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Good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. Holidays have inspired great music from Handel's Messiah to River by Joni Mitchell. Keep faith and music alive in your hearts.

We visit with Tony Maserati who finds a hit in a Crane Song. Meet producer Lynne Earls. Learn why Sunny Taylor's EP has TransAudio written all over it. Go Globetrotting with Focusrite and composer Darius. Grammy nominees announced here

Win an espresso machine (L) stainless steel, dual action Cafe Modena! You have to be on our mailing list to get in the drawing.
Winner announced in Jan 2012

Join studioexpresso at NAMM --panel and master class:
The Art of Producing Masters
At Hot Zone
, Jan 20, 2012 (details below).

Enjoy Cognac Quince Compote -- a recipe from our family to yours.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Music Lives and Moves.

claris dodge, founder I publisher, studioexpresso

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Tony Maserati Finds a Hit in Avocet

Tony Maserati is one of the most respected mixing engineers on today's music scene. With over 250 releases for dozens of superstars including Lady GaGa, Beyonce, The Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys and Jason Mraz - just to name a few, he has played a major role in defining the current R&B and hip hop sound. When it comes to mixing, Tony pulls from multiple resources, be it plug-ins, analog outboard gear or a combination of the two. Every song is different and often takes him on a different approach in terms of what to use for the sound he's hearing in his head. But there are several things that are an integral part of his process: his speakers, his amplifiers and at the center of it all, his Crane Song Avocet.

"The Avocet is the benchmark for all to follow," says Maserati. "When it first came out, there weren't a lot of options on the market that could do multiple (analog and digital) inputs and monitoring outputs-which was important for my needs. It literally takes care of everything in my studio and most importantly, it sounds amazing.

TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier US importer/distributor and/or US 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. TAG product line includes A-Designs (USA),ATC Loudspeakers (UK), Bock Audio (USA), Chameleon Labs , Crane Song, Geoffrey Daking & Co. (USA) Drawmer (UK), George Massenburg Labs (GML USA),Lehmann Audio SABRA SOM (Brazil), SoundField Microphones (UK), Tonelux, True Systems, Tube-Tech and Sonodyne Nearfield Monitors

Lynne Earls
Mixer I Engineer I Producer

Lynne Earls' most recent project is engineering for Kd Lang’s album ‘Watershed’ for Nonesuch Records. Watershed took the #8 position on the Top ten Billboard charts in its first week of release. Lynne received two Gold Records for her work on ‘Watershed’ in '08. In 2000 Earls graduated from LIPA (Paul McCartney’s performing arts School) with a BA Hons Degree in Sound Technology. She launched Earls Music Productions in 2011 and works out of her studio "EMP Music Studio" in Los Angeles. Read more here

The convertors are incredible and can be trusted in a variety of environments. I have come to rely on the Avocet so much, that when I visit other studios that don't have one I insist they rent one or encourage them to consider buying it. Even with all the options that are available today, for me nothing has yet to compete with the Avocet."

Crane Song Ltd. is able to provide the highest level of quality due to the many years of experience of its founder Dave Hill. Crane Song's combination of innovative design and uncompromising attention has helped the company make its mark in the professional audio world. www.cranesong.com

For more information on Crane Song contact Brad Lunde or Phone (702) 307-2700 or visit www.transaudiogroup.com

LasVegasProAudio.com, LasVegasProAudio.com, a division of TransAudio Group, is the launch pad for the brands of tomorrow. The goal of LasVegasProAudio.com is to provide unique equipment, useful information and long-term support to their clients.

LVPA product line includes: Accusound Cable, Economy 50mm Shockmount,Enhanced Audio (Ireland), PAULY Superscreens (Germany)Sonodore Microphones (Holland) Liverpool-based Studiocare Professional Audio will distribute Daking Audio and Bock Audio in the United Kingdom.




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Globetrotting Composer With Focusrite

Ever since Darius has been writing and producing music, Focusrite has been with him, as he explains, "Focusrite was one of the first companies I started using way back when I was first paying my dues, and it's always been well respected in the high-end pro audio community; I recorded my first solo record in 2001 entirely on Focusrite Red 1s!"

Darius uses "a ton of diverse gear", due to the diversity of his work. "I use vintage keyboards, including a Rhodes MkI, but also have a ton of digital stuff.
I also have a bunch of old guitars, including a Carter pedal steel that we just used on Everlast's new record, but I also have a bunch of edgy outboard effects boxes and processors. I have a great Logic setup in the studio with a massive sample library, but also have a number of vintage mics and old preamps and compressors that I have collected along the way. I even have a washboard, a 1920s electric air organ and a shaker made from goat bones!
The Saffire interface is rock solid, clean, and is the perfect fit for my traveling rig. It has great 24-bit/96kHz converters, and the famous Focusrite pres all ready to go. I can run an entire scoring session out of a backpack with the 16x8 capabilities. I can use it anywhere so I no longer have to turn down scoring work while I'm on tour.

