Monday, November 23, 2009
Cookie Marenco was the engineer and co-conspirator for the sessions with help by Patrick O'Connor operating the digital machines (and reviewing guitar pedals on line) and Mike Howles, our aspiring young engineer who admitted he had never heard music like this before. Several other assistants were onhand to witness the musical assault.
BluCube arrived for mixday and held the console hostage, despite the cries of Dino and Ava, "How COULD you do that to our music?!?!". The Cube has posted one mix at the website to protest Pluto's removal as a planet by current scientists. She left shortly afterwards.
Black Coast--12 minutes to barbeque a steak by....
The 2 hours and 40 minutes of music created and mixed was then used to set the mood for an all day cooking fest at OTR the following day. The sonic explosion was put on endless repeat while Dino, Cookie, and Mike cooked and ate dinner from 3pm to 10pm. Patrick offered his help on the steaks, but mostly stayed in his room working on the vintage electro harmonix efx box after a lesson from Dino.
The menu included and was revealed in this order....
Toasted Crostini with olive oil, garlic, red hot peppers and grated white cheddar cheese
Crab Cioppino with some Heat
Spinach and Cheddar Souffle
Crab Cakes with Leftover Vegetables and Lemon Aoili
Barbequed Steaks and Mash Potatoes
Baked Apples and Pears with Cranberries and Breadcrumb Cookies
Not one bad dish through the night! Amazing.. a first!
And by the way, the music was INCREDIBLE for cooking to as it blasted through my Orfeo speakers.. one wild Blue Cube ride after the next. Sonic torture for some, but for us it was a ride to the heavens!
A little history... Cookie and Dino played together in bands before the days of OTR. It was Dino who said to Cookie, "YOU'RE GONNA LEARN THIS STUFF!" when the first installation of gear was complete more than 20 years ago. Cookie complied fearing the wrath of Dino.
The complete set of music will soon be available as downloads.
The recipes can be found at the Jar of Spice fan page on Facebook.
We would like to thank Whole Foods for having crab and steaks on sale for a change! Cookie would like to thank Dino for buying the new souffle dish. It is rumored BluCube and Ava have run off to a heavy metal camp for kids in South America... or so they SAID that was the reason they had missed dinner!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The World Has Lost a Remarkable Innovator and Musician: Les Paul Passes Away at 94
New York, NY…August 13, 2009…Les Paul, acclaimed guitar player, entertainer and inventor, passed away today from complications of severe pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in White Plain, New York, surrounded by family and loved ones. He had been receiving the best available treatment through this final battle and in keeping with his persona, he showed incredible strength, tenacity and courage. The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks for the thoughts and prayers from his dear friends and fans. Les Paul was 94.
One of the foremost influences on 20th century sound and responsible for the world’s most famous guitar, the Les Paul model, Les Paul’s prestigious career in music and invention spans from the 1930s to the present. Though he’s indisputably one of America’s most popular, influential, and accomplished electric guitarists, Les Paul is best known as an early innovator in the development of the solid body guitar. His groundbreaking design would become the template for Gibson’s best-selling electric, the Les Paul model, introduced in 1952. Today, countless musical legends still consider Paul’s iconic guitar unmatched in sound and prowess. Among Paul’s most enduring contributions are those in the technological realm, including ingenious developments in multi-track recording, guitar effects, and the mechanics of sound in general.
Born Lester William Polsfuss in Waukesha, Wisconsin on June 9, 1915, Les Paul was already performing publicly as a honky-tonk guitarist by the age of 13. So clear was his calling that Paul dropped out of high school at 17 to play in Sunny Joe Wolverton’s Radio Band in St. Louis. As Paul’s mentor, Wolverton was the one to christen him with the stage name “Rhubarb Red,” a moniker that would follow him to Chicago in 1934. There, Paul became a bonafide radio star, known as both hillbilly picker Rhubarb Red and Django Reinhardt-informed jazz guitarist Les Paul. His first recordings were done in 1936 on an acoustic—alone as Rhubarb Red, as well as backing blues singer Georgia White. The next year he formed his first trio, but by 1938 he’d moved to New York to begin his tenure on national radio with one of the more popular dance orchestras in the country, Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians.
Tinkering with electronics and guitar amplification since his youth, Les Paul began constructing his own electric guitar in the late ’30s. Unhappy with the first generation of commercially available hollowbodies because of their thin tone, lack of sustain, and feedback problems, Paul opted to build an entirely new structure. “I was interested in proving that a vibration-free top was the way to go,” he has said. “I even built a guitar out of a railroad rail to prove it. What I wanted was to amplify pure string vibration, without the resonance of the wood getting involved in the sound.” With the good graces of Epiphone president Epi Stathopoulo, Paul used the Epiphone plant and machinery in 1941 to bring his vision to fruition. He affectionately dubbed the guitar “The Log.”
