October 2023

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

October is almost over and we've got music candy for your ears and for your consideration. Listen to New releases from Grammy-winning artists. Meet a music couple who said YES to love and hear new music from this beloved duo, sowing the seeds of love.

Dreams come through for a US debut. We drop in a studio in Nashville and look into their spectacular Immersive system. Live is back in clubs, and music festivals raising funds and friends for good causes. Meet new label execs and join our eZine and studioexpresso community! We remain grateful to you, our valued readers and supporters. Grab an espresso and enjoy this month's serving!

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JOLENE: A Love Supreme

Matt B Releases A New Single Featuring Grammy®-winning Orchestral Producer and Arranger Brent Fischer

Above: Matt B & Angela Benson with orchestral producer and arranger Brent Fischer at Village Studio C.

Left: Matt B & wife/manager Angela Benson with FLOTUS, Dr Jill Biden. Below: Brent Fischer Orchestra with engineer Matt Brownlie (behind Fischer) at The Village Studios' Moroccan Room where strings were recorded for Matt B's song, Jolene.

The Song JOLENE by Grammy®-nominated artist

Matt B (in studioexpresso's video spotlight) is inspired by this question. When it comes to choosing between family or the love of your life, which would you choose and at what cost? Folklore provides many examples - from the Persian lovers, Layla and Majnun, Verona's Romeo and Juliet, to Anoush (inspired a19th-century Armenian opera), all of whom chose love over life itself. Fast forward, today the story is the same, but unlike the tragic faith of the classic characters, our wiser modern-day couples (like the English royals Harry & Meghan), choose love over family feuds!

The romantically-driven R&B songwriter, Matt B & Angela (his bride) also followed their hearts, and fortunately, for their global fans, survived to tell their beautiful story in a tender, personal, and mesmerizing song, JOLENE, the new single, from Matt B's album Alkebulan (pronounced al-kee-boulan) released on July 2, 2022 on Vitae Records. It debuted on six Billboard charts including #27 on Top New Artist Albums. Alkebulan is mixed by Bobby Summerfield, produced by Matt, Jeff Fairkitt Wakeley, and Angela Benson and is in the Best Global Album category.

Matt B recorded JOLENE with Grammy®-winning arranger and orchestra producer Brent Fischer, who brought his orchestra to the Grammy museum on October 7 for a live performance of Jolene at the Annual Celebration of Music, featuring Matt B, MB Gordy, and Lili Haydn on solo violin. JOLENE was recorded at the Village Studios Moroccan Room with engineer Matt Brownlie.

"When recording JOLENE, we brought in our incredibly talented friend Brent Fischer and his Orchestra to breathe life and emotion into the record. The end result is stunning," said Angela Benson in a post. "Matt B's amazing creativity inspired me to texturize his music with lush string harmonies and soaring melodies in a tapestry of global rhythms," says Fischer.

According to the artist, this is a song about forbidden love and exploring how to navigate feelings with family. Well, we're glad Matt & Angela followed their hearts. More recently the couple were spotted in the company of FLOTUS, Dr Jill Biden. Keep an eye on them. The White House could be next!

The music on Alkebulan draws you in and urges you to find your joy and follow your heart.

Order the album here or visit @mattbworld


Grammy®-winning Vance Powell Installs the Popular ATC 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Monitoring

Vance Powell recently completed a studio makeover at Sputnik Sound, installing the popular ATC 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos monitor system to add the future of immersive surround sound to his arsenal. In 2014, Powell, an innovator in studio design, teamed up with producer Mitch Dane in a rambling house in the famed Berry Hill section of Nashville, naming it Sputnik Sound and filling it with virtually every audio tool past and present. A producer, engineer, mixer, and winner of seven Grammy awards, his credits read like a Billboard list of chart-topping artists: Phish, Chris Stapleton, Jack White, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and Buddy Guy for starters. His career has spanned from working with Jars of Clay, to a chief-engineer role at Blackbird Studios, to outside work with many of Jack White’s groups. With his new Dolby Atmos room, Powell has complete control to mix immersive audio in his singular style.

