September 2023

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

We fall back with healing sounds of music. Meet the man behind an empire in LA and visit Nashville's power couple in their world-class studio, in our spotlight. These award-winning producers are attracting major, and minor music collaborations with big buzz. New releases take us to Africa, India and back home to Hollywood where a beloved mixing stage goes online. Meet new label execs and RSVP to live events where studioexpresso community gathers.

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Enter Producer Harvey Mason Junior's Media Empire

Music Creator, Studio Owner, Philanthropist & Grammy Boss

Respect, the Aretha Franklin biopic for MGM starring Jennifer Hudson, was produced by Harvey Mason Jr Media . In addition to running the iconic GRAMMY organization, Mr Mason is also a renowned music creator, studio owner, and philanthropist.

Mason Jr has penned and produced songs for industry legends to include: Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Elton John, and Chris Brown. He has also compiled an impressive list of film and TV music credits including writing/producing the music for Jesus Christ Superstar Live!, Sing, Sing 2, The Wiz Live!, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Shrek, Straight Outta Compton, all three Pitch Perfect films, Dream girls, Get On Up, and Over the Moon, to name a few. He also produced and executive produced his first feature film project, the Lebron James movie More Than a Game for Lionsgate.

More recently Mason has added his name to the latest chapter in the 40-year history of LA’s Evergreen Stages and Enterprise recording facilities with their acquisition by a group, led by him. Following extensive renewal, both facilities have newly installed Solid State Logic Duality Fuse 72-channel SuperAnalogue 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.

Giving back to the community is also at the core of Mason’s commitment to the arts. He has received the Spirit of Excellence Award from the T.J. Martell Foundation for his philanthropic efforts. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, the University of Arizona, where he was a standout basketball player on a team that went to the Final Four. Mason also invests his time and resources into several impactful organizations, including Ronald McDonald House, the American Cancer Society, and Los Angeles Children's Hospital.

"We focus on aspirational stories told from diverse points of view, often centered around music."

--Harvey Mason Jr.

Blackbird Studios: Waiting For Your Moment to Arise

Unparalleled Production & Recording Services Feature Immersive Music Home of Nashville's Power Couple, John & Martina McBride

Photos: Above: John and Martina McBride at Blackbird Studio A, April 2023 Credit: Jimmy Buffett IG

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

Founded in 2002 by legendary sound engineer John McBride and his country superstar wife, Martina McBride, Blackbird Studios is known for its unparalleled production and recording services and collection of vintage and modern recording equipment, and prized musical instruments.

Blackbird offers the highest-quality recording experience, and it's the first choice of many accomplished artists, including Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Dolly Parton, Beck, Rush, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban, Kings of Leon, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Kesha, The White Stripes, Snoop Dogg, Pearl Jam, Neil Young, and countless others.

Blackbird Studio C features immersive music capabilities with 9.1.6 Dolby Atoms system w/AVID S6 control surface featuring ATC monitors and self-contained Sony 360RA system w/ in-the-box controller and a 'portable' API - The BOX analog setup, that can be rolled in and out of the room, and is used for overdubs and smaller singer/songwriter recordings while accessing the ISO just off the rear of the control room. Studio F has a 7.1.4 Dolby Atoms system.

Read more here in Blackbird studio spotlight.

For booking contact studio manager, Rolff Zwiep at 615.642.2277

“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

Aaron Dessner & Stars of Long Pond Studio

New Collaborations I The National Tour To Support New Album Laugh Track

As a founding member of The National, Aaron Dessner is also a prolific songwriter and producer who built his Long Pond Studio (Taylor Swift 1 with Dessner) in upstate New York, an old farmhouse from the 18th Century where he grew up. "It’s a place for me to write music and produce music for projects I’m working on," he says.

The National has released a surprise second album of 2023, Laugh Track. The 12-song album channels his Bowie-like lyric-driven tapestry, and features guest appearances by Phoebe Bridgers and Rosanne Cash, as well as the Bon Iver collaboration. The band honed most of this material in live performances on tour this year, and captured those invigorated versions in impromptu sessions at producer Tucker Martine’s Portland studio, Flora Recording & Playback.

The National won the GRAMMY® Award for Best Alternative Music Album for 2017’s Sleep Well Beast; and earned the adoration of everyone from Bruce Springsteen to President Barack Obama.

