NAMM 2013 HOT Zone Speed Mentoring Sessions


This SPARS event has taken place. You can read more about the event and the well received Ask SPARS Mentoring at NAMM 2013.

NAMM show 2013
Ask SPARS Speed Mentoring Session”NAMM_HotZone2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013
1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Anaheim Convention Center
H.O.T. Zone (upper level)
Room 202 A-B

SPARS has participated in the NAMM H.O.T Zone since 2010. This year SPARS will offer their popular Ask SPARS mentoring program. The Ask SPARS program teams recognized and successful industry professionals with attendees in small groups for a period of 15 to 20 minutes. This allows students, recent graduates and other recording professionals the opportunity to meet face-to-face, ask questions and receive career advice from many of  the most respected leaders in the industry. Several career choices are represented in the sessions. Participants can rotate among the various sessions as their interests dictate.

The NAMM Host Zone mentoring sessions this year will feature recognized industry professionals in the fields of Manufacturing, Sound for Picture, Studio Production and Studio Management. The mentors will meet with participants face-to-face in small groups to offer advice, share experience and answer questions about the industry and careers.

This year’s categories will be:

* Pro Audio Manufacturers / Dealers

* Sound for Picture 

* Studio Production

* Studio Management

To Register… 

As of today, the following mentors are registered to attend in the below categories. Mentors are being added now, so check back periodically to receive updated mentor info.

Pro Audio Manufacturers / Dealers:

Dave Hampton, MATK Corporation, Author/Producer/Engineer

Dave Hampton is a 30+ year veteran of the audio recording industry. His company MATK Corp is trusted and called on to create and provide custom solutions for various artists and companies. He has served as Technical director for Herbie Hancock’s Hancock Music in Los Angeles, and Prince’s Paisley Park Studio in MN. In addition to engineering, Dave still consults with manufacturers on new technology, lecturers on survival in the industry, and mentors new recording professionals. His latest book, The Business of Audio Engineering is mandatory text for several audio programs around the country. Other clients include Marcus Miller, George Duke, Justin Timberlake, Maxwell, Lady Gaga, and Babyface.

Tom Menrath, Vintage King Audio, Strategic Development

Tom has 20+ years of experience in sales, marketing and business development in the music industry. He has held executive positions with Guitar Center Management, Sweetwater and Vintage King Audio. His has also worked for and/or provided consulting to several manufacturers including Mesa/Boogie, Monster Cable, Seymour Duncan, Focusrite, Chandler Limited, Little Labs, Beyerdynamic, Kurzweil and many others.

Tim Vear, Shure, Systems Support

Tim is a native of the south side of Chicago (Go White Sox!).  A lifelong interest in both entertainment and science has led to the field of audio as his choice for combining these interests in a useful way.  Prior to joining Shure he worked as an engineer for recording, radio and live sound, operated his own recording studio and sound company, and continues to play music professionally.  He holds a BS degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, with a minor in Electrical Engineering, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  While at the University, Tim also worked as chief technician with both the Speech and Hearing Science and Linguistics departments.

Since joining Shure in 1984, Tim has served in a technical support and training capacity for multiple departments.  He has been active in product and applications education for Shure customers, dealers, and installers, as well as company staff.  His major goal has been to increase the understanding of quality audio by presenting technical information in a way that is thorough but still very accessible.  Tim’s particular emphasis is on the contribution of proper selection and technique for both wired and wireless microphones.  Recently, he has joined the Shure Systems Support Group which provides assistance and training for advanced digital and networked products.

In addition, Tim has done technical presentations for many industry organizations (NAB, NAMM, AES, and SBE), as well as for US government entities such as the White House Communication Agency and the US Air Force.  Through His international assignments he has been fortunate to be able to deliver presentations in more than twenty countries and on all but one of the continents (still waiting for an offer from Antarctica…).

He has provided specific applications assistance to various performing artists including the Rolling Stones and U2, for theme parks such as Disney and Universal Studios, and performance groups such as Cirque du Soleil.

