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WCA #241 with Dan Shike – Mastering in Nashville plus a Summer NAMM wrap up.

Dan Shike started college at the University of Evansville and considered a major in physics with intention of a career in acoustics and speaker design – that is, until he heard of the Recording Industry program at Middle Tennessee State University.  Within a week of learning of this “recording industry” and that he could go to school to be in it, Dan applied to MTSU and planned the big move to the south.  

At MTSU Dan spent every waking moment (and a few not so awake) in the studios of the Recording Industry program.  He worked in the recording studio maintenance lab and was a lab assistant for many of his instructors, helping teach lessons in studio recording, SSL operation, and critical listening.  It was there that the thought of moving into mastering emerged.  Dan didn’t do so well in history class but he rocked those engineering classes.

Post-college, Dan worked as an assistant engineer at the MCA Music Publishing studio, held a staff assistant engineer job at Sound Stage Studios, and hung out in what free time he had with a couple of very busy engineers in Nashville.  After about a year and a half at Sound Stage, he went the independent assistant route to work steadily with F. Reid Shippen, mixer of many awesome records, for about 4 years and did some assisting and engineering on the side when he wasn’t busy, which was nearly never.  The desire for mastering grew all the while.

While splitting time between studio work and mastering work, in 2002, Dan did his first major-label mastering project for DC Talk.  Why start with an unknown?  Things went well from there, and in the spring of 2003 the mastering work and the assisting work couldn’t coexist any longer, and Tone and Volume Mastering went full time and all out.

About this interview:

Dan joins me to talk about building his mastering studio in Nashville, avoiding headaches, assisting Reid Shippen, being the only one accountable to his clients, learning to be socially active, getting out of debt and staying healthy.  -Matt

Links and Show Notes:


  • Host: Matt Boudreau 
  • Guest: Dan Shike
  • WCA Theme Music: Cliff Truesdell 
  • Announcer: Chuck Smith
  • Editing: Anne-Marie Pleau & Matt Boudreau
  • Additional Music: The License Lab