As soon as Dolby Atmos Immersive Sound Systems hit the marketplace, Powell was on it. Consulting with the Dolby engineers and famed studio designer Michael Cronin, Powell tore apart his existing control room, totally rebuilt the front wall, re-installed his existing SSL 6000 console and selected ATC monitors for his 7.1.4 system. For left and right configuration, Powell chose the ATC SCM110ASL, an active three-way reference monitor with high-resolution, featuring twin nine-inch ATC “SL” bass drivers, an ATC three-inch soft dome midrange, and an ATC one-inch “S-Spec” soft dome tweeter. The center channel is handled by an ATC SCM50ASL, the company’s benchmark design for a world-class loudspeaker with a sweet-sounding, refined ATC tweeter, ATC soft dome midrange and massively engineered ATC bass driver. Four ATC SCM25A three-way active studio monitors deliver for the surrounds and four ATC SCM12i two-ways for the overhead channels, again all featuring ATC drivers. Dolby engineers worked with Powell for exact speaker placement. The LFE emanates from an ATC SCM0.1/15 Pro Sub capturing the low end with clarity and efficiency.

Dolby Atmos Immersive Sound promises to give the listener the feeling of being in the room with the musicians, noted Powell. “ATC monitors have always impressed me for their clarity and tonal balance. Same goes for the ATC Atmos system performance in immersive audio. It’s perfectly nuanced listening and meets all Dolby standards. All this technology helps me fully realize great music. I’m really happy in this room.” Powell recently completed the Atmos mix of The War and the Treaty’s Lovers Game album and the 49 Winchester’s Fortune Favors the Bold. “The new Atmos system allowed me to give these already beautiful, organic records an added layer of depth,” said Powell.“If you’re ready to bring your studio into Dolby Atmos, listen to an ATC system. Their sound is so musical and accurate, somewhat hard to describe,” added Brad Lunde, president and founder of TransAudio Group, ATC’s U.S. distributor. “But when you hear them, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about,” Lunde adds.


Speakers & Sound

Adjust-ability with Sound Anchor

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

“We are offering as many choices as possible to allow the artist to paint their (audio) picture with 'every color on the pallet.”

--Rolff Zwiep, Blackbird Studio Mgr

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

Introductory pricing good through August 18, 2022: $4,490.00.


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.

Matt B

studioexrpesso Video Spotlight

Song: Jolene

Album: Alkebulan

Vitae Records

July 2, 2022

Global artist and songwriter, Matt B's Afro-beat sounds on his new album, Alkebulan, features a new single, JOLENE with accompanying music video directed by PhillyFlyBoy and Matt's wife, manager, and producer Angela Benson. In the video for JOLENE Matt B is confessing his affection and desire for his life's soul-mate and prays to Oshun, the West African goddess of divinity, love, and water who can grant his wish.

Alkebulan was released on Vitae Records in July, is a journey of self discovery, homecoming, and celebration of Matt B's ancestral roots. Alkebulan translates to “Garden of Eden” or “Mother of Mankind,” and has already garnered awards to include: Best Global Music.

The red-carpet album launch event in July took place at the Village Studios with VIP guests.

Matt B released his hit single Gimme Love in 2022, which earned him his very first Grammy® nomination and that was just the beginning!

Orchestral Producer, Arranger, & Conductor: Brent Fischer

Violins: Leah Zeger, Grant Wynton

Violas: Thomas Lea, Rocio Marron

Cello: Michelle Rearick

Contrabass: Edwin Livingston

Recording Engineer: Matt Brownlie

Director: PhillyFlyBoy, Angela V. Benson

Executive Producers: Matt B, Angela V. Benson (On behalf of Vitae Records)

Photography: Oscar Veliz, Angela V. Benson

Wardrobe Styling: Jesse J Collections of Trend Haus, Tiana Daley

Oshun: Amara Iroms

Hair: Jazleen Hunter

MUA: Jimmy Love

Jewelry/Accessories: Marianna Harutunian

The music on Alkebulan draws you in and urges you to find your joy.

