About Mark Christensen
Mark Christensen is the mastermind behind Engine Room Audio in New York, a place which has spawned hundreds of great sounding records with an impressive number of highly diverse artists, including 50 Cent, Depeche Mode, Toni Braxton and The Killers.
Mark started his musical career at the ripe old age of 16, when he started touring the Mid-west in a progressive modern-rock band. At age 19, Mark's production career took off, and he produced a number of independent records during a three-year stay in the UK, before returning to New York where he worked as a line producer at Soundtrack City.
'I was in various bands in London in the early 1990's, and from 1995 I played with bands in New York', Mark explains. 'The best band I was involved with was signed, and we did a few tours opening for major acts such as Radiohead and Matchbox 20. At that time I had a really nice studio in my loft apartment in the East Village, where I started recording and mastering bands and The Engine Room basically grew out of that'. The principle behind The Engine Room was to create a music business with freelance production, engineering and manufacturing, which would support Mark's career and that of others, and since then the founder himself has become a highly regarded Mastering Engineer in New York.
Mark's view on recording/mixing?
'The main thing for me is always the purity of the sound, even if you are talking about the purity of distortion. I want to make sure I capture what the artist is trying to achieve sonically, and the less things that get in the way of that happening, the better'.
With this in mind, we asked Mark to give his thoughts on System 6000 and how he uses it:
'I'm currently using TC Electronic's System 6000. We actually have two of them, one in the Mastering Lab here at Engine Room, and then we have one in our SSL-room upstairs.
Our two System 6000 units are used in a number of different ways. For the mastering environment there are a number of the algorithms like the Massenburg EQ that are just fantastic. I use System 6000 for my more "surgical" moves, both in an EQ context and in a compression and limiting context. System 6000 actually replaced a number of my other digital boxes as it just sounded better, and the flexibility of the converters is just amazing. Obviously, in the SSL room it's mostly reverbs. The imaging of the sound stage is the best I've ever heard, and for me that's very important in a reverb unit'.
Also, I' like to mention the four separate stereo engines in just one system. This is great and allows for tons of routing options within just one unit'.
The thing that really gets Marks blood pumping is the converters in the System 6000:'One thing I need to mention about System 6000 is the quality of the converters. It may be something that not too many people think about, but we've got a lot of converters here in the Mastering room, all of the best from around the world, and I'm always amazed at how the converters in System 6000 stand up against them. Conversion is essential in Mastering, and if you are working in the digital domain, you've got to be able to get in and out of that domain the best way you can, and here System 6000 always comes through'.
What's up next?
'We are getting ready to start Mastering the new Trey Songz record and I'm looking forward to that. I master a lot of different styles of music, but his records are especially fun to work on because he can really sing, and the records are very well produced. We are also finishing mixes in the SSL room by a band I produced called Lowry. The record is being mixed by Drew Fisher (Dead Kennedy's, The Brian Jonestown Massacre), and it's coming together really, really well'.
Apart from the mastering side of things, the future holds other projects for Mark Christensen, all of which require the same level of sound quality and reliability of the mastering equipment:
'I recently starting producing again after a little hiatus, and I'm playing guitar on those projects', he tells us. 'I've got a few cool TC Electronic guitar pedals that I use and I'm dying to get a G-System for my guitar rig. I'm doing a project for Universal Australia where I'm playing a lot. Gotta get my chops back!'.
TonePrints by Mark Christensen
Videos with Mark Christensen
Mark Christensen on VSS3 Native
Engine Room studio (NYC) tour
TC Electronic Global Konnekt Episode 6 - Mastering