Saturday, November 19, 2005

OTR Sponsors Blue Coast Records


Founder of OTR Studios, Cookie Marenco, has announced the launch of Blue Coast Records, the new acoustic music label she has been involved with for 3 years.

As a preview to the spring SACD release, Blue Coast Collection, The E.S.E. Sessions, Blue Coast Records is having a holiday concert on December 1, 2005 at the Little Fox Theater in Redwood City, CA.

Most of the Blue Coast artists will be appearing that night with short sets featuring music from the upcoming release. Included in the list of wonderful performers are Keith Greeninger (winner of Telluride Bluegrass Festival songwriter of the year 2005), Jane Selkye & Chris Kee, Garett Brennan and Rob Ickes. Clsoing the evening will be a special performance of Caminos Flamencos with Jose M. Blanco, Jason McGuire and Yaelisa.

Performance starts at 8:30pm. There is a special VIP reception at 6:30 that will host Allen Butler (former president of Sony Music Nashville) and Tim McFadden (manager to Tim McGraw, Ben Folds and Blue Highway to name a few). Industry veterans, performing artists and Silicon Valley reps are expected to attend.

Silent Auction, free giveaway goody bags (including the advance release from Blue Coast) and ringtones will be part of the event as well.

For more information on the event, go to:

650 591 6857

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tribute to Kevin Scott, One of the Finest

Dear friends, some of you I may have spoken to already or have heard the sad news....

Kevin Scott, the assistant and main engineer at The Site Recording, died of a heart attack earlier this week. He was on the golf course with friends... doing something he loved.

If you knew Kevin, I'm sure you are all as shocked as I was to hear the news.... If you didn't know Kevin, you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't have the highest regard for him. He left a legacy of being part of some of the finest recordings of our times.

I don't think he was even 40 years old at his passing. Way too young.

Kevin topped many of our lists as the best assistant engineer one could have in the studio. It's hardly fair to call him an 'assistant' knowing the contributions he made to our recordings. His knowledge and expertise of all formats, music, esoteric gear and electronics was well beyond most of us.

He had been at the Site since day one, over 15 years... my favorite studio in the world.... and knew the ins and outs of that studio like very few might ever learn. As well, he knew when to stay out of the way and how to let us sink or swim. He was the ultimate role model of someone we would most want to work with in the studio.

Kevin had the ability to satisfy our most demanding challenges with calm and a positive attitude even when we used every cable and input available, with cross patching galore and 8 headphone mixes.

Some of my most cherished and best recordings came from that studio, always with his help. He stayed by my side through many great moments and toughs times as well.... kicking artists and producers out of the studio, working into endless nights, always pushing to the limits... and he learned how to handle attention to detail with his own desire for perfection.... his labelling program was a work of art.

He gave up holidays to work with us... Mary Chapin Carpenter over the 4th of July to an unknown singer songwriter on New Year's Eve. We watched many a superbowl with a tv under the console.... and I caught him several times with his science fiction books hidden under the desk. Our discrete hand signals and eye motions could change a mix without an artist even batting an 'ear'. I no longer had to say anything to him... just showup and he took care of us all.

I took my most demanding sessions to the Site, knowing with confidence I could produce great results... and to Kevin I am deeply in debted for helping me achieve success on those sessions. Most memorable were ....

the Chanticleer sessions... a capella, 12 male voices direct to 2 track with over 800 takes,
Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics.. 17 piece ensemble live to 2",
Mary Chapin Carpenter and band...
and most recently, the E.S.E. sessions where Jean Claude Reynaud and myself experimented with surround techniques in what came to be born our record label, Blue Coast Records.

From these sessions and others come hundreds of stories and learning experiences.

We were small potatoes to the artists he worked with during those more than 15 years... Keith Richards, The Grateful Dead, Neil Young and all the artists George Massenburg brought in... but he always treated my projects with the utmost respect.

There are some photos that either Jean Claude, Rick Clark or Gus took from the ESE Blue Coast sessions. It was great fun to relive the memories with 500 photos... remembering the magic that we shared... much in part to Kevin's unwavering attention he gave to our needs.

I can't quite fathom that this has happened. It is a huge loss to our community of friends who live and breath by great recordings. His legacy will live in the stories we will tell about our days working with him.

