Holiday 2023

Music, Film, Book Reviews & News   Artist Profiles I Studio Spotlight

Time to make a list and check it twice! This month get ready to experience euphoria, share joy, and be surrounded by evergreen. We're celebrating you and your music! Look who gets starstruck, and this band is swinging. Live is back in clubs and stadiums and the subject of a star-studded studioexpresso panel at NAMM in January.

We remain grateful to you, our valued readers and supporters.

Grab an espresso and enjoy this month's holiday serving!

Artist's Gateway To The World's Top Music Makers

Producer Profiles

Studio Spotlights

Subscribe 2

FREE monthly eZine

Home Page Connect to our socials @studioexpresso

studioexpresso Artists' Choice Production Community

Click here to renew or email to join!

Cher Christmas!

Her First Ever Holiday Album

Singer, actress, and veritable institution Cher has released a 2023 Christmas album in limited edition ruby red vinyl, 60-plus years after her debut with Sonny & Cher. Recorded primarily in L.A. and London, Christmas was produced by longtime collaborator Mark Taylor (Believe). Songs include beloved superstar duet classics What Christmas Means To Me with Wonder and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) with Darlene Love, who first recorded the song in 1963 with Phil Spector while a 17-year-old Cher sang background vocals.

DJ Play A Christmas Song, the first single, was written by Sarah Hudson (Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Troye Sivan) and her team who contributed four new songs for the album. "Only thing I want this year... little joy and escape..." She must have read our minds! The project also includes a haunting version of Home written and sung with Michael Bublé. The album offers an unexpected pairing with Tyga on another Hudson song called Drop Top Sleigh Ride, produced by Alexander Edwards, Mike Crook and Ryan OG, and the magnificent Angels in the Snow plus Put A Little Holiday In Your Heart with Cyndi Lauper.

Listen to Cher's Christmas album here Advanced warning. Wear your dancing shoes!

Trivia: Cher and Streisand are the only two female performers in the United States to have had a #1 hit and won a competitive Oscar. Cher holds the record for oldest female artist with a #1 hit for Believe (won a Grammy in 2000).

Experience Euphoria!

New Album from Producer Narada Michael Walden

Superstar producer and musician Narada Michael Walden released his18th solo album, Euphoria on November 17, 2023 via Nicolosi/Walden Music. On the rousing track The More I Love My Life, Walden plays host to a supreme trio of special guests: Carlos Santana on guitar, Sting on vocals and Stevie Wonder on harmonica. Inspired by the 2001 French song, L’amour a Tous Les Droits, Walden created the song as a world beat-flavored track that carries listeners off with its soulful grooves and impeccable musicianship.

“I wrote the lyrics with Jeffrey Cohen, and after I recorded the main parts I asked Carlos to play guitar on it. That’s when I got the idea for harmonica, so I asked Stevie Wonder if he would like to play on it. A while later, I was in New York to serve as musical director for the rainforest benefit that Trudie Styler produces. Sting came into town for rehearsals, and I got him down to Electric Lady Studios to sing on the track. Everybody who contributed was incredible and electrifying," says Walden.

The album also features guest appearances by fast-rising star Cornell “CC” Carter, and is mixed by famed Italian guitarist and producer Lino Nicolosi. The production took place at Walden’s own San Rafael-based Tarpan Studios as well as Nicolosi Studio in Milan, Italy.

Walden shares vocals with CC, the winner of New Artist of the Year in the 2018 SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards on I’d Rather Dance With You. The track zoomed to the number two spot on the UK soul chart and has been featured on BBC Sounds’ Tony Blackburn’s Soul on Sunday. The joyous dance hit, Baby Let’s Go, features an appearance by Dear Silas, the Mississippi-based rapper known for I Ain’t Stressin Today, which used a sample of Regina Belle’s 1989’s hit Baby Come to Me, produced and co-written by Walden. Walden gives MVP status to the bass playing by Rossana Nicolosi, whom he calls “the secret sauce” on the album.

Euporia is produced by Nicolosi Team and Narada Michael Walden. The dynamic, 11-song collection is the latest release from Walden, a multi-Grammy-winning producer whose No. 1 chart successes include Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin and many others.

Now Walden sharing his Euphoria with you! Watch the lyric video for The More I Love My Life here

The Narada Michael Walden Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young people by supporting music appreciation and education for Bay Area youth. The Foundation / upcoming annual Holiday Jam event is on 12/16/23 Details here

Evergreen Surrounds You!

New Film Candy Cane Lane Starring Eddie Murphy Scored & Mixed At Evergreen Studios

Above: Studio manager Vicki Giordano at Evergreen control room with 5.1 ATC main monitoring

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Studio, Not a creature was stirring, not even a Mic...!

When it comes to a well-proportioned tracking rooms with ample Isolation and fully-staffed studios, Evergreen stands out. Last week we visited with manager Vicki Giordano who gave us an insider look, that includes the impressive stash of microphones, including 3- M-50's, formerly owned by the legendary Bruce Botnick.

