Jan  2015
studioexpresso eZine
Since 2000 

photo: Francisco Rodriguez
l-r: Brent Fischer, Al Schmitt, Kenny Aronoff among panelists at HotZone NAMM presented by studioexpresso and Trans Audio Group on Jan 24.

In This Issue
Studio Spotlights: PlugIn Alliance, Avatar & The Village
Renew studioepxresso Today!
Review: D'Angelo's Black Messiah
Watch studioexpresso interviews!
Bock Microphones
Grammy After Party Performers Announced
57th Annual Grammy Awards
Nathan East, Ed Cherney, Slash Honored





PlugIn Alliance Growing  


The roster of elite engineers and producers joining the PlugIn Alliance network is growing rapidly. 

Above David Reitzas (Barbra Streisand, 50 Shades of Grey) with composers Stephan Moccio (50 shades of Grey, Miley Cyrus) and orchestrator, arranger/composer, Brent Fischer (D'Angelo, Usher) at Interscope studios during an open house and reception where studioexpresso members and guests were in attendance in Los Angeles on Monday, January 26. 

Earlier the PlugIn Alliance interviewed twelve-time Grammy®-winning producer mixer and engineer  Rafa Sardina  (Calle 13, Placido Domingo, Lady Gaga) below (with producer/A&R, Jack Joseph Puig) during NAMM. Watch the exclusive interview from After Hours Studio...here  


Above (R) Reitzas and Ross Hogarth visit The Plugin Alliance Maag Audio and Brainworx Booth #6995 at The NAMM Show  





Ronson Sessions at Avatar 


According to Avatar studios VP of operations, Tino Passante, Avatar has been hosting a lot of sessions for film and television because of the New York State Film Tax Credit Program.  The soundtrack for Mortdecai starring Johnny Depp was released in December and produced by the innovative Mark Ronson (above) Superproducer Ronson is best known for his work with Amy Winehouse.    
And for those of you with kids, keep a look out for Walt Disney's short Frozen Forever! The music for the short was recorded in Studios A and C at Avatar.  The session was produced by Andrew Page, Bobby & Kristen Lopez and engineered by Joey Raia assisted by Tim Marchiafava & Nate Odden.
Other film projects that Avatar hosted in various capacities included Foxcatcher, Inside Out, Carol, Sweet Micky for President, Black and White Stripes: the Juventus Story. Read more about Avatar here. 



If The Village Walls Could Talk

By Carley Price for studioexpresso 


By now you've heard of many artists, among them Ryan Adams, The Barr Brothers -  performing from The Village studios for KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Last summer The Twilight Sessions - series of summer concerts were presented from the Village. 

Sirius XM's Town Hall presented special guest Herb Alpert in the Studio for AllMusic.  Village is also home to Crazy Heart, the first season of Nashville, and Pink Floyd's The Wall - all are a few of the many renowned works recorded in Studio B at the Village. You could say artists and producers alike love Studio B's  84-channel mixer and talk about Bs bathroom made famous where Barbra Streisand warmed up her iconic voice.

Studio D is home to a number of musical treasures like -- Oscar Peterson's Steinway piano, Fleetwood Mac's throne, and Lindsay Buckingham's echo room with its rare African Zebra Wood (custom built for Buckingham's vox).

The Village's "Shop" is home to anything and everything needed in a recording studio. This is where all the gear is stored and maintained.  

The Village's auditorium used to be the Mason's meeting hall before it was transformed into a meditation center for artists such as The Beatles. The auditorium has hosted countless legends throughout the years. Now, the auditorium primarily serves as an all purpose room used for events like many Grammy Award celebrations and streaming other live events.  


For the latest info on ATCs contact  Brad Lunde at TransAudio Group 702-365-5155

 ATC SCM20PSL Passive 2 Way Monitors in studio G, Brooklyn where Puss N Boots perform "Don't Know What It Means 

" was recorded live   







MSRP: $1,825.00
The Drawmer 1973 is now shipping.

