feb  2016
studioexpresso eZine
Since 2000 

 D'Angelo receives 2016 GRAMMY« Awards for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Song 
l-r: On The Red Carpet are D'Angelo cast/crew: Rafa Sardina, Brent Fischer, Kendra Foster, Ahrel Lumzy, Chris Dave, Isaiah Sharkey, Russell Elevado, Ben Kane 
Oscar is in town while we bring you behind-the-scene Grammy« wrap up. We invite you to enjoy a wonderful crazy nigh with a legend. Hear music from three new artists with big buzz.  Hollywood scores big. We spotlight two composers behind the films.  We take you to a studio in Jersey where big noise are made and show you how to get on top of the mastering food chain and more...Thanks for reading.     
As always, big thanks to our 24,000 + readers and studioexpresso's community of studios, composers, arrangers who create music that lives and moves.  Congrats to all of you who have renewed and enjoying work, industry networking and more.. Renew today. Thank you!

American Recordings founder Rick Rubin honored by
Grammy P&E Wing at The Village

Oscar 2016
In This Issue
Rick Rubin Honored At The Village
Renew studioexpresso Today...it's 2016!
2016 Grammy Nominee Album
NAMM Noise 2016!
studioexpresso on YouTube Chl
Subwoofer Pros
Hammond Corner: Visit New Showroom in Monrovia, Cali

Rick Rubin Honored During Grammy Week 
Tempest and Wall Spoke For The Producer With Touching Performances

l-r: Kate Tempest, Colter Wall

This year's GRAMMY« Awards celebrations kicked off Thursday night at The Village Studios.  Maureen Droney of the Recording Engineers and Producers wing and Jeff Greenberg of Village studios hosted the industry party honoring iconic producer, Rick Rubin (Slayer, Johnny Cash, Lady Gaga,  Kanye West) who received a President's Merit Award.
Rubin who is short on words and tall on accomplishments did not give an acceptance speech nor did he walk on stage! Instead, he eloquently spoke through two performances given by his American Recording artists: 19-year-old Canadian (Johnny) Cash-like Colter Wall, and spoken word English poet Kate Tempest. Wall delivered an acoustic set with his guitar and sang Kate McCannon while stomping his boot for percussion. Ms Tempest delivered her point of view on today's culture and humanity from We Are Lost - how we live and love one another - in a passionate, uninterrupted rap that received a loud cheer from the audience.
Producer-songwriter Jimmy Jam introduced Rubin, joined by A-list artists, Lana Del Ray, Josh Groban and Macy Gray. "The way hip-hop is now owes everything to Def Jam and to this gentleman here tonight," Jam said of the record label Rubin founded with Russell Simmons in 1984, which introduced audiences to LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys. Many of Rubin's industry peers were present who waited an hour before hearing from the Recording Academy president Neil Portnow. Rubin is being recognized for "his talent and innovation, uncompromising standards and commitment to sonic excellence," Portnow said  The guests were treated to a zen-inspired short film about Rick Rubin's oeuvre.  The music of American Recordings  has captured the pulse that says MUSIC NOW.  It's perhaps this "nowness" that has become Rubin's own brand. Rubin joins past Producers & Engineers Wing honorees including Nile Rodgers, Neil Young, T Bone Burnett and Jimmy Iovine.

Trans Audio Group Introduces the Boutique Analog Compressor 
TransAudio Group, Bettermaker's U.S. distributor, introduced the path breaking Bettermaker C502V at the AES's 139th Convention earlier this year in New York City. Like the rest of Bettermaker's catalog - which in just a few short years has earned numerous TEC, Resolution, and Prosound award nominations and wins, the C502V combines a boutique analog signal path (newsworthy in its own right) with intuitive, musical controls and complete parameter recall and automation from a linked DAW-based plug-in - high-end analog sound paired with a superior digital workflow. The C502V is the first compressor from Bettermaker, although with three distinct VCA flavors in one 500-series chassis, it could just as easily be described as the first three compressors from Bettermaker! Stereo, dual mono, or M/S modes, as well as USB or analog side-chain with adjustable high-pass filtering and "look ahead" functionality expand the C502V's universe of possibilities.