New clients/projects include Bear McCreary, Chris Bacon, Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, Bleeding Fingers, Netflix, Amazon and Sony Playstation. "We recorded for The Joker, and One Love (with Ziggy Marley - a film about Bob Marley). We also did some scoring for Looney Tunes, the movie, and did an ATMOS mix for Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)," says Giordano. Vicki would not share the title of the new film starring Sean Penn, but here's a hint: Penn plays role of a recording engineer in one of Evergreen's control rooms. Stay tuned!

The vibe is serene. The hallways and lounges are graced with colorful modern art by local artists. While we were there, respected executive Neil Portnow picked in to say hello! He served as the chairman and CEO of The Recording Academy and MusiCares from 2002 to 2019. Prior to that, Portnow was the vice-president of the West Coast division of Jive and Arista Records. Now he and producer Harvey Mason Jr (Justin Bieber, Beyonce, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Elton John, and Chris Brown, Shrek, Straight Outta Compton, Dream girls...) have teamed up to create a media empire, with the acquisition of LA’s historic Evergreen Stages and Enterprise recording facilities with over 40-year history. Portnow is a partner in the Evergreen Enterprise Experience (which is Evergreen studios and Enterprise studios across the street). "We are creating a sort of campus vibe. We are in the process of building a new studio at Enterprise which should be available for rent starting in 2024. We've also built a small studio here at Evergreen. We call it Studio C and it is designed for overdubs, voice overs and smaller sessions," says Giordano.

The landmark building in North Hollywood started life in 1940 as a 740-seat movie house named The Magnolia Theatre, designed by architect Clifford Balch. Closing in 1979, the venue was purchased and opened by Charlie Fox, Gayle Levant, and Artie Butler and renamed Evergreen Studios. The room has hosted some of the greatest performers in musical history including Frank Sinatra, Radiohead, Beyoncé, Slash, Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, Stephen Sondheim, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, Ray Charles, Snoop Dogg, Ringo Starr, Kelly Clarkson, Barry Manilow, Quincy Jones, Maurice Jarre, Howard Shore, George Martin, Britney Spears, Toto, Justin Timberlake, Billy Joel, Usher, Mariah Carey, Ozzy Osbourne, John Barry, Plácido Domingo, Pink, and Paul McCartney. Classic Film and television projects include Back to the Future, When Harry Met Sally, Urban Cowboy, The Blues Brothers, Star Trek The Motion Picture, Octopussy, Friends, Dallas, The Simpsons Movie among many others. Enterprise studios was founded in the 1980s by Craig Huxley, who also owned the Evergreen Stages building for a period, operating it as Enterprise 2.

"Since I started, in September of 2022, we have added our 2nd EMT 250, we had our ISO booth doors replaced. Patrick, our chief tech, resurrected a Fairchild 670 that everyone thought was dead. For the Oscars that we did last year (and hope to do again this year) we purchased an Allen & Heath SQ7 and a Vox AC10 amp," says Giordano.

Following extensive renewal, both facilities have newly installed Solid State Logic Duality Fuse 72-channel Super Analogue mixing consoles able to handle a wide range of recording, film and TV projects. The refurbishment of Evergreen Stages include an acoustic redesign of the control room, which is configured for 5.1 mixing and now features ATC monitoring and a dedicated Atmos studio w Meyer speakers. Both facilities are managed by veteran executive, Vicki Giordano.

What's new? There's plans for additional Production Building right across the street, featuring 7+ Control Rooms, 5+ Office spaces, Viewing Theater, Writing Rooms, Kitchens and Lounges and above all there's ample parking for all - 50+ Cars!

Above: Viki Giordano, manager at Evergreen Studios Below: with chief engineer....... in brand New Dolby Atmos Dub Stage

Vicki took us to Evergreen's Atmos studio to meet chief engineer Laurence Anslow (above). He was at AIR in London for years before coming to the States, and worked on the new movie Candy Cane Lane starring Eddie Murphy, out December 1 on Amazon Prime. The new holiday comedy adventure is about a man on a mission to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. After Chris (Eddie Murphy) inadvertently makes a deal with a mischievous elf named Pepper (Jillian Bell) to better his chances of winning, she casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life and wreaks havoc on the whole town. At the risk of ruining the holidays for his family, Chris, his wife Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross), and their three children must race against the clock to break Pepper’s spell, battle deviously magical characters and save Christmas for everyone. Laurence Anslow was the engineer and Marcus Miller was the producer for the sessions. Watch the trailer here.

According to Giordano, most of the film was scored and mixed in Studio A at Evergreen. And Pepper aka Vicki plans to keep Evergreen busy all year round! She joins me in wishing you all a Happy Christmas, and to all a good-night!

As for Mr Anslow, you have to ask him about his Yorkshire pudding recipe next time you're at Evergreen!

For Evergreen Bookings contact t Vicki Giordano or call (818) 860-7880

Evergreen's 3,000 square foot Scoring Stage/Live Room with 3 ISO Booths

Starstruck Recordings

Popular Production Venue on Music Row Features ATC 7.1.4 Immersive System

Over the last 25 years, Starstruck has developed and managed top acts, including Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Maggie Rose, Emily Ann Roberts and have recorded artists such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Taylor Swift in their studios. Famed for its’ unique studios – The Gallery and The Pond – Starstruck opened their Dolby Atmos room in the spring of 2021. Starstruck ranks as one of the most chosen recording, production, and mix venues on Music Row. Top recording engineers, such as multiple Grammy-award winner Chuck Ainlay (left), frequent the facility.

