Mixonline Briefing Room

Archive by David Goggin

Future Youth Records Mission Girls at Studio Trilogy

First Project Empowers San Francisco Teens

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are students Mariacel Gutierrez and Kianna Farr-Zunig, FYR founder Jason Wall, singer Thia Megia, engineer Tyler Crowder, songwriter/producer Ben Thompson, and composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Mo Pleasure.

Future Youth Records, which has a long-term association with San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy, has completed a preliminary chapter of the Mission Girls Remonstrance Project. Spearheaded by FYR founder and producer Jason Wall, the project aims to create music that rallies against songs and videos that objectify and degrade women in the hip-hop music community.

“We started out by creating an original song and music video that will be used to inspire and empower young women,” explained Jason Wall. “At the same time, this will serve to educate Bay Area residents about the growing problem of disesteem towards women in this musical community.”

“When we first came together on this partnership,” commented Mission Girls’ director Susana Rojas, “We expected to get a song out of it and for the girls to be exposed to a new field in a professional way. Mission Girls not only got the song and the exposure but so much more. Through this partnership we were able to build empowerment for our girls by hearing their own voices and without a doubt claiming that they are now rising up.”

Successful musicians who came to Studio Trilogy for the sessions included Morris Pleasure (Michael Jackson, David Foster), Nathan East’s brother Marcel East (Phil Collins, Phillip Bailey), and Thia Megia (Amercian Idol).

The long-range goal of the project is provide ten at-risk young women from the Mission Girls Services organization (MGS) with the tools and platform to draw awareness to the growing problem of women degradation and exploitation in rap and hip-hop music. Each participant will write and record one original song and produce a music video alongside professional songwriters, engineers and filmmakers.

The initial song produced at Studio Trilogy to launch the project was “Rise Up” “A couple of weeks after we finished,” recalled Jason Wall, “Susan Rojas, the director, told me that one of the girls was suicidal the week before coming into our program and through it was able to overcome those feelings and now wants to help other girls who feel the same way she felt.”

The proposed project will run March 3 – 27, 2015. Participants will work over a four-week period to write and record one original song at Studio Trilogy and spend two additional weeks creating a professional music video in San Francisco. Participants along with FYR and MGS will work with local merchants to secure physical distribution of free download cards. High profile musicians Dr Fink (Prince & The Revolution) & Marcel East are already confirmed to act as mentors.

To learn more about Future Youth Records, visit:

Located in the creative heart of San Francisco, Studio Trilogy is a full-service recording facility that provides music recording and audio post-production services in a World Class recording environment. Designed by John Storyk of WSDG, Trilogy’s 8800 square foot facility houses three state-of-the-art control rooms, music and voice recording studios, multiple lounges, and a lush garden/bbq area. An on-site 1200 sq.ft. luxury apartment with media lounge and chef’s kitchen is also available.

Learn more at:

Steve Pederson Picks Penteo 4 Pro for “The Equalizer”

Stereo-to-5.1 Surround Upmixer Delivers Multi-channel Score


Pictured in the Anthony Quinn stage at Sony Pictures Studios with the Penteo 4 Pro plug-in onscreen is re-recording mixer Steve Pederson. Photo by David Goggin.

Academy Award-winning re-recording mixer Steve Pederson recently employed the new Penteo 4 Pro stereo-to-5.1 upmixer plug-in for the current film “Into the Storm” and upcoming, “The Equalizer.” Pederson used Penteo to create multichannel surround mixes from stereo recordings by Moby and Eminem.

“Penteo is the most clever upmixing tool I’ve encountered to create interesting surrounds and musical bass,” says Pederson. “It opens up the theater sound richly and with great detail. Penteo is simple to use and has a variety of useful parameters. It’s the perfect tool to ‘magically’ unlock a 2-track stereo file and fill the theater with surround in a very interesting way.”

Pederson has been nominated for numerous awards including three BAFTAs, and twice for an Academy Award. He won the Oscar for “Apollo 13″ in the category of Best Sound.

“I use Penteo as a ‘one stop shop’ tool to take any stereo track and generate a warm, precise and effective sounding surround mix,” Pederson continues. “I’m impressed how Penteo can isolate channels so cleanly, so discreetly and then spread them through the surrounds.”

