January 2024

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

Darlings let's take a drive into 2024 ...You're invited to get energized and amplified. Listen to an award-winning debut, and experience sounds of immersive. Visit a remote dream team capturing a guitar hero's message for peace. Watch a cinematic odyssey, and peruse a book on the act of creating. We remain grateful to you, our valued readers, creators, contributors and supporters. Grab an espresso and enjoy this month's serving!

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Amplify Your Music!

studioexpresso & Trans Audio Group Present

Panel of Award-winning Artists at NAMM TEC Tracks 2024

Saturday January 27, 3-4 Pm (before TEC Awards) 

register here (NAMM Link) TECTracks @ NAMM 

Anaheim Convention Center  Level 2 Rooms 202-204

*register for TEC AWARDS here

How does an artist move from conception to creation? You've recorded your songs. How to present and promote your creation. Our speakers, Ryan Ulyate (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Ian Charbonneau (Mana, Neil Young, Jake Owen) and Grammy®-winning Brent Fischer (Usher, Elvis Costello, Symphonic Prince) will discuss how to amplify your music, and make lasting impressions. Weather you're performing at The Tonight Show, or in venues small and big - from clubs to stadiums, learn tips on how best to showcase your music, rehearsal Dos and Don'ts, How to stay healthy on the road, and Interact with audiences for lasting impressions. We will play a track from Ulyate's newly released Grammy®-nominated album, Act3 (featuring Steve Ferrone on drums). This panel of music experts will show you how to prepare, gear up/down, promote and create more opportunities to market your music, plus enjoy entertaining stories on how and why the show must go on!

Join us for an inspiring afternoon at NAMM and recharge for 2024!

Ryan Ulyate's Grammy®-Nominated Solo Debut: Act 3

An Immersive Experience Inspired by His Music Heroes, Recorded at Ryan's Place

Act 3 is Ryan Ulyate's Grammy®-nominated debut album. It's a beautiful tribute to his musical heroes, and his inner voice that guided him to a new chapter in life, as a solo artist.

Ulyate is best known for his engineering and production work for legends Tom Petty, George Harrison, and over 120 Albums.

On Act 3 Ulyate sang, wrote all the songs, recorded, mixed and produced in Dolby Atmos and High Res Stereo at Ryan's place, his studio in Topanga Canyon, California.

"It’s still kind of amazing looking through it (referring to his Discogs credits) and seeing things I forgot I worked on. I did a lot of albums for Latin artists like Juan Gabriel, French artists like Veronique Sanson and johnny Haliday," says Ulyate who began working with Jeff Lynne in the late 90s, and that relationship lead to ELO’s Zoom, George Harrison’s Brainwashed and The Traveling Wilburys Collection (box set). "I co-produced recorded and mixed several albums for Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers including The Live AnthologyMojo and Hypnotic Eye. Since Tom passed I’ve been working with his family producing box sets like An American TreasureWildflowers and All The Rest and Live at the Fillmore 1997," adds Ulyate.

Act 3 blends dreaming and woken moments of life with lyrical and melodic poetry where emotional intelligence and beauty reign. "It's the years that allow me......," says Ulyate or perhaps it's his technical years, his Pro Audio experience, that brings the listener close to what the artist is hearing in his head and in his heart. Backed by lush choruses, the lyrics echo our political landscape, "Give him someone to hate.. We've seen it all before," he says in This is How It Ends.  Home draws us close to memory of loved and lost friends and imagines them in a "sleep unknown." Game of Hope comes from a special dream where gifts are received. A.I. offers a cacophony of guitar solos heralding the brave new world!

Act 3 features a star-studded cast of musicians to include Steve Ferrone on drums and percussion, Josh Jové on rhythm and lead guitar, and Steve Rucker on piano. Ryan Ulyate appears on vocals, keyboards and bass guitar, Marc Mann did the brass arrangement and played additional guitar on Now Is The Time and Herb Pedersen played acoustic 12 string guitar on Home.

