Avatar Logo Soundbender Image
Avatar Studios Newsletter

January 2014

It is always great to start the New Year off with renewed resolve.


The polar vortex put a slight crimp in the plan, but as we thaw out from the deep freeze, we restart once again with great enthusiasm. We spent some time at the end of last year to go through our gear (as explained below) and we are up and running at optimum operating levels.


We look forward to serving you again in 2014.

2013 Year in Review    

There was a lot of variety in the projects we worked on in 2013. The most memorable was the rehearsals for the live event, "Another Day, Another Time" held at New York City's Town Hall in September, featuring the music from the film Inside Llewyn Davis by the Coen Brothers. The sessions were also filmed and the footage was wove into the documentary about the event directed by Chris Wilcha.

Thanks to the New York State Film Tax Credit Program, Avatar has been hosting a lot of sessions for film and television in a variety of ways including working on scores, source music, voice overs, trailers and other supplemental material.  We've worked on films such as American Hustle, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Monsters University, Frozen, August: Osage County, Rio 2, Jimmy P., Gods Behaving Badly, And So It Goes and many others. In television, Avatar continued work for HBO's Boardwalk Empire for Season 4 and hosted the recording of music for NBC's Sound of Music Live!


The orchestral music for the American Museum of Natural History's Planetarium Space Show: Dark Universe as well as the narration by Neil deGrasse Tyson was recorded at Avatar.


We are very grateful for the opportunity to host these sessions and hope to support artists with their future recording needs. 

<Read complete post

56th Grammy Award Nominees

The 56th Grammy Award nominees were announced recently.  Eleven nominated projects were recorded at Avatar.


The most prominent album, nominated for four Grammy Awards, is Unorthodox Jukebox by Bruno Mars.  Tracks from that album was recorded in Studio A and B back in 2012.


One of the more intriguing albums recorded at Avatar in 2013 is Brooklyn Babylon, a project by Darcy James Argue's Secret Society.  Darcy is Brooklyn-based composer-bandleader who developed a unique live concert experience with multimedia presentation. You can read about how the music for the show was recorded in this case study.


Another Grammy nominated album, recorded and mixed in surround, is Jane Ira Bloom's Sixteen Sunsets. Engineered by Jim Anderson, the session was conceived and executed with surround in mind from the start in this case study.


You can peruse the list of other nominated projects recorded and/or mixed at Avatar here. We wish all the nominees best of luck. The Grammy Awards presentation will be televised on January 26, 2014 on CBS.

Making Sure the Gear Works


We take the business of making sure our gear works very seriously. The key is to have the will to make sure things get repaired, sometimes before it breaks, quickly and completely. It is not easy because everything breaks when the time comes, whether you expect it or not. Here are some examples of what we do.


At the end of the year, we conduct our annual microphone maintenance where we go through every one of our mics and test each one to make sure it is operating optimally. We do the same with all our outboard gear.


Over the last 5 years, we have been refurbishing our Neve 8088 console one module at a time. According to Fred Hill, who we worked with on this project, our console is in the best shape of all the Neves he has worked on and will be good for another 40 years. Other consoles that we have go through similar long term scrutiny.


Finally, it is the small, everyday things that are done, such as cleaning and exercising switches, on a consistent basis that make a huge difference.


With all this, you have better odds at a trouble free session at Avatar.

In This Issue
2013 Year in Review
56th Grammy Award Nominees
Making Sure the Gear Works
Quick Links
Who's Been In
Follow me on Twitter

Video Showcase

Inside Llewyn Davis featurette
(studio scenes start at 4:39)

Behind the Scenes: Nautica Ad

Find us on Facebook
Contact Us / Bookings

Tino Passante
VP of Operations
e-mail: Tino@AvatarStudios.net
Web: AvatarStudios.net