Pederson took stereo sources and created multi-channel mixes for the recently released “Into the Storm” (5.1) and Sony’s upcoming “‘The Equalizer” (7.1) “Using Penteo 4 Pro, I upmixed both films to surround formats and was very pleased with the results. Penteo gets you to a great sounding upmix with no fuss, and is an efficient tool to have handy.”

Pederson elaborates on the way Penteo handles lower frequencies: “What I like about Penteo’s subwoofer is the definition. If you mute all the full range speakers in the theater and just listen to the sub you’ll hear a nice, tight, punchy bass. Penteo is more musical, it defines the beat of the music better. It doesn’t rumble and roll, it rocks and rolls.”

In the creation of a soundtrack, “temp” mixers are often used before the final music is composed and produced. “Another area where Penteo can really help is during the early stages of post-production. I take stereo tracks and run them through the Penteo plug-in to immediately give the temp score a full and rich 5.1 feel that emulates a proper mixed final score and really elevates the quality of the temp mix.”

Pederson has worked mostly at Warner Bros. Studios for more than fifteen years, and enjoys the talented community, the historic setting and the top-of-the-line facilities offered. Throughout his career, he has seen the contribution of film sound evolve with more and more channels, greater dynamic range, and higher fidelity to give the audience a more powerful experience to express the story.

“I love this work and I’m a fan of this plug,” he concludes. “I won’t go into a mix without it being part of my tool kit.”

Read the entire Interview with Steve Pederson and other industry leaders in the Perfect Surround Master Class series:

Native AAX64 Support
Penteo 4 Pro natively supports Avid Audio eXtension (AAX) for true 64 bit processing.

Free Trials
Hear the Penteo difference for yourself with a free trial:

About Audiotech Digital Limited (ADL)
Penteo transforms any stereo recording, soundtrack, DJ mix or live television broadcast into perfect 5.1 surround sound. Developed by ADL, Penteo 4 Pro remains faithful to the original stereo mix; no artificial sound manipulation is used. The Penteo 4 Pro plug-in creates a perfect surround experience for all stereo media with zero sonic artifacts, crisp and discrete center-channel, and only Penteo is 100% ITU down-mix compatible to the original stereo. Penteo has won multiple awards been used by major studios on hundreds of films, TV shows and music recordings and supports AAX64/RTAS32/VST32/AU32 formats. For more information, visit:

Rob Macomber Picks Sanken Stereo Mic for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Adjustable Dual Capsule CUW-180 Captures Historic Performances
Pictured in the Music Studios at Jazz at Lincoln Center is chief engineer Rob Macomber holding the Sanken CUW-180 stereo microphone.

As Chief Engineer of the Music Studios at Jazz at Lincoln Center for SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Rob Macomber puts his extensive knowledge of audio, technology and music to use to ensure that the world-class artists performing there nightly sound just as good on live radio, television and internet broadcast as they do in the concert hall.

One of Macomber’s favorite microphones is the unique Sanken stereo CUW-180, comprised of two exceptionally engineered cardioid condenser microphones combined in one compact body. Each of the two 180° capsules is independently adjustable with 15˚ detent, providing a versatile microphone for a variety of stereo and Surround recording applications.

“The CUW-180s perform wonderfully anywhere and everywhere,” says Macomber. “On a regular basis I use them as a pair over the stage for ambience. That’s my standard main stereo pickup over the stage. Eight feet up or so, at the lip of the stage angled at 45 degrees. I also use them for ensemble sections, like trombones and trumpets. As a section mic it is fabulous.”

In his nine year tenure at SiriusXM, Macomber has worked with a who’s who of modern day musical giants, including Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Sting, Beyonce, Santana, Andrea Bocelli, Chic Corea, Dave Brubeck and Joshua Bell, helping them all sound their best on-air.

“The stereo Sanken mics give me the full frequency spectrum,” remarks Macomber. “On the low end, the proximity effect is very minimal, although I’m primarily not in close-miking situations. The 180 is very flat throughout the frequency spectrum. No boominess, no having to roll off the low end, very smooth on the top end. Off-axis it’s very natural sounding.”

Over the course of his prolific career, Macomber has recorded and/or mixed music for highly-rated television broadcasts such as the Tony Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Victoria Secret Fashion Show, Fashion Rocks, VH-1 Divas, VH-1 Storytellers, AOL Sessions, Live from Lincoln Center Series and numerous DVDs and concert films.