Ivor Drawmer, veteran designer and manufacturer of boutique high-end audio processors, has earned a 2014 Resolution Award for the new Drawmer 1973 three-band stereo FET compressor. The Drawmer 1973 benefits from Ivor's deep, thirty-plus years of experience building best-in-class signal processors and is unique in its combination of three critical attributes: its controls are remarkably easy to use, its price is low, and its sound is, of course, beautifully musical. Resolution Magazine's Resolution Award is determined by industry expert nominations and reader votes, and the Drawmer 1973 edged out three other respected manufacturers in the "Dynamics" category. "The Drawmer 1973 multiband compressor is the kind of tool that mix and mastering engineers will find so useful they'll wonder how they ever got by without it," said Brad Lunde, president of TransAudio Group, Drawmer's U.S. distributor. "It has a pristine signal path that imparts dimensionality and life to a signal - even as the processing tames its dynamics, and the multiband controls are easy to visualize and work with. Nevertheless, Drawmer has set the price of the 1973 far, far lower than its quality and features justify. The 2014 Resolution Award win is nice validation of everything we're so excited about in the Drawmer 1973."  ,   


For the latest info on Drawmer contact  Brad Lunde at TransAudio Group 702-365-5155

Trans Audio Group 


Unflinchingly Truthful
ATC Monitors, the Choice of Multi-Grammy-Winners Ainlay, Lurssen...

With three Grammy wins and one Latin Grammy win already to his name, renowned mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen has been nominated for yet another Grammy Award this year in the category Best Engineered Album for mastering The Way I'm Livin' by country music singer Lee Ann Womack (which is also up for Best Country Album).  He shares the nomination with fellow Grammy-winner Chuck Ainlay, who recorded and mixed the album using ATC SCM25A active three-way near-field monitors. When the project moved to Lurssen's L.A.-based studio, his beefy ATC SCM150ASL active three-way mid-field monitors took over and guaranteed that Lurssen's practiced ears would direct the tweaks and tucks so that Womack's beautiful melodies would entrance listeners on everything from ear buds to expensive home theaters.
Ainlay installed ATC's biggest soffit-mounted professional monitors, the SCM300ASLs, at his BackStage Studio around the turn of the century. "ATCs possess tremendous accuracy throughout the vocal range, and the levels I get on ATCs always seem to translate to any other environment" he said. "Since Lee Ann Womack is among the greatest female country music singers ever, I obviously had to make sure that her vocals shined on the new album. It's also a very dynamic album that comes from the heart; it's not just about radio hits." Though happily accustomed to his SCM300ASLs, Ainlay had long been at the mercy of whatever loudspeakers were present whenever he worked away from BackStage. "I heard the relatively new ATC SCM25As at AES a while back and I knew I had to have them," he said. "I bought the floor models!" Thanks to that purchase, Ainlay was able to record and mix The Way I'm Livin' at Sound Stage Studios and still rely on his ATC SCM25As' honesty.
"Chuck gave me some direction, but mainly he wanted me to do what I do," said Lurssen, who is well known for delivering masters that retain an organic "chunkiness" that conveys life and dimension even on today's ubiquitous, and often lossy, digital formats. "I strive to retain and accentuate the depth of field and lower midrange support that ultimately supports the high-end image. The clarity of ATC's midrange is exceptional and allows me to really hear exactly what I'm doing. Of course, Chuck wanted me to produce a competitive master, but we were both in agreement that it should not be over-slammed or over-cooked." In part to help ground his vision for the recording with Ainlay's, Lurssen often flipped back and forth between his larger ATC SCM150ASLs to his pair of smaller ATC SCM25As - the same model that Ainlay had used. "You can never have too much information in these matters," he laughed.

Although much of Lurssen's (above) magic is beyond the ability of words to describe, he was able to articulate a few of the critical components that he listened for on The Way I'm Livin' and why their success helped the recording as a whole. "Lee Ann's melodic structures simply had to shine," he said. "In each instance, I had to make sure that the song was really 'let out,' and the vocals were usually the critical leverage point. When that melodic structure is presenting itself, it's important to hear two aspects of the mid range. The first is the upper part, where the song is really going to jump out of the speakers. The second is the lower part that supports that upper part. Determining exactly where those two parts meet is critical for getting the right depth of field, balance, and support. The ATC's let me zero in on that aspect so that I was sure everything was perfect. Because that balance is correct, Lee Ann's voice and melody seem to leap from the loudspeakers."

