2021 is here. Grateful for quarantine concerts and video content from our community. A toast to the new year and you, our readers, now 25,000 strong.

This month we visit a producer-owned studio in Sylmar, California where music lives and moves.
You're invited to attend virtual sessions at NAMM and meet one of its creators. Learn how this engineer mixed a beloved rock icon's demo, live and studio recordings in stereo and dolby atmos.
This Hollywood landmark made noise this month with a few lay offs to the tune of restructuring.
Be our guest at this celebrity potluck where tasty bites and sounds are served.
We have promotions news and more.... Thanks for staying with us.
Artist's Gateway To The World's Top Music Makers
Work With Award-winning Producers In Legendary Studios
Rafa Sardina
Believe TV @ NAMM 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021 3:35 PM

Producing Remotely in Covid Times
With Grammy-winner Rafa Sardina
Placido Domingo, Lady Gaga, John Legend

Discover technical tips and procedures for session pre-production, connection safety precautions,
the importance of communication and more...

Step 1: Sign up here
step 2: streaming starts on Th, 1/21, 3:35 PM
NAMM's virtual event on January 18-22 offers Oral History interviews ranging from President of Manley Laboratories, EveAnna Manley, Musician, Songwriter, Steve Miller and others. There will be a brand new (video) podcast released about The British Invasion that week highlighting interviews from Musician, Record Producer Peter Asher and mini master classes on Believe TV like the ones featured above and below.
Brent Fischer
Believe TV @ NAMM 2021
Friday on 1/22/2021 at 11:15 am PT

Arranging Music Across Multiple Genres
Grammy-winning Arranger, Producer, Band Leader Brent Fischer
D'Angelo, The Roots, Elvis Costello
Step 1: Sign up here
Step 2: Watch here on F, 1/22/2021 at 11:15 am PT.

Fischer shows how creativity can manifest itself across multiple genres with three examples from his award-winning work: Michael Jackson’s pop hit "This Is It," arranged for 45-piece orchestra; D’Angelo’s "Really Love," arranged for an intimate seven-piece chamber orchestra; and Clare Fischer’s "Butterfly Samba" from the album "¡Intenso!"

Over 353 attendees have registered for these Free events. Join us and Enjoy!
Past studioexpresso speakers 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), Laura Dickinson (Frozen II, Lady and the Tramp), Daniel Seeff (KJazz, Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz), James Torme, and Brent Fischer (D'Angelo, Elvis Costello and The Roots).

New Tom Petty Box Set
Relying on Eleven ATC Monitors, Producer/Engineer Ryan Ulyate Unifies Decades of Tom Petty’s Demo, Live, and Studio Recordings Into Wildflowers & All the Rest Mixed in Stereo + Dolby Atmos
Producer/Engineer Ryan Ulyate met Tom Petty in the mid-2000s and forged what would become a great friendship. Sadly the working relationship cut short by Petty’s untimely death in 2017. Working with Adria, Annakim and Dana Petty and bandmates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, Ulyate went through literally hundreds of tapes to compile insightful demo versions of the Wildflowers materials (original 1994 release) as well as the most inspired live versions and unique alternate takes to create the Wildflowers & All the Rest box set. He then remixed the Wildflowers tracks in immersive Dolby Atmos. Ulyate transitioned to ATC monitors right around the time he started working with Petty in the mid-2000s. “I was originally turned onto ATC by Charlie Bolois, who was serving as studio tech for both Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty at the time," said Ulyate. He brought ATCs into Jeff’s studio, and "my ears were immediately a lot happier. They had a truth to them, especially in the midrange.

