February 2024

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

February leaps with hearts to all you musicians!

We visit sessions where orchestra sounds fill historic rooms. Follow this award-winning arranger who has been supporting LA musicians for decades.Take a first look in our video spotlight where handful of beloved artists gather for a tribute album. Meet two first-time Oscar-nominee composers and review these non-profits elevating music and musicians.

Meet new music executives. You're invited to join us on the green and more...

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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LA Musicians ...We Love it!

Sweetening with Brent Fischer Orchestra

Above: Concertmaster Daphne Chen and Violinist Charlie Bisharat with Grammy®-winning arranger, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer Brent Fischer (left) at East West Studio 1

Remember Randy Newman's song: I LOVE LA. Los Angeles offers a few hundred highly skilled musicians who are equipped to play any piece of music on any instrument you can imagine, and in any style that exists. Simply put, there's no substitute for real musicians and LA offers one of the best. LA is also home to historic studios, music and film industries and, as Newman's song puts it:

We love it!

Walk into any world-renown studio like East West (on Sunset in Hollywood) or The Village Studios (on Butler in Santa Monica) on a given day, and you'll find gifted composer or conductor like Grammy®-winning producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, Brent Fischer at the podium, chit chatting with their contractor, or concertmaster. I assure you, even if you don't recognize the faces, you have seen their names roll in the end-credit of your favorite movie, TV show, and on countless albums.

Only if these legendary studio walls could talk...they could tell us stories from historic sessions with Elton John, Frank Sinatra, U2, Paul McCartney, Prince, Usher, Michael Jackson, and countless soundtrack sessions. In fact, these sessions help keep our production community employed.

It's the City of Angele's fine musicians who bring the vision of our beloved artists to life and give soul to moving pictures and games on your screens, big and small. Some of these musicians have regular sub jobs with the LA Phil, San Francisco Opera, etc. At this high level, every single musician acts as an independent music-maker, not requiring any additional input to play the music on their music stand; often, with no rehearsals. Why? Years of experience as session player and extensive training has earned LA musicians the reputation to create magic consistently.

Los Angeles, like New York, London, or any other recording center around the world, offers the best of the best when it comes to musicians and studios, but LA is also special in that it's a magnet for creatives - film directors, story tellers, composers, mega and developing talent, technicians, and the like. LA also enjoys the concentration of industry support infrastructure that includes labels, publishing houses, film and sound studios and stages.

There is a good reason why LA has the coveted title of the Entertainment Capitol of the World, and that's music to our ears!

Below: Fischer playing Vibes at East West Studio 1; Brent Fischer Orchestra with Grammy®-nominated artist Matt B at The Village Studio C and Fischer conducting a 56-piece orchestra at East West. Photos: By the C

Brent Fischer Orchestra Chimes In Historic Studios

East West To The Village

Grammy®-winning producer and arranger Brent Fischer has brought his orchestra to number of studios in LA, including the popular East West , and The Village Studios.

Fischer has a pedigree when it comes to orchestrating with fine musicians in Los Angeles. He also shares the musical DNA of his legendary father Dr Clare Fischer, a pianist and arranger, who composed popular jazz standards like, Pensativa and Morning.

In the 70s, Clare began doing orchestral sweeteners for R&B groups and developed a long working relationship with the music icon Prince (on Sign O’ The Times, Graffiti Bridge, and Parade as well as on the big-screen in Under The Cherry Moon and Batman), and other greats: Paul McCartney, Celine Dion and Robert Palmer. Clare's nephew, André Fischer, was the drummer of the band Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan.

Clare's son, Brent Fischer, has also picked up his father's baton, and continues the Fischer legacy, arranging for superstars like Elvis Costello, The Roots, Michael Jackson, Usher, to name a few.

In 2016 Brent arranged and orchestrated the Grammy® Record of The Year for D'Angelo's song

Really Love from his album Black Messiah where Brent is also listed as one of the producers. He also manages a catalog of over 100 titles he and his father have penned over the last few decades.

We met up with Brent Fischer to learn what he has been up to and asked about his views on studios and musicians in LA today. Enjoy!

SE: When someone is requesting Fischer arrangements, what format do you want to hear the music in first and when?