Plug Me In

Master Glenn Schick
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock 'n' roll. It's even longer way to the top of the mastering food chain. Mobile mastering engineer extraordinaire Glenn Schick has spent more than 20 years perfecting his craft to get to the point that he can pack his entire mastering rig into a 3-rackspace case and laptop bag and cruise off to several countries in a calendar year to live, work and play, all the while maintaining a loaded schedule of mastering top-selling hip-hop albums, Amazon Prime exclusive acoustic tracks and almost everything in between.
His best mastering advise?

1. Work in stereo and mono
2. Vary the playback levels
3. Don't over-compress
4. Subtlety

Things to do Before the Mastering Stage
1. Pre-roll and Post-roll
2. Keep every element true to itself
3. Check your stereo arrangement

Read the full Plug In Alliance interview here

bx_console takes in-the-box mixing to a new level of analog realism using Brainworx's new Tolerance Modeling Technology.

Gate your tracks and unlock your mind with this useful, incredibly innovative and creative tool.
  This incredible plugin does everything you ever wanted a delay to do, as well as a myriad of things you never imagined a delay could.

Trans Audio Group 
OH-Zone Gets ATCs

A Tour of Omar Hakim's Personal Studio, New Jersey, NY
Musician, producer, arranger and composer Omar Hakim (Sting, Miles Davis, Marcus Miller, Weather Report,  Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Kate Bush, Dire Straits, and Journey) is widely acclaimed for his versatility, technical prowess, and groove, not to mention one of the most successful session drummers of the past forty years. 
When rock band Journey's longtime drummer, Dean Castronovo, was arrested during their 2015 North American summer tour they turned to Hakim to capably walk in his percussive shoes at arguably the shortest notice in high-flying touring history - less than 24 hours! However, when reclusive English singer-songwriter, musician, composer, dancer, and record producer Kate Bush ventured out on stage as a headliner late last year for the first time in 35 years for a sold-out string of no fewer than 22 'intimate' theatrical shows at London's Eventim Apollo theatre, it was with Omar Hakim holding down the perfect beat throughout those career-spanning shows. These shows indirectly led the demonstrably in-demand drummer to ATC speakers, as it happens.
Hakim has installed a pair of SCM50ASL Pro three-way active monitors in his personal studio - The OH-Zone - sited at his New Jersey home, having had a guided tour of the ATC factory facilities in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK.
"I didn't become aware of ATC until I began working with Kate Bush. Her engineer was the great producer/engineer Greg Walsh, who set up a control room space at the rehearsal location during pre-production for the London shows. That's where I heard ATCs for the first time - SCM100ASL Pros, I believe. I was immediately blown away with what I was hearing. That was the first time that I had ever heard a speaker reproduce audio like that! Then I had the pleasure of doing some show prep at Kate's personal studio, where I think she had SCM150ASL Pros - fantastic!," says Hakim. 
So when it came to upgrading the main monitoring at The OH-Zone, his own personal studio back home across the pond in New Jersey, it was an ATC done deal as far as Omar Hakim was concerned: "I was thinking of getting SCM25A Pros - until I heard the ATC SCM50ASL Pros at the ATC factory, having had the pleasure of getting a factory tour and sitting with Managing Director Billy Woodman to audition several ATC models. I decided to go with the SCM50ASL Pros because I could hear the difference in the
low-end response. I also knew that for my purpose of tracking live drums and small rhythm sections they were the right choice for me! To finally be able to monitor music with this level of accuracy and detail is an incredible experience for me. The SCM50ASL Pros are definitely taking my work to the next level."
Not that Omar Hakim has ever been short of session work, mind - most recently recording drums for the Grammy« award-winning Random Access Memories album by breakthrough French electronic duo Daft Punk, as well as recording, mixing, and producing his third critically-acclaimed solo album, We Are One, at The OH-Zone. The Trio of OZ, the band he formed with wife Rachel Z in 2010, are currently working on their second album, all set for release on his OZmosis Media Group label in 2016: "I've recorded and mixed three albums there, and I also do lots of sessions for clients around the world that send me tracks to put drums on."
Omar Hakim has plans to build a new home and studio, so his beloved SCM50ASL Pros will definitely be making the move, too: "I've always had a deep appreciation for technology and the thought, ingenuity, and commitment needed to bring it to the world. Billy Woodman and the crew at ATC are craftsman of the highest order. From the beautiful wood cabinetry to the speaker components and electronics, ATC speakers are simply amazing!"