"So naturally, when it came time for me to upgrade my home studio, I went for ATC SCM50ASL three-way monitors," he adds. The live recordings presented a different challenge. “The live recordings span twenty-two years, but we mixed them as if they were one concert, with the audience cross faded between tracks. I find that it is relatively easy to match the energy of the top end and the bottom end, but discrepancies in the mid range are much harder to deal with. That’s where my ATCs shine, with their big ‘domey’ mid range drivers. I used them to make all of the guitars, vocals, snares, keys, etc. consistent across very inconsistent source recordings.” Ulyate expanded to a 5.1 surround sound system with the addition of three more SCM50ASLs. Heading into “Atmos Land” as he called it, Ulyate further expanded his ATC system with two more SCM50ASLs for the side surrounds and four ATC SCM12i Pro two-way monitors for the height speakers. “Shoutout to the TransAudio Group team, especially Brad [Lunde], Richard [Bowman] and Zach [Winterfeld],” Ulyate said. TransAudio Group is the U.S. distributor of ATC and other high-end professional audio recording equipment. He continued, “Zach actually came out to my studio a couple times and was hands-on in helping me get my room together. He helped me sort out what needed to happen and then helped make it happen. TransAudio Group went way beyond the call of duty! “The larger picture is that all of this technology helps fully-realize this great music from this guy that I knew and loved. It’s fun being able to celebrate Tom and his music. The technology helps us give a beautiful representation of his music to his fans!”

Trans Audio Group - The Recording Studio Equipment Experts Call to order from their trusted brands:
Questions- pricing, availability and dealer locations please email sales@transaudiogroup.com

Photo at PLYRZ Studio by: David Goggin

Jim is currently co-producing Highway Butterfly: The Songs Of Neal Casal, a compilation album featuring
over 25 beloved artists.

A Kickstarter has launched to help raise money for the foundation through two primary packages: a 30-plus song tribute album, ‘Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal’ and a coffee table photography book, ‘Tomorrow’s Sky: Photographs by Neal Casal.’

Visit https://nealcasalmusicfoundation.org/featured-links to check out the campaign and to read Rolling Stone’s feature

PLYRZ has hosted the likes of Wilco, Citizen Cope, Court Yard Hounds, Jack’s Mannequin, Crowded House, Tom Morello, Gary Louris, Kathleen Edwards, Augustana, Los Lobos, among many other loved bands and musicians.
Jim Scott's PLYRZ Studio

Jim Scott (Johnny Cash, Rick Rubin, Wilco, Tom Petty, Slayer) must be the most unassuming 7X Grammy-winner in the music industry. He received the awards each for Tom Petty's Wildflowers, Santana's Supernatural, the Foo Fighters One By One, the Tedeschi Trucks band's Revelator, and three for the Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way. He also mixed Matchbox Twenty's "More Than You Think You Are" which reached a no. 6 on the US Billboard 200 and had two Top 10 singles on the US Hot 100.
He told studioexpresso this month about his early days of engineering, after leaving the Plant Studios.
For starts, how's working on Sting's debut solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles with fine musicians from Marsalis' band -- Omar Hakim on drums, Darryl Jones on bass.. and Marsalis?! You can guess, work kept coming after that. In the 90s Scott and Rick Ruben paired up to work on many hits in major Hollywood studios - Sound City, Ocean Way, to name a few.
Scott is now busy producing and mixing at his own studio PLYRZ Studios, opened in 2006. Just 25 minutes north of Hollywood, the studio features a classic Neve 8048 recording console and rooms full of vintage instruments. The two-story, 5000-square foot warehouse has multiple rooms and is filled with Scott's collection of vintage drums, amps, guitars, keyboards recording equipment, and you guessed it, lot of fine musicians!

studioexpresso offers a Choice Community of producers and studios to new and established artists.
Producer and studio membership is by invitation.
Click here to renew or send an email to join! claris@studioexpresso.com
Meet David Schwartz
studioexpresso 2021 interview

