july I august 2013
studioexpresso eZine
Since 2000 
Rafa Fantasy Rafa Sardina recording Raquel Bitton's Rhythm of the Heart at Fantasy studios 
Welcome to California dreaming...Summer festivals and  what's hot in sessions...Here in Hollywood we meet a Duke who weaves dreams, and listen to a songstress' rhythm of the heart in the city by the bay. Tube-Tech travels to Paris where Kanye West's new album takes birth. Come to sunny Brazil where a legendary musician is celebrated with a two-day festival and learn how to ADD, musically that is and more...thanks for reading.
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In This Issue
Fantasy Studios
ATCs Rule Concert Hall to Studio
Rauel Bitton's Fhythm of the Heart
studioexpresso Interviews
studioexpresso in Pasadena
Trans Audio Group
New Artist



Paris Meets Havana at Fantasy Studios
 Raquel Rafa

Raquel Bitton may be best known for her gorgeous take on legendary

French chanteuse, Edith Piaf. But, what separates her from other interpreters

is her dedication to quality and superb execution that presents world-class recordings and orchestration. 

Bitton stars in the PBS docu-concert film, Piaf: Her Story, Her Songs (originally released by Lions Gate Films) which continues to air on PBS stations nationwide. In fact, thanks to positive response from stations, viewers and a national size market penetration, her license was renewed through 2017. What most don't realize is that Ms Bitton has sold out the 3000-seat Carnegie Hall 3X and sports performances in other major symphony halls in US and Canada.


Early in Spring Raquel (try the R with the French GH)  gathered an impressive group of artists at Fantasy Studios (photographed above) to record her new album "Rhythm of the Heart" Havana meets Paris, co-produced and engineered by 11x Grammy award winner Rafa Sardina (Placido Domingo, Lady Gaga, Shakira). "Rafa is a Genius and revered by his peers for his sense of excellence and deep heartfelt crafting of every sound he mixes, I am blessed to know him, work with him, he has definitely propelled my career to the highest of highs," says Bitton.


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Yeezus with Noah Goldstein
Tube-Tech Plays An Important Role on Kanye West's New Release 
TAG team
l-r: Jesper Bo with Noah Goldstein and the TUBE-TECH Classic Channel
Kanye West took the lead in the album charts with release of Yeezus in July. It came out with no credits listed and no super early leak, giving the music maximum impact. Hip-hop producer Rick Rubin, who came on to help with recording bits of "Yeezus" just before its release, had this to say: "The album was to be turned in two days later. Kanye was planning to go to Milan that night. Five songs still needed vocals and two or three of them still needed lyrics. In the two hours before he had to run out to catch the plane,
he did exactly that: finished all lyrics and performed them with gusto."
Yes, there are the usual references to colorful language and borderline sexism and it has received mixed reviews.
West's sixth solo album was recorded in Paris where Jesper Bo Nielsen from Tube-Tech caught up with Kanye's sound engineer, Noah Goldstein (Arcade Fire, Steve Earle, Katy Perry) at the Audio Days. 
Noah mixed several tracks on Yeezus and is responsible for Kayne's vocal recordings and for organizing all tracks for the new album, as well as for live use.
How does someone go from graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia to working on Kanye West's new album in six short years?
Ask Noah Goldstein. After a short internship at famed composer Philip Glass' studio, Noah lands a job at Electric Lady studio.  It was during a weekend at Electric Lady that Goldstein first came into contact with Kanye West. Since their fateful meeting, Goldstein has become West's official engineer, working the boards on "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," "Watch The Throne" and this year's G.O.O.D. Music ensemble piece "Cruel Summer." Of all the many varied albums Goldstein has contributed to, he notes "Watch The Throne" as the one he is most proud of.  


The classic TUBE-TECH dynamics processor CL 1B plays an important role on Kanye West's new release "Yeezus." Tube-Tech was used on all vocal tracks throughout the album. In fact, according to his engineer, Kanye West doesn't perform without his CL 1B in the vocal chain, be it live or in the studio.