"To finally be able to monitor music with this level of accuracy and detail is an incredible experience for me. The SCM50ASL Pros are definitely taking my work to the next level."
-----Omar Hakim

For more information on  ATC SCM50ASL   contact  Brad Lunde at www.transaudiogroup.com  or call  702-365-5155. 


Scoring for Oscar    
Music: Original Score
Here are the nominees... 
Rock musicians and pop stars are most often nominated in the songwriting category. A handful, however, were nominated in the Scoring categories includes: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Prince, Pete Townshend, Rod McKuen, Isaac Hayes, Kris Kristofferson, Quincy Jones, Randy Newman, Anthony Newley, Paul Williams, Tom Waits, David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Trent Reznor and Matthew Wilder.
Record producers George Martin (the Beatles) and Jerry Wexler (Atlantic Records) also received nominations in the Scoring categories.  Dmitri Shostakovich and Duke Ellington were both nominated the same year but lost to arrangers of West Side Story!     
Three women have won in the scoring categories. Two are composers: Rachel Portman, who won for Emma (1996), and Anne Dudley, who won for The Full Monty (1997); the third, is lyricist Marilyn Bergman, who won for Yentl (1983) in the Original Song Score category, sharing the award with co-lyricist Alan Bergman (her husband) and composer Michel Legrand.

Last year, Alexandre Desplat won an Oscar on his 8th nomination in just 9 years (for "The Grand Budapest Hotel," though he was competing against himself for "The Imitation Game"), but this year he was rejected entirely, despite his beautiful score of "The Danish Girl" in contention. 
There is Carter Burwell's beautiful work on "Carol" and Ennio Morricone on "The Hateful Eight", who has never won an Oscar before.
studioexpresso puts the spotlight on Carter Burwell and Jahann Jahansson who are among nominees with: Thomas Newman, Ennio Morricone, and John Williams
Bridge of Spies
Thomas Newman

Composer Spotlight:
Carter Burwell
Best known as a regular collaborator of the Coen brothers, having scored 15 of their films, Burwell may be one of the few guys in the industry who will actually admit that talking about the budget earlier in the process helps identify music content "Is it a guy on a eukelelie or a symphony orchestra,"  he says! 
Burwell . 80s punk rock movement gave Burwell the impetus to start performing, but he found early success scoring films. He currently has four films in release: Hail Caesar! animated Anomalisa, The Finest Hours and The Family Fang.  
After graduating from Harvard College, Burwell became a teaching assistant in the Harvard Electronic Music Studio.    

Composer Spotlight: Jßhann Jßhannsson
Sound and energy is all around us. It's at the source and within us. That's how I hear Jahann Jahansson's music. Icelandic composer is identified with minimalist, neo-classical, drone, and electronic music. He won a Golden Globe for James Marsh's The Theory of Everything. He is a co-founder of Kitchen Motors, an art organisation with a record label which specializes in instigating collaborations, promoting concerts and exhibitions, performances, chamber operas, producing films, books and radio shows to uncover new art forms.[8] Jˇhann founded Apparat Organ Quartet in 1999, which has released two albums since 2002 with live performances in Europe, America and Japan. Jˇhann has performed all over the world with his ensemble,


Bettermaker, the Poland-based maker of high-end analog equalizers with plug-in control and recall, earned two nominations: one for the Bettermaker EQ502P 500 series module and one for the Bettermaker EQ232P MKII rack-mount.