I know that if I buy Focusrite gear, it means two things: I'm getting top-flight products that are tailor-made to the constantly evolving needs of top musicians and engineers, and I'm working with a proven industry name that has been at the top of my personal trusted gear list for a long time.”


Trans Audio Gear For Sunny Taylor's EP
Produced by Mark Hornsby

Over a span of fifteen years, Sunny Taylor has fine tuned her songwriting while independently releasing three albums within the genres of pop/rock and folk/americana. Her performances and songwriting have won her over 24 awards (who's counting?). Having recently coupled with producer and acclaimed recording engineer, Mark Hornsby, Taylor's songs have met a new level of maturity and refinement. Her newest EP, titled simply "Sunny Taylor", is her most intuitive effort yet. It captures honesty, tenderness, and heartbreak, from both a child's eyes, and from the depth of a woman's wisdom. It also was recorded entirely using only the best recording equipment in the world from A Designs, ATC, Bock Audio, Chameleon Labs, Daking, GML, Sonodyne and Tube-Tech.
"It kind of happened by accident," says Mark Hornsby. "I always keep detailed notes of what was used where in case I want to go back and change something. When the project was through it occurred to me that this album literally had TransAudio's name written all over it!"

Here's a breakdown of what was used in the studio:

- Vocals: Bock Audio 251, Daking Mic Pre/EQ, Tube-Tech CL-1B
- Acoustic Guitar (Martin): Audio-Technica AT4050, A-Designs Pacifica
- Piano (Yamaha C7): Bock Audio 195 (2), GML 8302
- Drums (Pearl Custom): Daking Mic Pre/EQs. Daking Fet IIs
- Electric Guitar (Guild/Third Power American Dream): Bock Audio 195, Chameleon 7602 MKII
- Bass: (Music Man StingRay 5 string): A-Designs Reddi, A Designs Pacifica, Tube Tech CL-1B
- Strings: Chameleon Labs TS-1 MKII (4), Chameleon Labs 7602 MKIIs
- Percussion: Bock Audio 251, Daking Mic Pre/EQ
- Pad/Synths: Printed internally from plug-ins
- Organ (Hammond C3): AEA R-84 (2), Electro Voice RE20, Tube-Tech MP1As
- Mixed on ATC SCM150ASLs and Sonodyne SM 100AKs

TransAudio Group, founded by industry veteran Brad Lunde, has quickly become the premier US importer/distributor and/or US 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. TAG product line includes A-Designs (USA),ATC Loudspeakers (UK), Bock Audio (USA), Chameleon Labs ,Crane Song, Geoffrey Daking & Co. (USA) Drawmer (UK), George Massenburg Labs (GML USA),Lehmann Audio SABRA SOM (Brazil), SoundField Microphones (UK), Tonelux, True Systems, Tube-Tech and Sonodyne Nearfield Monitors


Congrats to Eric Benét who received a GRAMMY nomination for "Sometimes I Cry" in the category of Best Traditional R&B Performance. Look for Benét's new album coming in Spring 2012
Brent Fischer (who produced and directed In the Beginning also nominated for a Grammy for best instrumental arrangement from the album Continuum) is conducting (Clare Fischer sitting next to him and Benet visible in control room window reflection above) sessions at Capitol B (R). Brent arranged One More Tomorrow and Everlove for Eric Benét's Love and Life album recorded in 2007.
Congrats to For all nominees click here

Pictured during the vinyl remastering of the Beach Boys' "The Smile Sessions" are (L-R) recording engineer/mixer and co-producer Mark Linett, CO-producer Alan Boyd, and mastering engineer Chris Bellman.
Photo by David Goggin.

Bellman mastered the Black Eyed Peas' The Beginning, a nominee in the Record Production/Album category. He also masters for vinyl reissues -- recent project for Rhino with the Grateful Dead and other vinyl projects include: ZZ Top, and The Ramones.

Just in time for Christmas from the legendary Paul Anka, "Songs of December " produced by Anka, with a 50-piece orchestra and recorded by the most Grammy-honored engineer Al Schmitt.
"This is a really nice album you can put on when the family is opening the gifts," commented Schmitt. "Songs of December" includes "Let It Snow," "Christmas Song," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Winter Wonderland", "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year," "White Christmas," "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Blue Christmas," "Silver Bells," and "Silent Night/A Cradle In Bethlehem." Sessions took place at Capitol Recording Studios and Ocean Way. Seasoned arrangers were Chris Walden and Pat Williams, with engineer Steve Genewick assisting Schmitt. Anka toured Europe in November and returning to the US and Canada this month.

