For the third year in a row, SPARS was an active participant in the H.O.T Zone at NAMM. The 33 year old recording association brought in artists, producers and engineers to share their expertise and experiences in recording successful projects.
The SPARS Studio Summit, “When a Professional Studio is Needed,” featured a keynote address by Goo Goo Doll’s lead singer, guitarist, John Rzeznik, a master class by Multi-Grammy winning Producer/Engineer Joe Chicarelli and a roundtable discussion of industry professionals moderated by Tom Kenny, Editor of Mix Magazine.
After a brief welcome from SPARS President, Kirk Imamura, Avatar Studios, Rzeznik headed the event by sharing the reasons and techniques he uses for selecting studios and various places to record. Assisted by Candace Stewart, East West Studios, Rzeznik also spoke about lessons he had learned as well as interesting stories about recording albums over a 22 year career that to date have resulted in 4 Grammy nominations, 13 consecutive top 10 multi-format hit songs, and over 10 million albums sold.
Chicarelli, known for successful projects for Elton John, Beck, U2, Melissa Etherirdge, Tori Amos, Carole King, The Cult, Bon Jovi, Al Stewart, Joan Baez, Counting Crows and Etta James, then teamed with Tom Kenny, Editor of Mix Magazine to deliver a master class spotlighting various projects. Chicarelli said his approach was all about the music, the genre and the artist’s vision. Chicarelli discussed projects for artists Boy & Bear (Australian band) and White Stripes at Blackbird Studios, My Morning Jacket at Avatar Studios, Chris Botti at Sunset Sound and Ocean Way Studios, Jason Mraz at Sunset Sound and Alberta Cross at EastWest Studios, and the reasoning that led to various choices of recording facilities. Chicarelli also shared some of his techniques regarding how he gets various sounds and how the choice of studio drives that decision.
The Summit wrapped up with a roundtable of successful industry professionals moderated by Tom Kenny, Editor of Mix Magazine, featuring Barak Moffitt, Executive Vice President, EMI Group, Ed Woolley, Firehouse Recording Studios, Jason Upright, Firehouse Recording Studios, Jeff Greenberg, Village Recording Studios, Dave Lichtenstein, 25th Street Recording and Producer/Engineer Michael Lloyd. The panelists described why they record in various studios with real world examples, covering such topics as acoustic properties, professional staff, use of the latest equipment, the sound the facility brings to the project and other timely issues.