Noted Nashville-based acoustician, Michael Cronin Acoustic Construction, designed and built the mix room at Starstruck. Cronin, an expert at meeting Dolby’s strict guidelines, re-worked Starstruck’s existing lounge and listening room into a Dolby immersive sound studio. Shawn Daugherty, Starstruck’s chief technical engineer, installed, calibrated, and integrated the immersive system room.

The ATC 7.1.4 system is composed of three ATC SCM110As handling left-center-right, four ATC SCM45As for surrounds, four ATC SCM25As for heights, and two ATC SCM0.1/15 subwoofers. Noted Daugherty, “Accuracy, placement and performance are strategic in meeting the specifications of a Dolby Atmos system. The ATC system was strikingly easy to calibrate. In fact, when the Dolby engineers came out for the final tuning, they literally could copy and paste settings from one speaker to another – somewhat of an audio rarity. The ATC’s detailed tonal balance and exact reproduction makes it hard to imagine working in a studio that doesn’t have them.” One of the first recording engineers to use the Dolby Atmos room was Derek Bason, who was mixing tracks from Carrie Underwood’s catalog into Dolby Atmos. Todd Tidwell, Starstruck’s chief engineer, concluded, “The ATCs live up to the hype and are worth every penny you pay for them.” He used the system for various projects for Carly Pearce in the July 11 CMA Fest in Nashville. “The ATCs are a joy to work on. I’m super confident I’m hearing every detail from every angle. Basically, you just have to hear it for yourself.”

Speakers & Sound

Adjust-ability with Sound Anchor

Photos: Nashville’s Blackbird Studio C with ATC 9.1.6 Dolby Atmos System

It's actually worth spending money on good speaker stands. Why? While looks can be deceiving, you must have seen concrete blocks and other DIY configurations used in some project studios. Speaker stands may not be on top of your purchasing list, but this 19-minute video by Colt Capperrune @ColtCapperrune may change your mind. $20 block stands are compared with professional stands ranging from $140 Gators to $1,200 Sound Anchor stands. Can you guess which one performs the best? check it out here Adjust-ability is also important for Speakers. For optimum sound quality the speaker’s acoustical axis should be at approximately ear level for the most consistent and best sound.

Sound Anchor adjustable monitor stands allow you to adjust the position of the monitors (height, angle and tilt) so you can place the monitors where they need to be for the highest quality sound.

Sound Anchors and Redmount products are designed and manufactured in Palm Bay, Florida U.S.A. using American parts and skilled American labor. click here for Sound Anchor dealers in USA


Featuring Upgraded, Handcrafted, ATC Dual-Suspension Tweeter

ATC models:





"ATC monitors are something you have to experience to really grasp how different they are from everything else. Lets just say that you can hear details you’ve never heard before, leading you to faster, more accurate decisions in your creative process," says Brad Lunde, President of Trans Audio Group

ATC SCM 25a pro mk2 has been upgraded with ATC’s hand made proprietary SH25-76S Dual Suspension Tweeter, extending the high-frequency response with a reduction in distortion. " Like the original SCM25A, the new upgraded Mk2 is a compact 3-way high-performance active studio monitor loudspeaker, based around the hand made proprietary ATC 3”/75mm soft mid-dome driver and 6.5”/164mm bass driver loaded in a 25-litre vented cabinet," adds Brad Lunde, President of Trans Audio Group. The monitor’s combination of exceptional mid-range clarity, high-output, extended bass response and modest size make it ideal for nearfield monitoring across a wide range of critical applications. ATC of England is the insider’s studio monitor, demanded by the very top level of the music recording community. ATC designs and manufactures nearly all their proprietary components, drivers, and electronics in-house to the absolute highest quality standards. The best of the best rely on ATC monitoring as their main solution for tracking, mixing and mastering. Models range from $5,000 to $50,000 per pair and all share a very similar sound. For larger rooms and midfield, applications check out the SEM45 with dual 6.5-inch drivers and the fantastic SEM150 with a 15-inch woofer and 350 Watts of power. Choose the size that works for your space. More info here



TransAudio Group, U.S. distributer of the finest professional recording equipment in the world, is pleased to announce the new ATC SCS70 Pro, a compact, ultra-high performance subwoofer using ATC’s first, in-house-designed and built sub driver.

Designed by Billy Woodman and his team of engineers, this new 12-inch sub driver delivers the kind of honest and detailed low-frequency information that professionals have come to expect from ATC.  “Subwoofers can be a source of distortion, making the mixing or mastering process a guessing game. Now an ATC system, complete with the one or two SCS70 subs, can deliver full bandwidth audio for any genre, enabling superior translation on any system it gets played on, from ear buds to home hi-fi to clubs and everything in-between. Other subwoofers rely on EQ and poorly implemented ports, transmission lines or passive radiators to boost low end and make their subs sound impressive," says Brad Lunde

USA List Price: $5,490.00 USA MAP: $4,990.00


TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier U.S. importer/distributor and/or U.S. 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.