Macomber comments on the unique dual capsule design and the precise detente adjustment. “It’s a killer design in a fairly fast-paced environment, where I do get a sound check, but it’s still a live show. Each show is different and when it’s happening I can’t stop the show and say, ‘Hey, we need to reposition that mic.’ I can get that mic position spot-on and know that one click wider or one click narrower on both capsules will land me where I want to be. Then if need be, I can simply adjust the panning on the desk on the fly. The quick paced broadcast environment for a live show is quite a challenge — the Sanken is a great performer.”

Macomber has been honored with many awards and accolades, including two Grammy Awards (for his engineering work on Arturo O’Farrill’s “Song for Chico” and Kurt Elling’s “Dedicated to You,” in 2008 and 2009, respectively). He was also a member of the sound team that received the 2010 Emmy Award for Best Sound Mixing for a Variety or Music Series or Special for “The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert.” He is also a two time TEC Award nominee.

To read the entire interview with Rob Macomber,
Learn more about Sanken microphones:

See the entire family of Sanken microphones at AES in LA Booth #1034

Anthony Marinelli Chooses Barefoot Sound

Composer/Producer Works in Film, TV, Commercials and Stage
Pictured in his Los Angeles studio with his Barefoot MM27 monitors is composer/producer Anthony Marinelli. Photo by David Goggin.

“Before I got the Barefoots, I had 4 pairs of very high-definition monitors,” says award-winning composer/producer Anthony Marinelli. “I had 8 of them, because I rotate them into the 5.1 arrays I’ve had since I bought the first pair from Michael Jackson. They were his speakers and I just liked them and never could find any replacements. Then the Barefoots showed up and they were the first speakers that truly spoke to me and said I’m your new speakers.”

Marinelli has composed, conducted and performed music for over sixty motion pictures, including “Hotel,” “American Gun,” “Young Guns,” “Internal Affairs” and “Timecode.” He also composed music heard in “Leaving Las Vegas,” the action film “Demolition Man” and hit comedies “Let It Ride” and “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.”

“The sound of the Barefoots translates the best,” Marinelli continues. “It doesn’t hype the sound when I’m recording. It gives me the full audio spectrum from lows to highs. They’re very quick. The transients are very rapid. I deal in a lot of different genres of music and it’s not like I use a certain kind of speaker for one kind of music and another kind of speaker for another. These speakers are just the truest that I’ve ever come across.”

Marinelli has also composed music for thousands of commercials including over 30 Apple Computer spots, spots for Microsoft, Nike, Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet, Budweiser, Jaguar, Southwest Airlines, Boeing and the iconic “This Is Your Brain on Drugs” campaign.

“You pay now or you pay later,” he comments. “If the monitors make it sound better now, then I go somewhere else and it doesn’t have that enhancement, then I’m going to pay, because I’m going to be missing something or there’s going to be too much of something, whether it’s low or mid or high.”

Marinelli’s LS studio houses an array of choice instruments: two ARP 2600s, a Linn Drum machine, Jupiter-8, Prophet-5, Minimoog, Korg MS-20, ARP Omni, Roland Space Echo, Roland Vocoder, Echoplex, Clavinet Pianet Duo, and a Fender Rhodes. “My Doctor Click is really valuable for syncing all these various instruments and driving quick tracks and creating pulses,” he explains. “And my most prized instrument is a 9-foot Concert Grand handmade piano given to me by David Abell. It was the piano that was used for all the Disklavier recordings.”

Marinelli has been honored with numerous Clio, Silver Lion, Belding and Addy awards. He revolutionized post production workflow as co-originator of Levels Audio Post. By integrating a new style of mixing music and sound for picture, it quickly became the industry’s fastest growing and most in-demand facility. His state of the art complex located at the historic corner of Hollywood and Highland was the first choice of discriminating projects such as American Idol, The Bachelor, and the VH1, ESPN, Teen Choice and MTV award shows.
Read the entire Anthony Marinelli interview and learn more at the new Barefoot Sound website:

Learn more about the Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27 monitors at :

See and hear the entire line of Barefoot Sound monitors at
AES in Los Angeles Booth #1031

Barefoot Sound was founded by Thomas Barefoot with the goal of creating a new breed of studio monitor. While project studios were sprouting up all over the world, filled with outstanding gear, yet with limited space, Thomas Barefoot recognized the need for a speaker that could transcend the traditional distinctions between nearfield, main and mastering monitors. Translating effortlessly and never requiring second-guessing, Barefoot Sound monitors are recognized throughout the music industry as multifunctional masterpieces. By creating one studio monitor that fits into a small physical space with leading edge technology and astounding clarity, Barefoot has set a new standard. Handcrafted in the USA.

