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Point Blank Lecturer Spotlight: Manuel “Scara” Scaramuzzino (Max Romeo, Dennis Bovell, Jason Cooper)

At Point Blank, you can expect to be taught by some of the best in the business. Each of our lecturers is selected for their combination of talent, music industry experience, and tangible success – which they pass on to you in the classroom. Each is a true professional in their field and Manuel is no exception. For this Lecturer Spotlight, we will be interviewing founder and mastering engineer at masteryourtrack.com and Point Blank lecturer, Manuel “Scara” Scaramuzzino.

If you’d like to begin the journey into becoming a renowned mastering engineer, sign up here, or any other courses at Point Blank here. And you can always study with us at our Los Angeles and Online campuses as well!

Manuel “Scara” Scaramuzzino is an Italian-born, London-based, mastering and mixing engineer. He was 14 when he developed his passion for Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Dub, Neo Soul music and started his vinyl collection. Djing was a natural step forward which later on brought him into presenting his radio show. At 18, he met his first mentor, an old live sound engineer. He followed him from stage to stage, learning on the field day by day. Just after finishing his BS in Communication, he wanted to improve his studio engineering skills, so he started to study at the Synchronia Studio (Rome). Since then, Manuel has collaborated with many studios working with artists, bands, and producers from all over the world.

Manuel moved to the UK in 2014 where he started a new chapter of his career. Manuel established masteryourtrack.com in 2019 to deliver his mastering services remotely. He also works as sound engineer and lecturer at Point Blank Music School (London), one of the world’s highest-regarded music technology schools. Manuel’s credits as an engineer include Max Romeo, Dennis Bovell, Jason Cooper (The Cure), Horace Andy, Alton Ellis, Freddie McGregor, Mykal Rose, Busy Signal, Tarrus Riley, Delly Ranx, The Heptones, Mikey Spice, Tanya Stephens, Little Roy, Louie Culture, George Nooks, Singing Melody, Carroll Thompson, Norris Man, Stevie Face, Jigsy King, Anthony Red Rose, Anthony Cruz, Sugar Roy, Lukie D, Natty King, Donald-D (Universal Zulu Nation, Rhyme Syndicate), and many more.

What first piqued your interest in mixing & mastering music? When did you know it was the career path you wanted to take? 

I remember I was interested in sound and sound manipulation since the age of 17 when I started experimenting with live sound mixing and DJing, pretty much on my own with a very basic knowledge.

The pivotal moment came when I met an older sound engineer, who saw what I was doing and decided to teach me. I started shadowing him and gained experience in live sound. Since then, I have always known the technical aspect of music was my path in a way or another. It was just very natural for me to understand it.

A few years later, whilst developing an interest in recording and mixing records, I attended a course in a recording studio in Rome.

Right after, I opened a project studio to work on other people’s music. I also started collaborating with bigger studios in my hometown Terni and Rome. In 2014 I felt things weren’t working as I wanted and needed more input. That’s when I decided to move to London to start a new chapter of my life.

What producers/engineers do you take inspiration from or who did you look up to when you were starting out?

Throughout my journey in engineering, several people influenced my creative and technical approach. Engineers such as King Tubby, Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Jammy, and Bobby Digital. What fascinated me was their ability to sculpt sounds uniquely and how they have taken advantage of limitations turning them into a strength. Nowadays, a mixing engineer I like a lot and that inspires me is James “Bonzai” Caruso. Observing his works I’m captivated by his ability to achieve perfect balances, depth and bring out the right vibe from any element.

Mastering wise, I like to keep an eye on Grammy Award winners and analyze their mix and masters.

As an engineer, you’ve worked with some iconic names, including Max Romeo, Dennis Bovell, Jason Cooper (The Cure), just to name a few. What is your creative process like? Any pro tips to share?

As a mastering engineer the process is quite technical, and the creative part is more related to how to solve some problems developed from the mixing stage. Generally speaking, for me, any production process must serve the song itself and its meaning. My approach is usually to understand this first and then develop a strategy that can enhance the character/meaning of the song while meeting the technical requirements.

