Gracing our headphones a week earlier than expected amid the coronavirus pandemic, Dua Lipa’s new album, “Future Nostalgia” dropped on March 27. While social distancing may be keeping the disco-infused smashes from the dancefloor for the time being, fans have at least been able to bump them from their homes.
This glossy work of art was mastered by none other than Chris Gehringer, senior mastering engineer at Sterling Sound, an audio mastering studio based in Edgewater, New Jersey. Mastering is the final step of the production process adjusting equalization, compression, stereo imaging, and more to make sure a project meets the right standards.
We had the opportunity to ask Chris a few questions about the new album:
What does the phrase “Future Nostalgia” mean to you, and did you approach the project any differently with its theme in mind?
Chris: I actually didn’t know the album’s name when I started it, all I had were the song titles. But what I did know is that it was Dua Lipa’s album and that it would be big. After the amount of hits Dua had from her first album, it almost seemed like this album itself would be future nostalgia.
What would you say is different about your work on “Future Nostalgia” in comparison to your involvement with Dua Lipa’s self-titled album?
Chris: I would say that there was definitely more pressure this time knowing it would be a highly anticipated album.
You’ve collaborated with Mix Engineer Josh Gudwin on a number of projects. What was your relationship like working on “Future Nostalgia?” Did you work on the album as a whole, or was it on more of a track-by-track basis?
Chris: Josh is great; working with him is always a breeze. He is a meticulous mixer and is extremely in tune with the vibe of Dua’s music. I worked on the album on a track-by-track basis to bring each song to its full potential.
Outside of the lead singles, what’s another song on the album you think could be a smash hit?
What’s your biggest “goosebumps” moment on the album?
Chris Gehringer has also mastered works from Selena Gomez, Halsey, Lana Del Rey, Lizzo, Lady Gaga, Drake, Rihanna, St. Vincent, Harry Styles, Wu-Tang Clan, and many more.
Listen to our interview with him on our “Play the Music” podcast here.