West Coast Jazz Swings at Vibrato

A Slice of Americana Served With Brent Fischer Orchestra

City of Angels is host to an exceptional Jazz club spotlighting some of the city's top cats on weekends or weeknights (closed on Mondays).

The musicians are first rate and whether you know it or not, they fill the soundtrack of our lives, be it on recordings by beloved performers of our times or they can be heard on your favorite movie or TV show. 

Grammy®-winning producer, arranger and band leader Brent Fischer was back with his orchestra celebrating Dr Clare Fischer West Coast Jazz Sounds at Vibrato in Bel Air On November 7.

The Big Band, comprised of 20+ musicians featured guest vocalists for the elder Fischer’s 95th (posthumous) Anniversary show.

Music was all-Fischer standards with a surprise or two that included an arrangement of Let it Snow, just in time for the holidays!

Fischer music has delighted audiences worldwide. Clare worked with jazz legends Donald Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, and Cal Tjader, before becoming the go-to-guy for arranging for Pop & R&B legends Prince, Paul McCartney, and Chaka Khan. Though his own influences range from Stravinsky to Ellington to Jobim, the renowned Herbie Hancock has been quoted to calling Clare one of his major influences.

Now, Clare’s son Brent Fischer carries on the legacy of his revered father, one of the architects of West Coast Jazz Sounds. Brent conducts the ensembles that range from Trio, clarinet choir, Latin Jazz Group, and Big Band. There’s even a repertoire for organ, and Jazz Corps, suitable for college or university music curriculum.

The show got an energetic start with singer/pianist Marina Pacowski, a transplant from France, who recently released her debut album in LA. She added her mellifluous scat on Cal’s On (from Fischer’s Continuum album). John Proulx joined Dave Tull on a tune penned by Brent Fischer titled Sad About Nothing Blues, dedicated to the late trumpeter great, Carl Saunders who sang the song with fellow trombonist Scott Whitfield on Fischer's Pacific Jazz album. Proulx’s singing style has elicited comparisons with a young Chet Baker. Tull, doubles comfortably in both roles as singer and premiere jazz drummer. Denise Donatelli , a multi GRAMMY® nominated jazz vocalist, appeared on Gaviota (from Fischer’s Intenso album, and the lovely Christine Gutter appeared on Butterly Samba (lyrics by Darlene Koldenhoven, also from the Intenso album). Guter is on the faculty at Cal State University Long Beach, and has sung on dozens of Hollywood soundtracks including Disney’s Mulan, Star Trek Beyond, The Jungle Book, Jurassic World, Men in Black 3, and Spiderman 3, to name a few.


The big band played to a full house at Vibrato on Tuesday night. Maestro Brent Fischer's credits appear on over 30 million albums for artists including Usher, Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello & The Roots, Sheila E and D'Angelo. His modern arrangement of the classic Pictures At an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky has delighted audiences worldwide and creates a new big band aesthetic for multi-genre music. Several tracks were played from his latest PICTURES album released in 2021.

Brent Fischer Orchestra offered brilliant solos and sections featuring Bernie Dresel, Quinn Johnson, Ken Wild, Ron Stout, Scott Whitfield, Francisco Torres, Alex Budman, Kirsten Edkins, Brian Clancy, to name a few. Fischer music swings and sparkles with Latin, Afro Cuban and Brazilian rhythms, and offers layered imagery that’s complex and satisfying like gourmet wines and colorful and exuberant like modern art, harmonizing perfectly with Vibrato's warm ambiance.   

Special credit goes to Grammy-winning music icon Herb Alpert and his premiere jazz restaurant where world-class music meets food in an explosive combination of elegance, and taste. Mr Alpert, a founding member (with Jerry Moss) of famed A&M records, is also known for his timeless compositions like Rise, and admired for his philanthropic reach.  The club offers a superb sound system, the walls are adorned by modern art, most by Mr Alpert himself. The menu at Vibrato meshes Italian traditions with California classics including steakhouse type meals and vegetarian options. You will want to try one of the chef plates like the Kobe burger with Gruyere cheese and grilled onion, the baked Alaskan halibut with grilled artichoke hearts or the roasted cauliflower steak with grilled corn relish is yum! 

A slice of Americana was served in the heart of Los Angeles.

West Coast Jazz Swings at Vibrato, and delighted audiences with Brent Fischer Orchestra on Nov 7.

Make your reservations here

Fischer Music makes great holiday stocking stuffer for your loved ones and is available at

studioexpresso @ NAMM, 2024

Sat Jan 27, 3 - 4 PM (prior to TEC Awards)

Amp Up Your Live Gig!

You've made your album. Now it's time to market it with a live performance.

Meet our speakers (credited for Beyonce, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton, Mana) who will discuss how to best showcase your music from studio to stage. What check lists to have for performing in front of a select audience like label executives, or in venues small and large from clubs to stadiums.

Learn tips on live streaming or when you're about to appear on the silver screen, in a live broadcast, from the Tonight Show to the Grammy Show!

This panel of music experts will show you how to prepare, gear up/down, promote and create more opportunities to market your music and grow your fan base + hear entertaining stories, including disaster recovery strategies and more... It's LIVE baby!