To get everything sounding just so, Lurssen employs an unusually large number of hardware compressors, limiters, and equalizers. "I'm trying to do as little as possible while still having the greatest impact possible," he said. "I use a lot of gear, but I use each piece very subtly. A bit of each of the best works way better than a lot of any single piece, no matter how good it is. When everything is said and done, it needs to sound like I was never there - there can be no veil between the artist and the listener."

Lurssen first heard ATC monitors years ago when a fellow engineer insisted that their team use a pair of ATC SCM50ASLs for a Pink Floyd project. "The rest of us made a fuss because we all had some other speakers that we were already used to," he said. "But he set them up and within literally three seconds, I knew that I had to have my own pair. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind, which is a rare thing for anyone, I think. That certainty never went away, and so when I set out on my own a few years later, I started with ATC monitors and then built everything else around them. I've found that when I get a master sounding right on my ATCs, the master will successfully translate to any other system, pro or consumer."
Among other respected producers who are enjoying ATCs are Dana Nielson (Adele, Damien Rice, Rihanna) and twelveX Grammy-winner Rafa Sardina (Calle13, D'Angelo, Lady Gaga). "Thanks in part to your newsletter, studioexpresso, you can count me among your happy ATC SCM25A users.  I bought a pair earlier this year and have been loving them and mixing on them a ton.  Anywho, it's always fun reading through your newsletter and catching up on what all our friends are up to," says Nielson.

ATC, the English loudspeaker manufacturer led by Billy Woodman is renowned for building reference monitors that are unflinchingly truthful. This year at NAMM, Trans Audio Group introduced the ATC SCM45A at NAMM 2015,  completely new design that shares many features with the highly-successful SCM25A

"It fills a gap in ATC's product range for a mid-size three-way that can be used in near- or mid-field positions, has high output and extended low frequency for its size but without compromising the overall balance or its stunning performance," says Brad Lunde of Trans Audio Group (ATC's U.S. distributor).
Here you get an active three-way unprecedented linear response across the critical mid-range, as well as across the rest of the audible range.  In contrast to the SCM25A, the SCM45A a second woofer for deeper bass response and increased SPL capability, as well as ATC's new proprietary dual-suspension tweeter for increased resolution in the top-end. Physically speaking the new line is symmetrical (not mirror imaged) and sized for placement on a meter bridge,  ideal as a center speaker between other SCM45A or ATC SCM50ASLs.
Price-wise, the SCM45A sits between the smaller SCM25A and the larger SCM50ASL. It includes ATC's new tweeter and dual woofers, which improve both top-end and low-end performance. Reports trickling in from beta users suggest that the SCM45A's transparency and feature set will make it a perfect fit in a variety of situations, from dedicated near-fields to larger multi-channel systems. 
The ATC SCM45A uses ATC's new one-inch dual-suspension "Super" tweeter, the first to be designed and built by the company and the result of six years of research and design by Billy Woodman, managing director and Richard Newman, R&D engineer. The mid-range driver is ATC's hand-built three-inch soft dome and two 6.5-inch bass drivers that deal with the lower frequencies. All of the drive units are powered by ATC's proprietary active amp pack, a three-channel discrete MOSFET class A/B design with 150/60/25 for the bass/mid/HF respectively.
The ATC SCM45A monitors will be in stock and ready to ship February 1, 2015.
US MAP $11,490

 Trans Audio Group  

 tag crew  


Questions- pricing, availability and dealer locations please email sales@transaudiogroup.com

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

For the latest info contact 
Brad Lunde at  702-365-5155 president@transaudiogroup.com

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),





NAMM 2015

NAMM draws more than 95,000 members from the music manufacturers and musicians to Anaheim each year. This year was no exception with the expanded outdoor concert and food trucks giving attendee ears a break from the super loud showroom floor.
studioexpresso and Trans Audio Group presented two sessions at Hot Zone located on the second floor of the convention center on Saturday January 24. "This will be our third year of participation. It was truly an honor to bring two all-star panels with my co-moderator, Brad Lunde. Each year the attendance is growing kudos to organizers," says Claris Sayadian- Dodge of studioexrpesso.
Indeed the Hot Zone area was mobbed by enthusiastic crowd of fans and professionals alike.  Other presenters included: Matt Forger, Jeff Weber, and Mr Bonzai. One of the Hot Zone keynotes this year was the legendary drummer Stewart Copeland.


