GREENPOINT, BROOKLYN: Most New Yorkers involved in releasing 12? records have likely heard of Salt Mastering’s Paul Gold, a go-to-guy who’s arguably become Brooklyn’s first name in mastering for vinyl.
Paul has carved a distinct niche in the otherwise crowded, mid-price mastering market by building a reputation for reliably cutting great lacquers for local artists and vinyl-heavy labels including Thrill Jockey, Secretly Canadian, DFA, Social Registry, Sub Pop, Domino and Mexican Summer.
When we approached him for an interview, Gold invited us to catch up with him during a rare scheduled break between projects. I quickly learned that dropping by during his weeklong “vacation” would mean finding him elbow-deep in mid-century Neumann parts, flanked by his tenacious twin terriers Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt as he tweaked Salt’s prized Columbia mastering console.
In the early 2000s, as digital downloads and peer-to-peer file sharing continued to transform the music industry, Gold saw a future for himself in a more tangible medium: the vinyl disc. This vision seems to have paid off, as the allure of superior sound quality, collector’s value and sheer style continues to attract new converts and repeat clients.
Gold says that many artists see a pragmatic draw as well: “A lot of bands tell me that their fans only really want to buy vinyl at shows. They have trouble selling CDs, so it’s been a better bet at the merch table; at least in the indie circles I travel…