For more info visit: tel: 503. 894. 8602

Human Highway (Director’s Cut) – World Premiere at TIFF

Neil Young’s 1982 Film Restores Lost Sound & Dialogue using Unique Audio Techniques


Toronto International Film Festival: Shakey Pictures is proud to announce the World Premiere of Human Highway (Director’s Cut) at the Toronto International Film Festival today. The director’s cut version of Neil Young’s mind-bending 1982 post-apocalyptic musical comedy conceived in the cauldron of Cold War America, in which the rock legend writes, directs and stars alongside an eclectic and eccentric cast including Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper and members of the band Devo. Human Highway was painstakingly restored using modern techniques for high quality sound but done without violating the intent of the original sound mix. Restoration difficulty was further compounded by the fact that several of the original masters were missing.

Human Highway – Take One
Production of the film began in the late 1970′s and led to an eventual screening at the Mill Valley Film Festival in 1982. However, mixed reactions from the assembled audience of film buffs and music fans gave the producers cause for reflection and they immediately went back to editing, resulting in parts of the movie being strewn about all over the cutting room floor and destined to be forgotten and left behind.

Thus began an epic journey to find the elusive missing footage that would help piece back together their original vision of a possible future. Digging through over thirty years of archives, the team at Shakey Pictures was then tasked with locating, cataloging and viewing every element ever associated with the film in the hopes of finding the masters.

The Quest for Lost Audio
The first step in the search was to identify the master analog multi-track tapes so they could be restored and transferred at high resolution for digital assembly and surround sound mixing. To begin with the highest possible sound quality, the original 2″ 16-track multis were converted at 24-bit/192-kHz. However, it was discovered that that the music and dialogue tracks were not on separate tracks but rather were already mixed on these master reels.

Montage of the original Human Highway tapes and reels – Shakey Pictures

The team went back in the vaults again to find the 16-track reels with isolated dialogue and music, but other than locating music on 1/4″ reels, there was no source material with the master dialogue. So as a final step, the search was on to find the original Nagra reels to get clean dialogue. The dialogue reels were located, and incredibly – the original Nagra IV-S machine was found – the exact same machine that had actually been used on set in 1982. Originally introduced in 1971, the Nagra IV-S recorded two-track stereo. It had dual level pots, limiters, and equalizer presets and was considered the highest quality in its time.

With the tapes and the reels in hand, each Nagra reel had to be reviewed to locate the exact takes that were used for the film. There were then transferred to high resolution so that the post-production process could begin using the best sounding and cleanest sources. “As I listened through boxes of Nagra reels, I really felt like a fly on the wall of the set” said Will Mitchell of Shakey Pictures “Often tape was rolling wild both before and after takes, so I got to experience the process and understand just where the crew was in capturing the master performances. As with many films, the improvised lines on alternate takes were incredibly creative and fun. It was clear that this was a fun shoot.”

“Worldizing” Re-Mixing Technique
A unique audio technique – called “Worldizing” – was applied to scenes for the Director’s Cut. Rather than applying a plugin or an effects processor to flat or dry audio, Shakey Pictures used Worldizing to give the sound great depth, dimension and realism by playing the audio back in a suitable acoustic space and then re-recording it. This resulted in real world ambience and reflections, something that digital production can only approximate. Some examples of Worldizing can be heard inside the garage at Otto’s Corner, during the radio broadcasts and in some of the music. These Worldized tracks were also used as a blended effect to create the foundation for post-production.

Surround for Climactic Dream Sequence
Once in post-production, one of the major challenges of mixing Human Highway was dealing with all the separate elements. Because it was mixed so long ago, it was difficult to find the pieces all in one place. Quite often each mix would start with a partial stem with dialogue and effects and music all mixed together. Then, later in the workflow, the effects and music were mixed together, but the dialogue separate and isolated.

But this was not always the case; often the discreet stems would have just dialogue and no effects and music, or just effects and no music and dialogue and so on.