Now, Dessner is one of the most sought-after and influential producers in modern pop music. As Taylor Swift’s chief songwriting partner for her pandemic-era double shot of folklore (2020) and evermore (2021), Dessner helped steer the most famous pop star on the planet, taking home the Album of the Year GRAMMY® for the former record and earning another nomination in that category for the latter.

He co-wrote and co-produced a handful of tracks -“The Great War,” “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” “Hits Different”- for Swift’s 2022 Midnights album series and served as a featured guest on her epic Eras tour. Dessner also engineered Ed Sheeran’s 2023 smash singles “Boat” and “Curtains.”

Dessner continues to elevate the next generation of indie auteurs, by crafting two mesmerizing tracks - “I know it won’t work,” and “Where do we go now?” - for L.A. singer/songwriter Gracie Abrams’ 2023 debut, Good Riddance (below right) for Interscope Records. Gracie reflects on her important bond with producer Aaron Dessner and how both Aaron and the environment of his studio helped foster a space to create. According to Gracie, Good Riddance was a self-healing journey.

Dessner and Abrams appeared at Grammy Museum on Sept 13.

The National has confirmed additional U.S. tour dates this fall, as well as Australian shows next spring with support from longtime friends Fleet Foxes Sept 26, 2023 - March 2024.

nonzero\architecture Completes The Hitchcock

Mixing Stage for NBC Universal

Featuring Enhanced Auro, IMAX and Dolby Atmos Sound

nonzero/architecture, including its studio bau:ton division, offers complete integrated design/build services through its closely affiliated partner Greeniron Constructs, Inc. This year again, the design firm led by its founder Peter Grueneisen has secured 2023 TEC-Award nomination for Excellence in Facility Design.

The new Hitchcock Theater stage is completed by nonzero\architecture for NBC Universal Post.

It retains the same iconic name, and was placed in a 1930's sound stage. Challenges of building in an old structure and on difficult soil had to be overcome. The new larger and much improved stage features enhanced Auro, IMAX and Dolby Atmos sound and brilliant picture quality. A spacious layout and added client amenities, all near other post-production services, resulted in a state-of-the-art facility, while preserving the historic legacy on the legendary movie lot. "The resulting facility turned out to be well worth the effort. The replacement of the original Alfred Hitchcock Theater, an aging yet beloved sound mixing stage, was driven by its impending demolition and by the need to upgrade and improve the space for contemporary uses, " says Grueneisen of nonzero\architecture.

project scope: 9,000 sf film sound mixing, post-production, edit bays, office areas

services: architecture, interiors, studio design

Speakers & Sound

Adjust-ability with Sound Anchor

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


Album: Alkebulan

Vitae Records

July 2, 2022

Global artist and songwriter, Matt B's Afro-beat sounds on his new album, Alkebulan, accompany captivating videos and album art, directed by his life-partner, Angela Benson.

Alkebulan, released on Vitae Records in July, , 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!

Alkebulan invites fans to the cradle of humankind, Africa, with its vibrant rhythms, costumes and choreography featuring a small army of local singers and dancers. The videos have helped the LA-based, Chicago native to built a world-wide following.

On the video for Buya Ekhaya, featuring The Unveiled performers, the villagers greet the songwriter as he arrives to a charming sea-side town in a small boat. Thus begins the celebration of culture and connection with Matt B's ancestry. Alkebulan is a joyful homecoming journey with exquisite sonic and visual elements from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Nigeria, combined with Matt B's own unique musical sensibilities and free-flowing vocals. The music video for Gunjale features Ugandan dynamic duo Ugaboys. Belonging sets you free on the track Freedom, featuring Motswana Mo Erongo singers and dancers. The latest single released this month is called Shayo (in studioexpresso spotlight).

The song shines light on the villagers and their infectious smiles, and yes, some never-seen-before dance moves! It's a reminder to all of us to stay strong, resilient, and hopeful, despite challenges. Alkebulan brings us all together in our shared values and desire for happiness, love, and peacefulness. Life is good, indeed, when you Shayo!

Alkebulan is beautifully written and filmed on location, conveying a purpose-driven journey of rediscovery, with stunning photography. Album Producers are: Matt B, Angela V. Benson, Kitt Wakeley, Starr Parodi, Jeff Fair.

Grammy®-winning arranger Brent Fischer (right with Matt B at Village Studios) is featured with his orchestra on Jolene with accompanying music video to be released next.