2015 Hot Zone studioexpresso and Trans Audio Presented Production Panelists at NAMM  l-r: Claris Sayadian-Dodge, Cheche Alara (Latin Grammy Awards,The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Bonnie Hunt Show) 14x Grammy-winning Rafa Sardina (Lady Gaga, Placido Domingo, Calle13), Ellis Hall  "The Ambassador of Soul" (Ray Charles, Boston Pops, Tower of Power) and  Grammy-winning Brent Fischer (Usher,
Clare Fischer Big Band, Elvis Costello & The Roots). 
Also featured were (below)     


Alex Acuna (Randy Newman, LA Phil).
23x Grammy-winning Dr Al Schmitt (Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Jefferson Airplane)
 Kenny Aronoff (The Smashing Pumpkins,  Bob Dylan, Uncommon Studios ).

Presented annually by the NAMM Foundation at The NAMM Show, this year  TEC Awards celebrated 30 years on the evening of January 24. It recognized the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games, and other media.
Visit here for list of 2015 Technical Achievement Nominees 

and  2015 Creative Achievement Nominees

Through its Hall of Fame, the TEC Awards honors the pioneers of audio technology and the music industry's most accomplished producers and audio technicians. 


This year respected engineer Ed Cherney and admired bass player Nathan East were inducted into Hall of Fame.


Grammy®-winning producer/engineer Ed Cherney (Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt,  John Mayer,  Sting, Elton John, Rolling Stones) offered a most humble acceptance speech saying he did not recognize the Cherney who has amassed such impressive credits and still recalls the early days of learning the skill by trial and error.  He also recognized his peers in the room and said he owes much of the success he's earned to the musical greats he's had the privilege to sit behind and next to "- giants like Quincy Jones and Bruce Swedien and Phil Ramone."  He ended by saying doing what he loves and marrying his wife, Rose was two good decisions he made in life. 


Multi-Award winning Nathan East (right) is one of the most in-demand bassists of all time and also one of the most recorded, with more than 2,000 recordings under his belt. As the regular touring bassist for Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Toto and Fourplay with Bob James, East has played with just about everyone in the music industry. Seamlessly blending rock, pop and funk, his bass influences include Charles Mingus, James Jamerson, Jack Bruce, Paul McCartney and Monk Montgomery.  East released his first ever debut self-titled solo album in March 2014 with guest appearances by Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Kazumasa Oda, Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Ray Parker, Jr., David Paich and his 13-year-old son, Noah East. Nathan offered his fans a stunning performance following his gracious acceptance speech.   


A passionate music and education advocate, Slash received the The Les Paul Award that pays tribute to musical artists and others whose work has exemplified the creative application of audio technology.       

Slash has amassed album sales of more than 100 million copies, garnered a Grammy® Award (with 7 nominations), and is an inductee of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Time magazine named Slash as #2, behind Jimi Hendrix, on its list of the "Ten Best Electric Guitar Players of All-Time."

He is associated with super groups like Guns N' Roses' (lead guitarist),  Velvet Revolver and recent collaborations with Ozzy Osbourne and Fergie, among others.  After a touching acceptance speech recounting a tender friendship with Mr Paul, Slash was joined by fellow musicians Don Was on bass, Orianthi and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on guitars, David Pack on vox and Kenny Aronoff on Drums to perform much loved classics like "Sweet Child o' Mine." Larry Batiste was the MD for the evening offering a stellar line up of musicians to include Luis Conte.  Comedian Sinbad  provided the laughs as the evening's host.  

Industry presenters offered winners of technical creativity awards among them, Rafa Sardina who presented to Apogee Electronics accepted by Lucas Van Der Mee who talked about their shared past working relationship from the Ocean Way during his acceptance speech.    

Above: TEC award for Pharrell Williams' "Happy" for Gavin Lurssen and team.





 Bob Dylan Honored by MusiCares 


photo by William Claxton
Ten-time Grammy winner Bob Dylan will be honored as the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, two nights prior to the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter To Present Award To Dylan.