Drawmer's 1978 Tone Shaping Compressor, which incorporates different analog character circuitry and variable saturation, and Tube-Tech HLT 2A, which pairs high and low shelving with an innovative "tilt" midrange filter, earned nominations as well. Finally, ATC earned a nomination for the ATC SCM45A, three-way compact near-field monitor with unparalleled midrange fidelity. The winners will be determined by online voting via Mix, Pro Sound News, Pro Audio Review, and Electronic Musician and via professional audio and sound production organizations. 

"All of these nominations go to inventor-owned companies, the kind of companies where innovation is king. We're proud to have these exciting new products recognized with TEC Award nominations," said Brad Lunde, founder and president of TransAudio Group. It's easy to imagine that there's nothing new under the sun in the world of pro audio, or that anything new is a gimmick, but that's simply not the case. The sound quality of Bettermaker's equalizers would have earned TEC nominations by itself, but the fact that their fully-analog circuitry can be recalled and automated via a plug-in interface has obvious advantages in a modern workflow. The Drawmer 1978 and the Tube-Tech HLT 2A prove that traditional compressor and equalizer topologies are not the only way to inspire fantastic mixes. Taking a different tack, ATC's SCM45A gives engineers a beefier three-way ATC nearfield with fidelity that ensures mixes will translate outside of the studio. Obviously, we encourage folks to cast their votes for these innovative tools!" adds Lunde.
The Tec nominated Auratone Super Sound Cube reference monitor is a legend in the recording, broadcasting, and motion picture industries for its unfailing ability to represent mixes as they will so often appear in the "real world" - on small-format, zero-crossover loudspeakers.
TransAudio Group relaunched the Auratone Sound Cubes.  Learn more here 
For more information on Auratones, Bettermaker EQ232P MKII, Drawmer's 1978 Tone Shaping Compressor,Tube-Tech HLT 2A and  ATC SCM45A For the latest info on Tube-Tech contact  Brad Lunde at www.transaudiogroup.com  or call  702-365-5155.

 Trans Audio Group  
tag crew
l-r: Richard, Todd, Janis and Brad at Trans Audio Group    
 For the latest info contact   
Brad Lunde at  702-365-5155 [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),
Questions- pricing, availability and dealer locations please email [email protected]

From Vine To Signed: The Future of A&R
Saturday, March 19 12noon-1:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 17B

Austin Rice A&R Atlantic Records will be among the panelist at SXSW.  In the last two years there have been several success stories of artists crossing over from YouTube, Vine, and other social platforms into the mainstream music industry. We have seen artists like Shawn Mendes and Lindsey Stirling debut in the Top 1 and 2 sales positions. Where is this trend going and how are labels really integrating social platforms, mobile apps, and data into their talent discovery and artist signing strategies? What are the best platforms and apps for new artists looking to get discovered? This panel of experts will discuss the future of talent discovery and the integration of the mainstream music industry with the social music space. 

studioexpresso and Trans Audio Presented Production Panelists at 2015 Hot Zone 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).   
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 ).