TAG Germany




TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier US importer/distributor and/or US sales and marketing representative for high-end audio.


contact Brad Lunde  or Phone (702) 307-2700 or visit www.transaudiogroup.com 

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  Dreamweaver: A loving Tribute to Mrs Duke
Duke Zobler

GRAMMY Award-winning keyboardist/composer/arranger/producer George Duke considers Dreamweaver his "most honest album in several years." George says musicians are weavers of dreams. "We start with nothing. It starts with a sound, develops into a song...we put it all together in some kind of audio-sonic goolash," says Duke who has recorded
his first album since the passing of his beloved wife, Corine, last year. 
You might call Dreamweaver a loving tribute to life. The disc begins and ends with allusions of nothingness, starting with the title track, a sparse etude, and finishes with "Happy Trails," a misty ballad that was at first just dedicated to Duke's wife, but later gained more emotional poignancy because of the sudden passing of Johnson, whose distinctive guitar work fades out the conclusion.  
Duke's long-time engineer Erik Zobler (Earl Klugh, Dianne Reeve, Natalie Cole) mixed and mastered  Dreamweaver for Concord Records (#1 on ITunes and Amazon).  According to Erik, on this album George has mixed various forms of recording. "We cut some live tracks with drums, bass, guitar and of course, George's keys. There are also a couple of sequenced songs, like the song AshTray where George played everything except for a guitar part. There were a few songs that were sequenced and then we replaced some of the parts with guest musicians.  George dusted off some of his instruments that were part of his signature sound in the 80s -- like the ARP Odyssey and the Mini Moog. We also went back to mic-ing his Rhodes - which we have usually recorded direct. There were special moments while recording. The most notable to me was what became the ending of the last song on the album -and the only cover song on the album-Happy Trails. The song was cut to a drum loop that was programmed to play long enough to make it through the fadeout of the song. After the fade had repeated umpteen times, everyone except the guitar player, Jef Lee Johnson, stopped playing. The loop kept playing and so did Jef. When the loop eventually stopped Jef continued playing to finish out the phrase, but instead, he left it hanging... unresolved. I'm so glad I kept recording. We ended up using it for the ending. It was somehow a very appropriate ending for the album," says Zobler.  Jef died a couple of months later. "He was a sweet soul," says Zobler who will be on the road with Duke in the East Coast and California (get them here at ticketmaster)!
Indeed Duke's brand of music is a tasty mix of gospel-inflected pop, sensual R&B, funk, and jazz.  Dreamweaver offers 15 titles with notable musicians: Bassists Christian McBride and Stanley Clarke; singers Teena Marie, Lalah Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell, and Jeffrey Osborne; guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. and the late Jef Lee Johnson. DreamWeaver was released on July 16 on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group
George Duke's imprint on pop music over the past forty years is almost impossible to calculate. He has collaborated with some of the most prominent figures in the industry. A producer since the 1980s, he has crafted scores of fine recordings - many of them GRAMMY winners.  
"I feel a responsibility to carry positive messages in my music...I think music is meant to lift people up," says Duke
Watch making of Dreamweaver here

schmitt capitol

Twenty-two time Grammy winner Al Schmitt (George Benson, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire) and multiple Grammy-nominated engineer Steve Genewick have collaborated on some of the most lush sounding records of the last decade, working with artists such as Ray Charles, Paul McCartney and Diana Krall.  Together, they call Capitol Studios their home, and few know how to work those rooms as well as they do.

Join Al and Steve as they share their methods for capturing the power and finesse of acoustic instruments with a full 18 piece big band in Capitol Records' Studio A, one of the most incredible sounding spaces in Los Angeles.

To sign up for this ADVANCED CLASS send an email to [email protected] with a link to your discography.  You will receive a code to purchase a ticket on this site.  