While at Shure, Tim has authored several educational booklets including “Selection and Operation of Wireless Microphone Systems” and “Audio Systems Guide for Houses of Worship.”

His articles have also appeared in Recording Engineer Producer, Live Sound Magazine, Pro AV, Technologies for Worship, and Church Sound Magazine.

Sound for Picture:

Jason Upright, Managing Director, Firehouse Recording Studios

As Managing Director of Firehouse Recording Studios, Jason is responsible for booking, managing, and maintaining the exceptional level of quality and service associated with the Firehouse. Jason has extensive experience in the music industry, having served as a Director of A&R and Project Manager for independent labels. He’s also held positions in Artist Development and Catalog Marketing for major labels including EMI/Capitol where he helped break artists such as Norah Jones and Coldplay, and revitalize the catalogs of legendary artists like Sinatra and The Beach Boys. Prior to Firehouse Studios, Jason spent 3+ years in DMI Music’s Branding and Operations division. Jason is also a former band manager and currently plays drums for L.A. rock band The Blessings.

Some of Firehouse Recording Studios’ recent film/TV projects that involved sound-to-picture include:

The Lone Ranger (Walt Disney Motion Pictures), Last Resort (Sony Pictures/ABC), Hotel Transylvania (Sony Pictures Animation), Desperate Housewives (ABC), Much Ado About Nothing (Lionsgate), Angry Birds: Star Wars (Rovio Entertainment), Secret Life of The American Teenager (ABC Family), Tower Heist (Universal Pictures), The Possession (Lionsgate), Formula Drift (NBC Sports), Christmas With Holly (Hallmark/ABC), Safe Haven (Relativity Media), Jaguar TV commercial, Yoplait TV commercial

Bob Bronow

Bob is a re-recording mixer and sound designer working in television and documentary film for over twenty years.

In addition to mixing eight seasons of Deadliest Catch, his credits include Ax Men, Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice, The Colony, 1000 Ways to Die, American Masters: Carol Burnette & Bob Newhart and the feature documentary The Wrecking Crew. He has won two Emmys and four Cinema Audio Society awards for his work on Deadliest Catch.

He’s served on the Academy of Television Arts and Science’s Sound Peer Group executive committee and the Board of Directors for the Cinema Audio Society. He also regularly speaks and teaches master classes at universities around the country to share insight and promote the craft of sound to future mixers.

Kirsten Smith, Director, Feature Sound, Universal Studios Sound

Kirsten Smith joined Universal in August 2006, to coordinate sales and sound services for feature films. Smith is responsible for developing new sales strategies to major studios and independent markets; negotiating sound packages and deliverables; mixer talent and stage scheduling; customer focus; and the day to day operations of the sound department. Smith also oversees the feature trailer mixing and editorial staff for the internal creative marketing division.

Prior to joining Universal, Smith served as Managing Director of the Todd AO Scoring stage since 1992. At Todd-AO she was responsible for business development and sales at the independent post-production company, instrumental in acquiring contracts for scoring such major features as The Lion King, The Shawshank Redemption, Rudy, Titanic, Apollo 13, and A Beautiful Mind.

A graduate of Trebas Institute of Recording Arts in 1989, she worked at Evergreen Recording Studios where she developed and implemented business strategies for television, album recording, and feature projects.

Studio Production:

Dave Rideau

Dave Rideau is a three-time Grammy nominee who has been making records and mixing for film and TV for more than twenty years. The Los Angeles based mixer and engineer has earned dozens of gold and platinum records for artists and film soundtracks. Rideau’s work has taken him to Europe, Japan, China and Brazil. His discography includes: Sting, TLC, Janet Jackson, Brenda Russell, Earth Wind and Fire, George Benson, Tom Scott, Al Jarreau, Kirk Franklin and Boney James. His film score mixing includes Al Pacino’s classic “Scarface” and TV music mixing includes HBO’s dramatic theme to the boxing series “24/7”.