Order the album here or visit @mattbworld

A New Chapter From Stepanyan

Classically trained and award-winning music producer, arranger, songwriter, film/TV Composer and keyboardist, Vahagn Stepanyan wrote the eight songs for his new album, A New Chapter, while traveling through the Arizona and Utah desert. He visited Hanksville, a place known as "Mars on Earth" which inspired the album's cover art.

Stepanyan's alternative jazz-fusion collection was released on May 19, with the first single, Synergy, featuring the Grammy® Award nominated multi-platinum selling Jazz icon, Dave Koz.

A teaser video for A New Chapter premiered in Times Square on April 25. The studio sessions were also documented in a five-part video series.

Featured musicians on the tracks include: Venezuelan bassist, Isai Romero, adding his Latin flavor. Mark Lettieri on Without Limits, Ida Nielsen on Motion, Greg Howe & Philip Lassiter on Gravity, and Eric Moore on So Good. The album aims to please guitar solo fans with musicians to include: Roy Ziv, Feodor Dosumov, and Melvin Lee Davis’s (Chaka Kahn, Lee Ritenour, George Benson, Gerald Albright).

Stepanyan grew up in the war-torn-Armenia with a dream. The ten-year-old boy told his piano teacher that one day he would play with jazz and gospel luminaries. And he did!

“It symbolizes the transition from one period of my life to another – it's A New Chapter!" says Stepanyan.

who produced A New Chapter with Kitt Wakeley, Grammy®winner for Best Classical Compendium for An Adaption Story featuring Stepanyan on keyboards and also as engineer. Order it here!

Sowing The Seeds of Love at The Village

Where Tears for Fears Is Live In The Studio with New Album & Tour Dates

Above: still from KCRW Live In The Studio Performance at The Village. Below: Tear for Fears founders, Roland Ozabal and Curt Smith. Photos: Courtesy of Concord Records

Tears for Fears fans were treated to a live in studio session at the Village via Concord Records.

The band dominated MTV in 1985 with their smash hit single Shout. The video features cuts from their new record The Tipping Point (left), the seventh studio album by the English pop rock band, released on 25 February 2022 through Concord Records, alongside classics like Everybody Wants to Rule the World, and Sowing The Seeds of Love -- timely, considering the heated conflicts in so many pockets of the world.

The band’s founding members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith (below) also sat down for an interview with KCRW’s Raul Campos Live from The Village Studios, produced by Ariana Morgenstern with program director of Music, Anne Litt.

Tears For Fears appears live at Darker Waves Festival, Huntington Beach, Calif on Nov 18.

Order your tix here

Grammy®-winning Producer, Arranger is back Celebrating Clare Fischer West Coast Jazz Sounds!

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.

A multi-instrumentalist, 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.  Brent Fischer's 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. 

Brent Fischer Orchestra exudes energy and packs power to delight worldwide audiences. Hear Grammy®-winning Fischer Originals (over 100 titles) directed by the producer and arranger who carries on the legacy of his legendary father, one of the architects of West Coast Jazz Sounds, Dr. Clare Fischer.

Enjoy brilliant solos and sections from featured top musical guests to include Bernie Dresel, Quinn Johnson, Ken Wild, Ron Stout, Scott Whitfield, Francisco Torres, Alex Budman, Kirsten Edkins, Brian Clancy,

Guest singers include: Marina Pacowski, John Proulx, Dave Tull, Denise Donatelli and Christine Guter.

Tuesday Nov 7, 2023

7:30-9 pm

At Herb Alpert's Vibrato

2930 Beverly Glen Cir, Los Angeles

Enjoy fine dining and music and special guests from our community!

Reserve here @ Herb Alpert's Vibrato! 310-474-9400

studioexpresso @ NAMM, 2024

Save The Date: Sat Jan 27, 3 - 4 PM (prior to TEC Awards)

Amp Up Your Live Gig!