Tickets are priced at $1500 for the weekend, and include catered breakfast and lunch each day, as well as beverages and snacks after each day's session.


August 24 and 25 at Capitol Studios.  
A two-day advanced class encompassing recording techniques on day one and mixing techniques on day two




Kinney joins GPS  Singer, songwriter, and actress Emily Kinney has joined the GPS management roster. Best known for her role as Beth Greene on AMC's hit show The Walking Dead, Kinney's musical talents have been featured on TV, in musical theater, and in her own releases.A Nebraska native, Kinney moved to New York after graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University to pursue acting and music. Shortly thereafter she landed a role on Broadway in the musical adaptation of Spring Awakening, composed coincidentally by GPS client Duncan Sheik. In 2011 she released her debut EP, Blue Toothbrush, and became a series regular on The Walking Dead in the same year. Her singing has been prominently featured on the show, notably a moving cover of Tom Waits' "Hold On", and a haunting rendition of the traditional Scottish song "The Parting Glass" with cast-mate Lauren Cohan, the latter of which appears on The Walking Dead: AMC Original Soundtrack, Vol. 1. Emily's new EP Expired Lover will be released in the Fall of 2013. She is currently writing her next record in Los Angeles and New York and regularly performs at New York City's Rockwood Music Hall and will perform at LA's Hotel Cafe on August 14th. For more info contact GPS at (310) 656-1350




Sweet Deals & Service From Trans Audio Group The Daking Mic Pre 500.
Now on sale for a very limited time at $585

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l-r: Richard, Todd, Janis and Brad at Trans Audio Group


Sales related questions- pricing, availability and dealer locations please contact: 

Richard: [email protected] 

For the latest info on Product Development
Brad: [email protected] 

TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier US importer/distributor and/or US sales and marketing representative for high-end audio. Success hinges on TransAudio providing dealers and end users with a higher standard of product expertise and support far beyond the norm. TAG product line includes A-Designs (USA), ATC Loudspeakers (UK), Bock Audio (USA), Chameleon Labs , Crane Song, Daking Audio (USA) Dave Hill, Drawmer, Pete's Place Audio, Tube-Techand Sonodyne Nearfield Monitors 





The Clare Fischer Big Band
Directed by Brent Fischer 


August 3, 9pm 

Moacir Santos Jazz Festival

Teatro Santa Isabel

Recife,  Brazil

Featuring 20-piece musicians with Steve Huffsteter


November 28 
The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group, Directed by Brent Fischer

 Fischer Riviera
 Featuring Luis Conte, Alex Budman and friends



ADD (All Def Music) Coming to YouTube  Simmons baken

Universal Music Group has partnered with industry veterans Russell Simmons, Brian Robbins and Steve Rifkind to launch what their calling a "next-generation" label. All Def Music will be the first major label-affiliated music company created specifically to sign, develop and promote artists on YouTube.The tactic has previously proved a success as stars including Justin Bieber have been discovered via YouTube, and Simmons hopes his new project will find more big names.

The new label will also help rising artists to promote themselves via YouTube.  "This is the most exciting new terrain for me. I look forward to working with the extraordinary talent from the vastly creative YouTube ecosystem in the same way I've worked with musicians, poets, comedians and designers all my life," says Simmons

The first signings to ADD Management include John A. Baker, Jr., professionally known as "Spoken Reasons," a poet, comedian and musician, who has more than 1.3 million YouTube subscribers.  In addition, as part of its YouTube original content slate, ADD announced the development of an unscripted music-themed show with rapper Asher Roth titled "Lemonade."  Roth has already garnered more than 20 million views on YouTube.  Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG said in the announcement that , "The exponential growth of Internet-based video has created a powerful new outlet for music and music-based content, and the launch of All Def Music is a part of our broader strategy to partner with some of the most experienced entrepreneurs in media and technology to identify future stars and develop powerful content on the world's fastest growing media platform."  JA Baker tells the news. The funny version here  