It was a significant and time consuming effort to equalize and blend multiple sources into a seamless track. “Working with all these sources was very much like an Easter-egg hunt”, said Tamara Johnson, Sound Designer and Re-recording Mixer of Post-Apocalyptic Studios. “The goal was to make the film’s ‘Linear Valley’ setting seem very normal – although was far from it! So to lull the audience into this normalcy, the background mix is stereo and dialogue and effects, mono. No panning was used, the sound is pure and comes straight up the middle into the audience.”

The film then builds up to the climactic scene when Neil Young’s character “Lionel” suffers a bump on the head and drifts into an intense ‘dream sequence’ that sees Lionel become a rock star and performs a ten-minute studio jam scene where Young and Devo play together.

Neil Young and Devo in Human Highway’s Dream Sequence – Shakey Pictures

Now that the audience is conditioned to the stereo/mono effect, the goal was to shock them by introducing new sound elements for this dream sequence. The objective was to make Lionel’s dream sequence ‘huge’ using surround elements with wide and isolated channels swirling around the room. “We tried to make this scene larger than life”, said Johnson. “It was vital to have a high quality surround mix with no phasing or delays so I used Penteo to upmix backgrounds and music into 5.1 Surround for this pivotal dream sequence”.

The crowd surround elements were mixed around the room, effectively placing the viewer in the middle of the scene so that the audience becomes ‘Lionel’ for that intense moment. The film closes when Lionel wakes up and finds himself back in ‘normal’ Linear Valley – the dream is a fantastic contrast to reality.

About Shakey Pictures
Shakey Pictures, founded in 1972 by Bernard Shakey has over 40 years filmmaking to its credit and has produced such memorable titles as “Journey Through The Past”, “Rust Never Sleeps”, “Human Highway”, “Solo Trans”, “Muddy Track”, “Weld”, “Year Of The Horse”, “Silver and Gold”, “Greendale”, “CSNY/Déjà vu”, “Heart Of Gold’, “Trunk Show” and “Journeys”. For more information see the official Toronto International Film Festival Website:
or our website:

About Penteo
Penteo transforms any stereo recording, soundtrack, DJ mix or live television broadcast into perfect 5.1 surround sound. Developed by Audiotech Digital Limited, Penteo remains faithful to the original stereo mix; no artificial sound manipulation is used. The Penteo plug-in creates a perfect surround experience for all stereo media with zero sonic artifacts, crisp and discrete center-channel, and only Penteo is 100% ITU down-mix compatible to the original stereo. Penteo has been used by major studios on hundreds of films, TV shows and music recordings and supports AAX64, RTAS, VST and AU formats. For more information, see our website

Vintage King and Pensado’s Place Host Nashville Gear Expo 2014

Technology and Celebrities Draw Big Crowd to Music City USA

Pictured: Vintage King Nashville – Winner of the 29th annual TEC Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the Studio Design Project category. Photo Credit: CJ Hicks.

For the second year, Pensado’s Place & Vintage King are teaming up to produce one of the biggest gear and music-making expos in America. This time in Nashville, attendees will once again be able to demo gear, talk directly with manufacturer reps, watch live interviews, mingle with celebrity guests, ride the tour bus, win prizes, enjoy local food trucks and meet Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick of Pensado’s Place.

Pensado’s Place is the acclaimed hour-long weekly educational web series that celebrates the evolving landscape of music and technology and gives a voice to its leaders and innovators.

This free event all goes down at Vintage King’s award-winning facility and surrounding yards in the famous Berry Hill neighborhood on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 from 10am until 4pm.

The celebration kicks off in the Vintage King parking lot with a rocking block party and special guests, including John Mcbride (Martina Mcbride, Blackbird), Jacquire King (Kings Of Leon, Tom Waits), Ryan Hewitt (Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Avett Brothers), Justin Niebank (Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow), Vance Powell (Jack White, Beck) and many more.

“Getting high profile producers, engineers and gear makers together with block party-goers is ideal,” said Vintage King Audio Director of Marketing Jason Van Doorn. “It’s like a mini-convention, but in a more relaxed and fun setting.”

The official “Pensado/Vintage King Gear Expo Tour Bus” will be taking visitors back and forth to Blackbird Studio all day long. As one of Vintage King’s biggest supporters, Blackbird has hosted historic sessions with artists such as Neil Young, the White Stripes, Bruce Springsteen and more. Giving guests another opportunity to check out new and vintage gear hard at work, partygoers will be able to see John and Martina McBride’s studio in all of its glory.