Whether you play hole-in-the wall clubs or stadiums, find out how to better monetize each situation. This panel of music business experts will show you how to prepare, gear up/down, promote and create more opportunities to sell your music and merchandise — and grow your fan base. Distinguished panelists will be announced soon!

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 for a TEC Award 2023, is 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 [email protected]

Recording Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival 2023

Guy & Ian Charbonneau of Le Mobil & The Recording Project

Above: Ian Charbonneau at m and b audio mobile truck (formerly M3 West owned by Mark Linett and Bob Wartinbee) recording Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2023.

"It's not everyday you get to record so many great legends. Very grateful and very happy it all went well with the support of a great crew of people," says Ian Charbonneau, in a post. The remote recording engineer for The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks, John Mayer, Andrea Bocelli, Beyonce, Morrissey, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, is passionate about music and has created a newly- branded company, he calls The Recording Project which includes his recording fly pack system capable of 48 or 96K recording.

More recently Ian was back with father Guy Charbonneau and together they recorded audio for Eric Clapton's 2023 "Crossroads Festival" in downtown LA on September 23-24 at Crypto Center, utilizing the renowned Le Mobile recording truck. Guy recorded Side A of the main revolving stage aboard Le Mobile and Ian recorded Side B using the M&B Audio truck. Performers this year included Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Marcus King, H.E.R., Taj Mahal, John Mayer Trio, John McLaughlin, Keb' Mo', Santana, Stephen Stills, Molly Tuttle, ZZ Top and many others. In addition to Le Mobile and M&B activity, Ian's new company The Recording Project recorded the two foreground C and D satellite stages with his custom remote recording system. While the revolving stage full bands were setting up, short solo performances took place with Sheryl Crow, Eric Gales and Gary Clark Jr. In addition to recording the entire event, mixing was also done for live pay-per-view broadcast streaming in support of the Crossroads Centre Antigua Addiction Recovery Center. 

Having worked for 30+ years with his father Guy and Le Mobile remote recording truck, Ian recently founded The Recording Project and created his unique fly-pack portable recording system, which can be loaded into a few cases and checked as baggage on any airline. With his new mobile system, Ian has already recorded concerts with Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Macklemore, Dua Lipa, Khalid, and Jack Harlow, to name a few.

Ian explains, "My new system consists of a DirectOut Technologies, MC Prodigy modular audio converter loaded with 64-channels of high quality MicHD preamps packaged in a custom rack with all inputs on the back side. It allows for 48 or 96K recording. The converter / preamp connects via Fiber cable to (2) Avid Madi Pro Tools system for redundancy."

For 50 years, Guy Charbonneau's Le Mobile has been recognized as one of the heavyweights in the remote mobile recording industry. At the heart of Le Mobile is a legendary, impeccably maintained, Neve 8058 console.

Eric Clapton gathered the past, present and future of guitar music onto one stage for an unparalleled musical event to benefit musicians in recovery. Learn more here

For more info about The Recording Project visit: https://therecordingproject.com/about.html

Below (L-R) Clapton with Santana and Bill Murray. Ian and Guy Charbonneau with Le Mobile truck for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival 2023.

When asked what kind of preparation goes into a large live show like Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, this is what Ian Charbonneau had to say:

There is a lot of preparation and coordination involved in order to tackle a festival like Crossroads with close to 40 artists performances to be captured in a 2 day event. From getting all the band info, organizing input lists so it is consistent, coordinating with the event production and sound company in this case Clair Bros who’s team did a fantastic job at providing all the audio splits for my father in Le Mobile, myself engineering in the M&B Audio mobile truck and my own The Recording Project’s fly pack system that handled the recording of the 2 satellite stages. My father Guy handled a huge part of all the coordination, probably a 500 emails by the time we got to the event!