Les Paul’s tireless experiments sometimes proved to be dangerous, and he nearly electrocuted himself in 1940 during a session in the cellar of his Queens apartment. During the next two years of rehabilitation, Les earned his living producing radio music. Forced to put the Pennsylvanians and the rest of his career on hold, Les Paul moved to Hollywood. During World War II, he was drafted into the Army but permitted to stay in California, where he became a regular player for Armed Forces Radio Service. By 1943 he had assembled a trio that regularly performed live, on the radio, and on V-Discs. In 1944 he entered the jazz spotlight—thanks to his dazzling work filling in for Oscar Moore alongside Nat King Cole, Illinois Jacquet, and other superstars —at the first of the prestigious Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts.
By his mid-thirties, Paul had successfully combined Reinhardt-inspired jazz playing and the western swing and twang of his Rhubarb Red persona into one distinctive, electrifying style. In the Les Paul Trio he translated the dizzying runs and unusual harmonies found on Jazz at the Philharmonic into a slower, subtler, more commercial approach. His novelty instrumentals were tighter, brasher, and punctuated with effects. Overall, the trademark Les Paul sound was razor-sharp, clean-shaven, and divinely smooth.
As small combos eclipsed big bands toward the end of World War II, Les Paul Trio’s popularity grew. They cut records for Decca both alone and behind the likes of Helen Forrest, the Andrews Sisters, the Delta Rhythm Boys, Dick Hayes, and, most notably, Bing Crosby. Since 1945, when the crooner brought them into the studio to back him on a few numbers, the Trio had become regular guests on Crosby’s hit radio show. The highlight of the session was Paul’s first No. 1 hit and million-seller, the gorgeous “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.”
Meanwhile, Paul began to experiment with dubbing live tracks over recorded tracks, also altering the playback speed. This resulted in “Lover (When You’re Near Me),” his revolutionary 1947 predecessor to multi-track recording. The hit instrumental featured Les Paul on eight different electric guitar parts, all playing together. In 1948, Paul nearly lost his life to a devastating car crash that shattered his right arm and elbow. Still, he convinced doctors to set his broken arm in the guitar-picking and cradling position. Laid up but undaunted, Paul acquired a first generation Ampex tape recorder from Crosby in 1949, and began his most important multi-tracking adventure, adding a fourth head to the recorder to create sound-on-sound recordings. While tinkering with the machine and its many possibilities, he also came up with tape delay. These tricks, along with another recent Les Paul innovation—close mic-ing vocals—were integrated for the first time on a single recording: the 1950 No. 1 tour de force “How High the Moon.” This historic track was performed during a duo with future wife Mary Ford. The couple’s prolific string of hits for Capitol Records not only included some of the most popular recordings of the early 1950s, but also wrote the book on contemporary studio production. The dense but crystal clear harmonic layering of guitars and vocals, along with Ford’s close mic-ed voice and Paul’s guitar effects, produced distinctively contemporary recordings with unprecedented sonic qualities. Through hits, tours, and popular radio shows, Paul and Ford kept one foot in the technological vanguard and the other in the cultural mainstream.
All the while, Les Paul continued to pine for the perfect guitar. Though The Log came close, it wasn’t quite what he was after. In the early 1950s, Gibson Guitar would cultivate a partnership with Paul that would lead to the creation of the guitar he’d seen only in his dreams. In 1948, Gibson elected to design its first solidbody, and Paul, a self-described “dyed-in-the-wool Gibson man,” seemed the right man for the job. Gibson avidly courted the guitar legend, even driving deep into the Pennsylvania mountains to deliver the first model to newlyweds Les Paul and Mary Ford.
“Les played it, and his eyes lighted up,” then-Gibson President Ted McCarty has recalled. The year was 1950, and Paul had just signed on as the namesake of Gibson’s first electric solidbody, with exclusive design privileges. Working closely with Paul, Gibson forged a relationship that would change popular culture forever. The Gibson Les Paul model—the most powerful and respected electric guitar in history—began with the 1952 release of the Les Paul Goldtop. After introducing the original Les Paul Goldtop in 1952, Gibson issued the Black Beauty, the mahogany-topped Les Paul Custom, in 1954. The Les Paul Junior (1954) and Special (1955) were also introduced before the canonical Les Paul Standard hit the market in 1958. With revolutionary humbucker pickups, this sunburst classic has remained unchanged for the half-century since it hit the market.