“What a great fall event in Music City, USA, bringing together people from all facets of the recording community,” commented Brian Kraft, Chief Academic Officer and COO for Recording Radio Film Connection. “We look forward to seeing old industry friends as well as meeting new ones. It’s all about connecting.”

Sponsors with booths on site include Recording Radio Film Connection, Moog, Rupert Neve Designs, sE Electronics, Genelec, Ultimate Ears, Chandler Limited, M1 Distribution and more.

“We’re anticipating a huge gathering for this second annual Vintage King Gear Expo,” commented Tom Menrath, Vintage King Audio Head of Strategic Development. “It’s going to be a very special day for Nashville and the entire pro audio community.”

RSVP to attend here:

Pensado Vintage King Gear Expo Nashville 2014
Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 2826 Dogwood Place, Nashville, TN 37204

Gear Expo Nashville website:

Vintage King Audio is a leader in professional audio sales, studio consulting, and comprehensive gear servicing. No matter the scope of a client’s needs or goals – from selecting a new microphone to designing a studio from the ground up – Vintage King distinguishes itself with standard-setting customer service, which begins with the company’s knowledgeable, industry-experienced staff. For more information, visit:

The hour-long weekly web series Pensado’s Place was created nearly four years ago. Co-hosted by legendary mix engineer Dave Pensado (Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Michael Jackson and more) and show creator Herb Trawick, Pensado’s Place includes interviews with top music industry artists, engineers, producers, mixers, and record executives, as well as in-depth tutorials in production, engineering and mixing. Pensado’s Place has positioned itself as “the most influential show for audio engineers,” mixers and producers (Forbes Magazine) in just three years. Pensado’s Place is more than just a show, as it highlights the very best in the industry of music, gaming, sound identity on film, and audio equipment, with a presence in live events. As a leading educational resource, Pensado’s Place is helping build the next generation of audio greats.

Blake Mills Records “Heigh Ho” at Ocean Way

Joined by Keltner, Was, Brion, Tench, Elizondo, and Apple

Pictured in Ocean Way’s historic Studio B are (L-R) Don Was, bass; Jim Keltner, drums; Blake Mills, vocals/guitars; Greg Koller, engineer; Mike Elizondo, bass. Photo by David Goggin.

Renowned guitarist, songwriter, and producer Blake Mills has recorded his highly anticipated second album, “Heigh Ho,” at the legendary Ocean Way studios in Hollywood. The self-produced album will be released September 16th via Verve Records / Record Collection and is available for pre-order at iTunes, where those who pre-order the album will receive instant downloads of the tracks “If I’m Unworthy” and “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me.”

“The goals for ‘Heigh Ho’ were songs, sonics, and capturing performance,” Mills said. “I love my first album and how it sounds, but since making “Break Mirrors” I feel like I’ve heard enough music that seems to be overtly ‘lo-fi’ or reverb-saturated; so I was interested in finding a combination of sounds that I hadn’t heard used together before. I was very fortunate to be able to call on this group of people to help me map some new terrain.”

To that end, Mills asked several of his musical heroes – including Jim Keltner, Don Was, Jon Brion, Benmont Tench, Mike Elizondo, and Fiona Apple (who duets on the slow-burning “Seven” and timeless sounding “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me”) – to collaborate on what would become “Heigh Ho.” “Blake arranged the music the way that Cézanne would’ve filled a canvas,” Don Was notes of his experience playing in Blake’s band. “He’s a mind-blowingly great artist with the type of deep vision that is the hallmark of true genius. It’s so inspiring for musicians to play with a cat like that! If he asked us to play in orange, we wanted to give him a shade that burned so brightly as to blind the unsuspecting.”

Recorded in Hollywood at the legendary Ocean Way studios in a room built for Frank Sinatra and used by everyone from Bob Dylan to Ray Charles, Mills created an album that references a range of genres without really belonging to any.

“Different songs feature slightly different bands,” said Mills. “These guys are world class musicians, and also some world class record producers. That combination produced something rare; a wide open way of playing that consistently delivers the spirit of a song. It reflects the spontaneity, maturity, and tastefulness of my all-time favorite records.”

Since quietly making his debut album, “Break Mirrors,” which critics hailed as one of the best albums of 2010, Mills has been consistently busy. He’s producing the highly anticipated sophomore album for The Alabama Shakes, and has worked as a producer with a wide variety of artists, including ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Sara Watkins, Conor Oberst, Sky Ferreira, and Fiona Apple, with whom he toured extensively in 2013 and 2014.