"Zeke Reed served as assistant engineer, while Kevin Mack created the cover art," adds Ulyate.

The Dolby Atmos mix was mastered by Michael Romanowski.

Ulyate discovered his musician father’s tape recorder in their Malibu home when he was 6 years old and started writing songs at 13. Inspired by the bands he listened to while growing up, as well as artists he’s worked with, Act3 is a tapestry of classic British and California rock sounds. Based on his love for conceptual works like Sgt Pepper and Dark Side of the Moon, Act 3 is designed to take the listener on a 45-minute immersive audio journey, while Ulyate is making observations about the world we’re living in from his perspective as native Californian, in the opening track, the Dreamland.

We met up with Ulyate at his studio in Topanga Canyon to learn about his new creation.

SE: Your album Act 3 was released late last year and has already received a 2024 Grammy nomination. Congrats again! How did you hear about the news, what category is it in?

RU: Thanks! I heard the news when they announced it online on November 10th. It’s still hard to believe my little indie project got a nomination. Act 3 is nominated for Best Immersive Audio Album. Besides my album, Act 3 the other albums nominated are Alicia Keys’ Diary Of Alicia Keys, George Strait’s Blue Clear Sky, Madison Beer’s Silence Between Songs and Bear McCreary’s God Of War Ragnarok soundtrack.

SE: You had an album playback event on Dec 12 at the Dolby theater in Hollywood, followed by a panel with some of your musicians. How did it go and why did you choose to offer these songs in immersive?

RU: I’ve been mixing in Immersive since 2004, starting with 5.1 surround sound, on the Concert For George (Harrison), and moving on to Dolby Atmos in 2020 starting with Tom Petty’s Wildflowers & All The Rest. It’s a great way to experience music and a wonderful sonic palette to create with.

Act 3 was made with immersive in mind from the beginning. Dolby was very generous to let us use their Vine Theater in Hollywood for the playback. I’ve done some events there playing back Tom Petty albums, but this was the first time I’ve previewed my own album. I invited people I knew in the music business, engineers, producers, journalists and close friends. It was so fun to hear the album as a group on that amazing Atmos system with the lights dimmed. After the playback we did a Q&A session. Mark Felsot from Sirius XM’s Tom Petty Radio was the moderator and drummer Steve Ferrone, and guitarist Josh Joye and myself were on the panel. 

ATC Ryan

SE: Is there an unusual experience from making this album that stands out? You have talked about having dreams with messages! 

RU: I got the chords and the title of Game Of Hope from a dream I had with Tom (Petty) in it. He was playing a Rickenbacker electric 12 string and I heard the chord progression. Later in the dream he said to me “you should call it "Game Of Hope”. That was an amazing dream! In fact, I got a lot of the melodies in the album from dreams. I’d just sing them into my phone when I woke up. If they were good, I’d go down to the piano and figure out the chords. The entire melody and chords for Drink Up came from a dream that way. When it came time do write the songs I listened back to a couple years worth of those song ideas in my phone and was able to use them to help craft the music. I might have a fragment of a verse, and then I’d write a chorus that complimented it. I recommend to any writer that if you get a musical idea, sing it into your phone before you forget it. A lot of times they are not that great, but sometimes there can be some gems in there!

SE: Amazing! On this album I hear the importance of human bonds - our relationships to each other and to the universe. How would you describe it? When you write, do the lyrics come before music or the other way around?

RU: I like that you said it's about human bonds. I write the music first, and then the lyrics.

One reason it’s called Act 3 is that some of the things I’m singing about are thoughts that occur to you if you’ve been on this planet for a while. We’re not going to be here forever, so what is important? What motivates us? What will outlive us? What will we leave behind to the next generation?

One of the things I loved about The Dark Side Of The Moon were the big subjects it took on: Time, Money, Us And Them. This was my way of trying to address larger things like that.

