Archive for May 13th, 2013

Dave McNair Plugs Sonnox Pro-Codec Into David Bowie’s Instant Classic “The Next Day” CD

OXFORD, UK: A mastering/mixing engineer with credits ranging from Iggy Pop and Rod Stewart to Los Lobos and Tina Turner, New Jersey-based Dave McNair most recently lent his technical and aesthetic expertise to David Bowie’s instant classic The Next Day. Warmly embraced by critics and fans alike, Bowie’s first album in ten years has accrued universally positive reviews, strong sales and, extensive YouTube viewing thanks to its avante garde look and sound.

McNair, who has worked with producer Tony Visconti, a long-time Bowie collaborator, on several previous projects, took particular advantage of his Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec on The Next Day. I’ve been using the Pro-Codec to preview encoded files in real time since it was introduced,” McNair says. “It’s become invaluable in previewing various codecs on the mastered higher resolution files for clients who will be making MP3′s or lower resolution files for digital distribution. I’ve found that the higher the bitrate, the less overs are created when making an MP3 or AAC.”

McNair uses the Pro-Codec via his Sequoia mastering rig. It enables him to hear (and visualize) exactly how an encoded file will sound. “A miniscule amount of red in the NMR (Noise-to-Mask Ratio) display in the FFT window (or, no red at all if I back the Bitstream level down) means there’s less or no audible distortion created in the encode stage,” he explains

The Pro-Codec was particularly useful on Bowie’s The Next Day album. “This recording was captured at 96kHz and also encoded for the Mastered for iTunes format.” McNair reveals. “The CD target level for Bowie was -0.6dB for the 96K session. After sample rate conversion to 44.1 kHz, it probably ended up closer to -0.1dB. Based on what I was seeing with the Pro-Codec and a later check using the Apple Mastered For iTunes software, the 96K files sent to iTunes were delivered at – 0.8dB. Overall, the Pro-Codec is a great tool. It really helps with my workflow. It was an honor and a great personal pleasure to be associated with this incredible project,” McNair concludes.

Photo: Mastering/mixing engineer Dave McNair recently worked on David Bowie’s The Next Day album.


For detailed information on Sonnox Oxford Plug-ins please visit:

Nashville Recording Workshop +Expo 2013 Ushers In First Annual “Nashville Audio Engineer Week”

Nashville, TN (May 8, 2013) — The 4th Annual Nashville Recording Workshop +Expo, set to take place on May 14th and 15th at the Rocketown Event Center in downtown Nashville. Presented by the Audio Engineering Society, Nashville Section, this two-day event features presentations from top producers, engineers, and other industry professionals, as well as a keynote speech and on-stage production demonstration by Sugarland’s Kristian Bush. Additionally, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will be join the AES Nashville Section in recognizing “Nashville Audio Engineer Week”, May 12th through 18th, to coincide with the Nashville Recording Workshop +Expo and AudioMasters Benefit Golf Tournament, and Mayor Dean will be on-hand for a special opening ceremonies event the first day of the show.

This year’s lineup of presenters covers a wide scope of topics ranging from acoustics and home studio issues, to business and songwriting, and common production techniques for getting the most out of a selective studio budget. One highlight of the event, “Progression of a Project”, will feature keynote speaker, artist, songwriter, and personal studio owner, Kristian Bush, and his engineering and production partner, Tom Tapley, walking through the production of a complete song from start to finish. The duo will highlight the role of technology in the creative process, revealing the depths of what’s possible within and without a personal recording space. Day two’s “Progression of a Project” presentation will further feature engineer/producer Steve Marcantonio, who, having worked early in his engineering career with John Lennon in New York City, assembled a coalition of Nashville artists, studio musicians and facilities for a tribute album to benefit the Nashville Engineer Relief Fund. Steve follows the progression of tunes from “We All Shine On”, from start to finish, with comments about the collaborators’ contributions, and comparisons to the original foundation.

Another integral part of the Nashville Recording Workshop +Expo, the showcase exhibit area, will feature over 30 pro audio manufacturers and related services showing their latest offerings. Attendees will have ample opportunity for hands-on product showcases and demos, along with networking opportunities with audio professionals from around the country. Additionally, two state-of-the-art mobile facilities will be on-hand for tours and demonstration by attendees. The first, TNDV’s “Vibration” mobile production studio (featuring a Studer Vista 9 console, 7.1 surround sound, and interface for up to 256 inputs), specializes in mobile, multi-cam, and hi-def productions for any size or type of venue. Alongside will be the Yamaha Rolling Showroom – a spacious, hands-on exhibit of the latest NUAGE product line, developed in conjunction with Steinberg, utilizing the powerful Dante audio network protocol. Both impressive facilities will be open, along with other exhibitor booths and showcases, throughout the two day event.

Presented by the AES Nashville Section in conjunction with the Audio Engineering Society, and designed to share the expertise of audio pros with home studio owners, musicians, songwriters, producers and engineers, NRW+E 2013 will feature presentations by industry pros, exhibits by audio gear manufacturers and an opening night reception. Panelists slated to appear include Jonell Polansky, Chris Mara, Chris Estes, Bil VornDick, Richard Adler, Lynn Fuston, Glenn Meadows, Mike Metlay, Randy Wachtler, Tom Tapely, and Steve Marcantonio, among others.