As a session player and sideman he has worked with Beck, Cass McCombs, Jackson Brown, Lucinda Williams, Moses Sumney and Neil Diamond, among others. Rick Rubin and T Bone Burnett frequently call upon his services as a guitarist, and equally enamored is Eric Clapton who recently told Rolling Stone magazine “Blake Mills is the last guitarist I heard that I thought was phenomenal.”

Additionally, today Blake Mills announced a 13 city headlining U.S. tour to take place this fall. The run of dates will kick off on September 17th at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ. All fans who purchase a ticket to any of the upcoming headlining dates will receive a complimentary download of “Heigh Ho” on release day.

Learn more at:

For information about Ocean Way, visit:
Contact Robin Goodchild for all booking requests.
Email: or call 323-467-9375.

TELEFUNKEN Introduces New THP-29 Extreme Isolation Headphones

Designed for Both Studio and Live Sound

The new TELEFUNKEN THP-29 Extreme Isolation Headphones.

TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has introduced the new THP-29 Extreme Isolation headphones, designed for both the studio and live sound environments. Ultra high-fidelity, high-input 40mm speaker drivers featuring TruSound™ Tonal Accuracy are integrated with 29dB of eco-friendly natural passive isolation. The result is a headphone designed to protect the eardrums from damage and improve the recording, performing and listening experience.

Ideal for use by live mixers who need to block out monitor speakers, or by drummers who need to be able to hear the mix without setting their volume at an unreasonably high level, the THP-29 is a perfect professional performance and recording tool. The closed back design, lightweight construction, adjustable head strap and padded ear cushions provide optimum comfort during lengthy recording or listening sessions. The advanced isolation capabilities eliminate extra bleed in the recording studio while giving an average of 29dB of noise reduction over a wide frequency range. The THP-29s can also be used as critical mixing headphones during post-production.

Developed in partnership with Direct Sound, the TELEFUNKEN THP-29 Extreme Isolation headphones come with padded adjustable headband, storage pouch, and jack adaptor, providing passive isolation with no batteries required.

MSRP $135.00 Learn more and order here:

TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik strives for absolute perfection. By offering historic recreations of classic microphones alongside their own proprietary designs based around the distinctive tube mic sound, TELEFUNKEN has established a product line that expertly combines vintage style and sound with the reliability of a modern-day microphone design. TELEFUNKEN’s commitment to both the sonic excellence and quality of all of their products is rivaled only by their dedication to provide the best possible service to each and every one of their customers.
For more info, visit:

Vintage King Founders Lead the Summer NAMM Retail Summit

NAMM President Joe Lamond Chats with Andrew and Mike Nehra

Pictured (L-R) onstage at Summer NAMM are Vintage King founders Andrew and Mike Nehra with Joe Lamond, president of NAMM. Photo by Shevy Shovlin.

Vintage King Audio, leading international dealer of modern and classic pro audio equipment and top restorer of vintage recording gear made a striking impact at this year’s Summer NAMM Show in Nashville. Vintage King co-founders Mike and Andrew Nehra took the stage during the Retail Summit for a chat with NAMM president Joe Lamond.

“These two brothers are selling recording and pro audio gear to the tune of almost $40 million a years,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM President at the beginning of the summit. “They have three locations in the US and they have grown by creating and uniting a community.”

Talking about the history of the VK brand, the Nehra brothers gave insight into the company’s formation, which originated within their own Detroit recording studio, the White Room.

Beyond Vintage King’s beginnings, the chat quickly turned to the age old debate of analog vs. digital. With a focus on how Vintage King has adapted since the inception of digital, the Nehras explained that a mix of both is extremely healthy for the industry. For today’s musicians, producers, and engineers, being able to choose the right piece of gear, whether digital or analog, is essential in creating the best final recording.

The Retail Summit was captured with pictures and video and is now available below. Check out the full talk and gain some exclusive access to the inner workings of Vintage King:

Vintage King Audio is a leader in professional audio sales, studio consulting, and comprehensive gear servicing. No matter the scope of a client’s needs or goals – from selecting a new microphone to designing a studio from the ground up – Vintage King distinguishes itself with standard-setting customer service, which begins with the company’s knowledgeable, industry-experienced staff. For more information, visit:

Ken Hahn Picks Penteo 4 Pro for “Live From The Met”

Stereo-to-Surround Up-mixer Delivers 5.1 from Stereo for DVD & Blu-Ray

Pictured at Sync Sound with the Penteo 4 Pro plug-in onscreen is studio co-owner and post-production mixer Ken Hahn. Photoby James David Redding III.

