Margaret is an audio engineer based out of Los Angeles, CA. During the week, she’s a Broadcast and Recording Technician at NPR. If she isn’t at the broadcast desk, she’s a freelance mastering engineer (who also cuts the lacquer masters destined for the pressing plant). If she isn’t doing one of those two things…she’s most likely running.
The path that led her to Los Angeles started at Syracuse University, where Margaret received a B.Music in Music Industry. Coursework included classical music training (instruments – trombone, voice), as well as business, marketing, and technical courses related to the music industry. Following her undergraduate studies, Margaret moved to New York City where she pursued a M.Music in Music Technology from New York University.
Luthar’s journey took her to an engineering residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Alberta, a position as a senior audio engineer at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado (for a total of three summers, ’09, ’10, ’16), and finally to Stavanger, Norway. In Stavanger, she participated in the Music Production and Recording program at the University of Stavanger for a post graduate degree. After a stint in Belgium as an intern at Galaxy Studios, Margaret moved back to Norway, spending 5 years as a mastering engineer at Sonovo Mastering in Stavanger.
In Norway Margaret fully developed her engineering skills in the realm of mastering, as well as furthered her professional expertise in on-location classical music recording. In addition, she was a sound recordist for film projects, and an audio archivist for the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound. She also worked as a live sound engineer for venues in the Stavanger region.
One summer in Norway, she worked part time on the production line at Lervig Aktiebryggeri and helped bottle some of their tasty beers, which was a fun departure from her studio work. Some other hobbies include teaching herself Matlab, trying to not burn herself soldering, and being as extroverted as humanly possible. Also coffee (yes, coffee is a hobby).
In January 2017 she accepted a full-time position at Chicago Mastering Service. There she worked with numerous labels, including Merge, Fat Possum Records, and Super Secret Records.
In September 2019 she accepted a full-time position as head mastering engineer at Welcome to 1979. Not only was she charged with growing the mastering department (including purchasing equipment, upgrading and streamlining services, etc), she’s probably cut close to 1000 projects for vinyl release.
Her career pivot to LA…is a work in progress. She’s only been here since February 2022!
She is an active member of the Audio Engineering Society, and her research pursuits include recording and production techniques for immersive audio formats. Her most recent publication was an e-Brief for the 139th AES Convention comparing polar patterns for the L,C, and R microphones in a 9.1 array.
Past recording clients have include the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, the Aurora Classic Festival, and various ensembles in the Stavanger region. Mastering clients in Norway have included Twisted Artistics, Rui Melo, Rørstad, Y-bros, 1912, Skakke Sanger, Anette Askvik, Andreas Petersson & Lausongen, Helldorado, John Lilja, The Factory, producers Gunnar Tønnesen/Klepp Studio, Kjell Westby/MusicLab, Stephane D’Etrez/Sounds-Good, Robin Jensen/D’Sign, among others. Her film credits include “Sunshine Superman” (2015), “Nedbemanning” (2014), and “Otto – My Life is a Soundtrack.” She has significant experience in audio restoration, from her work at the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound (one of her favorite digitization projects was an analog to digital transfer of a ’78 of Bartók performing a work of Scarlatti’s).