CDR Preamble: Jack the Bear

Melbourne’s own Jack the Bear (a.k.a. Tony Mantz but affectionately known to most as “Jack”) is every bit the Australian ideal; dedicated, “true blue”, fair, fun and generous. He is also one of the most sought after mastering brains in the country.

He has made his mastering mark on well-known releases including the infamous Australian-born Balance series, the Renaissance mixes of bygone days, contemporary releases such as TZU and Alta and internationally acclaimed acts like as Jet and Nick Cave. The list is enormous.

Aside from his impressive clientele, Jack the Bear is a philanthropist at heart; always is happy to volunteer his time to a good cause. He presents workshops at countless institutions and universities and also has The Jack the Bear foundation, volunteering pro bono services to less fortunate artists.

CDR Melbourne is lucky enough to be welcoming him to the launch session on February 27th at Loop for a mastering Q&A followed by motivational workshop for aspiring artists. Ahead of this appearance we wanted to tap that brain that understands sound so well.


How did your foray into mastering begin?

Mastering is something that found me. I met a mastering engineer back in the early 80’s who described the process. Once I saw it I had an affinity with it and given no one knew what it was, there was little competition, so I thought I better get a gig sooner rather than later.

From your professional perspective – what stands out about Melbourne and the music made here?

The diversity of music and the talent pool we have; the live scene and club scene are healthy. There seems to be a generally good sense of community here.

I’m fortunate to work with a great spectrum of artists and I never like to single out anyone. Every gig is a good one.

Highlight of your work?

Definitely the opportunity to hang with cool people and help them realise their final vision of their own art.

Any negatives haha?

Rarely ever – I have learnt to weed out potential headfucks before they even eventuate…..

What do CDR Melbourne attendees have in store for them when you represent on February 27th?

An explanation to mastering and my journey into it, answers to any questions that are plaguing them and some tips on how to get a start in the biz.

Resolutions for the year ahead?

To continue serving my clients as best as possible, to continue mentoring and fostering the talent I have at Jack the Bear’s Deluxe Mastering.

Who/what has been on heavy rotation on your audio player of late?

The new King Of The North album and lotsa old BT.

Finally, have you any advice or words of warning for producers developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?

Follow your dream and be true to yourself and your passion. Immerse yourself with positive people and always follow your instincts.


Come down and rack Jack the Bears mind with your mastering questions next Thursday at CDR Melbourne

To find out more about Jack The Bear’s Deluxe Mastering go here.

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