SE: Nice! What makes Ryan's place, your studio special or different? what are some gear that you can't do without and what can you say about Atmos?

RU: I love my monitors. I have a 7.1.4 system. I’ve got ATC SCM 50s for left, center, right and surrounds. I’ve got four ATC SCM 12is for the height speakers and Bag End Infra-subs. I’ve got these amazing Audeze LCD-X headphones that really let me know what is going on with the Atmos/Spatial mixes I’m doing. Dolby has their own way of encoding immersive for headphones and Apple has their own way too. It’s important to make sure everything you are mixing in immersive works on speakers and in headphones, and on both Dolby and Apple’s formats. Pro Tools and the Dolby Atmos Renderer are essential in my workflow as well. I’m lucky to have such great support form both Avid and Dolby. They are really helping people who want to jump into the immersive space with some great tools.

SE: You are offering Act3 in digital download format only for now. Where can we find your music?

RU: It’s available for downloading in Dolby Atmos True HD MKV format on ImmersiveAudioAlbum.com. If you have a home entertainment speaker system with HDMI input, like a Sonos Arc, you can play the files back with a box like this. The sound quality is fantastic! It’s also available for downloading in stereo on the iTunes store and for streaming on Apple Music and Tidal in both Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res stereo. It should be available soon for stereo streaming and Hi-Res downloads on Qobuz and for streaming in stereo and Dolby Atmos at Amazon Music. I believe Amazon will also sell you the stereo files in mp3 format.

SE: What do you mean when you say "experiencing music at a deeper level"?

RU: Dolby Atmos is a way to experience music at a deeper, more immersive level. It’s quite amazing the feeling you get when the music is all around you. The more speaker-based options people have the better. Sonos is doing some great things with their new speakers. It’s possible to get a good sounding system set up that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. Having said that, if all you have is stereo, don’t be put off. The stereo mix is unique and not “down-mixed" from the Dolby Atmos. If you’re into Hi-Res Stereo, you’ll like it. I worked real hard at that mix, it’s got a lot of dynamic range, and hopefully It’ll be available on vinyl later on.

SE: We're so excited to bring you to our "Amplify Your Music" panel at NAMM on Jan 27! Anyone else we have missed that you want to credit?

RU: I just want to thank everyone who helped me with this album, especially my wife Judith for putting up with me while we made it. A lot of it was recorded in our living room, so it wasn’t exactly a peaceful place. So now peace and quiet has returned -until the next album, of course!

Listen and order the album here from Immersive Audio Album.

Ryan Ulyate is one of the speakers at TEC Tracks, during NAMM this week at:

Amplify Your Music

presented by studioexpresso & Trans Audio Group

Saturday Jan 27, 3-4 pm at the Anaheim Convention Center

Meet Neil Young's Remote Dream Team

Ian Charbonneau & Niko Bolas Record Neil Young's Music Video Stand For Peace

Neil Young Films "Stand For Peace" at StageThis in Los Angeles. Photo by Ian Charbonneau.

studioexpresso Video Spotlight

View @ studioexpresso or YouTube

Neil Young has never been afraid to use his music as a platform for social commentary.

Late last year, he premiered a powerful new video with a Hendrix-like instrumental of The Star Spangled Banner.

The footage features Young performing on his guitar standing on a platform in a barren stage surrounded by tattered flags. The film concludes with the written message “Be Brave” and “Stand For Peace.”

The Recording Project by Ian Charbonneau and recording engineer Niko Bolas captured the audio for the music video directed by Young's wife, Daryl Hannah.

Recorded and filmed at StageThis soundstage in downtown LA, Charbonneau provided his engineering services along with his state-of-the-art mobile flypack system and microphones to capture the intimate performance. To meet Young's specifications, audio was captured at high-resolution 192K format, as well as for Dolby Atmos. "This was a nice challenge," said Charbonneau, "and a great success for my new portable flypack system. It was great to have METalliance member Niko Bolas producing our first 192K project.