Ken Hahn, co-owner of New York’s Sync Sound, is one of the best-known names in both the post-production and music world. As the supervising editor on projects for TV, film and DVD , he specializes in mixing for television, film, CD and DVD, in Stereo, and 5.1 Surround. An early supporter of Penteo, he is currently running the latest version of the Penteo 4 Pro stereo-to-5.1 up-mixer.

“We do the audio post-production for all of the ‘Live From The Met’ series,” he explains. “First the operas are ‘broadcast’ live in HD into theaters across the world. Then those recordings are post-produced, and made available on DVD and Blue-ray, as well as broadcast on PBS. Almost all the music up-mixing that we do involves pre-mixed stereo, like what we do for the Metropolitan Opera here in New York, or for a TV show like FX’s ‘The Americans,’ which we also mix here, and which may use more pop recordings or specialized sound effects.”

Hahn has 25 years of experience in audio post-production and has received 2 Cinema Audio Society Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing Awards, 5 Emmy Awards, 13 ITS Monitor Awards, a Mix Magazine TEC Award for Best Audio Post Production Mixer and has engineered several Grammy Award-winning albums.

“I’ve had a number of classical artists, conductors, and producers hear the Penteo 5.1 surround version of their stereo mix, and they’ll say, ‘Oh my goodness, that’s what I expected the stereo to sound like. It’s got depth. It’s got width. I can hear placement of instruments that I didn’t across the stereo field that I wish I had.’”

In addition to the remixing of the new “live” Met Operas, Hahn also provides audio restoration services for the re-release of Met Opera archival recordings that are going to DVD. These are performances that only exist on video tape with a stereo mix. First Hahn restores the stereo mix and then generate a 5.1 mix. “Because of the historical nature of these recordings,” he comments, “it is imperative that we not alter the sound when up-mixing, and that’s why we use Penteo.”

According to Hahn, Penteo maintains the same image of the original stereo recording, but panoramically slices it into a surround field without any delays or reverb. Speaking of stereo pop music that he up-mixes to 5.1, he says, “Because of its familiarity and popularity, people don’t want to hear it in any other way than the way they’ve always heard it. That is what I am most pleased with Penteo 4 Pro. I can take a stereo mix and up-mix it to get a very, very good-sounding 5.1, and then be assured that when it is brought back down to stereo it sounds as it did when it began.”

As a post-production engineer whose work is scrutinized by serious classical critics, Hahn has a great responsibility to maintain the integrity of the music he works with. He sums up his findings with Penteo: “Simply stated, Penteo 4 Pro takes a stereo mix and make a 5.1 surround mix out of it. But here’s what’s most important: Penteo generates the 5.1 surround without adding any additional delays, equalization, frequency shifting, dynamic change, alteration, or any of those tricks. It uses a new method to up-mix that doesn’t alter the original stereo, so when folding back down to stereo, the stereo sounds just like the original.”

Read the entire Interview with Ken Hahn and other industry leaders in the Perfect Surround Master Class series:

Native AAX64 Support
Penteo 4 Pro now natively supports Avid Audio eXtension (AAX) for true 64 bit processing.

Penteo Summer Sale
Save 20% – a $200 value – off the regular purchase price for Penteo 4 Pro. But don’t get burned – Penteo’s Summer Sale ends on September 1, 2014. Hear the Penteo difference for yourself with a free trial:

About Audiotech Digital Limited (ADL)
Penteo transforms any stereo recording, soundtrack, DJ mix or live television broadcast into perfect 5.1 surround sound. Developed by ADL, Penteo 4 Pro remains faithful to the original stereo mix; no artificial sound manipulation is used. The Penteo 4 Pro plug-in creates a perfect surround experience for all stereo media with zero sonic artifacts, crisp and discrete center-channel, and only Penteo is 100% ITU down-mix compatible to the original stereo. Penteo has been used by major studios on hundreds of films, TV shows and music recordings and supports AAX64, RTAS, VST and AU formats. For more information, visit the website


September 2014
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