Behind The Scene Grammy« Wrap Up
The Men and Women of Audio Bring Grammy« Music to Your Home   
  l-r: Doug Mountain and Alissa Hoyo operating behind the scene at the 58th annual GRAMMY« Awards
Cast of hundreds tore it up, once again, bringing the music of GRAMMY« Awards to our homes. studioexpresso went behind the scenes and got close with the producers, engineers, directors and technical staff during rehearsals on February 13. We talked to the capable men and women behind the scenes and learned just what it takes to produce the 58th Annual GRAMMY« Awards Telecast.   According to our fabulous tour guide, Doug Mountain the set up begins by hanging over 150 tons of rigs, positioning 23 HD cameras to start.
The set up continues for 5 days and it only takes one day to tear it all down.
This year the six trucks parked outside in the parking lot got upgrades with new JBL speakers. During the broadcast, Truck A handles the live broadcast. while Truck B handles line checks for the act about to come onstage and serves as a backup should something go wrong with Truck A. The entire setup is run off generators, so it will continue even if there's a Super Bowl-style power outtage. If the generators fail, too, there's an Uninterruptible Power Supply that should keep sound going for 30-45 minutes!

Backstage we met up with DGA stage manager, Alissa Hoyo who has been doing this type of work for 22 years. There are total of 20 stage managers. The biggest change for her in recent years has been replacing paper with IPAD with new scheduling software. She and her assistant are in charge of every change that occurs in the schedule (and there are many) and to keep all the performers and their agents informed in real time.
If you're on this show, you have lot of live experience. Take Pablo Munguia (below) for instance.
Pablo works in the ProTools playback truck equipped with 10.35 operating system and Mac 10.7. He controls and mixes pre-recorded digital source music coming to him in 48kHz files for 20 acts, all of 42 songs. 
Adele was rehearsing when we began interviewing Pablo who kept his cool while explaining how all vocals are sung live, half of the performances you'll see are sync'd to some sort of A/V presentation or lighting effects.
Pablo also told us how bands like TOTO have helped pioneer the way things are done today because of their demanding touring needs.  He also spoke of the importance of trust and communication that goes on with technical directors of each artist and the truck operators. You could say we visited Pablo in the "Trust Truck"! 
Munguia TV show credits include: American Idol, America's Got Talent, and The Voice. Pablo has mixed rock legends The Who for VH-1's Rock Honors special tribute. Pablo has also mixed Justin Timberlake's live concert Down Home in Memphis for NBC with MD Kevin Antunes and with Don Mischer on several projects to include: Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics in Shanghai, Halftime Show of the Superbowl and the Academy Awards in '07.  
Like in the years past, every wireless microphone is organized by artist name and stored in assigned bins with the act's gear --drums, keyboards and microphones-- set up on moving mini stages that get rolled in during the show.
Above: Lionel Richie and Justin Bieber Drum sets backstage on risers with wheels
Each band comes with their own music director. But, when asked about the show's MD everyone was pointing to Greg Phillinganes who also performed this year with Miguel on Michael Jackson song: "She's Out of My Life," (the original keyboardist) from Off The Wall album.   Did you know there are 28 stand ins? They all have to learn the songs, in case someone is needed to take the stars' place during rehearsals!
While this was a year of great tributes by Lady Gaga and Bonnie Raitt, backstage, it took a village to run the  award show. This crew keeps busy all year long and for most of them it's the Oscars next!   

How To Break A Single

Gwen Stefani's new single, "Make Me Like You," was born on live TV during Grammy« Awards on Feb. 15.  The video came to life as thousands of fans watched it unfold from different angles on Periscope, Facebook Live and Instagram.  Just who was behind the ad for Target? 40+ performers.  
A crew of more than 250 people, from lighting and makeup artists to backup dancers. Seven costume changes-including a quick change into roller skates! The largest soundstage in North America, on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. Stefani's song "This Is What the Truth Feels Like" from her new album, including four bonus tracks- areon Target.com, out March 18!
How is that for breaking a single?! Vinyl pre order + digital for $34.98 