The video performance had a very quick one-day turnaround for release a day later on Thanksgiving morning." Bolas added, "The famous Charbonneau recording ethic and Ian's talent - a remote dream team."

Having worked for 30+ years with his father Guy Charbonneau and Le Mobile remote recording truck, Ian recently founded The Recording Project and created his unique flypack portable recording system, which can be loaded into a few cases and checked as baggage on an airline. With his new mobile system, Ian has already recorded live projects for Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Mana, Macklemore, Dolby Laboratories, and parts the Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival, 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. It allows to capture great multitrack recording in standard and high resolution formats. The converter / preamp connects via Fiber cable to two Avid Madi Pro Tools systems for redundancy."

Young who turned 78 annoucned that Volume three, music from his vast archives, will be released in the first half of 2024.

Ian Charbonneau is one of the speakers during NAMM this week at:

Amplify Your Music

presented by studioexpresso & Trans Audio Group

Saturday Jan 27, 3-4 pm at the Anaheim Convention Center

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

Speakers & Sound

Adjust-ability with Sound Anchor

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

Invest in 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

Starstruck Recordings

The Popular Production Venue on Music Row Features

ATC 7.1.4 system 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.


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.

studioexpresso & Trans Audio Group Present


Saturday January 27, 3-4 Pm

(before TEC Awards) 

register here (NAMM Link)

TECTracks @ NAMM 

Anaheim Convention Center  

Level 2 Rooms 202-204

*register for TEC AWARDS here

Industry Golf & Poker

Monday, April 15, 2024

Sand Canyon Country Club

Santa Clarita, CA

Since 2015, KMD Productions’ Recording Industry Golf & Poker Tournament™ has served as the gathering place for LA recording industry. This year, armed with a fresh dedication to welcome emerging members of the industry. In store, expect a $10k HOI prize, the Infamous Traveling Tequila Carts, and awards including the Al & Ed Award, given to the person who best embodies their spirit of giving back, support, and fun. The Recording Industry Golf & Poker Tournament is the place for the recording world to create community and celebrate the industry we all love. Join us on April 15 to be part of the action!

Community, networking, socializing, playing, meeting new people, having fun.

"Come play, eat, drink, hang out with your friends, make new friends, enjoy being outside on an amazing Spring day in what has become known as the best Pro Audio golf (and poker) tournament in the world,' says organizer Karen Dunn.

Save the Date and Join Honorary Chairs, Gavin Lurssen and CJ Vanston at Sand Canyon Country Club

It’s the best hang of the year and more details coming 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 @ 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

Auratone Celebrates its 50th anniversary, Auratone and its US distributor, TransAudio Group, introduced the first-ever Active 5C, 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.

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

Like the other 5C variants, the Auratone ACTIVE 5C is made in the USA.

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 sales@transaudiogroup.com

METTE And Producer Sam Gellaitry Dance-Driven Single Darling Drive

She's named as Spotify's Pop Rising Artists To Watch for 2024. Talent METTE and producer, DJ, singer and songwriter Sam Gellaitry have joined forces to release their dance-driven single Darling Drive. ‘I traveled to Scotland to meet and work with Sam...after touring and being on the road, I realize now more than ever it's not about ‘where' but ‘ who.' Being with the people I love makes anywhere feel like home," says METTE The release follows her debut EP Mettenarrative which included singles Van Gough, For The People, and Mama's Eyes. Producer Sam Gellaitry was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1997 and comes from a family of musicians, with his mother previously playing in a band and his father owning a business that makes bag pipes. Gellaitry first became known as a producer on the platform Sound Cloud. After releasing Escapism series I, II, III , he performed at Coachella, and his song Long Distance was featured in a Super Bowl Diet Coke ad. Gellaitry has also produced for other artists such as Don Toliyer and Masego.