“The world has lost a truly innovative and exceptional human being today. I cannot imagine life without Les Paul. He would walk into a room and put a smile on anyone’s face. His musical charm was extraordinary and his techniques unmatched anywhere in the world,” said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. “We will dedicate ourselves to preserving Les’ legacy to insure that it lives on forever. He touched so many lives throughout his remarkable life and his influence extends around the globe and across every boundary. I have lost a dear, personal friend and mentor, a man who has changed so many of our lives for the better.”
“I don’t think any words can describe the man we know as Les Paul adequately. The English language does not contain words that can pay enough homage to someone like Les. As the “Father of the Electric Guitar”, he was not only one of the world’s greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world,” said Dave Berryman, President of Gibson Guitar. “I have had the privilege to know and work with Les for many, many years and his passing has left a deep personal void. He was simply put – remarkable in every way. As a person, a musician, a friend, an inventor. He will be sorely missed by us all,”
With the rise of the rock ’n’ roll revolution of 1955, Les Paul and Mary Ford’s popularity began to wane with younger listeners, though Paul would prove to be a massive influence on younger generation of guitarists. Still, Paul and Ford maintained their iconic presence with their wildly popular television show, which ran from 1953-1960. In 1964, the couple, parents to a son and daughter, divorced. Paul began playing in Japan, and recorded an LP for London Records before poor health forced him to take time off—as much as someone so inspired can take time off.
In the 1977, Paul resurfaced with a Grammy-winning Chet Atkins collaboration, Chester and Lester. Then the ailing guitarist, who’d already suffered arthritis and permanent hearing loss, had a heart attack, followed by bypass surgery.
Ever stubborn, Les recovered, and returned to live performance in the late 1980s. Even releasing the 2005 double-Grammy winner Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played, featuring collaborations with a veritable who’s who of the electric guitar, including dozens of illustrious fans like Keith Richards, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Joe Perry. In 2008, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame paid tribute to Les Paul in a week-long celebration of his life which culminated with a live performance by Les himself. Until recently Les continued to perform two weekly New York shows with the Les Paul Trio, at The Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, for over twelve years where a literal who’s who of the entertainment world has paid homage. It has been an honor to have Les Paul perform at The Iridium Jazz Club for the past twelve years hosting such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Keith Richards and others and is a tragic loss to owner Ron Sturm both personally and professionally. Iridium intends to celebrate Les Paul's music and legacy every Monday night.
Les Paul has since become the only individual to share membership into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Les is survived by his three sons Lester (Rus) G. Paul, Gene W. Paul and Robert (Bobby) R. Paul, his daughter Colleen Wess, son-in-law Gary Wess, long time friend Arlene Palmer, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. A private Funeral service will be held in New York. A service in Waukesha, WI will be announced at a later date. Details will follow and will be announced for all services. Memorial tributes for the public will be announced at a future date. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Les Paul Foundation, 236 West 30th Street, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10001.
Caroline Galloway GIBSON GUITAR 615-423-4904 o 440-318-1202 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Eigo IRIDIUM 845-986-1677 email@example.com
Michael K. Braunstein Braunstein & Co. 212-687-3939 firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 13, 2009
This is Lydia's goodbye note to all of us.
I remember meeting Lydia at the Planet Bluegrass Folks Fest, Lyons, CO.... I don't even remember the date, except that she was on the 3rd issue of the magazine. We met through a mutual friend and I helped her 'flog' a few subscriptions. We had a great time on that day and though we don't see each other nearly enough, I consider her a friend. We practically grew up in our careers together in music.. a sister entrepreneur.
Last summer, during a stay in Nashville, was the last time I saw her. We chatted briefly at her offices about the 15 years that had passed. She told tales of keeping the magazine away from the corporate buyout. The magazine was her art, her baby, her own. She kept it independent, she kept the quality. Lydia made it happen on her terms. I'm so damn proud of her.
This upside down economy has taken a hard toll on all of us... music industry and print publishing are just a few industries affected. It's the end of an era for sure, but not the end for Lydia.
Lydia, my friend, here's to you, your future and all the people who's lives you touched.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
His name is Kai Eckhardt, one of the most gifted electric bass players in the world. His credits include touring and recording with Billy Cobham, John McLaughlin, Trilok Gurtu, Stanley Clarke, Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, Dewey Redman, Donald Byrd, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Robert Walter, Karl Denson, Michael Franti, Larry Coryell, Warren Hill, Al Di Meola, Zakir Hussain, Vital Information , John Scofield and Bill Frisell. In the last five years, Kai can be seen as a regular with Garaj Mahal a well known ensemble playing high powered instumental music in the jamband circuit.