BF: Great question! They can send to me in any audio format or as a written chart. If I’m adding horns or strings to an already completed track, it’s nice if they can send a mix that’s as close to final without the orchestra being there yet. 

SE: You recorded a 56-piece orchestra at East West and a smaller ensemble at the Village recently. What can you say about your choice of studio and engineer?

BF: We have some great studios in LA! Sometimes the choice is dictated by the label. Sometimes it’s just a question of what’s available when we need to record. It’s generally the same with engineers but my first choice goes to Matt Brownlie for being able to handle anything I throw at him. He works really fast, always gets great sounds and knows all the gear inside and out. 

SE: You've been working with some of LA's top players for a few decades, what are some things that are different or better today when it comes to recording an orchestra? 

BF: One thing that’s always been great about LA is that musicians move here from all over the world.

I choose musicians very carefully according to genre and logistical considerations. There’s the cream of the crop, and then there is the cream of the cream!

SE: What services are included when someone hires you as an arranger/orchestra-tor ?

BF: When I step into a studio to help fulfill the creative vision of an artist, I know exactly what I would like from the musicians and how to get it. Plus, I have developed special proprietary techniques for any contingency. From writing a music score to creating the individual instrumental parts (the music that goes on music stands for musicians), the goal is to bring out the emotion of the song. I’m prepared to deliver anything and everything the project requires including hiring the entire team. It all depends on what the artist needs. My first thought is always to do what serves the music best.

SE: Do you generally write for instruments or for musicians?

BF: When I have chosen my instrumentation, I may write with specific people in mind, but I also want the music to be playable by any skilled musician in the future. Look at the credits from my albums to see all the phenomenal players I’ve had the honor of interacting with to create my sonic architecture. 

SE: You work with independent artists in addition to majors. what's your advice for an artist who may not have a big label support. Does orchestra size matter?

BF: Effective use of the budget to maximize value is more important than size. Some songs don’t require a big orchestra. Besides, with the level of quality musicians we have out here and the way I write, I can make 10 players sound like 30. 

SE: What does sweetening do for a song? We've seen it trending -- more artists are touring and recording with orchestras. 

BF: It adds a timeless quality to the music that can turn today's hit into a classic that will be listened to for decades. Orchestra instruments have been around for hundreds of years and they’ll still be around after the latest trends in electronic sounds become outdated.

SE: Are there certain genres or artists that you have not worked with and would like to?

BF: Creativity transcends genre. A great idea is a great idea whether it’s used in heavy metal, country, jazz, classical, or pop. My goal in any genre is to help the artist differentiate their sound so they stand out.

SE: Best lesson or tip learned from your legendary Dad, Dr. Clare Fischer, fond memory you want to share?

BF: Got about 10 hours? My Dad took me into the studio with him from a young age and also brought me along on tour sometimes. Professionally, we worked together for 32 years. I have enough great stories to fill a book about our work with Prince, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Robert Palmer and many others. 

SE: Can't wait to read your book! You have done master classes for ASMAC and others. What's the best way to learn your skill?

BF: I have done master classes for organizations, universities, conservatories, and also with private students. Besides, getting granular about those aspects of my work that differentiate my sound, I try to encourage an attitude of being a life-long learner.

SE: What's beverage of choice for this life-long learner?

BF: Water! There will never be anything better.

SE: Here's a tall glass of room-temperature LA tap water for you!

Note: According to AP, 2021, Southern California won top prizes for best-tasting tap water in the U.S.

studioexpresso Video Spotlight

View @ studioexpresso or YouTube

A First Look: A Tribute To Leonard Cohen

Producer Larry Klein and Nathaniel Rateliff

In A Conversation With Blue Note President Don Was

Leonard Cohen was a complicated man.

A Canadian Jew who channeled Christian themes in his work and lived for years as a Buddhist monk. Above all, he understood music to be a powerful way to connect with with people. This is what his contemporary, Allen Ginsberg said about Cohen:

“When Dylan emerged, he blew everyone’s mind. Everybody except Leonard Cohen, that is.”

Cohen was a poet at heart, and a performer in the tradition of French legend, Charles Aznavour or actor/dancer Fred Astaire.

They all could act songs more than sing. But, when they sang, somehow, it was sublime!

Blue Note Records Presented First Look, an episode features 4x Grammy®-winning producer Larry Klein with singer/songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff discussing the album released last year Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen.

Produced by Klein— a long-time close friend of Cohen, it features top artists such as Peter Gabriel, Bill Frisell and Mavis Staples. Norah Jones delivers a beautiful version of Steer Your Way, while Sarah McLachlan sings Cohen popular song: Hallelujah The songs are sheer poetry crafted by a master and the choice of performers and songs by Klein make this "An exquisite Record" as Don Was himself puts it. Watch it here

Purchase Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen here

Blue Note President Don Was hosts First Look, a series of in-depth conversations with musicians about the making of their new albums, previewing tracks & telling the stories behind the music.

studioexpresso Amplifies Music @ NAMM

'Amplify Your Music' at NAMM 2024 TEC Tracks

Top: L-R: Brad Lunde, Brent Fischer, Ian Charbonneau, Ryan Ulyate, Claris Sayadian-Dodge

studioexpresso and Trans Audio Group presented "Amplify Your Music" featuring speakers, Ryan Ulyate (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Ian Charbonneau (Mana, Neil Young, Jake Owen) and Grammy®-winning Brent Fischer (Usher, Elvis Costello, Symphonic Prince) on Saturday January 27 during the TECTracks @ NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Attendees heard a track from Ulyate's newly released Grammy®-nominated album, Act3 (featuring Steve Ferrone on drums) and answered questions from the audience. This panel of music experts showed how to prepare, gear up/down, promote and create more opportunities to make and market your music. The session was also streamed (NAMM link coming soon)!

Starbucks Recordings

The Popular Production Venue on Music Row Features ATC 7.1.4 System

Starstruck Entertainment, the parent company of Starstruck Studios was founded in 1988 by Narvel Blackstock.

For 25+ years, Starstruck has developed and managed top selling acts, including Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Maggie Rose, Emily Ann Roberts and have recorded artists such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Taylor Swift in their studios. Top recording engineers, such as multiple Grammy-award winner Chuck Ainlay (left), frequent the facility.

The main studio (The Gallery) is a two-story space with a recording mezzanine comprising a "one of a kind" solo balcony suspended above the main floor and perimeter with individual voice and/or instrument isolation booths. The main floor is large enough to accommodate a 40 piece orchestra.

Located on Music Row, Starstruck Studios is considered one of the top iconic Nashville recording facilities, and recently chose an ATC 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos configuration and paired it with their SSL System TS-500 console for their Dolby Atmos room.

"ATC 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos system is cited as the speaker system of choice for the growing number of multichannel immersive sound studios. Manufactured and designed in the UK to the highest engineering standards, it was only natural ATC could develop this solid niche," says Brad Lunde of Trans Audio Group.

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


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


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.

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

Oscar 2024: Soundtrack Peek

Two First-Time Nominee Composers

American Fiction is the soundtrack to the 2023 film of the same name directed by Cord Jefferson released on Sony masterworks. When first-time Oscar nominee, Laura Karpman received the rough edit of the film, she "scream-laughed at one of the film’s relatable fake-out endings" for what artists should be judged on - appearance over character!

"Everyone agreed the language for the music had to be jazz, but I had to follow lot of the emotions happening in the movie (part satire and part family drama), and all these needed to be dealt with musically," says Karpman. "I had saxophones, piano, bass, drums, flute and strings...We had a consistent instrumentation, so you're always hearing the same instruments, but you're hearing them rendered in different ways depending on the story," explains the composer. Listen here

Laura Karpman

Oscar nominated, five-time Emmy award winning composer Laura Karpman creates powerful, imaginative scores that push the boundaries of storytelling. Karpman collaborates with some of the most renowned filmmakers of our time, including Eleanor, Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola, Cord Jefferson, Nia DaCosta, Alex Gibney, Misha Green, Rory Kennedy, Kasi Lemmons, Laura Nix, Sam Pollard and Steven Spielberg.

Order Karpman sheet music here

The score is full of warped instrumentation and subversive rhythms that match the off-kilter energy of the film itself and its endlessly curious heroine, Bella Baxter (played by Emma Stone). English experimental musician Joscelin Dent-Pooley, known professionally as Jerskin Fendrix, had never composed a film score when he was enlisted by Yorgos Lanthimos to work on Poor Things.

Now, he is a first-time Oscar nominee. "Making this film has been such an extraordinary artistic journey, and being given the freedom to write music without any creative inhibition, to fully interpret and fall in love with Bella's world, and to work with such talented and kind people has been a true privilege. My gratitude to Yorgos for asking me to write the music for Poor Things is impossible to put into words."

Listen here

Jerskin Fendrix

Electro punk and ultra-modern pop Jerskin Fendrix sings in a baritone voice and has compared himself to Nick Cave and Lour Reed. In 2020, Fendrix released his critically acclaimed album Winterreise on untitled records.

"When I listen to Jerskin music, there's something about the sound he creates that's in a way abstract and playful stuff, yet it's on a deeply emotional level," says the director and producer of Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos.

Recording Industry Golf & Poker 2024

Monday, April 15, 2024

Photos: l-r: With Zach Winterfeld of Trans Audio Group, producer Jim Scott and Scott Jr of Plyrz Studio at RIGT golf 2023. Below studioexpresso's Claris Dodge with Evana Manley, Robbie Clyne of Clyne Media golf carting; with Rafa & Tamara Sardina, Karen Dunn of KMD Productions, Candace K; and The Marvel Girls with honorary chair CJ Vanston

Save The Date


Register Today!

Monday, April 15, 2024

Sand Canyon Country Club

27734 Sand Canyon Rd.

Santa Clarita, CA 91387

  • 10:30 AM - Golf Registration
  • 11:00 AM - Poker Registration
  • 12:00 PM - Shotgun Start
  • 12:00 PM - Poker Start
  • 6:00 PM - Cocktail Reception/Awards

Register here!

Since 2015 Recording Industry Golf & Poker Tournament™ has served as the gathering place for LA recording industry. Expect a $10k HOI prize, the Infamous Traveling Tequila Carts, studioexpresso Martinis, 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 to celebrate the industry we all love.

Save the Date and register today! Join Honorary Chairs, Gavin Lurssen and CJ Vanston (top middle last year) at Sand Canyon Country Club. See you there!

Register for foursome, single or student

Best Hang of the Year!

"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 of KMD Productions.

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

BMG Promotes John Loba

Now In Charge of The Entire North American Label Group

BMG promoted its Nashville President Jon Loba (Left) and has placed him in charge of BMG's entire North American frontline records business -- now including the Rise (Spiritbox, Sum 41) and RBC (Chief Keef, Run The Jewels) imprints as well as the main BMG label -- across Nashville, Los Angeles, New York and Canada. Thomas Scherer (right) will be head of Global Recorded Catalog.

The moves, directed by new CEO Thomas Coesfeld (middle), bring Loba and Scherer into BMG's North American leadership team alongside CFO Joe Gillen.

"We are making good on our promise to double down on our U.S. operation with a distinctive new approach: An integrated frontline operation spanning the whole of North America, plus a global catalog business steered from Los Angeles," said Coesfeld.

"BMG is stepping up. This is an integral part of our new strategy to deliver for artists and songwriters and go for growth."

BMG's U.S. business comprises more than 50% of its revenue, with recent successes including Kylie Minogue's Grammy-nominated Tension. The company released Jennifer Lopez's new album, This Is Me on 2/14. Loba's Nashville division has been responsible for hits from the likes of Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll and Jason Aldean, whose controversial single Try That in a Small Town topped charts last year.

"Under Jon Loba, BMG Nashville has exceeded our expectations year after year," Coesfeld continued. "Jon is not only one of the most accomplished record executives in Nashville, but the multi-genre success he's achieved with Jelly Roll makes him the ideal person to take additional responsibility for our Los Angeles, New York and Canada recordings business as we pursue our objective of making BMG the most effective and artist-friendly destination for artists, both established and new."

Scherer, who's been with BMG since 2008, has helped bring the works of Paul Simon, Mötley Crüe, George Harrison, Diane Warren and Bebe Rexha to the company. "With Thomas at the helm of our Global Recorded Catalog organization, BMG will step up its investments in catalog," Coesfeld said.

2024 ASCAP Grammy Nominee Celebration

ASCAP collects the licensing fees; identifies, matches and processes trillions of performances every year; and returns nearly 90 cents of every dollar back to its members as royalties. The ASCAP blanket license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. 

Earlier this month ASCAP celebrated its 2024 Grammy Award nominees and top songwriter and composer members at a Brunch held in the garden of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Top ASCAP executives, including President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams (left with Lenny Kravitz) and CEO Elizabeth Matthews gathered to celebrate their renowned members and Grammy-nominated talent, including Lenny Kravitz, Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, Dan Nigro, Theron Thomas, Deputy and more. Entertainment was provided by legendary guest deejay D-Nice and DJ MOS.

2024 TEC Award Winner

East West's Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra

Top: left to right: Wolfgang Kundrus, Nick Phoenix, Doug Rogers

The East West softwear team broke out in cheers of joy when 2024 TEC Awards announcer proclaimed East West Hollywood Fantasy Orchestra as this year’s winner.

Multi-award winning Producers Doug Rogers and Nick Phoenix took the stage to receive the award together with Wolfgang Kundrus, Chief Technology Officer, and Blake Rogers, Chief Marketing Officer. Nick Phoenix thanked everyone in his acceptance speech and said: “It’s been an amazing ride with East West, being able to create crazy products.”

Meet New CEO Dendy Jarret

Give A Note Foundation, a national non-profit created to bring awareness to the importance of music and arts education through the music and arts educator, has announced the appointment of Dendy Jarrett as their new chief executive officer.

Jarrett joins Give A Note from Gibson Brands, Inc., where he served the last eight years as Executive Director of Gibson’s philanthropic arm, Gibson Gives, and their employee assistance non-profit, GoldTop Foundation, as well as creating a unique program he founded at Gibson Gives known as TEMPO (Training and Empowering Musicians to Prevent Overdose). The appointment of Jarrett and a re-engaged leadership team was made by board chair and President Ed James.

Dendy believes that even if you didn’t pursue a career path in music but participated in music in school, it most likely impacted your life with leadership, team building, and communication skills like no other experience. Current CEO and longtime Board Chair Beth Slusher to step into new role as COO. “Dendy’s vision and leadership is a welcome addition to our team, and I am thrilled to be a continued part of Give A Note’s growth and impact to music educators and students nationwide,” said COO Beth Slusher.

The Recording Fund

An Alternative Funding Model For Artists

Those of you who don't want or have a record or label deal, have to come up with a budget each time you record. Recording costs include: Musicians, arranger, producer, studio, engineer, mixer, mastering engineer, rentals, and the like.

Here comes The Recording Fund, a 501c3 non-profit, that provides an alternative funding model for independent artists and musicians.

studioexpresso met up with the founder producer/engineer/musician Max Alley in February to learn more. "The economy of independent music depends on artists and musicians having the resources to create continuously...Our program is focused on finding and supporting non-merit based giving. That means dedicated, driven, and diverse applicants - not breaking artists," says Alley.

According to the founder his goal for the first two years is to raise under half a million to be able to provide grants to a larger pool of artists. Yes, Artists get to own their masters! Producer contracts remain between the producer and artist. Alley's business model is fluid at this time, by that he's also considering the educational market and in process of developing strategic alliances with suitable partners who are already in that space. Mixer/engineer Toby Scott (Bruce Springsteen) is among his advisory board. Yes, in the perfect world, private donors and organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts will provide funds for artists to create without expecting returns. We're all waiting for such time and hope to bring more news from The Recording Fund in the coming months!

Brooklyn-based electronic DJ and music producer/artist

HAI-LIFE (right) received $1,200 per track to keep her crowds moving all night with her infectious dance music. She is also a co-founder of Floor It, a popular dance party that she throws at Elsewhere Zone 1 and Jupiter Disco with her friends. She recently released her first single Say Goodbye on all streaming platforms and plans to release more electronic music this year.

Submission requirements for The Recording Fund include: Live in the United States, Provide some financial statements that may include: Your PRO, publishing and tax statements.

Artists can apply online (takes less than an hour to complete), available here.

NAMM’s Oral History Service Award

Jeri Palumbo and Erik Zobler Recipients

NAMM's Oral History has amassed over 5,000 audio or video interviews available to the public via online streaming. Interviews with people range from all aspects of the music industry, including retailers, creators, music educators, publishers, innovators, and founders. This month an interview with award-winning producer Mark Ronson was unveiled.

During The 2024 NAMM Show in Anaheim last month, Jeri Palumbo and Erik Zobler were honored for their ongoing support in documenting leaders in music and audio. They were the first couple to be awarded this prize and helped NAMM secure interviews with such luminaries as George Duke, Ernie Cefalu and Sylvia Massy, George Benson, Elliot Scheiner, among others. Watch interviews with the dynamic audio couple, Jeri and Erik.

As a studio engineer and producer, Erik Zobler’s long list of credits includes assisting Bruce Swedien on Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album, as engineer on albums by Miles Davis, Natalie Cole, Anita Baker, Stanley Clarke, Ramsey Lewis and mixing for the Footloose movie soundtrack. Erik’s long association and friendship with George Duke resulted in some of the jazzman’s greatest work including the albums Dream On, Snapshot and In a Mellow Tone.

Jeri Palumbo grew up in a very musical family. Like many of her relatives she is a multi-instrumentalist. She developed strong orchestration skills and played in a number of bands ranging from classical to rock. When she was hired as a music arranger on an indie record, she was introduced to the first Fairlight and knew she wanted to have a career that embedded that type of technology. Over the years she became a studio engineer, live sound mixer and RF Tech for several sporting events including The Rose Bowl, NASCAR, NFL and others. Whenever Jeri can bring her many passions together on one project it is extra meaningful to her. One example is the PBS special “Songs of the Mountains,” a tribute to Bluegrass music which was recorded live, all acoustic, without any electrical amplification.

Bon Jovi: 2024 Musicare Person

Jon Bon Jovi, Grammy-winning frontman and founding member of American rock band Bon Jovi, now joins an impressive list of recent MusiCares honorees including Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, and Dolly Parton. In addition to his extensive musical achievements, Jon Bon Jovi is recognized for his impactful philanthropic work. In 2006, he established the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, an organization dedicated to disrupting the cycle of hunger, poverty and homelessness. "MusiCares is thrilled to honor Jon Bon Jovi at the 2024 Person of the Year Gala," Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares, said in a statement.

The event was produced during Grammy week celebration by live event broadcast outfit Lewis & Clark, made up of Joe Lewis and R.A. Clark. Rob Mathes was the Musical Director.

Since 1991, money raised from the MusiCares Person of the Year benefit gala goes toward MusiCares’ health and human services programs that assist the music community with physical and mental health, addiction recovery, preventive clinics, unforeseen personal emergencies, and disaster relief. 

Ushering A New Album

Usher's ninth, and first since 2016, studio album Coming Home was dropped two days before he took on the Super Bowl LVIII's Halftime Show.

Among the album's songs are a number of collaborations, featuring artists such as H.E.R., Summer Walker, 21 savage, and Burna Boy. “Coming Home is an ode to going back to your roots, whatever or wherever that may be. I’m Coming Home to where I’m comfortable in being exactly who I am right now. My hope is that you identify with the new album no matter where you are or what you’re going through, too,” Usher said in a statement. His tour Past Present Future starts in Washington DC on August 20, 2024.



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 Elephant In The Room: AVG Sora

Now, just in time for the Oscars, a new OpenAI application called Sora hopes to master cinema without going to film school! Sora is an AI video generator (AVG) that creates hyper-realistic scenes and animated worlds in moments when given prompt in any language . What about rights?

A potential issue is whether the content of the video Sora produces will infringe on the copyrighted work of others. “The training data is from content we’ve licensed and also publicly available content,” says Bill Pebbles, a researcher on the project.

Adding captions to AI generated works like "AI Generated Image" is a good start. Google is adding features that will help users identify pictures that were generated through artificial intelligence.

Just another tool or competition for creators? You decide.

Supporting Creators & Self-Expression

Until next month,

Musicians rule everywhere but LA has a sweet spot in our hearts and makes the city, home to Oscar, shine!

Tell us about your new release or reach out for music

production support no matter where you are in the world. Ciao Bella until next month.

Music Lives and Moves!

Claris Sayadian-Dodge, founder/editor


Right: At East West Studio 1

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