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

Order the album here or visit @mattbworld

Charu Suri

Rags & Ragas

Amala Records

Sept 8

Charu Suri is one of the few female composers from India who has performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. Her work has been performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Preservation Hall in New Orleans. She is a Steinway artist who loves teaching kids and adults of all ages.Suri writes music that reflect her journey as both an international traveler and a classical piano prodigy.

Charu Suri's new album, Rags & Ragas features seven Indo Jazz tracks. Seven, perhaps following seven chakras, and different vibrations of the day. In Hinduism and Buddhism, chakras mark places where spiritual energies intersect. Similarly her music is uplifting and satisfying blend of ingredients rolled into something genuinely new, and forward looking.

The album features seven special musical guests John Patitucci, Bass Joe Lastie and Steve Gadd, Drums, Berta Moreno, Saxophone, Charlie Sabach, Oud, kobi Arad, and Suri herself on keys.

Parade (evening Raga Bhupali) is arranged by Grammy®-winning Brent Fischer (below with his orchestra at Village Studios), featuring Patitucci on bass and Lastie on drums.

Rags & Ragas opens with a festive Bourbon Street Stroll and ends with Spring in New Orleans / Ode to Miles Davis (night raga Bagesri). There's Bhairavi Blues (morning raga Bhairavi) and French Quarter (late morning raga Charukesi).

Rags & Ragas is open and well-balanced, blending of Indian ragas and New Orleans-influenced rags offering newfound energy for anytime of your day.

The album vibrates in the Alternative Jazz category and was released on Sept. 8th on Amala Records and is available here and at most major retailers.

Suri's work will be performed by New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for the first time on May 13, 2024 at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Thursday, Nov 2, 2023

Sand Canyon Country Club, Santa Clarita

Join Honorary Chairs Gavin Lurssen and CJ Vanston for golf, poker and fun!

Register here

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

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, Marina Pacowski, John Proulx, Dave Tull, Denise Donatelli and Christine Guter.

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.

Brent Fischer Orchestra exudes energy and packs power to delight worldwide audiences. Hear Grammy®-winning Fischer Originals (over 100 titles) directed by producer and arranger Brent Fischer who carries on the legacy of his legendary father, one of the architects of West Coast Jazz Sounds, Dr. Clare Fischer. A multi-instrumentalist, Brent's credits appear on over 30 million albums for artists including Usher, Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello & The Roots, Sheila E and D'Angelo. 

Brent’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.  

Tuesday Nov 7, 2023

7:30-9 pm

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

2930 Beverly Glen Circle Los Angeles

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

studioexpresso @ NAMM, 2024

Sat Jan 27, 3PM

Details 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!

Score Mixing vs Score Album Mastering

"When I mix a film score in surround, my goal is to hand off mixes to the re-recording stage (the dub stage) that will drop into the film and work perfectly with the dialog and SFX. When I master a score album, (or master any music album, for that matter) however, I can focus entirely on the listeners’ journey within the music itself. This means making small surgical EQ cuts, tonal shaping with broad EQ boosts, and a whole host of other possible micro-changes: compression, harshness reduction, warming, and adjusting the overall level from track to track. The artist and I always discuss how much I should peak limit to find that perfect balance between the intention in the music and the experience of the listener."

-- John Rodd

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

Alternatives to Physical Music Distribution

While physical sales of records have been steadily declining since the 1990s, they still account for around 30% of revenue from recorded music. Vinyl records have undergone a resurgence in popularity in the last few years, indicating that physical records won’t be eradicated by streaming any time soon.

Because the way people consume recorded music is changing, the distribution industry is changing too.

Alternatives for physical distribution are many, among them, Symphony, BandCamp (vinyl), and Amazon, giving you the largest exposure.

Amazon Advantage is a consignment service that benefits self-published artists. To sell, your product is required to have a *barcode – ISBN, UPC, or EAN. Once you’ve created an Advantage account, paid your $99 annual membership fee, and established that you have the rights, Amazon will “order” from you. The fee covers unlimited number of submissions, so you can submit as few as one song or 100 albums. When fans purchase your CD, Amazon ships the CD and records the sale on your account. You can expect to get paid on a monthly basis.

Setting the Price for Your Music

On Amazon, you set the retail price for your CD, and Amazon charges you 55% of that amount as a fee for selling your CD, so keep this in mind when creating the list price.

Marketing Your Music, Who does a Better Job?