For this session, the recording team at OTR Studios, helped setup a unique E.S.E. microphone placement. Led by producer, Cookie Marenco, The E.S.E. setup was employed, a proprietary recording technique she developed for Blue Coast Records. While Kai utilized his 3 instruments a 5 microphone setup captured the entire room as it vibrated with the sound of his instrument. Kai's interpretations of his songs uses full dynamic range and Marenco chose not to use compression in this recording.
OTR Studios is located in the San Francisco area and is known for it's high performance recording technique specializing in analog tape and Direct Stream Digital. Their services include multitrack recording, mastering and dynamic webpages for music downloads.
650 595 8475
ENJOY THE MUSIC!
Saturday, May 30, 2009
OTR Studios, Belmont, CA
Workshop 1 10am- 1pm
Workshop 2 2pm- 5pm
Call for more information.
650 595 8475
Do you get checks from your distributor that has a big ZERO on it?
Are you trying to earn a living on your art or craft?
Are you wondering how to take advantage of all the internet offers?
On June 27, we'll be offering a special workshop to help you evaluate your own use of Social Media Marketing
and how to make it work to your advantage.
Workshop focuses on
Personalizing your Marketing
and using Google Analytics to find your fans
This workshop is FREE to those who already own a Downloads Now! page.
If you don't have one....
During the month of June, we will be offering a special price of $250 for our full release page and include the workshop.
Downloads Now! is our proprietary CD Quality Download or High Resolution Download page customized for
your music, website, price, paypal account, and analytics
Here are some examples of pages we've done
Blue Coast Records
James Armstrong Music
Your fans can buy a Latte or they can buy a song from you!
Let them know you exist.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Look for it at your nearest bookstore this summer!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Along with our highly praised recording studios, we've added a new division at OTR Studios called Argo Arts (our website management and marketing division). Many of you have already taken advantage of our Dynomized Websites, Graphics and Marketing Consultation.
Certainly, these are changing times for everybody. And if you haven't noticed, the major record label system died. Retail stores no longer carry unlimited music titles. Tower Records is gone, Borders will be gone soon. Walmart carries the top 20 titles at $9.95. How can you have a career in a world that doesn't value music?
EMBRACE THE INTERNET AND COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR FANS.
You can't hide behind your music anymore. They want YOU!
There is so much much on the internet, it's often confusing, time consuming and doesn't provide much return. Where are you going to spend your time? We've already done the investigations and are ready to provide useful information through our new workshop series.
Reach Out! Workshop -- Building your Internet Community
$50 per person
If your confused about how to use all the Social Media Marketing available, we may have some answers!
We'll advise you how to turn your site from Static to Dynamic.
You can capture names and generate revenue from your website to your bank account. We'll show you how.
Reach Out! Workshop -- Building your Internet Community
June 27th, session 1 10am-1pm.. session 2 2pm-5pm
June 27th Workshop will focus on....
Google Analytics/Translator/Adsense -- no cost tools you can use. If you don't know what these terms mean, you need to attend this class!
We will explain how to use analytics to expand your global reach.
We will show you techniques that could grow traffic to your site by as much as 500% per month. It's not that hard!
$50 per person, Limited class size, Maximum information
Early registration until May 31 $40
Location of workshop: OTR Studios
Bring notepad, pencil and your attention
If you purchase Downloads Now! Single ($150) before May 31,
youl can attend the workshop at no cost
Call for more information
650 595 8475
Friday, May 22, 2009
Music Production * Dynamic Websites * Global Distribution
Starting today, we are offering a Complete Recording Package that takes you from production to sales all in one....
Certainly, these are changing times for everybody. And if you haven't noticed, the major record label system has died. Retail stores no longer carry unlimited music titles. Tower Records is gone, Borders will be gone soon. Walmart carries the top 20 titles at $9.95. How can you have a career in a world that doesn't value music?
The first thing to do is put value BACK in your music and REACH OUT to your audience often! Whether you record at home as a hobby or have toured the world with 25 releases under your belt, everyone LOVES and DESERVES to get the best sound possible. That has value, even as an mp3. Next, attract your fans, engage them in conversation and respond to their desires. You will addict them to you.
Record, Master and Distribute Package $5000 New Easy Payment Plans!