SE: NAMM hit 10,000 members in 2015. How do you plan to reach out to this membership, gone virtual for the first time in its history?
DS: This year will certainly be a different experience than the usual Winter NAMM Show. It’s really not intended as a replacement, but something that we hope will be a richer opportunity to absorb the massive amount of information at NAMM-time. This new format will allow NAMM and its members to do things they haven’t been able to do before, like build their schedules to attend key events, educational sessions and demos without time conflict, and from their comfort zones.
The variety and depth of information and entertainment that will be available to those who tune in is astounding, and most of it is free.
NAMM members will have many ways to participate and take advantage of connecting with a global audience of buyers, interact with international media, and basically tell their brand story in a new and cost-effective way.
SE: You've helped re-brand NAMM's educational series since 2013 - 1st as HotZone, then as, TEC Tracks (2016) and this year, Believe In Music TV.
What's your goal for the mini-master classes featuring music professionals?
DS: We’ve really been looking at the convergence, or the “crossroads” as NAMM’s Joe Lamond puts it, of how the musician’s world and the pro audio worlds have come together. Thanks to the evolution of technology, digital formats and many innovative creators out there, what once were fairly separate domains are now joined at the hip. The digital evolution has made it easier to create and connect, but has also required a higher degree of skills to become successful in the industry.
Integrity Rules
Our goal in the TEC Tracks channel of NAMM education is to bring the most experienced and innovative pro audio talent onto a platform to discuss the big issues, the valuable techniques, and most of all, sharing their hard-earned knowledge with those coming up in the industry. Some of those sharing their knowledge and experience, in the virtual setting of Believe in Music, include renowned studio ace Dave Cobb, music legend Peter Asher, former mixer to Kanye, Craig Bauer, veteran producer/engineer John Boylan, studio design guru John Storyk, and many more innovators of pro audio.

SE: What's a big lesson learned from your 18-years as publisher and editor-in-chief of Mix Magazine? What's most essential when it comes to a successful publication?
DW: In hindsight I think the biggest lesson I learned from publishing is that integrity is the most important quality to have in doing business, as well as in creative work.
As an artist it is beneficial to be honest and true to your vision. As a technologist, it is important to bring out the best in each project by being true to one’s self as well. And in the business of doing either, it pays to be straight forward, honest and fair with the people you work with.
If those aren’t in place it will show up in the quality of the people you work with and the projects you work on.

The same holds true in publishing. Readers can tell when something smells of hype or feels like a manipulation of the reader’s belief system. The truth is essential in publishing, and facts matter!
Publishing is a service, and I think it is important to see that to be successful in publishing one needs to be honest and respectful to the readers of the publication. And it’s wise to take their ideas, comments, and observations seriously when they are offered.
Film Festival Village Jan. 29 - Feb. 1

The ASCAP Podcast will host Screen Time sessions with This Is Us composer Siddhartha Khosla and Emmy-nominated composer Amanda Jones (HomeTwenties); with Passing composer Devonté Hynes (aka Blood Orange) and the film's director Rebecca Hall.
"This unique opportunity to showcase the music and composers that bring stories to life across global screens makes this event so special to ASCAP,” said Loretta Muñoz, ASCAP Assistant Vice President, Membership.

The Sundance ASCAP Music Café virtual venue can be found in the Festival Village portal and is accessible for free by creating an account at https://festival.sundance.org/create-account.

View a complete schedule of performances and get to know the Café artists, visit www.ascap.com/sundance2021. Follow Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with event hashtag, #ASCAPMusicCafe.
For more information visit www.ascap.com/sundancecomposers2021
36th Annual NAMM
Friday, January 22, 2pm PT

The 63rd GRAMMY Awards
Sunday, March 14, 2021

will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network 

Grammy Nominees here

Congrats to all!

For Music's Sake!
UMG Cuts in 2021 Signal A New Era For Music Industry

Capitol Studios Mastering Division Closes
The news of Capitol studios shutting its mastering division came on January 12th. Then speculations circulated about the studio’s long-tenured VP of Studios, Paula Salvatore (top middle with James Taylor), possibly taking on “a different role, yet to be defined” (according to UMG sources per Variety). Social networks lit up with comments from over 500 of Paula’s colleagues and friends beginning with legendary engineer Al Schmitt (Diana Krall, Paul McCartney). "I just got word that Capitol let Paula Salvatore go. It’s a sad day for all of us who enjoyed working at Capitol with Paula," Al said on his facebook page. “Paula is Capitol studios, 100%,” said David Schwartz. “What David said. We all LOVE Paula Salvatore,” added songsmith, Diane Warren (Beyoncé, Lady Gaga). “Save Paula,” said musician Kim Bullard (Elton John). “I am really disappointed to hear that industry jewel Paula Salvatore was let go from Capitol…”, noted mastering engineer, Gavin Lurssen. “Beyond shocking-what a giant loss for the entire music world,” said musician CJ Vanston(Toto, Spinal Tap).
In a Zoom meeting the following day with industry who’s who at Audio Lunch Bunch, Salvatore was upbeat. She expressed her appreciation for the outpouring of support and love and seemed surprised by the reaction to the news.