Artistic Self Expression Trumps The Race Card: Kendrick Lamar
Artistic self-expression and creating art is another way to access a meditative state of mind and bring about profound healing. It takes several generations to heal injustices to humanity, including racial injustices. Ever wonder how The Supremes (Baby Love), The Four Tops (I'll Be There), Nat King Cole (Smile), James Brown (I Feel Good) and Jimi Hendrix (Purple Haze) did it? They managed to bring love, joy and healing in their songs and performances while their own family, friends and neighbors were going through unthinkable inequalities.  And now several generations later, we're hearing the aftermath of the pain and sorrow that former generations experienced but did not express.  Rapper Kendrick Lamar brought this self-expression on stage after winning big early at the 58th annual Grammy Awards. Lamar received a standing ovation after delivering a jazzy rendition of his song "The Blacker The Berry" before a prison backdrop.    
"I'm African-American, I'm African," he rapped after entering the stage with a number of black dancers, wearing prison outfits and donning chains. "I'm black as the moon, heritage of a small village, pardon my residence, came from the bottom of mankind, my hair is nappy, my d-k is big, my nose is round and wide, you hate me don't you?"
He added: "You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture."
Lamar and the dancers eventually removed their chains, revealing glow-in-the-dark paint over their prison outfits.
The performance inspired standing ovation inside Nokia Theatre.
Lamar was also the lyrical mastermind behind President Obama's favorite song of 2015 "How Much a Dollar Cost" from Lamar's album "To Pimp a Butterfly."
Artists like Lamar remind us that recognizing history is good; it helps us speak up when there are injustices and not repeat mistakes of the past. 

When Songs And Politics Mix

Franklin D. Roosevelt used "Happy Days Are Here Again" his campaign song. Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie was fine when former President Bill Clinton opted to make her song "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" his campaign song and slogan. No one has been shunned more for their vocal anti-Bush beliefs than The Dixie Chicks who were boycotted from radio. Will.i.am changed the face of politics online with his Barack Obama YouTube video "Yes We Can," which has been viewed more than 25 million times. John Rich
The most visible Republican musician this year (and the most successful country writer this year) is the writer of "Raisin' McCain," which he played at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning," Adele's spokesperson told Trump's agents who began playing Adele's, "Rolling In The Deep" during campaign rallies.  Some Republicans have wondered about the value of having Kid Rock-who noted that he'd refrain from sex in the Oval Office but he'd install cameras in the Lincoln Bedroom-on their side.
Singer-songwriter Neil Young said: "Donald Trump was not authorized to use Rockin' In The Free World in his presidential candidacy announcement." The statement went on to say that the Canadian citizen supports Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders whose agents have put together a number of musicians dubbed "Bernie's All-Star Band" for #RockintheBern concert. 
Katy Perry hits the campaign trail this year with Hillery Clinton.  You could say songs and politics mix. 

Until next month...Get your Oscar wear, some popcorn and enjoy the movies this weekend!
 visit exotic studio destinations at  studioexpresso home page 
Help fans find you easily and contact us to update your profile  with your social networking links (sample: Kenny Aronoff).
Simply send an email to c[email protected]  or call 818.990.3031 and tell us your artist story and say "I want to RENEW!"

Music lives and moves. 
Claris Sayadian-Dodge, Founder I Editor studioexpresso
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l-r: Brent Fischer, CJ Vanston, guest with Rafa Sardina

Jack Joseph Puig with studioexpresso's
Claris Sayadian-Dodge

Regardless of your age or background you must know at least one Elton John song or have enjoyed at least one wonderful crazy night watching him perform.  Those of us in the music industry know about his generosity and passion for supporting causes like AIDS.
Elton John releases his 33rd studio album, Wonderful Crazy Night on Island Records in October. The first single came out early this month in February. The LP, like the rock legend's 2013 album The Diving Board, was co-produced by John and T-Bone Burnett and recorded at the  Village studio in Los Angeles. It was recorded live, with his regular, as the man himself terms it, "kick-ass" band: MD and Guitarist Davey Johnstone,  drummer Nigel Olsson, percussionist John Mahon and percussionist Ray Cooper (on five of the songs), joined by new bandmates Kim Bullard (keyboards) and Matt Bissonette (bass). Elton again proves he's got more piano licks than you can image and his voice, well it's EJ solid.  "I wanted to make it an up tempo rock'n roll album," says John who works with Bernie Taupin once again on Wonderful Crazy Night.  This is a "joyous album" because John is in a joyous place in life with husband and two sons. 
With pre-order fans get an instant download of the first single, the rollicking, upbeat  "Looking Up."  Here you get 10 songs with classic Elton ballads like "A Good Heart" rockers with an edge like "In The Name of You" and "Claw Hammer."
This is John's third collaboration with T-Bone as producer and when asked why he continues to work with Burnett. Elton simply says "Because he (Burnett) is a musician...I push him and he pushes me," adds John. Well, most will agree. Come on, sing along...How wonderful life is when Elton is in the world. Eh?! Better yet, watch James Corden and Sir Elton's sing car-karaoke!