Sponsors and exhibitors for this year’s Nashville Recording Workshop +Expo include: ADAM, AEA, API, Asterope, Cartec Audio, Daking, Drawmer, Earthworks, Electronic Musician, Empirical Labs, Flourish Acoustics, Focusrite Novation, GluBoost, Gordon Instruments, ITI Audio, Latch Lake, Magix, Mix Magazine,, Nashville Muse, New Bay Media, New Life Digital Media, NTS ProMedia, PhasX Acoustics, PixAural, Prism Sound, Pro Audio Review, Pro Sound News, Recording, Sabra-Som, Samplitude, Sonodyne, Sontec, Sony Electronics, Sweetwater, TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik, TransAudio Group, Unity Audio, Waves Distro, Waves Audio, and Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems.

Reduced rates are available for students and members of professional industry organizations (AES, AFM, NSAI, Recording Academy, SPARS, RMA, BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, SMPTE).

For more complete schedule and registration information visit

The Music Industry Gathers to Remember Phil Ramone

— Visionary, producer, engineer, composer and audio technologist was remembered by his peers, his family, and artists in whom he helped bring out the best —

NEW YORK, NY, May 13, 2013 – With those in attendance underscoring the breadth and depth of a remarkable career in music, family and friends of multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning music producer Phil Ramone came together on May 11, 2013, to celebrate and honor his singularly amazing life. Ramone, who passed away on March 30, 2013, was most noted as an inspired record producer, crafting recordings that have sold into the hundreds of millions of copies for artists including Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, James Taylor and many others. But Ramone, a classical violin prodigy who studied at the Juilliard School, was as deeply interested and gifted in the technology of music production, and it’s telling that in addition to his 14 GRAMMY Awards (out of 33 nominations) Ramone was the recipient of a Technical GRAMMY, for his many contributions to the science and art of recording. Such contributions include the establishment of A&R Recording, the Manhattan studio Ramone co-founded in 1958 that set the bar for the industry nationally; his production of Billy Joel’s 1982 52nd Street LP, the first CD album ever commercially released; the Frank Sinatra Duets series of recordings, with which Ramone pioneered recording techniques in which vocalists – in some cases thousands of miles apart – were paired in the studio via fiber-optic technology; and countless more. An early advocate of digital music technology, Ramone also founded one of the first record labels focused on digital music, N2K Encoded Music.

The event, titled Phil Ramone, Music Memorial Celebration, was held at the Centennial Memorial Temple, a landmark Art Deco auditorium inside the Salvation Army’s Greater New York Division Headquarters. The choice of venue held a particularly special meaning, since in November 2011 Ramone founded The Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children — the result of Phil’s lifelong dream to touch the lives of less fortunate children in challenged communities by giving them access to music education. The program currently serves children ages 7 to 12, and teaches these students how to play instruments through group and full orchestra lessons.

The event read like a Who’s-Who in the music industry. It drew a stream of luminaries who recalled Ramone’s gifts as a person and music professional, including Tony Bennett, engineer Ed Cherney (Bonnie Raitt, the Rolling Stones), Josh Groban, Dave Grusin, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Shelby Lynne, Matthew Morrison, Paul Simon, Kevin Spacey, Noel Paul Stookey, Nikki Yanofsky and Peter Yarrow. In attendance were family members Karen, BJ, Matt and Simon Ramone, who shared the stage and the love everyone felt for Ramone.

An all-star backup band accompanied many of the artists who performed and included such renowned musicians as Rob Mounsey (musical director/piano), Steve Gadd (drums), Bashiri Johnson (percussion), Ben Butler (guitar), Henry Hey (keyboards), Zev Katz (bass), Vaneese Thomas (background vocals) and Jill Dell’Abate (background vocals and music coordinator).

After a performance of “When the Saints Come Marching In” by The Salvation Army Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children, some of the attending artists performed songs paying tribute to Ramone. Billy Joel performed “Where’s the Orchestra”; Tony Bennett sang “Fly Me To The Moon”; keyboardist/composer Dave Grusin performed “Sun Song”; Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary) performed “Day Is Done”; Shelby Lynne performed “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”; actor Kevin Spacey evoked memories of Ramone’s work with Sinatra and performed a medley of “By Myself,” ”When Your Lover Has Gone” and “The Curtain Falls”; Nikki Yanofsky performed “You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)”; and Matthew Morrison performed a medley that included “Come Rain Or Come Shine” and ”Basin Street Blues.” Finally, renditions of “Slip Slidin’ Away” and “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon, and “Smile” by Josh Groban, brought the event to a gentle and wistful conclusion.

“Phil Ramone was a lovely person and a very gifted musician and producer,” said Tony Bennett. “It was a joy to have him work with me in the recording studio on so many projects, as he had a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of music.”

Billy Joel added, “I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band. He was the band member no one ever saw onstage. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him. I have lost a dear friend – and my greatest mentor.”

The 3-hour event was produced by longtime friend and former manager Nancy Munoz (Anami Music, Inc.), who also worked with Phil producing The Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards.

Photo File: PhilRamoneMemorial.JPG
Photo Caption: Pictured L-R, seated: Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Karen Ramone, BJ Ramone, Simon Ramone; L-R, standing: Steve Gadd, Josh Groban, Dave Grusin, Ed Cherney, Nikki Yanofsky, Kevin Spacey, Noel Paul Stookey, Shelby Lynne, Peter Yarrow, Matthew Morrison. Photo by Johnny Richie Photography. (This photo is the property of Johnny Richie Photography and may be used by the press only for the purpose of one-time reproduction. Unauthorized use, alteration or reproduction of this photograph is strictly prohibited.)


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