The cuts began when the longest-serving veteran of the department, Ron McMaster (top left), now at Making Vinyl, made headlines as his retirement was announced in 2018, after serving 38 years at Capitol Mastering. Last October in 2020, studios VP/General Manager/Chief Engineer, Art Kelm (top right: currently CEO of Ground One AV Inc) departed.
According to Billboard, UMG sources said: “Focus will be on other areas of the recording process that are in higher demand by artists, including using the (mastering) space to build additional recording suites.”

It's sad to see such cuts in areas of the industry like recording and mastering where QUALITY is king. Many of these operators are paying the price short-term because they're at the bottom of music industry's food chain. Technology has changed the way music is made and distributed. The business models are not sustainable at labels. However, there's a bright spot for artists. As long as you own your masters and publishing, sky is the limit.
Parties are not meant to last. And, this party has moved to another house. Yours!
Read studioexpresso's full featured article here

Cage, For Music's Sake

Hundreds of people gathered in a German church on September 5th, 2020 to witness the first sound change in seven years for avant-garde composer John Cage.
ORGAN2/ASLSP, the slowest and longest music piece ever written, is being performed for 639 years in Halberstadt. An impressive and innovative art project. But, music? Next change is scheduled for February 5, 2022. Language of music evolves over time. Though, I'm not holding my breath to hear what Mr Cage's last note will sound like, I would love to know which artists and sounds rock the world in 600 years! Perhaps it's a commentary on what some musicians do to get attention these days.
Most tend to give more attention to conceptual projects, stunning photography and videos. Press follows performers on roof tops or radio towers. Perhaps, Cage slows us down to think and re-imagine music. More Music for music's sake. And, that's good for the art form.

Celebrating America with The Stars Again

This week Katy Perry tweeted a photo of four mics -- one white, one bedazzled with the flag, one covered in silver stars and one resembling Lady Liberty's torch -- with just a heart and an American flag emoji. The picture was retweeted by the US president elect Joe Biden Inaugural Committee, naturally! Perry would be performing on the Celebrating America TV special after today's inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Tom Hanks will host the pimetime special, with special musical guests to include: Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, JLO, Lady Gaga, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, John Legend and Foo Fighters. Celebrating America will air tonight, Wednesday from 8:30 to 10 p.m. ET on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC. It will also livestream on YouTubeFacebookTwitter and Twitch accounts.
Recording Academy Names Kelley Purcell
VP of Membership & Industry Relations
Reporting to Chief Industry Officer Ruby Marchand, Kelley Purcell is Recording Academy'snew VP of Membership and Industry Relations. She will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of membership outreach, peer review, member account services, and the Academy's Chapter systems, including regional and local teams, Chapter events and programming. She joined the Recording Academy as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Chapter in 2013. She also held past roles at Island Def Jam Music Group and received a cum laude bachelor’s degree in economics at Harvard University.
A Dinner Party for Questlove's Friends
Recipes and Songs To Inspire A New Year
Sue Moreno (left) seated at a 1970s Sphere Eclipse A console, formerly used at The Grand Ole Opry.
Learn more about Sue Moreno and hear the single, "My Angel watches Over Me": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4azHPk3_HSg 