$2000 in advance/ $1000 for 3 months
40 hours of recording time Analog or Digital
with our house engineer, rental of upto 4 reels of tape, mix to DSD digital
Full Mastering Package
eq, level and sequence upto 15 songs, archive music, error tested pmcd, unlimited changes, mp3 files and cd redbook standards
Downloads Now! Pro Package
CD Quality Downloads at your website, payments to your paypal account, 1 year of hosting and customer service, paypal shopping cart, up to 12 songs individually sold)
300 cds in a wallet or slimline case
Graphic design for the wallet/slim line and disc art
2 hours of Social Media Marketing Consultation or Reach Out Worksh0p
Pay before May 29, in full and receive a 10% discount... $4400
At OTR, we are a one stop shop for your career.
We want to invite you to visit our studios for a free 30 minute consultation on production and marketing to help you with your future as a musician.
Call us at 650 595 8475 to set up a meeting.
It all starts with the music. You want to take it to the next level. You want collaboration. You want professionalism.
Our 20 year history of production includes Grammy awards, Gold records, and a great reputation. Combined with vintage gear, proprietary systems, and skilled craftsmenship we are at the head of the class.
Record you band from scratch or bring in your digital home tracks for enhancement. We can get a better sound than you imagined possible.
We are now scheduling for July, August and into fall. It's not too early to think about a release!
To receive an EXTRA 5% discount, join our Facebook group under OTR Studios. You'll see instructions how to get your additional discount!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Now, if you build a site, you may have figured out that it doesn't mean people will show up to your party! We can offer marketing consultation along with your new download site. We'll show you how to built it so the come!
Call us today at
650 595 8475
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sf Gate Article on Ron Stallings
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Submissions end Feb 28, 2009
Count how many computers are in this picture, send us an email and win and HOUR of free studio time... (must be used with other studio time purchased!). Limited time for this contest... Feb 28, 2009...
Name all the digital recording software in this photo (and available at OTR) and win and hour of free studio time.
If you can name the people, win a 3rd hour...
(if you find the Otari MTR 90 remote... well, you win NOTHING... ... cuz ya know it's there....)
Send your answers to Andrew@OTRStudios.com or call and leave a message at 650 595 8475.
Answers to be posted on March 11, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
Thanks Chie, Kenji and Sayumi for coming down to OTR and taking it away. We know it will be in good hands!
Friday, January 16, 2009
For 2009, we've come up with new services to help you lower your production costs, new products for you to market and sell your music, workshops and articles to assist you through the maze of 'what to do' if you're considering a career as an artist, engineer or producer. For full information, check out our website.
NEW EVERYDAY DISCOUNT PRICING.
We are please to introduce Tim Jones as our new house engineer after 18 months apprenticing at OTR learning our systems and proving his professionalism. OTR will be offering new Standard Rates with House Engineer in addition to the engineering and production services of owner, Cookie Marenco.
For 2009, we are offering day rates and multiple day discounts... and everyday discounts of 5-10% for early quick turn payments. You can get a 20% discount off our regular rates, if you can pay 8 weeks ahead of your sessions. It might seem like a long time, but, we typically book 2-3 months in advance.
Tired of giving most of your money (or small change) to Itunes? Amazon? We offer a simple and unique tool to help you maintain your community, sell a download at the price you choose, bundle whatever content you like and have the money go to your paypal account. Customization to look like your site is available. If you don't have a website, no worries, we host your downloads for a year, you can put a link from your myspace, facebook or other social network.
ANALOG MULTITRACK RECORDING, WE PROVIDE THE TAPE! THEN TRANSFER TO DIGITAL
Okay, the myth continues.. tape is expensive, but now there is no excuse. We include rental reels for your project because we believe in the speed, long life, ease and most important, the sound is incredible, no one denies it. Nielsen Soundscan reports an 89% increase in vinyl sales.
IMPROVED MASTERING for CD, DOWNLOADS, VINYL
We now incorporate our Sonoma DSD one bit recording system in our mastering. We believe in great analog gear with our proprietary silver cable to enhance and enlarge your digital or analog tracks. Here's how it works....
We take your mixed files of all sample rates... .44.1, 48, 88.2, 96K.. cassette.. mix 'em up. We take them analogue out, no plug ins, through Millennia Origins and maximise the levels to DSD. One bit recording sounds the closest to tape. After many comparisons, we've found the Sonoma system to have the best sonic qualities for modifications. From there we transfer out for cd ref Prep.
MUSIC IN THE YEAR 2008
This is the place for writing thoughts on the music business. This year, we'll make this a viable link for information on websites, production and marketing techniques for the indie artist. You can subscribe to the RSS free.
Other new services...Yes we can...
Production, Website managment, Web site development, Graphics, Silver Cable,
Vinyl and Promo Packages, Consulting on your brand development
So, call us about your project, budget and we'll work out a program.
All of us at OTR
650 595 8475