Performers at the tribute concert include GRAMMY winners Bruce Springsteen; Beck; the Black Keys; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Norah Jones; Tom Jones; Los Lobos; John Mellencamp; Willie Nelson; Bonnie Raitt; Eddie Vedder; Jack White; and Neil Young; as well as singer/songwriter John Doe. President Jimmy Carter will also be on hand to honor Dylan during the prestigious event. Proceeds from the annual Person of the Year tribute - now in its 25th year - provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need.

The 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a tribute concert by renowned musicians. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week.



Entertainment icon and two-time GRAMMY® winner LL COOL J is set to return as host of the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards® marking his fourth consecutive year as MC.  






Gartel Paints The Grammy

The Recording Academy® announce the selection of artist Laurence Gartel to create the official artwork for the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. The striking work features a life-sized version of the iconic GRAMMY® statuette wrapped in the distinctive psychedelic imagery of the artist using vinyl, glitter and prismatic materials. The piece will be used to create the official artwork for Music's Biggest Night® and will grace the cover of the GRAMMY Awards program book, telecast tickets, poster, and other promotional materials. The music industry's premier event will take place live on Sunday, Feb. 8, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network  from 8 - 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT). The show also will be supported on radio worldwide via Westwood One, and covered online at GRAMMY.com and CBS.com, and on YouTube. For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook.

"We are thrilled to have Laurence Gartel create our official GRAMMY Awards artwork as he brought a truly visual element to the iconic GRAMMY statuette," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy.

Known around the world as a pioneer of digital art, Gartel's innovative and colorful imagery has championed many notable advertising campaigns over the past 35 years. He grew up in New York City, where he was greatly influenced by the punk rock scene, working alongside musicians Stiv Bators, Sid Vicious, Wendy O. Williams and the Ramones. His groundbreaking work has been exhibited in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art, Princeton University Art Museum, and Long Beach Museum of Art, as well as internationally in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Gartel has spent the last several years creating art cars and was the feature of the 113th Annual New York International Auto Show with his own Pavilion. To see more of the artist's work, visit www.gartelart.com

New EVP at RCA, NY

RCA Records announced that veteran label exec John Fleckenstein has been named as Executive Vice President, of RCA Records. Fleckenstein will report to Tom Corson, President and COO, RCA Records. John will be based in headquarter offices in NY.




New VP of A&R, New West Records, Nashville

Veteran label exec Kim Buie has been tapped to serve as VP
of A&R for New West Records. Buie will be based at New West's newly opened Nashville office where she will work alongside president John Allen.  





Robo-Magic Launched by  


It's a new year and the former president of AEG Live, Rob Hallett has revealed details of his music  venture based in London.  

The name Robomagic derives from the 1973 Kurt Vonnegut novel "Breakfast of Champions," which features a company called The Robo-Magic Corporation of America, explained Hallett.

Robomagic will have three divisions. Its' Live venture is a global network of independent promoters to produce domestic and global tours for "some of the biggest artists in the world. Second, it's the 360 degree deals with emerging artists "acting as a guide for both young talented artistes and executives." The third division is Robomagic Capital, an investment arm which will offer both emerging and established artists finance to develop their business, including recording costs, whilst retaining the rights to their music.      

According to official press release, alongside the company's investment and touring operations, Robomagic "is looking to acquire and grow publishing catalogues across the board."    

During Hallett's 10-year reign at AEG Live, the seasoned exec was responsible for overseeing global treks (excluding North America) for Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Usher and Black Eyed Peas, as well as Prince's 21-night run of shows at London's 20,000-capacity the O2 arena in 2007Nothing like fair competition for Live Nation. Hallett also looked after three Bon Jovi stadium tours of Europe



A Fierce Rose 
New Horizons For Rose Mann Cherney 

photo: Charles Cherney 
The woman whose name is synonymous with studio management,  Rose Mann Cherney is stepping down from the renowned Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles after close to 40 years of service.  Like most studio managers, Rose began with front desk and booking duties and ultimately becoming company president and partner. 


It is the title of Studio Manager, however, that will forever be linked to the name Rose Mann Cherney, a job she helped define by bringing a level of concierge service and personal attention to detail that remains unmatched in the industry.  