Niko Bolas

Niko Bolas is known as a “vibe oriented” producer/engineer in music studios and in forays with hi-tech companies. He has recorded and produced music and technology since starting at the famous Record One Studio in 1979. In music, he’s cut with a wide spectrum…

Classic Artists – Neil Young (The Volume Dealers), Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, Keith Richards, Herb Alpert, KISS, Steve Perry…

Contemporary Artists – John Mayer, Los Lonely Boys, Melissa Etheridge, The Waterboys, My Morning Jacket…

Rising Talents – Australia’s Rushcutter, England’s Two Spot Gobi, and Chicago’s Echo Son.

Film work spans “The Breakfast Club”, “Singles”, Scorcese’s “Lightning In A Bottle”, and Beyonce’s “Cadillac Records”.

Neil Dorfsman

Acknowledged for his skills at both engineering and producing,  Neil Dorfsman has been honored with an armful of trophies including a Grammy for Best Engineered Album (Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms) and Grammys for Producer of the Year (Nothing Like The Sun by Sting, Scenes From The South Side by Bruce Hornsby). His engineering contribution to Sting’s Brand New Day earned him another Grammy in 1999.  The year he won the TEC Award for Engineer of the Year he was also nominated for the TEC Awards’ Producer of the Year.

Neil started at a small voice-over studio called Judrac in New York in 1977 and then left a year later to assist at Electric Lady Studios. There he worked with Eddie Kramer on Kiss (Kiss Alive 2 / Love Gun) and Foghat (Stone Blue) and with other free-lance engineers on Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke and Roy Ayers.

“I did a project with Eddie Kramer that ended up getting mixed at the Power Station. I went to help out with the mixing and was asked by Bob Walters to stay on,” says Dorfsman.

Neil’s first full record as engineer there was Bruce Springsteen’s The River.  He stayed on staff at The Power Station until 1984, working on albums for Jim Steinman, Weather Report, Michael Mainieri, Meco, Jon Bon Jovi, Gary U.S. Bonds, Full Force and a variety of disco, pop and rock artists.

Neil became a freelance engineer/producer in late 1984 and has been fortunate enough to get to work with Dire Straits, Sting, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby and many other brilliant musicians.  He still considers The Power Station (now Avatar) his “home” and tries to work there whenever possible.

Barry Rudolph

Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer with over 30 gold and platinum awards to his credit. He has recorded and/or mixed: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, The Corrs, and Robbie Nevil. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility in North Hollywood, CA; he is the ‘New Toys’ columnists for Music Connection Magazine, a contributing editor for Mix Magazine, and teaches recording engineering classes at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA.

Francis Buckley

As a Grammy Award winning engineer/producer Francis has been making records for over 30 years. His experience ranges from the groundbreaking punk act Black Flag’s first album “Damaged” in 1980 to winning the Engineering Grammy Award for “Q’s Jook Joint” with Quincy Jones in 1996. Francis’ contributions to such multi-platinum recordings as The Pointer Sisters’ “Breakout”, Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl”, Wilson Phillips’ “Wilson Phillips”, Alanis Morrisettes’ “Jagged Little Pill” and Quincy Jones’ “Q’s Jook Joint,” have helped to sell over 100 million records worldwide

Francis’ portfolio includes a #1 rock album (Alanis Morrisette), 2 #1 pop albums (Paula Abdul and Wilson Phillips), a #1 country album (Billy Dean), 2 #1 r&b albums (The Pointer Sisters), and a #1 Jazz jazz album (Quincy Jones). He has also done rap, hip hop, comedy, feature films, television and Broadway. This broad range of experience augments my ability to spot talent at every stage of development, from unrefined to market ready.

Music degree in hand, Francis moved from Detroit, Michigan to Los Angeles in 1977. In early 1978 he attended The Dick Grove Music Workshop in Studio City, CA and then Sound Masters Recording School in North Hollywood, CA. Francis began producing while acting as chief engineer at W.E. Studios in Redondo Beach in 1979. In 1980 Francis became chief engineer and A&R scout for Unicorn Records. In 1981 he moved to MCA Music Publishing, beginning a 10-year stand as chief engineer and Director of Recording Services. During that time Francis worked with the best song writers in the world and was involved with the career development of such artists as Paula Abdul, Wilson/Phillips, Curtis Stigers, Jack Wagner, Stacey Earl, Tamia, Alanis Morissette and many others.

