Podcast: Justin Perkins on mastering Wisconsin music

The longtime recording engineer talks with us from his Milwaukee studio, Mystery Room.

The longtime recording engineer talks with us from his Milwaukee studio, Mystery Room. (Photo by CJ Foeckler.)

If you’ve listened to even a few releases over the years from bands in Madison, Milwaukee, or the Fox Cities area, you have almost certainly heard the work of Justin Perkins. The founder of Milwaukee-based Mystery Room Mastering, Perkins specializes in that crucial last step before a piece of music gets uploaded to the internet or sent off to a pressing plant. He’s mastered dozens of albums from bands including Tenement, The Midwest Beat, The Sugar Stems, Asumaya, and Post Social. The “mastered by Justin Perkins” credits strewn across recent Wisconsin music history reflect how much bands rely on word of mouth in finding people to master their work, and the trust and respect Perkins has developed with musicians over the years.

Perkins has also spent a fair amount of time living in Madison, where he worked as an engineer at Smart Studios and played bass and keyboards with artists including Blueheels and Josh Harty. Perkins spoke with us recently about his life in music, how he became something of a go-to mastering engineer in Wisconsin, and his involvement in Tenement’s epic 2015 double album Predatory Headlights.


Give the conversation a listen here, or subscribe to the Tone Madison podcast on Apple Podcasts. If you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and consider supporting us financially with a one-time or recurring donation.

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