Amazon is the only provider which sells physical CDs that has the attention of 244 million customers. No one else comes close.

Shipping is FREE with Amazon

Amazon Prime members get their purchases shipped for free.

What’s Your Take?

The nicest thing about the Advantage program is that Amazon only charges you 55% to handle the sale, which includes credit card charges, sales taxes, and the cost to ship and package the CD. That may sound steep, but when you consider that other companies offering a similar service to musicians charge about the same or more, but offer much less, this turns out to be a good deal.

In conclusion, exposure is everything. Amazon marketplace offers your CD to more fans than anyone else, and if your fan is already on Amazon, you’re making it easy for them to find your music!

During digital music's heyday, CD Baby was acquired by one of its CD and DVD manufacturing partners, Disc Makers, for $22 million. CD Baby was acquired again in 2019 for $200 million by music publishing firm Downtown. By that point, the company had paid $600 million to artists during its lifetime. On June 22 this year, CD Baby told its customers that it will no longer distribute physical goods, like CDs.

Artists with inventory in CD Baby's warehouse received notice to get their inventory shipped back to them or have it recycled within 60-days.The Portland, Oregon-based distributor of independent music will continue to help artists get their music onto the digital stores of Spotify, Amazon, and Apple.

Amazon boasted 244 million users as of January 2016, of which approximately 54 million are prime members. This translates to big exposure for your product. Amazon also offers digital download, but the real opportunity to generate meaningful income for independent musicians is selling full albums.

“With Supply Chain by Amazon, Amazon will pick up sellers’ inventory directly from their factory, and manage the supply chain logistics through delivery to customers’ doorsteps," said Amazon's Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon VP of Worldwide Selling Partner Services.

*Barcode Metadata: An important component of getting music out to the world for people to hear and spend money on is a song’s accompanying metadata - the specific information that helps identify your product (song titles, producer, writers, engineer, formats, genre, marketing/touring info and much more..) via assigned Universal Product Code (UPC) and International Standard Recording Code (ISRC)

Killers of Flower Moon

Composer Robbie Robertson Final Work In Theaters in October

Killers of the Flower Moon is a 2022 American historical crime drama film based on the 2017 book with the same title tells the story of Osage Murders and the birth of the FBI by David Grann. The film is written by Eric Roth, directed by Martin Scorese (who earlier has directed The Irishman with Robert De Niro. Starring – Leonardo DiCaprio.

RIP Robbie Robertson July 5, 1943 – August 9, 2023.

"He really wanted to do everything he could to promote his latest project with Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon, which comes out in October. It’s some of the most ambitious scoring work he’s ever attempted, and I’m so sorry that he won’t be out there with his good friends Marty, Bob, and Leo to present this picture. He was so proud of the work, and he loved those guys so much. Thank you all for the kind words and messages. And it’s been a blessing to be with his wonderful family through this. Play his music -and remember “Play It Loud”," says manager and friend Jared Levine.

War & Treaty at Grammy Museum

The GRAMMY Museum welcomed The War And Treaty to the Museum’s intimate 200-seat Clive Davis Theater for a performance and conversation moderated by Country Music Television's Leslie Fram about their creative process, career, and making of their newest album, LOVER'S GAME, with a performance that followed.

Founded in 2014 by the husband-and-wife duo Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter, The War And Treaty have emerged as one of the most electrifying new acts in American music.

Their major label debut album LOVER’S GAME (Mercury Nashville), was met with critical praise The duo has gone on to appear as top-flight collaborators, and have been recognized by the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry and the Americana Music Association as "2022 Duo/Group of the Year.” The duo has dominated stages across the globe including North America, Europe, Italy, Australia, and Ireland, while headlining their own shows and opening for a diverse group of living legends; Al Green, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, John Legend, Lauren Daigle and Van Morrison among them.

Catch The War And Treaty on their Lovers Game Tour Sept 26- October 8, 2023.

The Magic of Music

Vocal Performer, Contractor & Music Therapist Charissa Nielsen

"In the beginning, my friends that work in the album world threw me lots of bones. So, I sang and started vocal contracting this way.

I've come a long way and smile big when I get to create music at this level," writes Charissa in a post.

Meet LA-based session singer, vocal contractor, and music therapist with over two decades of experience in the music industry, Charissa Nielsen. She has an impressive resume, singing for major recording artists, film soundtracks, television shows, and commercials. 

