 albums), Runrig (3 albums), Kirsty Hawkshaw, Swell, Spacek, Custom Blue, los Del Rio, Dennis Bovell, Linton Kwesi Johnson. Many artist on ‘Cup Of Tea’, ‘City Rockers’, ‘Oracabessa’, ‘Sunday Best’, ‘Virgin’, ‘Island’, ‘EMI’.
More recently PJ Harvey “Let England Shake”, “Uh Huh Her” and “White Chalk” including other projects with John Parish. Kasabian first album, The Editors first album and albums by Sheenhan-Deighton, Robert Forster (Go Betweens), Emiliana Torrini, Athlete, Coldcut, Mark Lanegan, Merz, Tom McRae, Yann Tiersen (5 albums), Far Out Recordings numerous catalogue releases, Brazillian music, iLikeTrains, The Kooks, Scritti Politti, Tim Fries Greene (Talk Talk), Kula Shaker.
Recent Producers – Dan Carey, Jim Abbis, Mike Brauer, David Tickle, Head, john Parish, Rob Ellis, Sean Gnockey, Crispian mills, Flood, Zero7, Coldcut, Chris Blackwell, Paul ‘Groucho’ Smykle, Yann Tiersen, Richard Blair. Joe Davis, Dave Brinkworth, Mark Pritchard, Tom Middleton, Phil Johnstone, Green, Phil Brown, Chris Sheehan & Matt Damon, DJ Shadow, DJ Joker.
Vinyl Cutting – for modt OM records last 10 years, Drop Music, Robert Plant, Warp Records, Afro Art, Mighty Atom, Hope Recordings, and endless 7″ singles.
Mastering CD projects by cutting the tracks to vinyl acetate first – Tim Fries Greene, Yann Tiersen, Crispian Mills, Zero7, Chris Sheehan, Sheehan-Deighton.
Remastering and resoration projects – Gary Numan (most albums), The Cult (13 albums worth), Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus, The Go Betweens, The Pixies, This Mortal Coil
Recent lectures on Mastering and sound quality – Red Bull Music Academy, Melbourne 2006 and the BBC 2006