HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS — OCTOBER 13, 2017 — American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) present the mainland concert premiere of GRAMMY Award winners Tak Matsumoto and Daniel Ho’s new album, Electric Island, Acoustic Sea. Following a sold-out 24-show tour in Japan and Hawaii earlier this year, Los Angeles audiences will be treated to two special events celebrating Gibson Guitar legend Matsumoto and ukulele virtuoso/multi-instrumentalist Ho’s debut album. First, the duo will kick off their mainland premiere with an intimate Q&A and exclusive live performance – An Evening With Tak Matsumoto and Daniel Ho – at the GRAMMY Museum in Downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 10 at 8:00pm. Then, four days later, a sensational live concert experience – Electric Island, Acoustic Sea – will rock JACCC’s Aratani Theater in Little Tokyo on Saturday, October 14, 2017. The performance will start at 7:00pm, and tickets range from $39 for balcony seating to $49 for orchestra seating. For additional information on the artists’ debut collaborative album, please visit. Tickets to the GRAMMY event can be found here and tickets for the Aratani concert can be found here.
The prolific duo’s first project together – Electric Island, Acoustic Sea – which was greeted with widespread critical acclaim, debuted at #1 in Japan upon its release on February 8, 2017. In a role-reversal, the album channels Ho’s inner rock star and Matsumoto’s love for the relaxing pace of Hawaii.
As Ho explains, it features an original collection of contemporary compositions rooted in the artists’ native cultures, “Our album is a musical convergence of our island cultures of Japan and Hawaii. We used traditional instruments like ‘ukulele, slack key guitar, ipu heke, taiko, sanshin, koto (June Kuramoto from the group Hiroshima recorded the koto parts) in our original music.” The almost entirely original, instrumental album sports one song with vocals by Ho, a cover of Journey’s ballad “Faithfully.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2017) — The Hollywood Press Corps recently got a chance to speak to musical artist Heather LaRose. Earlier this month, Heather dropped a new track on all platforms called Mixtape. Mixtape is pop music with a synth/electronic music backdrop. This is fun music that you might listen to at the gym or while driving your car. It’s been about two years since Heathers project “Beachside” came out. We wanted to ask her about her latest project called “Mixtape” and see what she’s been up to lately.
Hollywood Press Corps (HPC); Could you tell us a little about Mixtape? How did you select this song for your latest musical release?
(HLR); I wrote Mixtape after my ex liked a photo of mine on Facebook, and then obsessively played a mix CD he made me the summer before. I’ve been writing a lot of new material about so many different experiences and feelings, but Mixtape just felt like the song I wanted to listen to right now. It’s my summer jam: high-energy and optimistic, admittedly a little “extra,” but that’s just who I am!
(HPC); Could you tell us what genre of music Mixtape falls into, in your opinion.
I’d say it’s a modern “Top 40” style pop song, with a slight mix of tropical house. Mixtape differs from my previous record, Beachside in many ways. It still has those recognizable Heather LaRose pop melodies and singalong choruses, but now I know myself a lot better and am writing with a totally confident mentality, which I think really comes through in the music.
(HPC); What’s your songwriting process like? How do you come up with an idea and then record it in the studio?
(HLR); I always seem to get the best new song ideas while I’m driving… there’s something about driving that really frees up your mind – feeling that breeze rushing through your hair while the sun is shining? It’s definitely different every time though: with Mixtape it all started from the moment I got that notification on Facebook, and I just locked myself in my room all day until I finished it. Other times, the chorus or verse will pop into my head and the rest of the song will come to me later. I’m very inspiration driven, and I like to essentially allow the song to write itself.
(HPC); What was it like to work with MTV on your song “New Moon” which was featured on MTV’s show “Teen Wolf”?
(HLR); Pure Teen Wolf magic! I binge watched the third season, and then wrote “New Moon.” I was so honored to hear back from the Music Director and have New Moon featured in the fourth season! And then the Teen Wolf fans are so beautifully intense and interactive, and also gave me a huge boost. They have supported me so much in my career through listening to my music and coming to my shows. I love meeting them at my concerts – they always make really cool posters, it’s awesome!
(HPC); You started in New York’s Westchester area, and now you’re in Los Angeles. What was the transition like?
(HLR); LA is the anti New York, so it’s really funny being out here. People’s personalities are a total 180 from the New York crowd, but I love the artistic community and support here. We all lift each other up and are each other’s friends and fans. It has made the transition much easier knowing I have families on both coasts!
(HPC); Do you have a favorite coast? West coast or East coast?
(HLR); West Coast is the best coast of course! But whenever I’m away from my NY homies I miss them like crazy, but we have these epic snap streaks that go on for months! However, my style of music is totally more West Coast, so it makes sense for me to be out here.
(HPC); Could you talk about your relationship with your mother? Did she help you get to where you are today?
(HLR); My mom is amazing! We are super close – she calls me at least once a day and we talk for hours. She and my father have been my biggest support system throughout my whole life. If I didn’t have their full support about my choices with my career, I would have nothing.
(HPC); It looks like you’ve become quite a social media influencer. How do you use your social media to promote your music?
(HLR); I started out my Instagram posting selfies and promoting shows, and it just expanded from there! My friends all say I talk too much, but I think that really helps with my Instagram account! I love meeting the people who reach out and like my posts. Just last week I met with a group of girls in Manhattan right before a fashion week event I was going to. We had plans to meet up for lunch but I got locked out of the apartment I was staying in so we met up at Union Square’s Forever 21 and they helped me pick out my Fashion Week outfit then grabbed some Chik-fil-A and ran over to the event. Over the years, I’ve become more deliberate about what I post and promote, but I will never stop talking to people who dig my music, fashion, and cool pictures!