Her vocals can be heard on some of the biggest blockbusters, including La La Land, Star Wars, SING, and The Jungle Book. 

She has also lent her talents to a wide variety of national campaigns for companies like Nationwide Insurance, Burger King, and Old Navy. In the album world, Charissa is trusted by world-famous producers/artists such as Rick Rubin, Neil Young, Post Malone, and the Smashing Pumpkins and has sung for and hired singers for their projects. Enjoy this studioexpresso interview and connect!

SE: Give us some background on your journey in music (education, work history, etc)

CN: I am from the Chicago area but LA has been my home since the 2000. My musical journey took me to Nashville first, where I majored in Commercial Music/Voice at Belmont University. But a year in and a change of heart led me to Loyola University in New Orleans, immersing myself in Music Therapy, where my then boyfriend, now husband, Dana Nielsen was studying. Now, married for 23 years, Dana and I produce music for ads, films, TV, and albums. He excels with recording, mixing, and producing, while I bring vocals and lyrics to the table. Lately, I’ve enjoyed client services at our recording studio, serving food and drinks!


SE: What music services do you offer and who are some of your clients?

CN: There's never a dull moment in my day and I enjoy wearing multiple hats! I'm a Session Singer and Vocal Contractor, a certified Music Therapist, and a passionate Singing Teacher. I've lent my voice to albums by iconic artists like Neil Young and Post Malone, movies such as 'La La Land' and 'Spider-Man: No Way Home', and even catchy songs and jingles you’d know from Nationwide and Burger King. Beyond the stage and studio, I find fulfillment in Music Therapy. I get to connect one-on-one with special needs individuals with autism, depression, ADHD, or others. About 2 years ago, I invented an alter ego, Roxi Jet! It’s been a blast producing and singing her songs!!


SE: Ok Roxi Jet, talk about how you’re branching into music for healing space. Explain how it works, how can one sign up or where can people with special needs reach out to you?

CN: The magic of Music Therapy is remarkable. Tailoring to each individual's journey, we might craft melodies together, dive deep into lyrical narratives, or even find catharsis in the rhythmic beats of a drum.  Most of my music therapy clients are referrals.


SE: You and hubby mixer/producer/educator Dana Nielsen are an entertainment power couple. What’s best about being in the same line of work and what are some challenges?

CN: The most rewarding aspect of navigating the music industry alongside my husband is our shared love of music. We get to sing, write and arrange songs together for high profile clients and artists. On the flip side, one challenge we face is carving out time between our professional and personal lives.


SE: Hidden talent besides voice/singing?

CN: While many know me for my singing, I wear quite a few hats outside of music. Dana and I love to entertain at our home! We cook a lot of meats, salads, homemade salsas and dressings to such an extent that friends often call us “the best restaurant in town." On a different note, I have a love of organization and cleanliness. The simple act of vacuuming brings joy to my heart. And here's a little tidbit from my past: before my journey into session singing, I had the privilege of being a personal assistant to some of the music industry's finest, including Rick Rubin, Cecilia Noël, and Colin Hay.


SE: How long have you lived/worked in LA and do you have a favorite spot (restaurant, gallery, etc) besides your home, where you take friends/family?

CN: We've been calling LA home for a whopping 23 years now! Time really does fly and we have a daughter that is 11 years old now. Whenever we have friends or family in town, our go-to spot is The Culver Steps. It's such a fantastic blend of history, architecture, and modernity, with great events like live music and yummy restaurants.


SE: Now that spells "I Love LA!" Name a Dream project or collab?

CN: Beyoncé. Her unparalleled artistry, passion, and commitment to pushing musical boundaries have always inspired me.


SE: That was easy. Your recipe for taking care of one’s voice?

CN: Sleep and Water! Sleep rejuvenates our vocal cords and allows them to heal from daily wear and tear, while water keeps them lubricated, preventing strain and injury.


SE: Good advice! Your beverage of choice besides water?

CN: LaCroix Lime

SE: stocking up on it. Thanks for your beatiful voice and thoughts Charissa!