What does the producer signed to Parlophone say about mix tapes? "A mixtape to me is like a TV series and the album will be a film." We're keeping an eye on Mr Gellaitry next film!

Ushering A Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show And New Album

Singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and businessman Usher will be headlining the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show. The eight-time Grammy Award winner will hit the stage after two quarters of football on Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. His new album, Coming Home, is set to release on February 9, and to include the single Good Good with Summer Walker and 21 Savage.

Usher has sold over 80 million records in his career, has nine No. 1 singles and has earned 34 ASCAP Awards, nine Soul Train Music Awards, eight American Music Awards. He has been in multiple movies, including Hustlers, Muppets Most Wanted and She's All That. Usher has helped raise tens of millions of dollars for charity and founded a nonprofit in 1999 called Usher's New Look, which has a goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged children. Seth Dudowsky, NFL head of music, called Usher an "icon," saying his music has "left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape throughout his career."

The halftime show is historically the most-watched musical performance of the year. The show will be produced by DPS, Roc Nation and Jesse Collins will be executive producers and Hamish Hamilton will be the director. Shaheem Sanchez, actor and choreographer, will perform the ASL rendition of the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show. The game, as well as all performances, will be broadcasted on CBS and streamed on Paramount+ with an alternate broadcast on Nickelodeon.

New Leadership At NAMM

The NAMM board of directors has elected a new executive committee to continue the organization’s legacy of service to NAMM members and the industry at large.

In a vote at the recent board meeting, Tom Sumner, president of Yamaha Corp. of America (and previously NAMM’s vice chair), was named chair of the NAMM board of directors. The board also elected Chris White, president of White House of Music, as vice chair, where he will serve in an ex officio role as chair of The NAMM Foundation board; Barbara Wight, chief financial officer of Taylor Guitars, as treasurer; and Whitney Brown Grisaffi, president of Ted Brown Music, as secretary of the executive committee.

“It’s been an honor to serve on NAMM’s executive committee for the last six years, and I’m thrilled to continue that work as chair during this pivotal moment in the industry,” said Sumner upon his election. “NAMM is dedicated to creating a more musical world. Going forward, it’s our goal to engage the industry and work together in achieving that vision.” Sumner also welcomed Grisaffi to the executive committee. “Whitney’s deep industry knowledge, experience and servant leadership style will be the perfect complement to the NAMM executive committee. We’re so honored to welcome her and look forward to her contributions.” During the board meeting, the outgoing NAMM board chair and president of Menchey Music Services, Joel Menchey, was thanked for his eight years of leadership and service to the organization. With the election, the NAMM executive committee retains its balanced composition of retail and commercial members in leadership roles to help the organization fulfill its mission.

Chilitos' AGI Turns 30

Hands-on certification Courses Offered In English & Spanish

Those of you in Los Angeles Music Industry know AudioGraph International (AGI) founder and visionary audio professional José "Chilitos" Valenzuela. This year AGI is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

A guiding light in the world of audio and music production education, AGI serves as LA's premier AVID-authorized Pro Tools training facility, offering classes taught in both English and Spanish for working professionals, students, aspiring engineers, editors, and producers. "AGI is not just a school; it's a launchpad for careers in the audio industry," says Chilitos. AudioGraph International provides a portal for students and professionals to apply for available positions in the industry. In 2024 AGI will be offering students all-new in-person hands-on certification courses in Dolby Atmos, DANTE, Avid's S6, a Pro Tools Podcast Production class, and presenting instructional videos on all the Social Media platforms, among other courses and projects.

Visit AGI's newly redesigned and interactive website for more information.

