In the last decade, Jack White’s Third Man Records has expanded from a small Nashville record store to a “Rolling Record” truck store, a second Detroit location, a pressing plant and more. “One day, I want this place to be like what I had heard about Henry Ford wanted for Ford Motor company,” Jack White said last year. “Which was you pour in raw materials on this side and out the other side of the factory pop out cars.”
He’s getting there. Today, the company announced the opening of Third Man Mastering in Detroit, where White’s team of engineers will master recordings – the final stage of the process that adjusts levels and prepares music to be played all stereos and formats – for the public. White’s team includes Bill Skibbe, who recorded and mixed White’s album Boarding House Reach and has mixed the Dead Weather, the Raconteurs and more, and Warren Defever, a musician who has produced and engineered Iggy and the Stooges, Thurston Moore and more. The spot will also provide services like vinyl lacquer cutting.
In an era when record stores have shut down at alarming rates, Third Man has found a way to grow using what White has called “ancient technology.” “I think a lot of people think, oh, you’re a Luddite, or you live in the past, or this is nostalgia or golden-age thinking,” he said last year. “I disagree. I like to take what’s beautiful about what’s already been proven—what works—and ask, how can we marriage that with what’s happening right now? And what can we do with that tomorrow?”