Michael Lloyd (IMDB / AllMusic / Interview)

Michael Lloyd was Vice President of A&R for MGM Records by the age of 20, and for more than 45 years has been producing hit records and soundtracks, earning more than 100 gold and platinum records along the way. Some of the artists he’s worked with include, Barry Manilow, Lou Rawls, Shaun Cassidy, Belinda Carlisle, The Bellamy Brothers, The Monkees, Donny and Marie Osmond, The Osmonds, Stryper, Sammy Davis, Jr., The Righteous Brothers, Debby Boone, Leif Garrett, Air Supply, and Frank Sinatra, just to name a few. He was the Music Supervisor for the film “Dirty Dancing” and produced the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack album. He’s also done the scoring, music supervision, song writing, song placement and/or music producing for well over 100 motion pictures, 22 TV movies, 13 TV specials & 37 television series.   His chart records span six decades, from the 60’s to the present.

Wes Maebe, British Recording Engineer, Reviewer, Mix Magazine, VoiceCouncil & Audio Pro International, APRS member and board director

Born and raised in Belgium, Wes moved to London to study audio technology in 1998, returning to live here in 2003.  Initially dividing his time between being a visiting lecturer in Audio Technology at City of Westminster College and building a client base for freelance recording, mixing, mastering and live work, Wes moved to full-time engineering in 2006.

Wes has made live recordings of The Kooks, the Buzzcocks and Cat Stevens, amongst others – including distinguished classical pianist Alfred Brendel.  He’s worked in some of the loveliest studios in London, including Mickie Most’s RAK, Trevor Horn’s Sarm West and Mark Knopfler’s private paradise, British Grove. In these studios he has recorded and mixed for artists like Alexandra Burke, Elliott Randall, Melanie C, Beverly Knight, Ellie Goulding, One Republic, Praying Mantis and New Model Army.  And has had the pleasure of working with many a great producers like Garth Richardson, Elliott Randall, Dave Allen, Paul O’Duffy and Rick Nowels.

Wes has mastered more than 100 albums in the last couple of years for everyone from Sex Pistol Glen Matlock to folk heroes Fairport Convention, punk icons Stiff Little Fingers and post-punk icons New Model Army.

Wes has worked as a front of house engineer in over 300 venues and festivals all over Europe, and has toured with artists as varied as Sting, Chaka Khan, Hugh Cornwell,  Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant, heavy metal rockers Exit 10 and classic blues/rock singer Deborah Bonham, sister of the late-lamented John.  He’s played John Bonham’s gong too!

Wes is on the Board of the APRS – the Association of Professional Recording Services – and is a regular reviewer for Mix Magazine U.S. and Audio Pro International magazine, in which he also has his own column, which means he gets to play with lots of lovely new gear for nothing.

Studio Management:

Candace Stewart, Studio Manager, EastWest Recording Studos

Candace Stewart is an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in Recording Studio management. She has managed such facilities as Take One Recording, Red Zone, Soundcastle Studios, and Firehouse Studios.

Prior to coming on board at EastWest Studios in Hollywood, Candace managed Cello Studios which was located in the same building, and was converted into EastWest Studios by design superstar Philippe STARCK.

She has worked with artists in all genres of music from the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg to film composers, Jerry Goldsmith and Paul Williams.

In her tenure as a manager she has seen many technological changes in the industry but her commitment remains the same: to facilitate artists and all those who create music in any way possible.

Kirk Imamura, President, Avatar Studios

Kirk Imamura has over 18 years experience in the consumer electronics industry working for Sony Corporation. Kirk has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from San Diego State University. He has engineering and management experience in equipment design, software development, large scale manufacturing operations, product development and strategic & business planning. Since leaving Sony, Kirk has spent 11 years in the music industry successfully running and guiding the operations of Avatar Studios in New York as President. During his tenure, the studio has been awarded five TEC Awards for Outstanding Creative Achievement. Kirk’s well-rounded management experience, people skills, technical background and marketing abilities are well-suited for leading a business to the next level.