Sean Beavan's busy summer and fall highlights include mixing "Prisoner" for the heavily buzzing in the UK, BINARY, "Change" for CHURCHILL, "By And Down" for A PERFECT CIRCLE, SHINING's gripping Live "Blackjazz" DVD, ICKY'S EGO's forthcoming EP, and recording drums for the bodacious Kim Moyes of The Presets.



Visit Focusrite website

"Since I am a composer primarily, but also still tour periodically, I have to have a scoring rig with me at all times. I have a great portable rig that is built around the Saffire Pro 24 DSP. It's a 2-space rack backpack that fits the laptop, headphones, external drives and Focusrite interface perfectly so that I or my tech can set up wherever we are: the plane, the back of the bus, the greenroom, in a swamp in Kuala Lumpur (not so much there, but since everything is bus powered, I could still do it!)


For more information on Sunny Taylor and to check out her new self titled EP, go to: http://sunnytaylormusic.com


"We supply a lot of high end gear to people making records and I get to hear the results of a new mic or a new monitor all the time," says Brad Lunde, president of TransAudio Group. "But I never thought there would be a record made using ALL our gear. It sounds amazing!"

For information on this gear contact Brad Lunde or Phone (702) 307-2700 or visit www.transaudiogroup.com.


LasVegasProAudio.com LasVegasProAudio.com, a division of TransAudio Group, is the launch pad for the brands of tomorrow. The goal of LasVegasProAudio.com is to provide unique equipment, useful information and long-term support to their clients.LVPA product line includes: Accusound Cable, Economy 50mm Shockmount,Enhanced Audio (Ireland), PAULY Superscreens (Germany)Sonodore Microphones (Holland) Liverpool-based Studiocare Professional Audio will distribute Daking Audio and Bock Audio in the United Kingdom.

Bernie Grundman Mastering engineers Chris Bellman and Brian "Big Bass" Gardner are nominees for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the 27th Annual TEC Awards. Gardner mastered Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," which is a nominee in the categories for Record Production/Single and Record Production/Album. Voting deadline has been extended to December 15.




Al Schmitt with legendary crooner Paul Anka.
Photo by David Goggin.





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Get on studioexpresso's home page with your new CD release when you work with studioexpressso's top producers . Major or Independent artists welcomed.

The Expresso10 list is updated on our home page! Additionally, we will e-mail the list to music supervisors, labels... who like to hear exciting new music by our community.

Expresso10 Submissions click here:


2004 Edition of the Recording Industry Sourcebook is out





studioexpresso Presents The Art of Producing Masters at NAMM
An Engineer/Producer Forum at NAMM, Hot Zone, Anaheim, CA
Friday January 20, 2:00 - 5:00 PM Room 202 (the afternoon before Tec Awards)

For those of you who plan to attend NAMM or Tec Awards on Friday January 20 (TA begins at 6pm), don't miss this meeting of the music minds and master class on arranging by Brent Fischer (Usher, Raphael Saadiq, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau). The panel features some of the world's top studio engineers, producers, and musicians discussing the latest tips, techniques, and issues affecting the world of studio recording and production. Hosted by studioexpresso, this forum will bring together the technical brains behind artists like Lady Gaga, Prince, Usher, Stevie Wonder and Elton John.
A special Trans Audio Group high-end audio playback system with ATC speakers will be used to demonstrate recent and favorite recordings by our panelists.

NAMM HOT ZONE panel presented by studioexpresso: The Art of Producing Masters l-r: Curt Bisquera, Greg Penny, Peter Schwartz, Rafa Sardina

l-r: Claris Sayadian-Dodge, studioexpresso; Brad Lunde, Trans Audio Group,
Brent Fischer, Jay Kaufman

2:00 - 3:15

MASTER CLASS Arranging & Orchestrating for Timeless Masters
Brent Fischer (Usher, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau)
Arranging Commercial Music -- How to Differentiate Your Sound

3:30 -- 5:00: Panel & Playback

Rafa Sardina (Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Alejandro Sanz)
Greg Penny (Elton John, KD Lang)
Curt Bisquera, (Sarah Mclachlan, Elton John)
Peter Schwartz (Mattel, David Bowie, Enya)
Jay Kaufman - Kaufman & Associates Award-winning studio designer --Nominated for a Tec Award
Brad Lunde - Trans Audio Group, Representing Choice Audio Gear