Mann Cherney's attention to her team has meant helping protégés launch their own careers. As the first female president of a major recording studio, as well as the first woman to be inducted to the TEC Awards Hall of Fame (2012), Rose Mann Cherney has also illuminated the path for a generation of women working in the studio business. Her facebook page was flooded with congratulatory wishes after the announcement. 
Looking forward to hearing Rose write the next chapter!  



3 Free Music Apps on your iPhone

By Carly Price


Bandsintown is the ultimate way to find local concerts. This free app for the iPhone personalizes your concert-shopping experience. The app scans your music library and when it displays the concerts in your area, it highlights artists or bands that you have in your own music library. There is also a daily calendar composed of recommended shows in your area. Additionally, users can find a general search tool if he or she is looking for a specific artist. The details for a specific concert entail the date, venue, and even include ticket information. Lastly, this app permits you to share your concert plans with your friends as it is connected to Facebook and Twitter. Users can share their "RSVP" to the event as well as see their own friends' RSVP's to concerts. We looked up BandInTown D'Angelo! 

Magic Piano by Smule provides an entertaining way to simulate piano playing. From Bruno Mars to Mozart, play the hottest songs effortlessly - no lessons needed! No worries teachers. This is really not learning music. It's just a harmless simulation! Whether you are a beginner or advanced pianist, this free app is the perfect pastime to practice playing songs from Mozart to Meghan Trainor. You can personalize your levels, play from a selection of free songs, and earn coins that will purchase additional songs at all levels.  Try playing "Moves Like Jagger" by
Maroon 5 

Drum Beats (compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5) is the perfect band companion. This app isolates a drum loop so artists can either play along with the beat or learn how to play the specific track. It includes 50 different loops to choose from that range from all different genres of music. Whichever loop you need, this app has it. From rock to country, and everything in between, Drum Beats provides a good tool for beginning musicians with the drum loops they need. Beat! beat! drums!-blow! bugles! blow!  


RIP Andraé Crouch    

July 1, 1942 -Jan 7. 2015   


Seven-time GRAMMY® winner, the legendary Andrae Crouch is better known as "The Father of Modern Gospel Music."
He enjoyed  crossover success between gospel and mainstream music during his impressive career, which spanned more than five decades. From singing with his first group The Church of God in Christ Singers during the early 1960s, to founding the Disciples a few years later, to leading the choirs featured on hits like Madonna's "Like a Prayer" and Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror," his passion for music was as infectious as it was influential.  In addition to being an accomplished vocalist, Andraé was also a uniquely gifted songwriter, arranger and record producer. Producer Rhett Lawrence who played at Mr Crouch'es memorial spoke of his kindness and humanity often sheltering young musicians like him who were new to Hollywood. Lawrence and slew of musicians performed at his memorial. Crouch also arranged music for two acclaimed films, "The Color Purple" and Disney's "The Lion King."
The award-winning gospel singer, songwriter and choir director who was also given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame died at Northridge Hospital Medical Center on Jan. 7 at the age of 72. Watch Stevie Wonder sing a medley combination of his song and the song, "Soon and Very Soon" by Pastor Andrae Crouch at his funeral on 1/21/2015. 






Besides their pure analog signal paths, Bettermaker units have a full digital recall with 399 cells for your own presets, which you can recall with one touch.

You can save your settings in the internal memory of the EQ's as well as in your D.A.W....AND... in your project with your AUTOMATION. More info
here  at Trans Audio Group. 







Charlie Gone Viral For Freedom  

 The slogan "Je suis Charlie" had become one of the most popular news hashtags in Twitter history (over 5 million x) used following the 7 January massacre in which twelve people were killed at the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France. Embraced worldwide, the slogan was used in music, displayed in print and animated cartoons. Le Monde reported that a fake bomb was left in the faculty lounge of a French high school containing the message: "Je ne suis pas Charlie."  Within days of the attack, merchandise (hats, phone cases, keychains, buttons) featuring Je suis Charlie was available for sale around the world. This led to critical questioning of whether businesses were profiting off the tragedy or simply responding to market demand.

Rallying cry for the freedom of self-expression or gone commercial? Anytime freedom of speech and press get this much attention, I say "manifique!"  



I'm first to embrace technology. Today we can post what's important to us thanks to social networking sites like facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Sharing photos with people in our network of thousands is made easy. Announce work completed, share food or travel experiences had, piece of cake! 