In addition to testing all the gear prior to the festival, I spent a full day preparing my fly Pack at Le Mobile office in Carlsbad and a full day preparing my set up in the M&B Audio on their LAWO digital console.

I also spent a couple weeks custom building myself a “multimode" to "single mode" fiber converter for my fly pack system to be able to use the existing Fiber network infrastructure of the Crypto Center in order to get to the stage from the outside of the venue where our recording compound was located. 

In the case of the Crossroads Festival recording, a Live Mix was also provided as the show was also part of a Live Broadcast for a Pay Per View event which serves as a fund raiser to benefit the Crossroads Antigua rehabilitation center founded by Eric Clapton.

Music Executive Turntable


Sony Music U.K.’s Nicola Tuer's departure concludes a 28-year tenure at Sony. "Nicola is a ground-breaking leader and has been a huge part of the Sony Music U.K. family for nearly 30 years and, as our COO since 2014, she is one of the most senior women in the U.K. industry,” Jason Iley, CEO and chairman of Sony Music U.K. & Ireland, said.

"Nicola’s can-do attitude, commercial savvy and commitment always marked her out as someone special—she has been a wonderful colleague and friend to so many people in the industry and we will miss her greatly.”

Tuer joined the label’s sales department in 1995 and worked her way up, being promoted to SVP of sales after the merger of Sony and BMG in 2005.

Later, as EVP of the whole company, her remit expanded to cover catalog, sync, licensing and Sony Music Ireland. She was named chief operating officer for the U.K. label after the departure of Nick Gatfield in 2014.

In her most recent role, Tuer has been overseeing Sony’s Commercial Group as well as the label’s strategic partnerships with digital service providers, sales and its operations in Ireland.

She said of her departure: “I’ve been incredibly proud to have been part of Sony for nearly 30 years. Throughout this time I’ve had the privilege of working alongside so many talented people and artists and I will miss the challenges and excitement of playing my part at such a brilliant company.”

During her career, Tuer has been involved in the success of artists such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey,

George Ezra, Calvin Harris and others.

New BMG Alliance with UMG

BMG, the world’s largest global music company outside the three majors, and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music-based entertainment company, today announced the formation of an alliance under which the companies will explore a range of collaborative initiatives to further expand opportunities for BMG-signed artists around the world. The first project under this alliance will be moving the distribution of physical formats of BMG’s music – including vinyl and CD for thousands of BMG-signed artists – to UMG’s Commercial Services division, which has operations in 60 countries covering more than 200 markets. The transition of physical products to UMG is expected to commence the second quarter 2024 and will be fully transitioned by the end of next year. In making the announcement, BMG CEO Thomas Coesfeld (33 above left), who became the music company’s new CEO in July of this year says, “Our alliance with UMG is a significant step to further enhance our service to BMG-signed artists. Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “BMG has brought a fresh vision to the music business, and we look forward to partnering with BMG on a variety of initiatives to provide greater opportunities to artists and our respective companies.”

BMG’s recordings catalogue comprises around half a million tracks and the work of artists including Kylie Minogue, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, AJR, Jason Aldean, Rick Astley, Black Sabbath, Buena Vista Social Club, Cro, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Max Giesinger, Andy Grammar, George Harrison, Iron Maiden, The Kinks, Dustin Lynch, Mecano, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Nena, Rita Ora, Louis Tomlinson, and many others.

Virgin Music Group Names Global Leadership Team

Virgin Music Group combines two respected global indie brands, Virgin Music and Ingrooves Music Group as part of growth strategy. Moving forward, Virgin Music Group will be organized into five key regions, with country leaders reporting to the newly appointed regional leaders.

Jacqueline Saturn has been named President of Virgin Music Group North America, and EVP of Global Artist Relations.

Thomas Lorain and Nick Roden have been named Co-Presidents of Virgin Music Group Europe.

Victor Gonzales has been named President of Virgin Music Group Latin America & Iberian Peninsula.

Cris Garcia Falcão has been named Managing Director of Label & Artist Strategy and General Manager of Virgin Music Group Latin.