Moderator: Claris Sayadian-Dodge, studioexpresso
For more information including panel bios, please visit: studioexrpesso Presents at Hot Zone Namm 2012
For more info on Hot Zone panels check here

Book Signing "You've Got A Deal! Published by Headline Books in West Virginia "You've Got A Deal! by producer Jeffrey Weber (Jackson Browne, Michael McDonald, Chick Corea, Etta James) is available on January 19, 2012. The book is a lighthearted stomp through "The Biggest Lies of the Music Business" with musician and industry anecdotes, stories, jokes, illustrations. Survive, flourish and laugh in the unpredictable world of making music with author, award-winning producer Jeffrey Weber in his career of over thirty years and 180 CDs.

Sunday, January 29, 2012, 2pm
Barnes & Noble at the Grove at the Farmers Market 189 Grove Dr. Los Angeles. CA 90036

Watch Video Interviews with Top producers from Legendary Studios
studioexpresso in alliance with Record Production & Babblefish is pleased to bring you these interviews. Watch the video interviews by clicking on the producer names below.
Get your FREE Real One Player download

Matt Wallace Interviewed At his Delux Studios in LA for Record Production
L-R: Producer Matt Wallace,
studioexpresso's Claris Dodge
Photo: Johnny Jaskot

Ken Allardyce - Sarm West, UK
Lenise Bent - Village Studios. LA, CA
Niko Bolas - Watersound Studios, Studio CIty, CA
Pete Byrne - Glenwood Place, CA
Andre Fischer - Village Studios, Los Angels, CA
Chris Fogel
- Fig, Glendale, CA
Brad Gilderman - Little Big Room, Burbank, CA
Greg Ladanyi - Maple Jam Productions, Studio City, CA
Joseph Magee - O'Henry Studios, Burbank, CA
Scott Mathews - Tiki Town Studios
Oscar Paul - Roundhouse Studios, London
Greg Penny - Sphere Studios, London
Steve Parr - Hear No Evil Studios
Michael C Ross - Royaltone Studios, North Hollywood, CA
Rafa Sardina - Abbey Road, UK
Elliot Scheiner - Presense studios, CT
Al Schmitt Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA
Toby Scott -- coming soon!
Robert Shahnazarian Jr.
-- Sony Music Studios, Santa Monica
Tolbert & Sutton - Studio Atlantis, Hollywood, CA
Matt Wallace - Delux Studios, Van Nuys, CA
John Wooler - Village Studios, Los Angels, CA

Watch The studioexpresso Grammy Behind-the-Scenes Audio Report here

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photo: Larry DiMarzio
Steve Vai to Receive Les Paul Award Guitarist, composer and producer Steve Vai will be presented with the prestigious Les Paul Award at the 27th Annual TEC Awards on Friday, January 20, at the 2012 NAMM Show. Since launching his solo career in the early '80s Vai has ascended to the ranks of rock's "guitar heroes," having sold 15 million records, and become a concert sensation while earning three Grammy Awards and being nominated for more than a dozen. Vai will perform with an all-star lineup at the TEC Awards ceremony, backed by the 2Cold Chili Bone TEC Band.
Vai has received honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and Musician's Institute, and founded Mothership studios and Favored Nations, a record label for musicians, who in Vai’s words, “have attained the highest performance level on their chosen instruments.” He has also served as a Trustee for the Recording Academy, is on the board of Hollywood Arts, and works closely with his own Make a Noise Foundation, raising money for music education. The 27th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, presented by the TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio and NAMM, will be held on Friday, January 20, 2012 at the NAMM Show in the Pacific Ballroom of the Hilton Anaheim, adjacent to the Convention Center, Anaheim, CA. To purchase tickets, please visit here

l-r: Kanye West, Bon Iver, Adele, Skrillex

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Award Nominees Announced Adele had a huge evening, earning nods for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance. Kanye West scored nods for both his solo work and his collaboration with Jay-Z. West's song "All of the Lights" will compete against "Otis" for Best Rap Song. West, overall, had seven nominations, leading the pack. Rockers the Foo Fighters also had a big evening, with multiple nominations including Album of the Year; they finished the night with six nods. Bruno Mars also scored big, with looks for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Pop mainstays Lady Gaga and Rihanna are both up for Album of the Year, while Rihanna also has nods for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song. The late and great Amy Winehouse received a nomination for her collaboration with Tony Bennett. our Fave category Best new artist nominees along with Indie singer-songwriter Bon Iver who received recognition in the categories for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album are country trio The Band Perry, rappers J. Cole and Nicki Minaj, and DJ-dance music performer Skrillex (Sonny Moore).Surprisingly, the two fastest-selling albums of the last 12 months, Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" -- the first collections in more than five years to sell more than a million copies in their first week of release -- collectively generated just one nomination in the top four categories, an album-of-the-year nod for "Born This Way." Swift, whose third album has sold almost 3.8 million copies, is vying for country album honors, and her anti-bullying single "Mean" is nominated for country song and solo performance. You could say, these two artist have already won! Wednesday's live "Grammy Nominations Concert" was dominated by opening and closing act Lady Gaga, who lead off with her latest single, "Marry the Night."