To help your fans find you easily, we're updating your studioexpresso pages with helpful links (sample: Kenny Aronoff)! So, simply send us an email to update yours!

Keeping it real. When we need sage advise or a big favor, the number of people we can reach out suddenly drops!  So, as Valentine Day is approaching let's celebrate those who matter a great deal in our lives. Take them out to lunch or dinner. Make more phone calls or house visits!  Like me, you may find these "time consuming" practices super satisfying. See you soon!
Here's to great satisfaction in 2015.

Hint - Sending flowers is always in style like the fresh gardenias from High Camp Supply (above)!

Until next month, express yourself.  Music lives and moves. 



Claris Sayadian-Dodge, Founder I Editor studioexpresso

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 "ATC founder, Billy Woodman, and his team of R&D engineers never tire in the pursuit of perfection, and our request for a smaller monitor has led them to develop the SCM20PSL Pro MkII." The ATC SCM20PSL MkII is based around the ATC 6.5-inch "Super Linear" LF driver with integrated midrange, utilizing the same ATC developed SL technology used in our larger nine-, twelve- and fifteen-inch based monitors.



D'Angelo And The Vanguard
Black Messiah  

RCA Records  

Review by Carley Price for studioexpresso    


D'Angelo fans have waited fourteen years for this album. Black Messiah by D'Angelo And The Vanguard proves it was all worth the wait.

The album begins with a rock rendition of the song "Ain't That Easy" which sets the tone for a few surprises on the album. Each song is full of soul from start to finish. From the country-blues feel of "The Door" to the jazz and funk sound of "Betray My Heart", every track is layered with instruments and loops that take on a bold new sound connecting many decades of different rhythm & blues styles.  The first single:  "Really Love"  already sports over a million listens on YouTube and begins with  strings arranged and orchestrated by Grammy-winning producer and arranger, Brent Fischer.  You can't escape the hypnotic melody wrapped with velvety but modern strings opening with a Spanish-speaking whisperer. It seamlessly ties into the jazz-influence on the track and furthermore exemplifies the variety of musical genres that are communicated throughout the album. This is a gorgeous piece of acoustic neo-soul, with D'Angelo falsetto vocals gliding around Fischer orchestral arrangements.  


Having been in touch on and off with D'Angelo and his associates over the years, Fischer was pleased to hear how the album, and particularly Really Love, was coming together. "Then it was the ultimate honor to be asked to contribute my creative element when D'Angelo had gotten things to a point where he was satisfied with their direction," Brent Fischer said.

"D'Angelo is a true artist. Our production styles are similar in that we take time to allow for consideration of every nuance on many levels. In all of our conversations, I felt a deep sense of respect for and from him. He understood that combining my creative vision with his meant there would be surprises that he couldn't necessarily anticipate.  He welcomed these and that gave me the freedom to let my heart and experience be my guide," said Fischer. 

Brent Fischer shared that his goal for arranging "Really Love" was "to surround and complement his tracks with lush textures in unexpected ways. There were places where I felt I could make a statement, some where I felt I should support what was already there, and some where my ideas should intertwine with his to end up with a completely different sound."

While the album ties in over a decade of musical styles and a variety of genres, the overarching social commentary within the lyrics of the album are what distinguish the record's unique and notable sound. D'Angelo's collaboration with 'Tonight Show' Drummer, Qestlove (of The Roots), exemplifies the more serious side of the album through the song "1000 Deaths". This track begins with a clipping from "The Murder of Fred Hampton," which is a documentary about the Chicago Black Panther who was shot dead by police. This particular song is only a small excerpt of the insight this album as a whole brings to the reality of events that took place throughout the 14 years it took to produce.  

In another collaboration  with rapper Q-Tip and songwriter Kendra Foster he sends heavy political messages out on airy grooves, such as during "The Charade."


Fischer used a variety of instruments in his orchestration in order to perfectly match the lyrical content. "Because of the compositional and orchestration vocabulary I've carefully amassed over the years, I look to develop a unique aesthetic for each song," Fischer shared. "Blending live instruments with electronic sounds also lays the foundation for a song to become timeless.  That's part of what makes it possible for today's hits to become tomorrow's classics.  I hope that, together, we have accomplished that here".


