Assistant Professor of Practice
- Program:Music Technology
- Division:Contemporary Music
Andrew Garver is a Grammy-nominated mastering engineer who also mixes, records, and produces music of myriad genres and styles. With a degree in electrical engineering, he quickly worked his way up from runner to mastering engineer at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA. Andrew’s scrupulous attention to detail proved to meet the high expectations of this world-renowned studio, where he honed his craft and critical listening skills through his highly-regarded mastering work. Furthermore, he rewired his mastering suite at A&M Studios in order to improve his signal path, and thus the audio quality of all of his projects. This approach and pride in his work led Andrew to opportunities to work with such artists as U2, Chris Cornell, The Doobie Brothers, Rage Against The Machine, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, and Madonna. Andrew now works as a freelance mastering and mixing engineer and audio consultant, in addition to his Assistant Professorship at the University of Southern California.
After graduating from Milwaukee School of Engineering with a BS in Electrical Engineering, Andrew started as an application engineer in the telecommunication division of Teradyne, Inc. There, he designed test equipment interfaces to improve and maintain signal quality for phone line systems in the US, Japan, and Argentina. Eventually, the decline of wired phone lines redirected Andrew to pursue his real passion, audio engineering in music.
He attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences, where he aced all of his classes in their Master Recording program, before taking a job as a runner for A&M Studios (now Henson Studios). While running was a foot in the door, Andrew’s best asset was his penchant for all things audio. He spent as much time in the studio as possible, learning everything he could about equipment, acoustics, and the process of making records. That dedication came to fruition as he quickly moved into assisting, engineering, and then into mastering records.
Throughout his time at A&M, Andrew mastered a number of box-sets for Rhino Records (including Burt Bacharach, The Doobie Brothers, Alice Cooper), many of which used original master tapes – a testament to his fastidiousness, as these priceless tapes require extreme care in their handling and audio transfers. Andrew’s mastering of Rhino’s Have a Nice Decade box set earned a Grammy nomination in 1999 for Best Historical Album, for which The Recording Academy categorically commended his mastering work.
A&M Records always maintained a high standard for quality, and Andrew was part of the team tasked with evaluating record releases, as well as new gear for the studio, in order to ensure the manufacturing excellence for which they were revered. Working with JVC on their XRCD, they refined the mastering and manufacturing process to produce the highest quality audio in the CD format. He was the last person operating the cutting lathe for the studio, still cutting lacquer masters for vinyl production, even after the mainstream shift toward digital media. His vast understanding of both digital and analog systems enabled him to work with producers and engineers looking to strengthen the quality of their music in both formats.
Andrew continues to freelance as a consultant for record labels, individual artists, and fellow producers. His varied experience leads to opportunities in everything from improving audio quality in studio design and equipment construction, to systematizing audio production and archiving methodologies. He also engineers and manufactures high-end audio cables and balanced power systems for G Ride Audio, a company specializing in hand-crafted audio electronics with superior sound quality. Andrew enjoys his freelance work as an audio, mixing, and mastering engineer for musical artists as well as for live television at the NFL Network.
His passion and inclination for creating high-quality audio experiences drive his mission to provide his students with an exceptional understanding of music technology. His insight, acquired through years of industry experience, coupled with his comprehensive knowledge of audio technology, create an unmatched set of real world experiences for his students. Andrew focuses on the new challenges engineers are facing – faster deadlines, smaller budgets, and limited space. He recognizes that although most of his students hope to apply their hands-on education in a professional recording studio, the majority of them are working entirely on their laptops, and thus need guidance managing the difficulties arising from that workflow. He set out to produce music under such conditions, and recently entered a mix competition, having limited himself to working solely on his laptop, using only headphones to monitor. Despite these self-imposed constraints, through a blind shoot-out, the artist selected Andrew’s mix as the winner among nearly 200 submissions. He continues to explore new music technology, and takes great pride in equipping his students with the scientific and artistic understanding necessary to navigate the challenges of modern music production.