When I work in sound engineering, of course there is much more flexibility to be creative, but the approach is still very similar. Understanding the vibe of the song, understanding the people around you (producers, A&Rs, artists, musicians), and creating a good mood in the studio is essential to get the job done.

A good tip is to plan sessions in advance, whether it is live sound, engineering, mixing or mastering. Be ready for any possible scenario and be humble.

Being the founder and mastering engineer at masteryourtrack.com, can you give us some insight on the company, and what inspired you to start it?

I started working on this project in 2018 and the website went live in 2019. With the increase in requests for mastering jobs, I decided to invest more time and energy into it. I see MYT  almost like a business card on steroids that allows people from all over the world to reach out to me easily, see what I’ve done and what I’m doing.

There is also a blog section where every now and then I publish technical articles.

What made you want to become a Point Blank lecturer?

Probably the desire to inspire younger generations as I have been inspired when I was younger. Teaching comes naturally to me; I really enjoy sharing knowledge and talking about audio-related topics.

At Point Blank London, we work in a very dynamic environment across two campuses equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. Teaching gives me the opportunity to be part of a structure that encourages students to push their creative boundaries and make their dreams come true.

What can students who take a course with you expect to learn?

I teach different modules: Mastering, Art of Mixing and Sound Engineering.

  • My main subject is Mastering, and, in this module, students will learn how to finalize a song to make it sound as a finished product and ready for distribution whether it is a digital one (Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.) or vinyl.
  • In the Art of Mixing module, they will learn the importance of balancing levels, frequency management, and applying effects to achieve a mix up to the industry standards.
  • In the Sound Engineering module, they will learn from the basics of engineering (how to operate on a large format mixing desk) to how to record a song imprinting a valuable sonic enhancement using microphones, desks and the equipment available in the studio.

What I want to pass to my students is not only a workflow and/or a series of rules/steps to follow. I want them to achieve a deep understanding of the tools used and the idea behind certain approaches/decisions when working on a record. Only with this understanding can they start breaking rules, creating their own workflows to express themselves, and be competitive in the modern music industry.

We’re offering a unique gift for all of our Music Production Advanced Diploma (Online) graduates, where upon successful completion of all 12 courses, students will receive two tracks professionally mastered by you, at no charge. What insight, tips, or words of wisdom can you offer to those who enroll in the course?

  • Make good use of your time at Point Blank and get the most out of it.
  • Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions to instructors, they are there to help you.
  • Practice in your own time is fundamental, as it’s only through practice that you can learn and assimilate.
  • Do not be discouraged if you can’t achieve something right away, sometimes it just takes time to grasp and digest concepts.

What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects on the radar?

As a mastering engineer and thanks to masteryourtrack.com I keep myself constantly busy and I’m glad for this. This year I’ll be working with some other big artists, but I don’t want to anticipate anything for now. I’m also always working with a variety of independent producers and record labels from all over the world. I’d love to focus on some personal projects, maybe I’ll be finally able to finish my new dub EP. Who knows.

Links: WebsiteInstagramTwitterFacebook

If you’d like to have your tracks mastered by Manuel, note that all Music Production Advanced Diploma (Online) graduates receive a unique graduation gift, where upon successful completion of all 12 courses, students receive an incredible Graduation Gift from Point Blank – two tracks professionally mastered at no charge by renowned mastering engineer Manuel Scaramuzzino (Max Romeo, Freddy McGregor, Dennis Bovell), free of charge. This exclusive benefit enhances your music with a professional polish, serving as additional motivation as you step into the next phase of your music career.

​Thinking of joining us at Point Blank? We offer a plethora of courses that will teach you new skills or enhance your existing ones. Find out more here. Not in London.? No problem! You can study with us at our L.A. campus, or join our global campus with Point Blank Online.

For additional information, contact an Admissions Advisor or, if you’re in the USA, give us a call at (323) 594-8740. If you’re calling internationally, use the number +44 20 7729 4884.

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