Join us for an inspiring afternoon at NAMM (register here to attend) and recharge for 2024!

studioexpresso's Claris Sayadian-Dodge and Brad Lunde of the Trans Audio Group will co-moderate.

Subscribe to monthly eZine and future events here!

studioexpresso and Trans Audio Group have featured many producers, and musicians over the past ten years of TEC Track's history at NAMM

Curt Bisquera (Sarah McLachlan, Elton John), Kenny Aronoff (Smashing Pumpkins, John Mellencamp, Sting), Greg Penny (Elton John, KD Lang), Rafa Sardina (Lady Gaga, John Legend), Niko Bolas (Neil Young, LeAnn Rimes), Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hedrix, Kiss), Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Faith No More), Cheche Alara (Christina Aguilera), Kim Bullard (Elton John, Kelly Clarkson), Cristina Abaroa (Celine Dion, Enrique Iglasias), Brady Leffler (Hot Chelle Rae, Justin Beieber), Al Schmitt (Diana Krall, Paul McCartney), Alex Acuna (LA Phil, Beck), Teddy Campbell (American idol, The Tonight Show w Leno), Ellis Hall (Ray Charles, Tower of Power), Jacob Armen (Prince), Peter Asher (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt), Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Melody Gardot), Manny Marroquin (Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys), Dave Schiffman (Adele, Limp Bizkit), Gregg Field (Sinatra, Pharell), Sylvia Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash), CJ Vanston (Toto, spinal Tap), Dame Gail Dorsey (David Bowie, Gwen Stefani), Jenny Mason (The Mrs), Neal Pogue (Outkast, Andre 3000), Leland Sklar (Phil Collins, James Taylor), Moogie Canazio (Sergio Mendes, Sarah Vaughan), Daniel Seeff (KJazz, Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz), James Torme, Zev Feldman of Resonance Records (Sarah Vaughan, Bill Evans, Nat King Cole), John Wooler of Mood Media (Flying Lotus, Elton John, Miles Davis), David Benoit, Matt Wong, and Brent Fischer (D'Angelo, Elvis Costello and The Roots).

Bettermaker Stereo Passive EQ

Pure Analog Beauty of A Passive EQ Meets Impressive Digital Plug-In Control

The new Bettermaker Stereo Passive Equalizer replicates that proven formula to bring the deeply-loved sound of the classic passive EQs to modern high-end workflows. Bettermaker makes recalling settings easy and reliable with unlimited memory via the associated DAW plug-in.

Engineers will find the controls on the Bettermaker Stereo Passive Equalizer familiar: low boost or cut at four possible frequencies; high boost at ten possible frequencies with bandwidth control; and high cut at three possible frequencies. Bypass, output gain, and reset round out the controls. But, of course, the real magic of the Bettermaker Stereo Passive Equalizer is its sound, which includes two perfectly matched channels, and comprehensive plug-in control and recall. “The 100% analog signal path of the new Bettermaker Stereo Passive Equalizer has all the heft and ethereal air of the vintage passive EQs that are so loved by engineers,” says Brad Lunde, founder and president of TransAudio Group, the U.S. distributor of all Bettermaker signal processors.

The Bettermaker Stereo Passive Equalizer is now available and shipping – and is priced at USA MAP $1999

The Bettermaker® Stereo Passive Equalizer (SPE) nominated @ TEC Award 2023

For those who seek outstanding EQ quality with the convenience of fast and precise recall and automation. The SPE offers a 100% analog signal path of legendary passive filters. All this with mastering grade sound and patented recall with the speed of a native plugin.

– 100% analog audio signal path

– USB connectivity with MAC/PC

– all parameters are digitally controlled by DAW (with dedicated plugin)

– stereo passive equalizer with extended hi-boost section (air bands: 20 and 28 kHz)

– adjustable output level (+/- 8dB)

Watch here 14-minute review - open your new box of a Bettermaker Stereo Passive EQ and hear its performance in the studio!

Bettermaker Mastering Limiter 2.0 Convenient, easy-to-use plug-in control and instant recall.

The Bettermaker Mastering Limiter 2.0. The new, improved unit incorporates updated technology boosting the performance of its pure analog signal path with digital control, plug-in recall and automation. Marek Walaszek, Bettermaker’s inventor and founder, took the solid foundation of the original Mastering Limiter and made key improvements.

There’s plenty new! The 2.0 sounds better with a new optimized limiter engine offering greater limiting control and path-to-signal uniformity: -20dB. An improved limiter side chain with a high-pass filter: off or 20-200 Hz, and mid-boost filter: off or 8dB at either 2kHz or 7kHz proves perfect for delicate volume control. As far as clipping goes, the redesigned 2.0 Clipping Section easily handles transient material with a High or Low Soft Clip plus Soft Clip Trim.

Implementing the latest in plug-in advancements, the 2.0 utilizes intuitive GUI and DAW plug-ins. The 2.0 allows the user to update firmware and plug-ins through Bettermaker’s website. Also included is an easy to navigate black faceplate with high-colored display and well-defined high-resolution visuals to provide quick to read metering.