Nathan McLay has been named Managing Director of Virgin Music Group Australia & New Zealand.

Managing Director Tim Janes will be focused on marketing international repertoire in the region.

Michael Roe has been named Managing Director of Virgin Music Group Africa, Middle East, and Asia (AMEA), focusing on fast-expanding growth markets.

In addition, Virgin Music Group has named a centralized global leadership team that will focus on maximizing the impact of marketing, commercial, and operational initiatives around the world. 

Jay Blomquist has been named Chief Technology Officer of Virgin Music Group.

Jeremy Kramer has been named Executive Vice President of Global Marketing for Virgin Music Group, leading the company’s marketing strategy around the world.

Joy Larocca has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Virgin Music Group.

Liz Morentin has been named Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Brand Strategy for Virgin Music Group.

Matt Sawin has been named Head of Global Product Strategy and Operations for Virgin Music Group.

Nina Rabe-Cairns has been named Head of Global Growth Strategy for Virgin Music Group, working closely with global and local leadership to identify business opportunities and expand the company’s reach.

Zack Gershen has been named Executive Vice President of Global Commercial & Digital Strategy for Virgin Music Group.

The newly appointed global leadership team will report directly to Virgin Music Group Co-CEOs

JT Myers and Nat Pastor. “In today’s market, visionary music entrepreneurs can be successful on a global scale if they have the right team and infrastructure to empower them. That’s what we are building at VMG, a company that combines the industry’s leading technology, brand identity, and executive expertise with unparalleled global scale in order to help our partners in the independent community to achieve their goals,” said Myers. "Together this executive team will provide independent artists and labels with a powerful global team to help them build their audiences around the world,” said Pastor.



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.

Build It, And They Will Come!

Las Vegas' Futuristic Entertainment Venue Opens with U2 Residency

The MSG Sphere off the Las Vegas strip opened to the tune of $2.3 billion featuring U2 residency into February 2024. The 18,600-seat auditorium with immersive video capabilities, which include a 16K resolution wraparound interior LED screen (the world's largest), is the largest spherical structure in the world (336 feet tall and 516 feet wide).

The Sphere features a spatial audio system based on Holoplot's X1 speaker module, which uses beamforming and wave field technologies and is equipped with 96 drivers. The sound system comprises 1,600 X1 speakers that are installed behind the LED panels, along with 300 mobile modules, for a total of 167,000 speaker drivers. The sound system also can deliver sound through the floorboards. The arena will primarily host award shows and concerts, in addition to other entertainment events. MSG is already talking with everyone from Hollywood directors to musicians about creating immersive content opportunities. “The content, no matter where the Sphere is, will be created here in our headquarters based in Burbank,” asserts Jim Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of MSG Entertainment. According to inside sources, the billionaire Knicks owner, Dolan has quietly agreed to pay the legendary rock group U2 $10 million to produce a splashy show for the opening the MSG Sphere, plus the guaranteed proceeds U2 will reap from the gigs, collecting more than 90% of earnings from ticket sales for roughly 12 shows that started September 29th.

The MSG Sphere in Las Vegas is the start of a broader intent to build spheres and large domes around the world. Plans for a London site have already been announced.

Some music acts are balking at the idea of producing splashy visual spectacles that might overpower their music. Irving Azoff — whose management clients include Harry Styles, John Mayer and the Eagles — is a Sphere consultant and searching for the right acts. U2 Tickets at the Sphere start at $259. and available at Ticketmaster

In the end with agree with U2s longtime creative director and set designer who says: "Ultimately, the music is what carries everything. Those visuals are incredible, but they wouldn’t be much without the music."

"If the audience gets bored, they can look at the band!"

--Willie Williams, U2's Creative Director on U2's residency at the Sphere

Supporting Creators & Self-Expression

Until next month,

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Music Lives and Moves!

Claris Sayadian-Dodge, founder/editor

[email protected]

Right: At Village Studios with my official mug!

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