Charissa Nielsen 🎶 Links and Contacts


IG:  and

Music Executive Turntable

Rachel Jacobson

New Sr VP Creative Sync, Warner Chappell, Los Angeles

Seasoned Exec Focused on Developing Songwriters for Opportunities in TV, Film, and Emerging Media

Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has announced the appointment of Rachel Jacobson to the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Creative Sync. Reporting to Rich Robinson, WCM’s EVP, Global Sync and Media Original Music, Jacobson will oversee a new team that’s solely focused on sourcing and developing songwriters for creative opportunities in sync. As part of this move, Talia Rubino, Sr. Director, Creative and International Sync, and Margo Dorfman, Sr. Manager, Creative Sync, will now report directly to Jacobson.

Robinson shared: “We’re reimagining our approach to the creative side of sync at Warner Chappell to better align with the rapidly evolving media and streaming landscape. Rachel is deeply engrained in the TV, film, and advertising worlds, with strong ties to the songwriting community, making her the ideal leader to help us recalibrate our creative offerings and double down on writer development for sync. I’m thrilled to have her join us for this new chapter.”

Jacobson added: “In my mind, music publishing is synonymous with Warner Chappell. I’m incredibly excited to work with a catalog that has some of the world’s most iconic songs while also getting to partner with some of today’s most exciting songwriters and artists. I’m thrilled to start this new chapter, leading a talented and accomplished team whose work I’ve long admired from afar. Thanks to Carianne [Marshall] and Rich for this fantastic opportunity.”

Based in Los Angeles, Jacobson has been working in creative licensing since 2008 – elevating artists and songwriters through impactful projects across advertising, film, trailers and promos, TV, and video games. For the past five years, she has served as Head of Sync and Artist Relations for the Paris-based Because Music Group. During her time at Because, she oversaw dynamic sync placements for a variety of high-profile advertising, film, and TV spots, including a remix of Justice’s “Genesis” for a final scene in John Wick: Chapter 4; music and choreography from Christine and the Queens’ “Tilted” in FX’s Better Things; Amadou & Mariam’s “Sabali” in a worldwide Coca-Cola spot; Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” in a T-Mobile Superbowl campaign; and a rework of Justice’s “Heavy Metal” by SebastiAn for Bungie’s Marathon video game reveal. She also supported artist and songwriter relations, nurturing talent, providing creative insights during the songwriting process, as well as helping to organize writing sessions and camps.

Prior to her work with Because, Jacobson was part of the creative licensing team at SONGS Music Publishing and Atlantic Records.


Roger De Graaf and Ewout Swart will become Co-Presidents of Spinnin’ Records, the world’s leading dance music company. The move will enable De Graaf to focus on artist relations and creative projects, while Swart will concentrate on global operational acceleration.

De Graaf is one of the co-founders of Spinnin’ Records, and has served as CEO since 2017, when it was acquired by Warner Music Group. Swart has worked at Spinnin’ for more than 14 years and was appointed Chief Operational Officer in 2016.

In their new roles, both De Graaf and Swart will report to both Simon Robson, President, International, Recorded Music, Warner Music and Bart Cools, Warner Music’s EVP, Global A&R and Marketing, Dance Music.

Spinnin’ has helped launch and nurture the careers of many of the biggest names in dance, including Afrojack, Bingo Players, Cheat Codes, Don Diablo, Fedde Le Grand, Kriss Kross Amsterdam, KSHMR, Martin Garrix, Martin Solveig, Nicky Romero, Oliver Heldens, Sam Feldt, Sander van Doorn and Timmy Trumpet.

The company reaches huge numbers of dance fans through its online channels, with more than 30 million subscribers on YouTube and almost four million followers on Instagram.

Music News



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.

Eyes of The Storm

Sir Paul at The National Portrait Gallery

The exhibition focuses on portraits captured by Paul McCartney, using his own camera, between December 1963 and February 1964 – a time when The Beatles were catapulted from a British sensation to a global phenomenon. These never-before-seen images offer a uniquely personal perspective on what it was like to be a ‘Beatle’ at the start of ‘Beatlemania’ – from headlining stages in the UK, to performing to 73 million Americans on The Ed Sullivan Show. At a time when so many camera lenses were on the band, it is McCartney’s which tells the truest story of a band creating cultural history – in one of its most exciting chapters. Visit The National Portrait Gallery

Left: Paul and Dave Grohl at the National Portrait Gallery exhibition 'Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm'

"What you seek is seeking you"


Supporting Creators & Self-Expression

Until next month,

Use your healing self-expression in music to inspire, empower, and delight.

Tell us about your new release or production!

Music Lives and Moves!

Claris Sayadian-Dodge, founder/editor

Right: At Everygreen studios with manager Vicki Giordano

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