“It’s somewhat hard to believe Bettermaker improved one of the top stereo limiters in the marketplace,” added Brad Lunde, president, and founder of TransAudio Group. “From Grammy-award winners, to top international recording artists, home and free-standing recording studios, the original Mastering Limiter is that piece of go-to gear that adds that particular dynamic edge and significant touch towards the end of the recording process. The Bettermaker Mastering Limiter 2.0 has faster release time, a lowered noise floor and the same 100% analog signal path with the ease of digital plug-in control and recall. This one is a superstar product.” Watch Vlog review by DJ, Producer, Jon Sine of the new Bettermaker Mastering 2.0 here

The Bettermaker Mastering Limiter 2.0 is priced at $3,500 in USA and is now available for shipping.


The Daking Mic Pre 4T

Soulful Circuitry Meets Proprietary Problem-Solving

"The Daking Mic Pre 4T, nominated for a TEC Award 2023, will elevate any recording offering unique solutions to common problems," say Brad Lunde (click top left image for a video presentation by Brad Lunde). The “low-distortion” Jensen input and output transformers offer more linear low-end performance under super dynamic conditions. Daking’s own variable high-pass filter dials out the low-frequency mud that can be subsonic and will decrease available headroom. Built in the USA, Daking uses only high-end parts like Jensen input and output transformers in a high-end design using all-discrete transistor Class A circuitry. Unusually high 24dB of headroom and easy to read twenty segment meters make proper gain staging easy and forgiving under a wider array of conditions.

Auratone's 1st Ever Active 5C: The Super Sound Cube

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Auratone and its US distributor, TransAudio Group, introduced the first-ever Active 5C, now nominated for TEC Awards at NAMM 2023.

A careful R&D process has been implemented to maintain the original characteristics of the 5C, utilizing the same amplifier design from the NAMM TEC Award winning A2-30 amplifier.


“We were happy to get boutique Polish manufacturer Bettermaker together with Alex Jacobsen, owner, and grandson of founder Jack Wilson, for the perfectly matched A2-30 amplifier. Now, the two companies have collaborated to get a mono amplifier that contains the guts and soul of the A2-30 into each chassis for the active version,” says Brad Lunde, founder, and president of TransAudio Group. Like the other 5C variants, the Auratone ACTIVE 5C is made in the USA.

The Auratone Active 5C is now shipping • MAP: $749/pair

Trans Audio Group -- The Recording Studio Equipment Experts. Call to order from their trusted brands:

A-Designs (USA), ATC Loudspeakers (UK), Auratone, Bettermaker, Daking Audio, Drawmer, Hakan, Latch Lake, Mojave Audio, Mutec, Pete's Place Audio, Sabra-SomSubwoofer Pros, and Tube-Tech 

Questions- pricing, availability and dealer locations please email

The Machine Shop and Toby Wright

On Empowering Artists

L- R Jimi Brown, Toby Wright, Jon Tanner Photo Credit: Mintypics

World-famous independently-owned venue, The Machine Shop, is proud to announce its collaboration with legendary producer/mixer, Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Korn, Metallica, and KISS).

His partnership with The Machine Shop aims to take artists’ income potential to new heights.

Since its establishment in 2002, The Machine Shop has garnered recognition for attracting top live music entertainment on a local to international scale. Artists flock to this legendary 550 capacity venue, drawn by its unique atmosphere, quality of light and sound, and artist-friendly terms.

One of the primary goals of this collaboration is to provide artists with dramatically increased income potential through live streaming, with audio mixed by Wright. This exclusive service will be available for sold-out shows.

“I am excited to team up with such an iconic venue to give opportunities and bigger revenue streams to artists,” says Wright. Machine Shop Digital Lounge will also offer video production services for all live shows. With Toby Wright’s mixing and Jimi Brown’s esteemed lighting skills, this service offers artists valuable tools with which to compete on a global scale.

Helping to facilitate this exciting venture is Shannon O'Shea, a veteran manager and artist advocate with an impressive track record. O'Shea is best known for her innovative work as the co-creator and founding manager of the multi-platinum band GARBAGE, and the critically acclaimed band, 8mm.

Tickets for NONPOINT are $25 per night and can be purchased here - (click “GET ACCESS”)

'Tis The Season For Nostalgia

The Rolling Stones, Cher, Dolly Parton & The Beatles

Now & Then by John Lennon

in studioexrpesso Video Spotlight

People feel more nostalgic during the holidays because many memories are reawakened and relationships renewed. Simply, holidays bring back nostalgic music.

The Rolling Stones released Hackney Diamonds, since the death of their beloved drummer Charlie Watts, right on time for the two American bonanzas, algorithmically rendering: holiday spending and Super Bowl advertising. Rockstar is the forty-ninth solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton.

This month Cher released her 1st ever Christmas Album, and let's not forget The fab four.

The Beatles stole the show, with a little help from our new friend, AI. The song Now and Then, released worldwide on November 2, is billed as the last Beatles song - also features parts recorded by surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as the late George Harrison. According to UMG, Lennon's voice featured was developed using artificial intelligence. The song dates back to the late 1970s when Lennon recorded a home demo in New York City, where he was murdered in 1980. The Beatles broke up in 1970. Harrison died of cancer in 2001. "It was the closest we'll ever come to having him back in the room, so it was very emotional for all of us," Ringo Starr said. The visual was directed by Peter Jackson, the filmmaker behind the Beatles: Get Back documentary series, which chronicled the band writing and recording in-studio ahead of the group’s last album, Let It Be . The humorous clip features never-before-seen archival footage of the Beatles.

