Bill bairley
mastering engineer
Born in Detroit, I hitchhiked to Key West in 1971 at the tender age of fifteen and played guitar for tips in a bar on Duvall Street that is still open today in spite of my playing; The Bull.  Wanting to be a better musician, I dropped out of high school in tenth grade after passing a G.E.D. test(an agreement with my late father, a teacher) and promptly took music theory, music appreciation and jazz labs at  Macomb County Community College in southeastern Michigan, beginning at age 16.

    I have worked ever since as a guitarist, bassist, keyboard player(and now pedal steel), and/or vocalist always trying to capture the magic when it happened with whatever means available. Growing up in an analog world was the best thing that could happen to a musician; you really learned how to listen, whether it was learning licks off of first vinyl and later cassette tape, or trying to economize and organize parts and punch-ins on 4 track reel-to-reels. You soon learned that nothing was as important to the song as the performance you captured; attitude always trumping technical prowess. One shot to get it right.

    Digital audio has brought big-studio capabilities to the little guy and made many things easier; unlimited track counts, ultra-high resolution, virtual instruments, countless automated takes, plugin emulations of priceless vintage gear; the list goes on forever. But there are tradeoffs, and not little ones. The biggest issue I deal with are mixes made entirely in the digital realm where the engineer has either lost sight of the overall scope of the work, or has never found it, resulting in small-sounding ‘in the box’ mixes, often with time-smearing phase issues as they try to correct the problems.  My goal is simple. I rely on my 40+ years of audio experiences to create detailed and dynamic masters that invite you to listen deep into the mix and rediscover why you started down this amazing path in the first place.

    My second engineer is my daughter Jessi, who has great ears and a nerdy passion like her father for modding gear and making great-sounding noise. She is also a stellar musician in her own right. Finally, Scruffy the Mix Cat is our intern, and he’s been here for 15 years. That’s dedication.


Detroit, Mi.


Orlando, FL since 1984

Music Education
Self-taught professional
Advanced music theory
Member, Audio Engineering Society

audio history
25 year background in analog 
tape-based recording prior to 
studying advanced digital audio mastering techniques including working for the legendary “Golden Ears”; Bob Katz at Digital Domain. 

mastering goals
Being called on to help an artist find the purest vision of his art possible is a humbling experience that can never be taken for granted. Every single mastering project I work on is unique and equally important regardless of genre, budget, or musicianship

Personal Motto:
“Can it be better? Let’s find out.”
a little history