 Titles & Dreams 
Best New Artist 2016 

Meghan Trainor
became an overnight role model for girls age 5-25 of all shapes and sizes with her song "All That Bass."
After releasing her debut, Title, Trainor received a new title: Best New Grammy Artist of 2016.  But, who's talking about titles? Trainor is all about dreams. That may be why she shed a few tears during her acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards held on February 15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. After all, she knows what it took to get her to where she is.
Trainor remembers wanting to be a pop star since she was 7.  So, her supportive Dad build a recording studio where 16-year old Meghan could write and produce her own songs.  She got a publishing deal at 18 when "All that Bass" caught the attention of LA Reid. Now signed to Epic Records, Trainor has penned tracks for everyone from country superstars Rascal Flatts, Hunter Hayes to Common Kings. 
 Some dreams come true.  Just watch one of Meghan's fans, five-year-old Isabella (battling leukemia) meet her idol for the first time. It's sure to bring a tear in anyone's eye.  To top it off, Title is included in iTunes 2015 Best Selling Album. How's that for titles and dreams?!

Congratulatioins to all Grammy winners!

D'Angelo & The Vanguard
Black Messiah
Best  R&B song "Really Love"* and
Best R&B Album
Producers: D'Angelo, Questlove....

*Brent Fischer, Arranger, orchestra producer
*Rafa Sardina, Engineer

 Watch ATO Recording artist, 4x GRAMMY winners Alabama Shakes perform "Don't Wanna Fight" at The GRAMMYs!

Full list of Winners here


bx_refinement's intuitive controls let you adjust various aspects of the sound with ease. it combines several characteristics found in ultra-musical tube-based equipment to give you an effective tool that is easy to operate with  precise visual feedback. The Harshness Control allows you to eliminate unpleasant high frequencies from complex signals and mixes.


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Lindell Audio 254E
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ERA-D is the product of 10 person-years of R&D and comes after more than 30 scientific papers and technology book chapters.   
Available now in AAX native, VST2, VST3 and AU formats for Mac OS 10.7 or higher and Windows 7 or 8, ERA-D will change your view of audio restoration for $299 MSRP, distributed through Plugin Alliance. All Plugin Alliance products are available for fully-functional 14-day demos from a single downloadable installer. Watch the demo here





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ATC SCM45A 3-way compact near-field monitor  

 "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, 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," says Brad Lunde of www.transaudiogroup.com 

Ben Lilly of ATC 

Brad Lunde with Dave Hill 

Precious Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected a new company to manufacture the statues for the first time in more than 30 years. This year the task was given to Polich Tallix in Rock Tavern, New York.  We're not talking about Wolfgang Puck's golden chocolate Oscars!
The statues start as wax sculptures that are covered in ceramic and fired at 1600░F, cast in liquid bronze, then cooled and sanded before being electroplated in 24-karat gold. The company takes three months to produce 50 of the 13Ż-inch awards.  
When the Academy presented their first thirteen golden statuettes in 1929, the winners received a work of art created by three incredibly talented Angelenos:
MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, Sculptor George Stanley and the Italian born craftsman Guido Nelli who realized the vision of both men.
And, in case you come across one for sale, well, the prices range from $100-300,000, per recent auction figures!
Considering a 2013 estimate, based on Gold prices at the time, valued the 24 karat statue at $900.  We're told it's against Academy bylaws to sell your Oscar. So, winners keep a close eye on your Oscar and enjoy the show! 