In 1995, D'Angelo released his first album entitled "Brown Sugar".  Five years later, he released "Voodoo". Now, over a decade later, D'Angelo is back in the music scene with his unexpected album release through RCA Records  


Read Ebony review where Questlove and Fischer are both credited.
Really Love chosen as USA Today's Song of The Week   

D'Angelo will be
guest of Saturday Night Live  (NBC) on January 31.




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The Tube-Tech Team from Denmark: John Petersen (L) Jesper Bo Nielsen (R)    

Brad Lunde with Dave Hill 








David Bock has now captured the sound of the vintage Neumann U47 tube microphone in the new Bock 407. As with Bock's other products, TransAudio Group will distribute the Bock 407 in the United States.  





 Jeffrey Kahan 2017 Calendar


Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra music director Jeffrey Kahan is stepping down as music director at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 2017 to join the Keyboard Studies faculty at USC Thornton School.

Kahane's appointment grew out of the increasingly active partnership between LACO and USC Thornton. Many LACO musicians, including concertmaster Margaret Batjer, principal cellist Andrew Shulman and principal oboe Allan Vogel, among others, are professors at USC Thornton. The school's premier choral ensemble, the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, regularly partners with LACO to perform works for the orchestra's regular subscription series.  





















Grammy Sponsors & After-Party Performers Announced 


The Recording Academy® proudly announced its official marketing partners for this year's 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. 
Aflac, CÎROC Vodka, Degree Women Deodorant & Antiperspirant,  Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Hyundai, JBL, MasterCard, Microsoft,  PEOPLE, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble (COVERGIRL, Crest Whitestrips, Herbal Essences, and Olay), and Westwood One are all supporters of this year's GRAMMY Awards and GRAMMY® Week events

GRAMMY® winner and current nominee Gloria Gaynor, current GRAMMY nominee Jessie J, and DJ Michelle Pesce are scheduled to perform at the exclusive 2015 GRAMMY Celebration® - The Recording Academy®'s official after-party. Additionally, the Celebration's MasterCard Jazz Lounge will feature performances by four-time GRAMMY winner Arturo Sandoval and members of the GRAMMY Camp® - Jazz Session. Party guests of Music's Biggest Night® will experience this year's period centric theme, "Passport to the World," which will transport them through the elegance and glamour of air, sea and land travel through the '20s and '30s. One of the year's most anticipated events, attracting GRAMMY winners, nominees and celebrities, the 2015 GRAMMY Celebration will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, Feb. 8 immediately following the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast.

The menu was designed using locally grown meat, produce and cheese, when possible, and all seafood is sustainably produced. Leftover edible food from the GRAMMY Celebration is donated to local food banks and all cooking oil used for the event will be recycled.

GRAMMY® Amplified Artist Discovery 


Hyundai and The Recording Academy® announce the launch of the third annual GRAMMY Amplifier® - an innovative, online music initiative aimed at mentoring emerging artists.
Three-time GRAMMY® and Brit winner Mark Ronson will serve as the 2015 GRAMMY Amplifier Ambassador alongside this year's program curators - current 57th GRAMMY nominees The Band Perry and Ziggy Marley, and singer/songwriter Allen Stone. 
Artists can begin entering submissions on Jan. 26 at GRAMMYAmplifier.com. Based on their track plays and social media "amplifications," the top 25 finalists will be brought together for a GRAMMY Amplifier mentorship experience.  The top 25 will then be whittled down by program curators to a short list of finalists, at which point the program ambassador will select the final three winners and align each of them with one of three top prizes.
(1) a studio recording session with a GRAMMY winning producer; (2) filming and starring in their own music video with a noted director; or (3) securing an opening spot for a noted musician and/or at a music festival.









The 57th Annual Grammy Awards will be held on "GRAMMY Sunday," February 8, 2015, at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, and will be broadcast live in 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 through 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).


  For a complete list of Categories and nominees, click here


Good luck everyone!









     Nathan East inducted into
2015 TEC Awards Hall of Fame 


The Hammond  Corner
The Sound . The Soul . The One 

watch here

 Hammond Workshops

Presenters Brent Fischer and Lenise Bent (below) and Rafa Sardina (above) with winner  Apogee Electronics represented by Lucas Van Der Mee at NAMM's TEC Awards 2015


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