Bridget Gardiner, Los Angeles Campus Director, SAE Institute

 In the better part of last decade, Bridget Gardiner managed a full-service recording studio in Phoenix; coordinated projects for award winning producers and bands; and planned and promoted well over a hundred live events. Between her long relationship with audio schools and her years of experience working with artists and producers, in March of 2011, Bridget accepted the position of Los Angeles Campus Director for SAE Institute. Bridget has brought with her a first-hand understanding of the challenges facing recording students thrust into an intensely competitive and rapidly changing industry. With a Business and Accounting Degree from Phoenix College, her direct real-world experience in recording and production, and her relationships with working professionals in the Los Angeles recording industry, has made Bridget a uniquely qualified and exciting addition to the management team of SAE Institute of Los Angeles. Most recently, in Sept of 2012, Bridget was promoted to West Coast Regional Director, overseeing the San Francisco and Los Angeles campuses.

Jeff Greenberg, CEO, Village Recording Studios

Jeff Greenberg is a former manager, concert producer, (Wolf and Rissmiller Concerts, Nederlander /Greek Theater), and ICM Agent (Kinks, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac.). Jeff is the current CEO and owner of the world famous Village Studios. The Village has produced many of the top records of the past 40 years, including Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones Janet Jackson, Usher, and Lady Gaga. Soundtracks include Shawshank Redemption, Walk The Line, Crazy Heart and The Adjustment Bureau to name a few.  The Studio complex, located in a 1922 Masonic Temple, hosts many events for the GRAMMY organization. Greenberg is past president and director of Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS), Recording Academy P&E (Producers and Engineers) Wing Advisory Board member, and currently Los Angeles Chapter Governor of The Grammy organization. Jeff was an original board member of Musicians Assistance Program (MAP). Recently he built a recording studio in Boyle Heights for The Los Angeles Youth Opportunity Center to motivate and inspire inner city youth. The program has grown to include mobile recording studios visiting schools and parks throughout California.

Tina Morris, Studio Manager, Village Recording Studios

Tina Morris graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in music production and engineering in 1997.  During her last semester of college she began an internship at Sound Techniques (currently Mix One Studios) and quickly became a staff Music/Post Engineer and Tech.  Clients there included Carly Simon, Smash Mouth, Aerosmith, PBS Frontline and Discovery Channel.  After leaving Sound Techniques, Tina freelanced at production companies and studios in and around Boston, taking on a range of projects from on location sound to full-length albums.  She also installed studios and large-scale sound systems up and down the east coast.  Tina relocated to L.A. in 2006 where she started at The Village Studios as a night tech and in June 2008 acquired the role of Studio Manager.

Joel Stoner, President/CEO, Alter Media

Studio Suite is the brainchild of multi-platinum award-winning engineer, mixer and producer Joel Stoner. He started building Studio Suite in 1995 to meet his personal needs and soon recognized the lack of a standardized system for the recording industry. In early 1997 he hired a staff of programmers to help bring the product to market. Soon after its initial release, the demand for Studio Suite expanded into other industries such as post-production, video, film, radio, TV, graphics, internet/web, games, DVD and multimedia production and has been rewritten and expanded to accommodate these users. Studio Suite is now used in over 40 countries on 6 continents.

A 20 year veteran of the music industry, Joel has worked on countless records, films, TV shows and jingles in over 100 of the best studios in the world. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Production and Engineering and has held the office of Vice President of the Atlanta chapter of NARAS (the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences). He has also served as an Advisory Associate of SPARS (the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services), and is a member of AES (the Audio Engineering Society), NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchandisers), and the FileMaker Solutions Alliance. He is also a published author, college lecturer, and has been a panelist, judge, and moderator on topics related to the recording industry.

To Register…