 Subwoofer Pros Join Trans Audio Group
NAMM 2016 
The folks behind TransAudio Group, U.S. distributor of boutique, high-end, professional audio recording equipment have filled an unmet need in high-end control rooms for music and film.

Primed for its first public appearance at Winter NAMM (January 21 - 24, Anaheim, California), SUBWOOFER PROS  provides subwoofers with best-in-class bass response and functionality for mission-critical recording and mixing environments. Subwoofer Pros' first two products, STUDIO 12 and STUDIO 18 use a 400W integrated amplifier to deliver precise linear performance down to 8Hz at SPLs of 105dB and 113dB, respectively. A comprehensive set of inputs, outputs, and bass management protocols allow both subs to optimally integrate with an enormous range of existing professional monitoring setups.   Learn more here 


250 W Duarte Rd. Suite B Monrovia, CA 91016
The Sound . The Soul . The One 
watch here 

Come check out this powerhouse package, suitable for studio, stage or worship center.   Call Nelson at 909-599-7899 to schedule a      XK-3 audition
 Click here   
Free Hammond Accessory Pack
with SK1-73 or SK-2
These Hammond accessory packs include an EXP-20 expression pedal, cables and a Hammond cap (a total value of $300)....and lots of space in the backpack for your essentials, including a laptop computer. 
FREE when you purchase a SK1-73 or SK-2  (artist pricing excepted) during March 2016.

Featured Hammond Artist    

Los Angeles based Hammond artist Carey Frank just added a SK2 Hammond keyboard and XPK-200L Hammond 20-note pedal board (from wwwChurchKeyboard.com) to his arsenal of Hammond gear.
An active musician, Frank works as a soloist as well as he plays in various genres and groups. Carey has performed, recorded, and worked with Marty Morell (drummer with Bill Evans), Ndugu Chancler (drummer with Michael Jackson and Weather Report), Marshall Tucker Band, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lenny Picket (SNL Music Director), T Lavitz (keyboardist from Dixie Dregs and Jefferson Starship), Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Drake Bell, and Bob Mintzer. In March of 2011, Frank travelled to Nepal to teach and perform at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory and in Chitwan and in July of 2012, traveled to New Dehli, India to teach music clinics and perform. 
Carey received his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Piano Performance from the University of Central Florida and was a scholarship recipient from the Gold Coast Jazz Society and the Central Florida Jazz Society. He received his Masters of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California, studying with Russell Ferrente (Yellowjackets), Alan Pasqua, and Peter Erskine. While completing the final semester of his Masters Degree, Carey recorded and released his self-produced debut album, "Keep Smiling", which is now available on iTunes, CD Baby, Spotify, and #1 best seller on Amazon Music in Cool Jazz category. Catch Frank and The Rumproller Organ Trio at a live show near you in Hollywood, Pasadena, Culver City, Santa Monica and Hermosa Beach from February - June 2016  
Meet more Hammond artists  
For Hammond and Leslie products in Southern California contact




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Lady Gaga will perform her Oscar-nominated songs from The Hunting Ground live on Sunday during The Oscars .
Diane Warren (left) will be up for her eighth Oscar nomination for her powerful collaboration with Lady Gaga, "Til It Happens to You." The simple, raw ballad soundtracks director Kirby Dick's documentary, titled The Hunting Ground, that explores rape on college campuses in the United States.


Gravity-Defying Pear Apple Martini
For Your Oscar Party!

1.5 oz Grey Goose La Poire vodka
.5 oz Diosa Apple tequila
1 oz apple juice
.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz agave nectar

Add all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with pear and apple slices.

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