Our other favorite category belongs to the producer, mixer/engineer, mastering engineer and arrangers. Here's big congrats to Mike Shipley, Kevin Killen, Frank Filipetti, Bob Ludwig, Eric Schilling, Doug Sax, Stephen Marcussen, Butch Vig, Raphael Saadiq, Rafa Sardina (Lady Gaga Born This Way), Cheche Alera (Lady Gaga Born This Way), Manny Marroquin, Dana Nielsen (Album of the year Loud/Rihanna) and Clare Fischer and Brent Fischer for their instrumental arrangement of In The Beginning from Continuum. For all nominees click here The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on "GRAMMY Sunday," Feb. 12, 2012, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m.

Profile of A Songwriter Dan Wilson wrote Adel's "Someone Like You." A singer, multi-instrumentalist, and Grammy-winning songwriter for over two decades, he has built a reputation as a writer of songs of uncompromising beauty and timeless artistry: a "songwriter's songwriter" whose music has nonetheless many times graced the top of the popular charts.

Experience Mixing Alicia Keys The Sony Wonder Technology Lab is a free, four-story, interactive technology and entertainment experience for all ages. Located in mid-town Manhattan, SWTL inspires creativity in a high-quality, engaging, and family-friendly learning environment. Their latest exhibit is a Music Mixer, an interactive exhibit featuring 14-time Grammy® Award-winning recording artist Alicia Keys. Visitors can put their own spin on the Keys hit, "Empire State of Mind (Part II)," using a variety of instrument tracks in genres ranging from Hip-Hop to World. By manipulating a set of three-dimensional "audio blocks" on an interactive table, visitors work together to create a whole new mix, while learning about the characteristics of different instruments, effects and musical styles. "Our mission has always been to inspire kids to learn about technology and entertainment in a hands-on setting, and there is no better example of that than the music experience we are opening today," said Karen Kelso, Executive Director of the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. You can even schedule your kid's next Birthday Party at Sony Wonder Tech Lab. Black Sabbath To Re-unite w/Ozzy Osbourne The announcement was made as the four musicians (joined by producer Rick Rubin, who will work on the band's new album) gathered at the site of their very first U.S. show, L.A.'s famed Whisky a Go-Go on the Sunset STrip. That gig was played 41 years ago to the day on 11/11/70, so that's where the men convened at 11:11AM, along with emcee, musician and spoken-word artist Henry Rollins. Rubin expressed a lot of enthusiasm at being able to work with such seasoned legends. According to Rubin, the writing process is ongoing, with several songs already written. Recording will begin early next year.

SONY Signs exclusive production deal w/Dr. Luke Lukasz Gottwald, better known as Dr Luke is the star producer and Max Martin protégé who's delivered hits for Katy Perry ("I Kissed a Girl," "Teenage Dream"), Britney Spears ("Til the World Ends," "Hold It Against Me") and Kelly Clarkson ("Since U Been Gone," "My Life Would Suck Without You") and discovered Ke$ha, will launch his own Kemosabe Records in January, which was described in the article as "Sony's fourth label division" (the other three being Columbia, run by chairman Rob Stringer, Epic, headed by chairman and CEO L.A. Reid and RCA which recently announced Peter Edge as its new CEO). The Doctor will report to Morris at Sony Music
"I plan to sign only artists that I really love and really want to work with," Dr. Luke (néeLukasz Gottwald) is quoted as saying. "I also believe that songs are the bloodline of a label, so I will still be instrumental in creating and acquiring them."

Hip-Hop Super Agent Cara Lewis Exits William Morris. Lewis' clients include: Kanye West, Eminem, B.o.B, and Common -- She's the no. 14 honoree in Billboard's 2011 Women in Music executives and she's leaving William Morris Endeavour, where she served for 23 years, at the end of the month when her contract expires. It's unclear how the rest of the roster may shake out and which of Lewis' clients will join her.