I can't help but think this is a bad dream.. but if it's not, I'm glad he had a golf club i his hand at his passing.

Goodbye old friend....

--- Cookie Marenco

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Workshops and Clinics 9.01.05

Clinic with band

Digitazing Audio for the Internet

Earthquake Study.. How power affects your recordings 9.01.05

Has Your Computer Crashed Unexpectedly Today?

Hums and Buzzes You've Never Heard Before?

Some of you have heard my ramblings about power surges and their relations to earthquakes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Location Recording with DSD

On the Road With High Qaulity Audio

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Intern Program 9.01.05

Who's Making Noise 9.01.05

In the Studio, in the Clubs, on the Scene

Garett Brennan, Polly Wood, worshops, intern program, silver cable, new website,

Friday, July 29, 2005

Digital Upgrades.... 8.1.05

DSD one bit recording… the closest thing to analog

Our recent upgrades include an 8 channel Sonoma digital system of DSD recording. One bit recording, 2.8 million parts per second... Direct Stream Digital. We are long time fans of analog recording and while we still prefer the sound of analog with SR, DSD is the closest thing to analog we've heard yet. The dynamic range is incredible.

We used this system for the surround mixdown of the Blue Coast Collection recordings. The quality is stunning. We also used it for a solo piano project with Art Lande and a location project in Utah with Garett Brennan. Many thanks to Gus Skinnas who provides us endless support.

You can check some recordings out at:

New Services for Home Recordists 8.1.05

Home Audio Technical Services (HATS).

For many years, OTR has interfaced our studio with recordings many of you are doing at home. We have been able to provide a Steinway piano, B-3 organ, room for recording and isolating drums, incredible mics, preamps, and a great room for mixing.

No one likes to setup new gear. New equipment installation takes your valuable time when you'd rather be recording. As well, a new piece of gear might disrupt an already intricate system of cabling... that now need a serious look. Computer issues start to arise with every new plugin or added program. General maintenance (like dusting, labeling, cleaning up the chaos) fall by the wayside as time ticks by.

Suddenly, it's a painful experience to look at your gear and think about how long it's going to take to work out the problems. Let us assist you.Or, maybe you just need to have someone engineer a session while you play.

Which ever the case, we are offering an introductory technical assessment program to look at your recording enviroment and figure out ways to optimise it in your home. Call for details.

Who's Making Noise in the Studio 8.1.05

Michael Tolcher and band was in the studio at OTR recording a live session for downloads with Cookie Marenco. Michael and crew has been on tour in support of his new record on Octone/Sony and stopped in between a show in LA and radio interview at KFOG to record 5 songs for, a division of Walmart. Twenty people were in the audience while we recorded the short concert. The downloads should go 'live' on June 19 and helps promote the new album. We think this is a great promotional tool for many artists... recording live in the studio for a small audience... and use the concert for downloads. Call us if you'd like more information.

Art Lande stopped in to play a few hours of solo piano last month for Blue Coast Records. Marenco and Jean Claude Reynaud, in from France, were producing / engineering the project with Nick Razlukin assisting. The project was recorded live to the Sonoma DSD digital system (more on that under New Gear) and edited in wavelab.

Cookie and Jean Claude were in mixing a project for Garett Brennan, Threepin Productions. The project was recorded live in a mountain chalet in Utah to the Sonoma digital system. Nick (OTR's resident DSD specialist) accompanied Cookie and Jean to Utah for the recordings that were live acoustic tracks of voice, guitar and the river.

Jean and Cookie were also finishing up more Blue Coast projects with Jane Selkye, Chris Kee, Keith Greeninger and Dayan Kai after travels to Utah and Colorado for the Bluegrass Festival. Check back to the website for broadcasts on OTR radio of live, on the couch sessions of new, talented singersongwriters from the Festival.

Local producer/ engineer, Jerry Becker, has two albums to his credit that were recorded at OTR and available. Dave Greenbaum has just released "Reflections". Joel Streeter is having his CD release party on July 26th at the Make Out Room. Robert Schitzius, Timo Hart and Jeff Michaels have ongoing projects working with Jerry and protools and the Steinway piano.