  Moacir Santos Festival: With Love From Brazil


The idea for a Moacir Santos  festival was born when Andrea Ernest was working on her doctoral thesis.  "I wanted to follow Moacir's musical footsteps in three significant places of his life: His birthplace of Pernambuco, Rio and Los Angeles where he passed away on August 6, 2006 at the age 80.
A biographic 'sound text', if you will," says Ernest, member of the Trio 3-63 , also the artistic director of the Festival with percussionist Marcos Suzano and pianist and educator Paulo Braga. 
Fast forward to 2013. The concert is now made possible by a public grant from Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econ�mico e Social (BNDES). Moacir Santos Festival will take place on August 2 and 3 and promoters are expecting 600 people a day in the beautiful resort of Recife, Brazil. 



Andrea's research first led her to California where she met The Fischers. 
"We met during a Big Band rehearsal directed by Brent, Clare's son. The Fischer sound made a huge impact on me.  I'm very happy that Brent Fischer and Steve Huffsteter will play and talk about Moacir at this festival," says Andrea.  "Moacir Santos and Clare Fischer are two giants that remain under-discovered in the music world today. Ater all, it took Bach 150 years after his death to be fully recognized for his genius," says Brent Fischer who will be playing Clare Fischer big band arrangements, set to Afro-Cuban rhythms and will be speaking at the academic discussions about the 

mutual influence Moacir and Clare Fischer had on each other in regard to 
specific harmonic, melodic and rhythmic structures.

Moacir Santos' work is well-regarded among musicians internationally.  American composer/arranger Dr Clare Fischer who appeared on 2 Santos albums, Maestro and Carnival of the Spirits referred to Santos as "The Duke Ellington of Brazil."   "Beyond their shared love of diverse musical styles, there was again the mutual deep understanding of and respect for each other," says  Brent Fischer. Visit Festival Moacir Santos  to view participating artists.  Mark Levine, Banda Ouro Negro,  Quarteto Coisas

Influential arranger and composer  Moacir Santos is known for his beautiful interpretation of Brazil's harmonic language in the '50s Among his pupils are : Oscar Castro-Neves,  S�rgio MendesDori Caymmi,  and Flora Purim.   A prodigy of sorts, Santos mastered many wind instruments while still in his teens and toured Brazil for many years, studying and playing with a wide variety of ensembles. He also served as a musician with the National Radio Network in Rio de Janeiro before heading to the United States in the early '70s, settling in Pasadena and signing on with Blue Note Records.
A master of writing for large groups and orchestras, Santos has a thorough knowledge of the classical repertoire as well as a deep understanding of the disparate rhythms of his native land.
Born in rural poverty in northeast Brazil in the 1920s, Mr. Santos showed musical acumen at an early age. By 14 he was able to play a number of instruments, most prominently the baritone saxophone. He worked for a time in a traveling circus. By the late 1950s, he was living in Rio de Janeiro and composing music for live programming on Brazil's Radio Nacional. He was admitted to Henry Mancini cinema music writing group before releasing his first album in the US, The Maestro (nominated for a Grammy award). Albums Saudade (1974), Carnival of the Spirits (1975), and Opus 3, No. 1 (1979) followed.
Santos'  song "Nan�" (written with M�rio Teles) has been recorded with over 150 different versions, including those by Herbie Mann and Kenny Burrell.   He also credits series of compositions with Vinicius de Moraes ("Triste de Quem," "Menino Travesso," "Se Voc� Disser Que Sim," "Lembre-Se")
Santos has also composed for film soundtracks:  Love in the Pacific, Seara Vermelha, Ganga Zumba (Cac� Diegues), O Santo M�dico (Sacha Gordine), and Os Fuzis (Ruy Guerra), among others.
cf bb

Heralded by jazz critics and fans alike, The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group has appeared on dozens of CDs over the decades with more to come.