Universal Music Group Acquires EMI Recorded Music catalog Universal Music Group announced in November that it had signed with Citigroup a definitive agreement to buy EMI's recorded music division for approximately $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion). And, in another equally surprising development, Sony Corp announced that it is buying EMI's music publishing division for $2.2 billion.
With this sale, Universal – which already controls an extensive catalog of music featuring superstar artists such as Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga, U2, Eminem and Kanye West – will acquire the major works of acts including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Coldplay and the Beach Boys. Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a joint venture between Sony Corp. and the Michael Jackson estate. It controls more than 750,000 copyrights (including evergreens by the Beatles and Bob Dylan). Chairman-CEO Martin Bandier
said in a statement: "I am excited to be reunited with the incredible songs, writers and people of a company I helped build. Our track record at Sony/ATV over the past four years demonstrates our ability to build a strong platform that sustains significant growth. The opportunity represented by this transaction is both transformative for Sony/ATV and a truly special moment for me, personally." UMG chairman-CEO Lucian Grainge said in a statement: "This is a historic acquisition for UMG and an important step in preserving the legacy of EMI Music."

artist expresso-- Ask Claris

Now and then we'll feature a letter or feedback and or print your Wants/Needs. Our goal remains to empower and encourage you to connect. Send it here [email protected]
When possible, provide a link to your music or gear...When you're interested to have a producer or mixer involved, specify number of songs, budget and desired delivery date. Meantime, visit production talent at studioexpresso to find the right production partner for you.


A studioexpresso reader writes: "... I'll make this super quick! My name is Alfie, and I'm a 26-year-old songwriter/producer with perfect pitch. A few weeks ago, I made this14-minute-long video (youtube) of me playing through the entire current Billboard Top 40 songs in the country on piano, in order, from memory. It was all done in one straight take, with no editing. The arrangements are all my own." Well, Alfie, thanks for that quick year-end wrap up! Our readers are welcome to respond to you directly at [email protected]

An earning Music Publishing company that incorporates three (3) Record Labels with a wide range of almost all music styles of Rock, Pop, Neo/Soul/R&B/Jazz Tip, Dance, Electronic, Rap/Hip Hop/Old School, etc. The Publishing company controls 95% of the copyrights for full period of copyright, and the Label has over 100 released Masters plus a further Masters to be released for full period of copyright. ALSO, we have other earning catalogues available. *serious inquires only* CONTACT: James Citkovic, Countdown Entertainment (212)645-3068 [email protected]

LA Opera's Dream Team. A brand new dazzling dream couple for opera meets Maestro Domingo at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday, November 26th. You already know Shakespeare's classic tale of star-crossed lovers torn apart by a familial hatred that consumes their worlds, forever united in heart, soul and death. Tenor sensation Vittorio Grigolo (good-looking and charismatic) made his Company debut as Roméo, with the sultry Nino Machaidze returning as Juliette. The opera is French and most effective when sung by the French. Plácido Domingo conducted this LA Opera's landmark production, directed by Ian Judge in November. Maestro Domingo, who served as general director of the Washington National Opera for approximately 14 years and holds the post of general director at Los Angeles Opera, got some beautiful playing from the orchestra and received numerous warm applause for his steady orchestral leadership in the pit. John Gunter's iron-scaffold sets gave the stage an updated multidimensional look and allowed actors to execute an energetic choreography both on vertical and horizontal planes. Tim Goodchild's costumes --mid-19th-century swirling ballgowns and hoopskirts -- are beautiful in the opening ball scene. Thank you for making us fall in love all over again, hearing five sublime love duets...so pure, so poetic, so perfect... the theater was flooded with intoxicating romance, making Roméo et Juliette an unforgettable experience to savor.

Become LA Opera's Visiting Patron Membership in the Visiting Patron Program requires a $2,000 tax-deductible contribution to LA Opera. Benefits include VIP ticketing services for purchases and exchanges, a 10% discount on performance tickets; invitations to all Visiting Patron Weekend (March 3-4, 2012) events and activities; backstage tours and entry to the Founder's Room and discount hotel rates. For more information or to become a VPP VIP, click here. Spring performances include: Verdi's Simon Boccanegra with Plácido Domingo (pictured above right) and Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring. For more info click here

studioexpresso VIPs Come Together for a Holiday Cheer at Universal Mastering
November 10, 2011 Party To Raise Awareness for MusiCare

l-r: Eddie Kramer, AJ, Beth Lopez-Barron, studioexpresso's Claris Dodge, Marvin Etzioni; seated: Matt Forger, Rafa Sardina

An intimate group of 50 VIPs came together on November 10 to raise awareness for Grammy's MusicCare www.beapartoftheheart.com at Universal Mastering Studios.

l-r: Claris, Curt Bisquera, Daniela; Candace Stewart of East West Studios, Clark Germain; Universal Mastering's Randy Aronson, Greg Penny, Claris; Erick Labson with a friends.

