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Greg Lukens

A legendary mastering engineer and his favorite WaveLab features.

Greg Lukens began his career in the music business as a roadie for Janis Joplin in her early touring days before going on to do live sound for Rush and eventually becoming a highly sought-after mixing and mastering engineer — all despite being blinded at an early age. In this video, he invites us into his home studio in Alexandria, Virginia, where he discusses how he uses Steinberg WaveLab for a variety of applications — not just mastering, but even for providing audio for flight simulators.

“My visual imagination is making up a view of what the music is,” he explains. “The real-time 3D spectograph that’s in WaveLab is a view of audio that I have been calling up [in my mind] for the last 45 years.”

“As an early adopter, I have enjoyed Steinberg’s continuous attention to the detail of its audio engine,” he adds. “The file playback is better than any of the media players that audio files use. One of the gems I’ve discovered in WaveLab is the new tube compressor. You could have convinced me that it’s an analog insert of my favorite tube compressor! It’s fun to be able to take a piece of music that was recorded in 1968 and apply today’s technology to bring that old recording to the place that I remember.”

Lukens is also a big fan of the WaveLab Global Analysis tool. “Its power in editing music is a wonderful thing, but its ability to understand audio data that’s not music is equally powerful. To understand and mark the peak energy [of a file] is really fascinating.”

He also utilizes numerous MasterRig templates in order to speed his workflow. “It provides a valuable set of great-sounding tools,” he says. “Everything is uniform; everything is consistent. You can rearrange the [plug-ins] and everything stays the same as you reconfigure them … and, by the way, it happens to sound wonderful.”

“WaveLab is not just an editor,” Lukens enthuses. “It’s a complete mastering suite that allows you to do any or all of the processing that today’s music needs.”

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