The soundtrack album for Logan, the new hit film finale of the Wolverine franchise, was recently mastered at United Recording's new mastering studio in Hollywood.
On hand for the sessions was Academy Award nominee Marco Beltrami (Scream, World War Z, Hellboy), who also composed the music for director James Mangold's previous Wolverine film.
Joining in the sessions were music producer and longtime Beltrami collaborator Buck Sanders, music mixer John Kurlander, and Grammy-winning United mastering engineer Erick Labson.
Oscar-nominated composer Buck Sanders (Hurt Locker, No Escape, Warm Bodies), who served as the Logan score producer, has been Marco Beltrami's right-hand man on nearly 20 years' worth of prestige films and genre classics. "Mangold's direction was focused on intimacy and mood rather than the usual massive superhero film score sound," Sanders said. "He encouraged experimentation, particularly with the instrumentation that includes Hammond B3 organ, glass harmonica, and duelling drum kits.
“Usually, before the cue writing really begins, we make a lot of sounds for the palette to work with before any ensembles are recorded,” added Sanders. “For Logan, we really focused on capturing the performances first and using them to create accompanying electro-acoustic sounds. They can more easily follow the dynamic and expressive playing of the musicians."
Four time Grammy-winning music mixer John Kurlander (Lord of the Rings, Hurt Locker, 3:10 To Yuma) said, "In the recording and mix process, director Jim Mangold challenged us to come up with recording techniques and sounds that complemented the desolate, rust-covered imagery of the landscape onscreen. We avoid traditional orchestral miking techniques and instead used 3D binaural options, while carbon spot microphones were also utilised extensively.”
"Erick Labson has been mastering Marco's scores for 20 years now. While Marco, John and myself have always been more than happy with his mastering skills, the Logan soundtrack mastering was easily the most transparent and natural sounding we've heard to date,” Sanders added. “I asked Erick if he was doing anything different this time around, and he said they had upgraded all of their analogue, AES and WC wiring with solid core copper/silver outer coat cables. It made a huge difference. The extra gain and subtle widening of the stereo field that Erick added was very organic to the score. It really felt like a subtle amplification of the original intent."
Logan stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant and Dafne Keen. The film is set in the near future, following a weary Logan as he cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. The Logan soundtrack digital release was on 3 March, 2017 by Lakeshore Records with physical release following a few weeks later.
(Pictured L-R: United studio manager Rob Goodchild, music producer Buck Sanders, mixing engineer John Kurlander, and United mastering engineer Erick Labson. Credit: David Goggin)