Award-winning mastering engineers Pete Doell (Miles Davis, Dwight Yoakam, Marilyn Manson, Los Lobos, Richard Marx, Dashboard Confessional, Sheryl Crow, & Harry Connick Jr.) , Erick Labson (Sublime, Aerosmith, Boyz II Men, The Who, Duke Ellington) and Gabriel Wallach were on hand and gave guests grand tour of their mastering facility.

Parisa Fischer (L), Lynne Earls (R); Group photo with mastering engineer Peter Doell (far right); Lenise Bent, Michael C Ross, Claris

Our hosts, Universal Mastering's Randy Aronson, Nicholas Dofflemyer and Blair Milby offered a scruptious buffet and cheer!
Guests were entertained by Clare Fischer trio directed by Brent Fischer.

l-r: Brad Lunde of Trans Audio Group with Gabriel Wallach of Universal Mastering; Vicki Giordano of Bridge studios in Glendale and Candace Stewart of East West Studios in Hollywood; Clare Fischer Trio with Brent Fischer

Be A Heart : Donate Today and Support MusiCares with Your Photo & Message The fundraising campaign is aimed at the public to create the world's largest photo mosaic comprised of 1 million photo tiles. According to president/CEO, Neil Portnow, Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, Pete Stump, and Taylor Swift are among celebs who have already uploaded their photos. MusiCares continue to provide a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. Established by The Recording Academy in 1989, MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies. Participants can visit www.beapartoftheheart.com and make a contribution of $1 or more to receive an online tile, upload a photo and include their stories and links to websites and social media platforms. When you donate and upload your photo to the MusiCares mosaic, you’ll be giving to a good cause and you can share how music has given back to you. In related news and in celebration of MusiCares' 20th anniversary, artists including Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, "Glee" Live! In Concert!, Josh Groban, Ray LaMontagne, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Taylor Swift, and James Taylor are teaming up with Tickets-for-Charity while on tour to offer fans access to great concert seats to benefit MusiCares. Fans will have access to some of the best seats in the house, including sold-out dates nationwide, by purchasing tickets at www.ticketsforcharity.com/MusiCares20.
Fourteen-time Grammy® winner Paul McCartney to be honored as 2012 Musicares® Person of the year. Annual Gala Benefiting the MusiCares Foundation and its health and human services programs for music people will be held Feb. 10, 2012, During GRAMMY® Week.

Top Christmas Albums Sales
The holiday album title that has shipped the most copies in the United States is Elvis Presley's 1957 LP Elvis' Christmas Album, which is certified by the RIAA for shipment of 13 million copies in the US (three million copies of the original 1957 release on RCA Victor Records, plus ten million copies of a "budget" edition first released by RCA Camden in 1970 and then by Pickwick Records in 1975). Kenny G tops the list of ten best-selling Christmas albums of the SoundScan era (beginning 1991-present) in the United States
with sales of 7.3 million

One of the most influential rappers of the 1990s, Heavy D (aka. Dwight Arlington Myers) was pronounced dead in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on November 8. He was 44. . As leader of the hip-hop trio Heavy D & the Boyz, he gained mainstream fame for the theme song for the TV show “In Living Color.” (The song was first “In Living Color,” Heavy D & the Boyz later recorded a new theme, “Cause That’s the Way You Livin’ When You’re in Living Color.”) Heavy D also rapped on Michael Jackson’s “Jam” and Janet Jackson’s “Alright.” In recent years, Heavy D focused more on TV and movie appearances. He made a cameo in Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller’s new film, “Tower Heist.” Heavy D performed at October’s BET Awards, his first live performance in 15 years. In pop culture, Heavy D is also remembered for his mention in the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 hit single “Juicy” with the lyric “Salt’n'Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine. He's survived by his beloved daughter, Xea. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Heavy D and Xea Myers Fund: C/O JP Morgan Chase 726 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10085 Memorial Website: http://www.rememberheavyd.com