The song was written and sung by Lennon, who recorded the track as a demo on his home piano in 1978. In 1994, Yoko Ono gave the demo to McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, along with Lennon’s demos for “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.” Working with producer Jeff Lynne, the remaining three Beatles recorded new parts for a version of “Now and Then” in 1995, but they were unable to separate Lennon’s vocals from the piano on his original demo. "At their core they were irreverent and funny, and the middle section should capture that spirit. We needed to laugh at The Beatles, and laugh with them. They were always sending themselves up - and the more seriously other people took them, the more they would clown around," says Jackson about his approach to the video and the unseen outtakes found in the vault, where The Beatles are relaxed, funny and rather candid. It provides the video with much needed balance between the sad and the funny.

Another thing. Have you noticed the average age of the above musicians? Hooray for artist longevity!

Joy For The Holidays

With Samara Joy

Two-time Grammy-winner Samara Joy's first holiday EP: A Joyful Holiday is produced beautifully by Matt Pierson and is released on Verve.

Enjoy classics like The Christmas Song and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas performed in Joy's buttery, rich vocal tone. The McLendon family gospel choir accompanied by a Hammond B3 join her on O Holy Night. The choir is comprised of Grandfather, Goldwire McLendon who formed one of Philadelphia's most prominent gospel outfits, The Savettes, and her father, Antonio McLendon who played bass and toured with gospel star Andrae Crouch. The five-person choir is complete with her uncle and two cousins! The six-track EP begins with two slightly lesser-known seasonal songs, Warm In December, first recorded by Julie London in 1956 and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Me recorded by The Supremes in 1965 and Stevie Wonder a few years later. The EP features similar cast of musicians to those on her release Linger Awhile, with Pasquale Grasso on guitar, David Wong on bass, Kenny Washington on drums, and Sullivan Fortner on piano.

Listen to Ms Joy here and enjoy!

2024 Grammy Nominations

Beyonce & Adele Garner Top Noms

This year Beyoncé and Adele, who earned seven nominations, will compete for 2023 Album of the Year, reprising their 2017 showdown in the category that ultimately saw Adele’s “25” beat Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning 2017 album “DAMN,” is in the running for top awards, including Album of The Year, competing in the Album of The Year race alongside Bad Bunny, who made history with his genre-fusing and chart-dominating fourth album “Un Verano Ti,” the first all-Spanish album to receive a nomination in the category. Then there's Harry Styles, who nabbed six nominations with both music and film roles. “As It Was,” the lead single from his third album “Harry’s House,” received nods in both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Taylor Swift's 10-minute rendition of her sweeping ballad “All Too Well” is recognized in multiple categories, including Song of The Year and Best Music Video, among others.

Drake and The Weeknd, two of the most popular artists globally who released major albums this year, are once again openly boycotting the ceremony.

The 65th annual ceremony set for Feb. 5 at the Arena in Los Angeles. Visit here for complete list of nominees

We're sending our best wishes to the following new artists competing in our most favorite category

Best New Artist


Domi & JD Beck (featured in studioexpresso April 2023)



Molly Tuttle

Muni Long

Omar Apollo

Samara Joy

Tobe Nwigwe

Wet Leg (featured in studioexpresso Feb 2022 eZine)


Warner Brothers Brings Heritage Artists Back To Life

Warner Music Entertainment is using AI technology to recreate Edith Piaf’s voice and image, and power animated biopic, EDITH. Warner Music Entertainment and production company, Seriously Happy, will develop the first animated biopic of an artist using AI and will tell Piaf’s incredible story of how she overcame struggles to become a symbol of female empowerment and one of France’s most iconic artists of all time. DITH is set to be a 90-minute film which will take place in the cities of Paris and New York from the 1920s to 1960s. The film will be narrated by Piaf’s voice and will uncover aspects of her life that were previously unknown – showcasing her indomitable spirit, personal achievements, and incredible performances. EDITH is based on an original idea from Julie Veille and has been written by Veille and Gilles Marliac. The pair are working alongside Warner Music Entertainment’s President, Charlie Cohen, to bring the script and technology to life through the full-length feature. Catherine Glavas and Christie Laume, Executors of Edith Piaf’s Estate, said: “It’s been a special and touching experience to be able to hear Edith’s voice once again – the technology has made it feel like we were back in the room with her. Alain Veille, CEO, Warner Music France, added: “Edith is one of France’s greatest ever artists and she is still a source of so much pride to the French people. It is such a delicate balancing act when combining new technology with heritage artists, and it was imperative to us that we worked closely with Edith’s estate and handled this project with the utmost respect."

Silent Zoo For The Holidays

Above: Silent Zoo Holiday Party 2023 with studioexpresso producers Clark Germain , and Brent Fischer , among many others not photographed here.