The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group Directed by Brent Fischer

(originally named Clare Fischer and Salsa Picante at its inception in 1978), has been a showcase for Fischer's love of Afro-Cuban and Brazillian rhythms as well as his unique approach to writing. This year fans are treated to live performances in select venues in Los Angeles,  Brazil and Mexico. 
Music journalists agree: "The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Quintet is a mature musical group with first-rate players" -- Richard Wiseman The writing "blends skillful craftsmanship with musical credibility" -Don Heckman The songs "have propulsive grooves in a distinctive Latin style, and every one sparkles", "the mood is one of toe-tapping ebullience" - Jim Aiken The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group, under Brent Fischer's direction, has a worldwide loyal fan base who sometimes fly long distances to hear them.  Like Dr Fischer, Brent Fischer is busy as an arranger, which means the group performs just enough each year to keep fans satisfied, yet always wanting more.  




The 29th Annual TEC Awards will be held on January 24, 2014-Winter NAMM Show-Anaheim, CA  The Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards Nominating Panel
is currently accepting entries, accepted in three categories:

To submit a nomination, download the PDF form for the category you want, fill it out and print it out and  email it to [email protected]

All entries must be received no later than MONDAY, July 29, 2013

For more information contact Jane Byer at (510) 528-2014



July 26-28 - The sun came out over the second day of the Newport Folk Festival - and flying hair, Flying Vs and flying drumsticks.

Saturday included sets from Jim James, The Avett Brothers, Shovels & Rope, Frank Turner and much more. TNFF is reshaping ideas about what folk music is, who plays it, and who listens to it these days.



International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced its judges for the 2013 competition. Called "the songwriting competition to take note of," by the New York Times, ISC is giving away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including a Grand Prize of $25,000 cash and over $40,000 in prizes. Judges for this year include: Tom Waits, Imagine Dragons, Nas, Martina McBride, Bernie Taupin (Elton John Lyricist), Florida Georgia Line, Garbage, Joshua Redman, Bruce Hornsby, Brian Setzer, Gerald Casale (Devo), Monte Lipman (President, Universal Republic Records), Dan McCarroll (President, Capitol/Virgin Label Group); and more.

The entry fee is $30 per song or category and deadline is September 18.




RIP Mike Shipley


Mike Shipley and Mutt Lange changed the sound of recorded rock 'n roll with the best Def Leppard, AC-DC, Cars... and many more platinum records.


Shipley first became interested in a recording career while at school in the UK in the early 1970s. He completed high school in Melbourne, Australia, but quickly returned to London, where he got his first big break working for Wessex Studios, home to huge acts including Queen and The Sex Pistols.  

Shipley went to Los Angeles in 1984 to work with the Cars.  Shipley later relocated to Hawaii for a sabbatical, but returned to Los Angeles to work with artists such as Shania Twain, The Corrs, Anberlin, Aerosmith, Maroon 5, Faith Hill, India.Arie, Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Nickelback and Alison Krauss. He was awarded two Grammy Awards for his work on the Alison Krauss and Union Station release Paper Airplane.
Our heart-felt sympathy goes to his family and loved ones. His legacy of sound and music lives. 

You can leave a tribute here




  starry sky  celebrate

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."  


On Existence of Nothing. It was all much ado about nothing as physicists and thinkers came together to debate the concept of nothing on March 20 at the American Meseum of Natural History.  In our universe, even a dark, empty void of space, absent of all particles, is still something. But there is a deeper kind of nothing, argued theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State University, which consists of no space at all, and no time, no particles, no fields, no laws of nature. "That to me is as close to nothing as you can get," Krauss said. Then what about mathematical entities? What about consciousness?  "The ground state of a gapped quantum system is my best answer," said physicist Eva Silverstein of Stanford University.
Maybe nothing will never be resolved. Musicians or creators intimately know nothing.  They imagine and suddenly there's color, timing, sound, words and energy. 
Ideas of science may not be as beautiful as a Mozart requiem or a Picasso painting, but, it's the best humans can offer at this time. 
Enjoy this most entertaining and fascinating discussion on nothing with moderator and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson   here


Until next month, Celebrate something!