David Bowie's Moonage Daydream

2024 Grammy Nomination For Best Music Film

David Bowie was ahead of his time. In our global race to reach other planets, he dreamed it. He was the king of visuals and changed our perception of gender identity before the term was known. He imagined mysteries of heart and soul in his songs. His iconic sense of style and fashion made cultural headlines. Above all, his sound and voice was unique. Bowie’s personal archives sports roughly five million assets— including video footage, photography, and visual art that Bowie created during his diverse artistic periods: Ziggy Stardust, the Berlin trilogy, to name a few. In the new documentary, Moonage Dream we get to enjoy a cinematic odyssey exploring Bowie's creative and musical journey from visionary filmmaker Brett Morgen.

In 2017 Bowie's estate presented Oscar® Nominated filmmaker Morgen unfiltered access to Bowie’s archives, including all master recordings, to create an artful journey through Bowie’s creative life. Told through sublime, kaleidoscopic, never-before-seen footage, performances and music, Morgen constructed a genre-defying cinematic odyssey that grapples with spirituality, transience, isolation, creativity and time to reveal the celebrated icon in his own voice. 


Critically acclaimed as “one of the year's best films,” Moonage Dream has won awards from the WGA, CAS, MPSE, Critics Choice and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Documentary. Most recently it has been nominated for 5 Emmy® Awards and a GRAMMY® Award for Best Music Film.

Bowie’s concert footage is easily the best part of Moonage Dream. And for us fans and viewers that's reason to say. Let's Dance! Watch the trailer here

Best New Artist


Domi & JD Beck (feat in studioexpresso April '23 eZine)



Molly Tuttle

Muni Long

Omar Apollo

Samara Joy (feat in studioexpresso Dec '23

Tobe Nwigwe

Wet Leg (feat in studioexpresso Feb '22



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.

The Creative Act: A Way of Being

A book by Rick Rubin on Self-Expression

For all you creatives out there, start of a new year can be daunting. Whether you're recovering financially, physically, or emotionally, it takes energy, plan of action, and hope to stay positive. Questions may be circling in your head. Along with life's challenges, how does an artist move from conception to creation?

Here comes a encouraging and inspiring book from legendary producer and music man Rick Rubin. From his practical advice to mystical believes, Rubin communicates a way of being and confirms that through an ordinary state of being, we're already creators in the most profound way.

There are chapters among his 78 areas of thoughts that include: Tuning In, Tuning Out, Memories and the Subconscious, Self-Doubt, Distraction, Rules, Listening, Habits, Expect a Surprise, Spontaneity, Adaptation, Clean slate, Context, The Vessel & The Filter, Let It Be, What We Tell Ourselves, How to Choose, Freedom, Shades and Degrees, and Why Make Art?

In the forward, he adds "Nothing in this book is known to be true...use what's helpful. Let go of of the rest." You can find Rubin, YouTube, Spotify, and Instagram. Enjoy Tetragrammaton: His new venture brings "Interviews that may blow your mind," well, according to the master.

Available at Amazon

Rick Rubin is a nine-time GRAMMY-winning producer, named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time and the most successful producer in any genre by Rolling Stone. He has collaborated with artists from Tom Petty to Adele, Johnny Cash to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys to Slayer, and Kanye West.

"Art is choosing to do something skillfully, caring about the details, bringing all of yourself to make the finest work you can. It is beyond ego, vanity, self-glorification, and

need for approval."

--Rick Rubin

A New Year Shake!

A Berry Chocolate Espresso Martini

A sweet disposition for a New Year.

In equal parts, combine almond milk, kahlua, espresso coffee, and crushed ice in a blender until smooth. Add a small handful of natural ingredients to the base — like raspberries, strawberries and blueberries — and top it with dark chocolate shavings and carbonated water to give them a foamy finish.

Cheers To Your Health & Your Creation!

Supporting Creators & Self-Expression

Until next month,

See you at NAMM this week where studioexpresso producers gather to inspire, recharge your New Year and Amplify your music!

Tell us about your new release or reach out for music

production support.

Music Lives and Moves!

Claris Sayadian-Dodge, founder/editor


Right: At The Village Studios in Los Angeles

Reach Out Today
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