Maine’s Bob Ludwig won a Grammy Award on Monday afternoon in the category of best engineered album, non classical, for “Sound & Color” by Alabama Shakes.

But that may just be a preview of things to come. On Monday night, Ludwig, a mastering engineer based in Portland, could become the first person in the 58-year-history of the Grammy Awards to win the prestigious album of the year four different times. His consecutive album of the year Grammys over the last three years were for recordings by Mumford & Sons, Daft Punk and Beck.

Others who won album of the year three different times include Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, George Harrison and producers David Foster, Phil Ramone and Daniel Lanois. Wonder and Simon were both producer and artist on their wins, so each is credited with six awards, but for three albums of the year wins.

Ludwig, who lives in Scarborough and works out of Gateway Mastering studio in Portland, said he was too busy this year to attend Monday’s Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles and televised on CBS. In past years he has attended, and on occasion has brought his adult daughters as his guests.

Mastering engineers are only eligible in five of the 80-plus Grammy categories. While many Grammys are given for an individual achievement, like best new artist or best pop solo performance, several are given to all the major contributors to a recording. For album of the year, individual Grammys are given to the artist, the producers, the mixing engineer, and the mastering engineer. The same goes for record of the year.

Mastering is the last creative stop a recording makes on the way to public consumption. After the music and vocals are recorded and mixed, the recording is sent to a mastering engineer, whose job it is to listen with a finely trained ear and make small adjustments aimed at improving clarity, definition and overall sound.

Ludwig has been one of the most sought-after mastering engineers in pop music for more than 45 years. Beginning in the late 1960s, he mastered recordings by Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. His client list includes longtime rock hit makers Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.

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