Music Lives & Moves! 


 Claris Sayadian-Dodge, Founder I Editor studioexpresso



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bitton Rhythm of the Heart
Raquel Bitton
Musically this is a tender album, melding of two romantic worlds - Havana and Paris. 
It transports one to a fond memory, a time and space that beats like the rhythm of her heart and goes nicely with a baguette, brie and a Bordeaux!
Raquel Bitton's voice is emotional and mesmerizing. The musicianship is superb. Bitton is accompanied by a 21-piece orchestra featuring the members of the San Francisco Symphony, virtuoso Ramon Stagnaro on acoustic Guitar (Andrea Bocelli,Enrique Iglesias), Rebeca Mauleon on Piano (Santana, Cachao). The Afro-Cuban Rhythm section is led by Carlos del Puerto Jr.on bass (Alejandro Sanz, Arturo Sandoval ), Jimmy Branly on Drums (Rubalcaba, Chucho Valdez,Cuban Timbalists Orestes Vilato ( Celia Cruz , Rub�n Blades), and Jesus Diaz (Tito Puente, Pete Escovedo). Bitton sings in French, Sambas, Bossa Novas , Chachas, Merengue ,Danzon, Tangos, Milongas and Boleros of legendary Latin singer Tino Rossi.The mastering was done bBob Lanzner (Michael Jackson, Bobby Caldwell). The CD cover illustration is by award winning illustrator Martin French (Los Lobos, The Chronicle of Narnia). Included is an exquisite 20-page booklet with French, Spanish and English lyrics.  Bravo Bitton! 



courtesy of Record Production & Babblefish    

New Address
Roland l Rodgers I Hammond 
keyboard Showroom 

 2295 E Foothill Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107 

Kanye West  
Good Times  (Yeezus)
Release: July 8, 2013
Kanye West's  LP  Yeezus sets the darker side of things with the opener "On Sight", the first of many times that collaborators Daft Punk take on producing duties. It is framed in buzzing static and electronic blips and beeps as 'Ye warns that a "monster about to come alive again." He explores the racism role in society on the punk-influenced "Black Skinheads" and "New Slaves" (featuring a brief appearance by Frank Ocean) or overdosing on tongue-in-cheek blasphemy as he does with "I Am a God," he delights in being vulgar.
Guests include former G.O.O.D. Music artist Kid Cudi, current label artist and former Gap Band front-man Charlie Wilson, Frank Ocean, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and Chicago, Illinois sensations Chief Keef and King L (a/k/a King Louis):



















George Duke
In Dreamweaver George celebrates his love for music and life.  The title song begins the albums as a series of three orchestral synthesized transitions that bridge different sections of this album."Stones Of Orion" finds George in a very small group type jazzy setting-with Stanley Clarke playing acoustic and electric bass. In a simple, slowed down funk groove Duke reminisces about first hearing Ray Charles, Les McCann and Miles Davis  on "Trippin". There's bassist Christian McBride's work on the funky jam tune "Burnt Sausage" to Rachelle Ferrell's contemporary jazz singing on "Missing You." Every song offers something special. The powerful centerpiece of the album, the positive and politically charged "Change the World," spotlights several up-and-coming young singers alongside some of the most prominent funk, soul, gospel and R&B artists of the last few decades: Lalah Hathaway (daughter of soul legend Donny Hathaway), Jeffrey Osborne, BeBe Winans, Lori Perry (of sister group Perri), Freddie Jackson and Terry Dexter, among others. A special bonus cut, Ball & Chain, features a duet with Duke accompanying the late R&B singer Teena Maria one of the last tracks she recorded before her sudden death in 2010. The album ends with a sweet funk/gospel take on the old Gene Autry country standard Happy Trails dedicated to his soul mate, Mrs Duke. Dreamweaver is a celebration of life - blessed with great music and love.  
Duke Corin
































































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