Paul Abbott’s Zen Approach to Mastering – Part 3

Elements of recording and Paul Abbott’s approach to mastering

Paul Abbott is an audio mastering engineer, musician, and owner of ZenMastering (located in San Diego, CA). Paul established ZenMastering in the late 1990s — at a time when there were very few high-end independent mastering studios. Since then, Paul has mastered over 1,000 projects for clients throughout the United States and around the world, ranging from up-and-coming indie bands to award-winning artists and labels.

Paul Abbott

Paul has been featured in Music Connection’s “Masters of Mastering” series and appeared as a guest columnist for many of pro audio’s leading publications (EQ, Tape Op, Sound on Sound). One of Paul’s published articles was even cited as a reference in Damon Krukowski’s acclaimed book The NewAnalog.

Paul’s perspective on mastering comes from decades of playing music, making recordings, critical listening, and rigorous comparative audio/sonic analysis. His mastering philosophy is that the highest-quality, properly matched analog gear produces the best sonic results.

Be sure to check out both Part 1 and Part 2 of the series.

ZenMastering Gear


  • Steinberg WaveLab Pro


Cranesong HEDD
  • Mytek DSD DAC


  • Dangerous Music
  • Pendulum Audio


  • Lipinski L707 speakers with L-3601 powered stands (with L-301 monoblock amps)
  • B&W subwoofers
  • Audeze headphones

Silversonic cable

Related Links

How to Create a Recording Studio for $100

How To Record, Equalize, and Edit Classical Guitar Tracks In A Home Studio

Recording Acoustic Guitar in Stereo for Beginners

First 50 Recording Techniques You Should Know to Track Music

Paul Abbott is a professional audio mastering engineer and owner of San Diego's ZenMastering. He has mastered over 700 projects for artists in America and dozens countries around the world. Paul has also appeared as a columnist in EQ, Sound on Sound, Music Connection and Tape Op magazines.

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