New Book From Questlove
MixTape Potluck
Imagine tasting: Jollof Rice with jerk Chicken and Marinated Gooseberries, Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta, Mom’s chicken Curry, JJ’s Sticky Ribs, Country Captain chicken, clean your palette with Bourbon Raspberry Tea, then move to Heimy’s Happiness Fries with Kewpie Mayo, Caviar and finish with a toast with a glass of Bubbles!
Throughout Questlove’s new book, Mixtape Potluck, there’s music, most notably in the margins of every recipe! It’s the songs Questlove heard in his head when he thought of his VIP guests cooking and bringing their dishes to the potluck! 
Guests?! Tonight show host, Jimmy Fallon cooks while we listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Hungry heart. Enjoy Seattle Chef Edouardo Jordan’s creation while listening to Jill Scott’s Family Reunion.  Eric Wareheim from Las Jaras Wines presents his creation while you hear For Goodness Sakes, Look at Those Cakes by James Brown. Jessica Seinfeld (author of Food Swings) offers her tasty bits to the tune of Roots song Wale Is On featuring, yup, Wale!

You get the picture. This is no ordinary potluck or cookbook, but you can invite your own guests (virtually for now) and make it a game of preparing, guessing and yes, certainly, tasting and listening tp a few dope recipes and tunes.
The Herb Shrimp Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes is yummy and good, if your New Year's resolution is to shed a few pounds. Looks like Questlove did. Looking and sounding good on the Tonight Show mate!
Dutch Artist Sue Moreno Masters At Bernie's
Americana, Jazz, and Country artist Sue Moreno mastered her new album, "The Memphis Soul Sessions" at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. Recorded on 16-track analog tape at Memphis Magnetic recording studios, Moreno's team worked with vintage equipment (formerly at Nashville's famed RCA) as she teamed up with musicians of legendary Hi Rhythm and Stax records fame to include: LeRoy Hodges on bass, Lester Snell on piano, Joe Restivo on guitar, George Sluppick on drums, Rev. Charles Hodges on Hammond, the sensational Barnes Brothers on backing vocals as well as the Masqueraders. 

Mixing and final production was done by Moreno's team at Legacy Studio in the Netherlands with engineers Joram Pinxteren and Dennis Letnom.
"This album is simply amazing," says mastering engineer Paul Grundman,"as is the story of Sue losing her mother and then deciding to do these old style songs of worship in Memphis with the original musicians.
RIP Mr Phil Spector
December 26, 1939 – January 16, 2021
Innovative writer/arranger, Phil Spector may have invented the role of a producer in the 60s with Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers hits. He helped establish the role of the studio, as instrument, the integration of pop art aesthetics into music with Ramones and Yoko Ono, the integration of genres of art rock and dream pop with John Lennon (co-produced his album, Imagine).
He died of Covid-19 in prison (guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a murder) at the age of 81. His net worth is estimated to be $50million.
Enough has been said about his "wall of sound," and poor studio-side manners.
He came to Ocean Way in July of '95 to create "the wall" for Celine Dione. Those sessions lasted a month but remain unreleased. One day his assistant said Mr Spector would like me to give a message to Don Was (producer of The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt and the like, next door). Here's what the note said:
“To get from what was to what will be, you’ve got to go through what is. And I’m the wizard of IS.” Perhaps he was expressing the absolute desire of most artists, to remain relevant with the times. Many dare to try and live with the ensuing successes or failures.
Mr Spector, as he liked being addressed, admitted to being bipolar and having mental problems. Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness, 51.5 million Americans do (as of 2019). It can affect the brightest.
A life touched by highs and lows. He lost his 9-year-old son to leukemia. His father had committed suicide when Phil was a young boy. He wrote his first song after the words on his Dad's epitaph: "To Know Him Was To Love Him."
How things could have been different.
Perhaps, Let It Be. It's the song from Beatles final album he helped produce.

"So I call up Ed Ruscha, and I said, Could you make me an American flag?” And he said, Only if I can make it the way I feel about America today. And I said, Absolutely.”
-- Jimmy Iovine
Above: Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha's Our Flag (2017), owned by Jimmy Iovine, is on display at the Brooklyn Museum. "I saw a president in our country that I felt had absolutely no good will towards anyone who didn’t drink his Kool-Aid, and I could envision a painting that was like pieces of the USA scattered to the wind," says Ruscha about his painting above.
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