Silent Zoo opened its doors to its studio guests on November 11. The renowned Los Angeles scoring stage (formerly the Bridge Recording), is now under new staffing and management as Silent Zoo Studios. The distinctive facility was constructed to optimum professional standards by Kaufman & Associates and has served thousands of projects to date. While continuing its legacy in screen scoring, the studio is expanding to serve major recording artists and record labels. New video broadcast capabilities make remote recording and live streaming straight forward.

Silent Zoo has a large selection of drums, guitars, basses, keyboards, and over 300 guitar pedals; a 4K video rig with multiple cameras; 9-foot Steinway Concert D; and an extensive microphone locker filled with Telefunken, Neumann, and more. Advanced studio lighting can create immersive colour ranges throughout the studio. The studio is also equipped to film and live-stream concerts, shows, sessions, podcasts, and interviews. For booking contact new manager Victor Janacua at Silent Zoo fn 818-484-5222



TransAudio Group, the U.S. distributor of world-class audio recording gear, announces the

Drawmer 1977 – the company’s most versatile channel strip to date.

“For over 45 years, Drawmer has been on the forefront of creating and manufacturing beautiful sounding analog gear,” noted Brad Lunde, president, and founder of TransAudio Group. “With the Drawmer 1977, they combined the richness of analog sound with the functionally needed in today’s recording environments. The concept is legendary. The implementation is difficult. Yet somehow Ivor Drawmer and his team made it happen with the creation of the 1977 Channel Strip. I’m excited to bring this product to market. It’s going to meet the almost eternal quest to bring more of that ‘70s analog sound to today’s recordings.”

The Drawmer 1977 is priced at $1749 and is now available.

New Works For The California Festival

Featuring Composers Billy Childs, David Chesky, Juan Colomer, and Texu Kim

Rafael Payare Conducts The San Diego Symphony at Rady Shell

The California Festival was spearheaded by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel and Rafael Payare, the respective music directors of symphony orchestras in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Over 17 days, they and 97 other Californian organizations will perform more than 180 works composed in the past five years. The San Diego Symphony’s Saturday evening concert on November 4 at the Rady Shell featured recent pieces by David Chesky, Billy Childs, Juan Colomer and San Diego State University professor Texu Kim, all of whom were present.

Billy Childs's composition, Diaspora had its West Coast Premiere, (SDS Co-commission]. The Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra was inspired by three tone poems and a spiritual hymn. It featured the fabulous Steven Banks with the Orchestra. According to program notes, Diaspora purported to capture the African-American experience, starting with happiness in Africa, the tragedy of enslavement and Black empowerment through American churches. For the finale, Banks had to pick up his soprano sax cold and sing out a perfectly sounded note in its highest register, which he chillingly did. The crowd roared its approval for both Banks and Childs.

A native of Los Angeles, Childs grew up immersed in jazz, classical, and popular music influences which could be heard in his composition, Diaspora. Childs was awarded a Chamber Music America Composer’s Grant, and in 2009 was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award in 2013, the Music Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2015, and most recently, for his album Rebirth, was honored with his fifth GRAMMY Award – for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.

The program included Texu KIM's Zzan (cheers)!! David Chesky's The Abreu Danza No. 4 and No. 5 (US Premiere) and Juan Colomer's A Casual Walk to Extinction (World Premiere).

It's refreshing to hear new works by contemporary composers, thanks to The California Festival and its founders maestros Salonen, Dudamel and Payare.

Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra, Op. 30, the theme heard in 2001: A Space Odyssey, featured

Dr. Jaebon Hwang (with degrees in Composition and Scoring for Film & Multimedia) on the Rodgers Infinity organ which closed a spirited program.

Dream Big...It's Almost 2024!

She looks the part.

Her Dad is Golden Globe, BAFTA, 2x Grammy and Emmy nominated composer Benjamin Wallfisch and owner of the Mix Lab in Santa Monica. With over 25 albums of his music released to date on labels including Deutsche Grammophon and Epic Records, Benjamin has performed live in over 100 concerts worldwide, leading orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony at venues including the Hollywood Bowl, Sydney Opera House and Royal Festival Hall. He has collaborated, recorded and performed his music with artists including Lang Lang, Herbie Hancock and Yuja Wang, and has over 50 concert music commissions to his name.

May all your dreams come true in the coming year. It's almost 2024!

Bella Bellinies!

"Tis time to chill... with just two ingredients

*Fresh or canned Peaches


Puree peaches in a blender. Pour 2 ounces of the peach puree into a champagne flute, and top it off with 4 ounces of chilled prosecco.

Stir gently to combine.

Top it off some more with the bubbly.

Garnish with peach slices.

Chin Chin!

Supporting Creators & Self-Expression

Until next month,

Feel blessed to be surrounded by Good Music and Magnificent Community of Artists.

Tell us about your new release or reach out for music production support.

Peace & Evergreen Wishes,

Music Lives and Moves!

Claris Sayadian-Dodge, founder/editor

Right: At Vibrato --Peter Grueneisen of nonzero\architecture (to my right) and friends, enjoying Brent Fischer Orchestra

Reach Out Today
818-990-3031 fn
800.717.Keys Toll Free
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube