March 2024

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

Marching into Spring with new music from a rock foursome in Scotland to a solo guitar hero in Texas. This studio in Santa Monica celebrates women's history month with music, people and new gear. Meet an artful couple in an exhibit that marries her paintings with his beats. A music producer is celebrated in Hollywood with his own day and a star. Meet new music movers and shakers. You're invited to join us on the green and more... We remain grateful to you, our valued readers, creators, contributors and supporters.

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Forgettting The Future Live & In The Studio

New Single Chemtrails And Interview with Producer Ken Allardyce

L-R Producer and mixer Ken Allardyce at his True North Recording, Scotland with Robbie McNicol, front-man of Forgetting The Future

Forgetting The Future (FTF) may be Scotland's most northerly band, but they're aiming to get on your playlist in all corners of the world. It's easy not to forget this band for their power-pulsating rhythms, catchy chorus lines, well-crafted songs, and uber exciting performances that say: Alt Rock You!

The 4-piece indie rock act belongs more to the world stage than their small hometown of Thurso. But, we will let you be the judge!

Fronted by singer/writer Robbie McNicol, and his band mates Sam Cowan, Max Paul and Jamie Mackay, they deliver captivating stage presence and energetic shows earning them numerous sold-out gigs.

As for the band's ace card in the studio, it has to be producer and mixer Ken Allardyce who has been developing the young lads for little over five years. The band has been steadily releasing 20+ sing-along-ready tunes to their growing fan base on Allardyce and partner Alan Greer's, InTime Records.

FTF have caught the attention of some National Radio stations such as BBC Scotland, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio, Rob Fiddaman on The Hit Mix, & more. Certain songs from FTF’s catalog have also had coverage from top blogs and newspapers such as The Scotsman Newspaper, Netsounds, New Found Sounds, & this month their new single, Chemtrails, is in studioexpresso's music video spotlight.

Allardyce, a former Angelino, has numerous chart-topping recordings to his credit including big hits by: Green Day’s Nimrod, and Warning albums for Reprise, Weezer’s Green Album for Interscope with producer Ric Ocasek, and the Goo Goo Doll's Dizzy Up The Girl and Gutterflower albums for Warner Bros.

We met up with Ken Allardyce in March to learn more about Forgetting The Future, their songs and what's more to come.

SE: You've worked with great bands like Green Day, Weezer, not to mention the iconic Fleetwood Mac. What can you say about Forgetting The Future, the indie rock band you're working with now. How are they different and what made you want to work with them in the 1st place? 

KA: Working with FTF has been different for me in that when I first met them in 2018, the boys were seventeen year olds with very little experience . They had won a local battle of the bands and a mix by me was the prize, so actually I couldn’t avoid them!

I quickly realized that Robbie (McNicol) was a great writer and although the band weren’t really ready to record, I loved their energy (they’ve known each other since they were kids) and their tunes...and I felt they were something I could nurture. The musical attraction for me was that they were a rock band with catchy tunes. Robbie’s granddad is a blues player so he grew up listening to the blues greats which was certainly a fortuitous foundation. He loves a lot of stuff from the 60’s/70’s and his more recent influences are Arctic Monkeys, Greenday, Catfish and the Bottlemen to name a few. These guys listen to everything-I’ll have missed a bunch of them.

SE: How do you go about choosing songs for the upcoming EP, and can you give us a preview of the single(s) you're excited about?

KA: As he (Robbie McNicol) is the sole writer, we really have to wait for Robbie to write new material. Fortunately he can be incredibly prolific when he has to be! Chemtrails is the first single from our upcoming EP Heart Like an Ashtray. This will be followed by two more singles Have You Settled? and Catacombs each showing a different facet of the band.

SE: Chemtrails is in studioexpresso's Video Spotlight this month. Who arranged the song? Who directed or executive produced the music video?

KA: Chemtrails was written by Robbie. Each band member came up with his part and we knocked it into shape in the studio The video was made by Alan Greer, who is my partner at InTime Records. Collectively we decided that the song demanded a high energy performance video and this is what Alan -a man of many talents-captured. It was filmed in a huge aircraft hangar now used by the Army which makes for a great backdrop. So as with most of our output so far, we do it in house.

SE: FTF has been on the local buzz scene for few about the development process in the studio with you. What areas you've been working on?

KA: When we first worked together in early 2019, as I mentioned, they were pretty green and so I think “studio craft” was the first order of the day. They needed to learn how to work in the studio and understand the potential it offers. Robbie is like a sponge and when it’s something he wants to know, he only needs telling once. So they quickly got the hang of being in a studio environment. We also worked and continue to work on every aspect of their craft individually and as a band. In the studio, performance is paramount and everything is geared towards improving our game in that department.

SE: You have released EPs and Albums for FTF on your Indie label, InTime Records. How is this label supporting the band?

KA: We really created the label as a vehicle for the band. So in itself it is support for the band. We use our own abilities --me recordings, my partner Alan videos and websites, Robbie social media etc etc, as we don’t have a big budget !!

SE: What's new in your studio? Any new gear or gadgets you can't do without that are recent addition?

KA: Not too much new recently.

On the digital side of things, I found buying plugins became a bit of an addiction, so now I’m trying to learn how to make better use of what I’ve got! On the analog side, although I’ve had it for a long time my SPL Transient Designer has become a essential part of the drums chain for FTF.

SE: In the video for the single Chemtrails, emphasis appears to be on the live performance. Where are some places the band has been playing lately and what kind of reception are they getting?

KA: The band is exciting live and improving all the time. They have been getting wild reactions at some of their shows. Last summer they got to play on a secondary stage at the Isle of Wight Festival and at Belladrum Festival in Scotland.

SE: Talk a little about the band member personalities, their future goals? 

KA: The band members are all cool and are fun to work with. Although they are young enough to be my grand kids (or I’m old enough to be their granddad), we work well as a team. It’s a blend of my experience and their raw enthusiasm. Our immediate goal is to make an album this year. In fact we are planning to cut some tracks in April to get the ball rolling. 

SE: Any fun memory from these sessions that stand out? 

KA: Too many fun memories working with these guys - always a wild ride! In all we have recorded an album, Broken Phones and Hormones and 2 EP’s --Snakeskin Grin and Heart Like an Ashtray -our latest from which Chemtrails is the first single.


SE: Your/band's beverage of choice in/out the studio?!

KA: Mine is coffee/ out tea (I’m being good) Band in IRN BRU and Monster Drinks/ out a bit of most things.

SE: Any touring plans outside Scotland? 

KA: Yes the band have done quite a few gigs in England and are eager to get to Europe and beyond.

We are currently  trying to find a booking agent who can open this door.

SE: Your best advise for bands who want to get your attention?

KA: Send a demo and be nice

Ok Ken. Thanks for having a virtual espresso with us. Happy tracking the new album!

Village Gears Up For Women's History Month!

Now Studios A, B, D Feature Highly-Prized ATC Monitors

Top: Village Studios A, B, & D featuring ATC speakers; Village Women among its highly respected Technical Team: Hannah Samuels, Nicole Schmidt, Alisse Laymac, Tina Morris, Paniz Farokhnia.

photos: Village studios.

The Village in LA is known for its creative musicality and technological genius. This month they have chosen TEC-nominated ATC SCM25 Pro Mk2 monitors for three of their main recording rooms – Studio A, B, and D.

March is also women's history month and

women play a leading role at The Village, where the philosophy and culture of embracing, and supporting diversity, equity and Inclusion is very much present.

Meet one of their long-standing engineers, writers and producers, Alisse Laymac (above standing next to veteran manager Tina Morris). “Working at The Village is a joyful learning experience,” Laymac explained. “Every day you interact with a multi-talented staff and the best musicians in the world. The atmosphere is creative and authentic, plus you work with top-quality gear like the ATC 25s. The most valuable part of 25s is the fatigue-free, translucent sound. The clarity across the frequency spectrum makes it easier for efficient workflow. They are transparent, have a precise mid-range, and a balanced, warm low-end, making them my go-to for long periods of use. I used the 25s on Rita Wilson’s Now and Forever Duets, LeAnn Rimes’ God’s Work (top right) and U2’s Songs of Surrender.

Introduced earlier last year, the new ATC SCM25A Pro Mk2, has been upgraded from its predecessor with the new ATC’s handmade proprietary SH25-76S Dual Suspension Tweeter, extending the high-frequency response with a reduction in distortion. "Like the original SCM25A, the Mk2 is a compact, three-way, high-performance, active studio monitor based around the handmade proprietary 3-inch (75mm) soft mid-tone driver and a 6.5-inch (164mm) bass driver. The monitor’s combination of exceptional mid-range clarity, high-output, extended bass response, and modest size, make it optimal for nearfield monitoring across a wide range of critical applications. Those who used and loved the older version have been waiting for this upgrade," says Brad Lunde of Trans Audio Group.

Tina Morris, The Village’s multi-talented, long-term, studio manager noted, “For some time we had one pair of ATC SCM25As in house. Both our resident and visiting engineers wanted to work with them.” Morris, known for her exemplary and charming customer service, continued, “In fact, many visiting engineers brought in their own set of ATC SCM25A monitors. With so many requests for these monitors, our engineering team, along with management, went all in and purchased ATC SCM25 Pro Mk2s for our three main studios.” When asked why are the ATCs are so popular, Tina suggested we talk to a few of their stellar engineers and one of their clients.

Let’s start with two-time Grammy winner Scott Michael Smith (left). His 2021 Grammy was for mixing the Best Musical Theater Album and the 2022 Grammy was for Best Score Soundtrack-Video Game. Scott got his start at The Village recording top artists like John Mayer, Katy Perry, Keith Emerson, and many others. Today, he works out of The Village as a private client and is a sought-after mixer for film and television scores. His accomplishments include mixing and recording scores for The Reverent, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ahsoka, Loki, Mank, and many others. His popularity hinges on his ability to bridge the gap between the record world and the film scoring world. As an ATC monitor aficionado (Smith’s studio is equipped with ATCSCM45As) Smith remarked, “I enjoy working on the ATC 25s. I know I can trust what I’m hearing. They translate flawlessly to any other environment, including movie theaters. They allow me to work seamlessly and quickly. My decision making is based on exactly what I hear – no guessing. Nearly everything I mixed in the last decade has been on ATCs – and will be for the foreseeable future.”


Winning a 2023 Grammy for his work on Best Progressive R&B Album, Karl Wingate, resident engineer at The Village since 2018, started as runner and worked his way up to staff engineer. Wingate feels The Village threads the needle between old school and state-of-the-art beautifully. When asked why he prefers the 25s, the answer was short: the mid-range and how well they scale with volume. Wingate continued, “I know of no other monitor brand that focuses on the mid-range like ATC. It’s where the harmonic content and our perception of loudness lives. An honest mid-range lets you mix faster and avoids ear fatigue. Many composers recognize the value of ATCs. This makes everyone more comfortable, as every hour costs thousands. I can trust what I hear on the 25s and know it’s going to make it to the other side.”

l-r Above: Village engineers Karl Wingate, Alex Williams.

Village in LA Chooses TEC-nominated ATC SCM25 Pro Mk2 Monitors for Studios A, B, and D

Another Village Grammy-winning, staff engineer, Alex Williams, used ATC 25s on the Jon Batiste We Are sessions, as well as the award-winning Odessa sessions. He also worked with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Regina Spektor, Perry Farrell and many more. Noted Williams, “The quality of ATC’s design and construction is apparent upon opening the box. Just by looking at them, you can tell that the utmost care and consideration went into the engineering and design of these monitors – and it’s even more apparent once you start to listen through them. From recording to mixing, the ATCs perform flawlessly on rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, or orchestral. I know what I’m hearing is what I’m getting. I’m thrilled that The Village is outfitting three studios with the new ATC SCM25A Pro Mk2s.”

“Having The Village purchase three pairs of the ATC SCM25A Pro Mk2s for their main studios is an incredible validation of this product’s excellence. I can rant and rave about the unique performance of these monitors but in reality, this purchase by a studio of this caliber says it all. It’s amazing,” Concludes Brad Lunde, president and founder of TransAudio Group

Housed in 1920s Medinah Temple, the historic landmark studios, for almost six decades, The Village has recorded hundreds of legendary Grammy Award-winning albums and Academy Award-winning movie soundtracks. With a long history of studio experience, Jeff Greenberg, the current owner and CEO (top right with Snoop Dogg), constantly searches for ways to improve the recording process. He created a unique studio environment by hiring a staff of in-house engineers, technicians, and production specialists working together to achieve superior performance for superstars, as well as up and coming artists. As the sound of music keeps changing, Greenberg updates gear to meet the challenge. A highly-selective array of newer audio gear sits alongside the studio’s vintage treasures. "Because Greenberg and his staff receive constant requests from in-house and visiting engineers for ATC SCM25 Pro monitors, they listened to and purchased three pairs of the new SCM25A Pro Mk2s, which were installed in December of 2023," adds Lunde.

l-r: Jon Batiste recorded 'We Are' on Verve Records which won Album of the Year at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards; Grammy®-winning Brent Fischer Orchestra @ Village studio C in 2024

studioexpresso Video Spotlight

View @ studioexpresso or YouTube

studioexpresso Video Spotlight

Artist: Forgetting The Future Song: Chemtrails

Forgetting The Future, new single Chemtrails is produced and mixed by Ken Allardyce

The official Music Video for Chemtrails is in studioexpresso video spotlight. The video is directed by Alan Greer, filmed in a huge aircraft hangar used by the army.

The band consists of Robbie McNicol, Sam Cowan, Max Paul and Jamie Mackay.

Electrifying guitar riffs and catchy chorus line showcase songwriter and lead singer Robbie Mcnicol.

Artist: Gary Clark Jr Song: Alone Together

Featuring jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold from New Album JPEG RAW

Limited Gold Double Vinyl LP Release Date: March 22, 2024, Warner Music. photo: Mike Miller

JPEG RAW, Gary Clark Jr's New album title is an acronym for Jealousy, Pride, Envy, Greed. But, don't hold this 4x Grammy winner's deadliest sin, his virtuoso guitar playing, against him. JPEG RAW was released on March 22 on Warner Music. On the album you can hear Clark's guitar chops and a mix of styles to include hip samples featuring Thelonious Monk and Sonny Boy Williamson. The music is steeped in African, World Music, his blues roots, naturally, and even Jazz. Clark's lyrics are deeply personal, and socially conscious in songs Maktub, JPEG RAW, This Is Who We Are, and Hyperwave.

The R&B/Soul inspired ballad, Alone Together features jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, with an ol' school vibe juxtaposed with modern choreography in its music video (in studioexpresso video spotlight). There's the epic 10-minute Habits, breaking new ground. On JPEG RAW, the legendary Stevie Wonder appears on What About The Children, which could easily become a new classic for Clark Jr. and Wonder fans. A demo Stevie Wonder sent to Clark led to the pair dueting on What About the Children. The funky-vibed mid-tempo track finds both gentlemen admonishing the world’s “heartless people” for whom children’s shattered lives in the wake of homelessness, hunger and other struggles don’t matter. Of working with Wonder, Clark says simply, “I was a changed human.”

Clark Jr has a lot to say since his last release five years ago. This land earned Clark Jr. three Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Song and Performance for the LP's title track, along with Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2019. Clark Jr achieved global impact following his first Grammy Award® i n 2014, winning Best Traditional R&B Performance for the track Please Come Home from his Warner Records debut album Blak And Blu. Clark also performed his award-winning single This Land backed by The Roots at the 2020 Grammy Award ceremony and released their version of the track. Countless collaborations have been recorded with Stevie Wonder, Andra Day, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Foo Fighters, Nas, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, Eric Clapton, Gustavo Santaolalla, Booker T. Jones, and many more.

Clark Jr's tour Kicks off at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth, TX on May 8, the tour will continue with shows in Chicago, Boston, and New York City before concluding with his set at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival in Manchester, TN on June 14. He’ll close the run of shows in August in Los Angeles.

What does Clark want listeners to take away from his forthcoming album?  “Appreciate the things you do have. Hopefully, the album resonates with positivity and hope. It’s really not about me, so take me out of the equation.  This is yours now.”

Starbucks on Music Row Chooses ATC 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Configuration

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

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

Alchemy with Donna Isham

An Art Collaboration with Composers Mark Isham & Jeff Grantz

Above: Mark and Donna Isham. R: Alchemy 68" x 118" Acrylic, Graphite, Oil stick, Spray paint, and Ink on Canvas, 2023/ March exhibit at the NeueHouse, Venice, California March 1, 2024

Art in its purest form is the act of inner transformation that leads to inner freedom. When this transformation finds language to communicate to others, it's truly special.

Meet visual artist Donna Isham. She and revered film composer husband, Mark Isham (Quiz Show, A River Runs Through It, The Black Dahlia, Godfather of Harlem) presented their collaborative work titled: Alchemy.

The symphony of visual and auditory experience was available through March 17 at the NeueHouse Venice 2024. studioexpresso was honored to be among their VIP guests at the opening night on March 1st.

The aural stimulus produced for the exhibit, offered an involuntary cinematic visual experience, coupled with Donna's art, bursting in vibrant colors and dynamic movement. The contouring digital imagery projected on her large-format canvases were produced by composers/musicians Jeff Grantz and Mark Isham. Donna points out how TIME takes center stage in this work. The view that the passage of time is an illusion is popular among physicists and philosophers. There's something active or “flow-like” about time and the Ishams' work. Perhaps it stems from Donna's passion for topics ranging from women's identity to human rights. And that's music to my ears and eyes!

For Art Inquiries contact: Jennifer Gross | Evolutionary Media Group fn: 323-646-8412 or visit Donn Isham official

Mark Isham

From his days as one of the pioneering icons of electronic music to his current status as a world-renowned legendary film composer, Mark Isham continues to be one of the most prolific and provocative artists on the scene. His solo recordings span from electronica and classic jazz to hip-hop and ethnic world music, receiving worldwide critical acclaim including Grammy nominations for his albums Castalia and Tibet, and a win for his Virgin Records release, Mark Isham.

Donna Isham

Donna Isham's brand encompasses empowering women, diversity and individuality. From her vibrant abstracts on large scale canvases to intimate figuration of the female form, she embraces freedom in expression with graphite and oiled elements always keeping her artistic communication and emotional content at its center.

Recording Industry Golf & Poker 2024

Monday, April 15, 2024

Photos Above and below: l-r: With producer/mixer Rafa & Tamara Sardina, Karen Dunn of KMD Productions, Candace K; and The Marvel Girls with honorary chair CJ Vanston

Save The Date


Register here 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

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.

"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.

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!

Save The Date...Be Our Guest!

Sat June 29, 5-8 pm

Jazz @ LACMA

5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Latin Sounds at LACMA features world-renowned artists performing everything from Indigenous music to the latest sounds from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. Fischer West Coast sounds return to LACMA by popular demand on Saturday June 29, 5-8 pm with band leader, Grammy®-winning producer, arranger, and multi instrumentalist, Brent Fischer. The free concert will offer music of Clare Fischer, Cal Tjader, Poncho Sanchez, and more...It's A Salsa picante Reunion and celebration!

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, Ryan Ulyate (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Ian Charbonneau (Mana, Neil Young, Jake Owen) and Grammy®-winning Brent Fischer (Usher, Elvis Costello, Symphonic Prince).

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.

“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. “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,” adds Brad Lunde, president, and founder of TransAudio Group

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

An exclusive Co-publishing Deal with

Debbii Dawson

Warner Chappell Music (WCM) and Katy Perry’s Unsub Publishing, have signed an exclusive co-publishing deal with Debbii Dawson. In 2023, she released her debut EP Learning, including the standout song “Eulogy For Nobody.”

Katy Perry, Founder, Unsub Publishing: “I couldn’t be more excited to have Unsub partner with the incredibly gifted songwriting talent that is Debbii Dawson. My team and I have fallen in love with Debbii’s ability to fill her songs with a perspective that feels so uniquely her. She’s the type of artist that gives voice to your subconscious. She’s a rare find and someone I believe has the brightest of futures ahead of her as an artist, songwriter, and creative force.”

Maura Duval, Senior Director, A&R, WCM and Jacob Koransky, Manager, A&R, WCM said: “Debbii is a rare treasure. Ever since we first heard her demos from fellow WCM songwriter, Gabe Reali, we were sold. Her voice is undeniably unique and her storytelling is both authentic and distinct. We’re excited to help develop such a promising star.”

A first-generation American raised in the rural midwest, Debbii Dawson’s musical legacy is rooted in her family history. Her grandfather in India taught himself to play the organ by drawing a keyboard on the ground with charcoal and passed on that skill-set to her father who then taught her. She grew up traveling with her parents as they toured in the United States and internationally as performers. As she began her own artistic journey, she found her style: a fusion of pop, folk, and country sounds and whispers of her Indian heritage mixed with influences from iconic artists like Stevie Nicks, ABBA, Harry Styles, and Queen. She first garnered attention releasing her debut track “Even If It Kills Me” which landed on the cover of Spotify’s “Fresh Finds Pop Best of 2023” end of year playlist.

Stagg Street Opens with New Owner Trent Slatton

Former Owners Gary & Melody Carpenter Remembered in March

"Melody Carpenter, one of my best friends, business partner, surrogate mother, mentor and tireless promoter of me, passed away....She left me what she couldn't take with her.

It breaks my heart and brings me to tears just to write this, but that's what happened," new studio owner Trent Slatton shared on a social post in December. Fast forward, March 16, 2024, Slatton held an open house at Stagg Street studio with touching memorial for its former owners, beloved husband & wife, Gary & Melody Carpenter. "Our clients range form Johnny Cash to John Mayer......Smokey Robinson to Chaka Queens of the Stone Age. I want to invite all my San Diego musician friends to come up here and make some music at some point. I know it's a trek, but it's a magical place to make memories....maybe even history!" Slatton adds in a post. Many budget-minded musicians in LA have recorded at Stagg street's main tracking room with three Iso booths. The control room has a vintage API console. The open house event showcased the new video stage with three skylights that can be open or closed for natural light. "There’s ample power and large audio playback system making it perfect for small video shoots, green screen work and still photography," adds Slatton. Visit Stagg St for the equipment list or contact Trent Slatton at Stagg St.



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.

Yoshiki at Milan Fashion Week

Yoshiki Paris is the latest move in the world of high fashion by the Japanese rock star drummer (X-Japan), classical pianist, composer, and filmmaker Yoshiki. His cutting-edge line debuted on February 20 as part of the official calendar for Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2024/25 with 37 looks – including apparel, accessories, and shoes. He offered a dramatic and edgy soundtrack which included an onstage performance by Yoshiki. His music set included: Church organ music with Italian narration–composed and written by Yoshiki, EDM music composed by Yoshiki, and Bach Prelude in C Major (orchestral arrangement by Yoshiki). "It's the logical extension of Yoshikimono, which I created in 2011 and which until now focused on the art of the kimono," says Yoshiki.

The global brander sports a wine label, Y by Yoshiki, created in collaboration with Rob Mondavi Jr., 4th generation Napa Valley winemaker and grandson of Robert Mondavi.

In October 2023, Yoshiki performed the Yoshiki Classical 10th Anniversary World Tour with Orchestra 2023 Requiem headlining shows at Tokyo Garden Theater (Tokyo), Royal Albert Hall (London),

Dolby Theater (L.A.), and Carnegie Hall (New York).

Dre Day + A Hollywood Star For Producer Dr Dre

Last Tuesday March 19 officially became Dre Day in Hollywood. The nine-time Grammy-winning artist and producer was honored with the 2,775th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Music impresario Jimmy Iovine spoke about his partner with whom he founded Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy at USC, focused on entrepreneurship.

Dre helped jump start the careers of Anderson .Paak, Kendrick Lamar, the Game and Eminem, who in turn brought 50 Cent to his attention. They were all present, along with rapper and actor Snoop Dogg, at the ceremony. Dre confirmed new Snoop Dogg and Eminem albums to drop in 2024.

“I’d like to thank the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce who felt that I was finally ready to walk in the footsteps of Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent. All of whom got stars before me for some f—g reason,” said founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. “Don’t trip, I’m not bitter. It’s all good, I’m here now...I’ve been fortunate enough to make a living doing exactly what I love to do,” he told the crowd. “Isn’t that the dream?”

"Psalms are songs of praise to God. And this piece, Seven Psalms, is very much about the subject of God. But not always a praise. Sometimes it’s a of the things that really comes across in it is your regard for the poorest of the poor."

-- Paul Simon

Simon Emerged from New York as a young man in the ’60s in a duo with his friend Art Garfunkel, Simon wrote songs that still resonate – Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Boxer, Homeward Bound, America and The Sound Of Silence (written when he was 22. There are numerous covers - our picks:

The original by Simon & Garfunkel, covers by Johnny Cash, and Disturbed feat CYRIL mix.

Enjoy Spring & Make A Joyful Noise!

The snow is melting, flowers are blooming, and the days are getting warmer. It must be spring!

The color white is associated with honesty and is believed to absorb the good energy that the equinox and spring bring.

Happy Spring (NoRooz), Passover, Holi, Hana Matsuri, Women's History month, and Easter!

Supporting Creators & Self-Expression

Until next month,

In this season of change, may your work find fertile ground, renewed spirit, and help keep the dream alive.

Tell us about your new release or reach out for music

production support.

Stay well and in touch, until next month,

Music Lives and Moves!

Claris Sayadian-Dodge, founder/editor

Right: At Neuhouse in Venice with Artist Donna Isham (middle) exhibit: Alchemy

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