The Happy Birthday Song! The song has appeared in over 140 movies, in countless advertisements for products ranging from cars to cereals to insurance to paper products and pet stores… and was featured in the world’s first singing telegram in 1933. Royalties are earned for public performances of the song as well as its use in movies, television shows, advertisements, music boxes, theatrical productions and the like. (Just an fyi… singing it around the dinner table or serenading your friend is a royalty-free private performance.) The song was written by two sisters… one was an educator and the other a composer. They were knowledgeable about copyright law and took steps to register their work for copyright protection. They may not have guessed that their song would become one of the most popular songs in the 20th Century…. earning over an estimated $45 million dollars to date. Spending $35 to register your music for copyright protection pays off! Mildred Hill was a kindergarten and Sunday-school teacher, like her younger sister Patty. She moved into music, teaching, composing, performing, and specializing in the study of Negro spirituals. Hill and her sister were honored at the Chicago World's Fair for their work in the progressive education program at the experimental kindergarten, the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School. She wrote about music using the pen name Johann Tonsor. Hill died in Chicago, Illinois, in 1916. She is buried with her sister in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky

Jimmy Carter Making The World A Better Place. Receiving a Christmas card, personally painted and signed by the former President Jimmy Carter is sweet. What's even more impressive is Carters' dedication to making our world a better place. "Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope" is the slogan for their not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization. The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.
http://www.cartercenter.org thanks your ongoing generosity for making The Carter Center a life-changing force for millions of people around the world. The former President created the above image (his boyhood home in Archery, Georgia) for his 2011 Christmas card that says: "With Wam Wishes for Peace and Joy at Christmas and throughout the New Year." Today he and Rosalynn live in nearby Plains, Georgia.

IMAGINE The “test of time” typically rewards iconic artists who produce capital-C Classic work, borrowing from Steven Hyden; which is why over the course of decades, certain songs lose their original meanings and become statements about the legacies of their creators. It’s been 40 years since “Imagine” was a hit, and if people still care about that song 400 years from now, it likely will be tied up in the altruistic saintliness that John Lennon (theoretically) still signifies.
Watch John greet a stranger in his garden circa 80s here
Holidays are about giving and connecting to people, yes, sometimes strangers. Thanks for your gift and the lesson John!

Cognac Quince Compote

Quince is member of the rose family with a fragrant bouquet and beautiful color -- Enjoy it as a light jam, perfect for toast or filling for croissants, as a condiment for meats (lamb or pork) or as desert served with vanilla ice cream!

•5 large quinces
•1/3 cup of Cognac
•1/3 cup of water
• 12 cloves
•4 tablespoons of honey (agave juice or sugar)
•3 tablespoon of lemon juice
• stick of cinnamon optional

Clean the quince the way you would an apple, peeling, slicing and removing the seeds (dried pits of the fruit are used to relieve cough). Keep the slices in water (just to the top to avoid turning dark). Drain slices and transfer to a pot. Add Cognac and water and bring to a boil over high heat (30 minutes), turn off heat, and leave the pot on the stove for 30 minutes. Drain off liquid into a large saucepan, add honey and cloves, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking and browning. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid melds.
Add lemon juice, stir for 5 minutes, and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, pour syrup over fruit and chill in airtight jar.
Can be stored for up to a year and the color of the compote will darken over time to varying shades of red. Enjoy!

You can currently catch a performance of John Cage's "Organ²/ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible)" in Halberstadt, Germany-and your great-great-great-(OK, do that 15 more times)-grandchild will be able to catch the end of it. You can hear this most unusual concert, currently in its 10th year and scheduled to end in 2640 Click to hear the current sound Cage himself did not pick that end-date; 639 years is the length of time between the construction of the first church organ and the 2001 start of his performance, which coincided with Cage's 85th birthday. The score, which would total 29,289 miles, is being played by an automated organ housed in the former St. Burchard church. And it's being played slowly! Chord changes happen so sporadically that the next one isn't scheduled to occur until July 5, 2012; a 2008 note change drew 1,000 listeners. Want your own piece of history? You can sponsor a note for an entire year (the year of your choosing) for a minimum donation of about $1,350. Other works by avant-garde composer Cage include one piece that consists of four minutes and 33 seconds of silence. Ommmmmm

Last two words of this year...Support Local Musicians
Give the gift of a nice concert to your loved ones this Christmas! You'll be supporting our local artists and economy.
Enjoy photographs of musicians by http://www.michaelweintrob.com/

Good Year-End Advice

1. Experts don't always have the answers.
2. Clients cannot tell you what they need.
3. Don't aim for 'better', aim for 'different'.
4. Big challenges create the best work.
5. Aesthetic sensibilities actually matter.
6. Simple is good.
7. Make mistakes, learn quickly.
8. "Value" is different from "price."
9. A-Gamers work with A-Gamers.
10. Real artists create and are prolific.

"If you look at the charts,there's not a lot of male artists… and for whatever reason, female artists sell a lot more records and get played a lot more on the radio."
--Dr. Luke

Until next year...EXPRESS YOURSELF

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