(HPC); Is there any musician that you’ve worked with in the past that you learned a lot from?
(HLR); During High School and college at Lagond Music School, I studied with Darryl Tookes and Paul Maddison. They both helped mold and shape my career and taught me so much about performing and the music business.
(HPC); Is there a musician that you’re looking forward to working with in the future?
(HLR); I would love to produce a song with BloodPop – the remix they did for HAIM is amazing! I’m also super obsessed with Justin Beiber’s new tune “Friends.”
(HPC); You have so many interests and talents. You’re in music, and fashion. Any plans to start your own clothing line?
(HLR); Not just yet. But, I’m trying my hand in designing band merch, so I’m super excited to unveil new tees and maybe some more unexpected items…
(HPC); What’s one thing that would surprise people about you?
(HLR); Growing up I loved catching frogs in my backyard and use to pretend to be Steve Irwin (rip) so when I’m older and have a family I want to host a show on Animal Planet and travel the world teaching people about animals.
Thanks for taking your time to speak with us and our readers! Check out Mixtape on YouTube!
(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 — Pro Mix Academy founder and producer/engineer Warren Huart (Aerosmith, Ace Frehley, The Fray) has teamed up with Grammy Nominated engineer Ariel Chobaz (Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Drake) to release a new ProMix Academy video on mixing hiphop. Chobaz has mixed and recorded over 40 GRAMMY winning or GRAMMY nominated HipHop and R&B artists from Eminem to Snoop Dogg.
In this 4 + hour course, you’ll learn techniques, tips, and tricks that big-time mixers use to craft massive hits. Chobaz takes you through his entire mixing process from start to finish and explains his thought process and the mixing techniques he uses in real time.
Chobaz walks the viewer through every step of the way from completely raw tracks to a radio-ready mix, and takes you through the common issues you face when mixing HipHop and shows you how to handle them with confidence. This tutorial explains how to mix knocking kick drums and growling 808s, how to acieve a raw and in your face rap vocals sound, how to to use various special FX to liven up your samples, create breakdowns and build tension in your mix by using automation, and how to take your mix to a competitive level, so it can stand up next to any commercial release without losing low-end impact, causing distortion, or a ‘pumping effect.’
To learn more or purchase the course please click here;
(BURBANK) September 19, 2017 – Kevin “Brandino” Brandon celebrated his 63rd birthday at Tallyrands in Burbank. So many friends, family and jazz legends stopped by to pay their respects and say Happy Birthday to Brandino. The evening was all about Brandino, but the amazing Jazz talent that was in the room was astounding.
A few of the people that watched Brandino blow out his candle were; LA Jazz legend John Heard. John is known for his work with Pharaoh Sanders, Count Basie and George Duke. Chatting with John was LA Jazz singer Janis Mann. Janis sings at clubs like Charlie O’s (when it was still around), Catalinas and the A Frame.
San Francisco Jazz bass player, Karl Vincent, stopped by to pay his respects to Brandino. Karl was relaxing and chatting with session jazz violin player, Crystal Alforque. Crystal has done session work with Brandino.
Kenny Elliot was also at the party. Kenny is known for his work with the Lou Rawls band. Kenny had a great time and seemed to get everybody laughing.
James Leary is a legendary bass player who has played with Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. James was at Brandino’s side when Brandino blew out his candle.
Also hanging out and posing for pictures was Quentin Denard. Quentin is a legendary drummer from Detroit.
For those who don’t know, Brandino is a 7 time Grammy Awarded, Producer, Composer, Arranger, and Bassist. There are really so many projects over the years that it’s hard to tell his story in one article. Brandino created a tune called “Singularity,” which was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Album of the Year in 2011. Brandino recorded this with Robby Krieger of the Doors. Brandino has worked with Michael Jackson, Bootsy Collins, Justin Timberlake and Mary J Blige. Brandino has worked with so many people. Andre 5000, Stevie Wonder, and so many of the jazz legends have worked with Brandino. Check out the link to Brandino’s website to read his incredible story;
(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 — The Produce Like a Pro team had the great pleasure of taking students from the Los Rios Rock School to Sunset Sound for a recording project. But not just any recording project, Studio 1 was set up and in one day the students recorded the album Van Halen I in its entirety.
Check out the website for Los Rios Rock School here;
The significance of being in Sunset Sound, and in studio 1 is that it is the exact room that Van Halen made that very album. The studio is great at keeping records and they looked into the archives and found a copy of how Van Halenhad the studio set up for tracking and it was recreated as closely as possible for the student’s recording. Drums, amps, microphones, the console and echo chamber were set up the way that it was documented that Van Halen did it 40 years ago.
Produce Like A Pro and the Sunset Sound team mimicked the exact set up, in the exact same room and The Los RiosRock School kids came in extremely well prepared with the guidance of the schools highly trained instructors and Teacherzone.com .
To recreate Alex Van Halen’s drum sounds the following microphones were used. The two kicks: Shure 546 Dynamic Mics, snare top and bottom both 546, the 3 overheads are AKG 414 EB, toms are top Sennheiser 421 and bottom Shure SM57. The sole Room mic is a U87.
For Michael Anthony’s sound The Bass Amp was mic’d with a RE20 and for Eddie Van Halen’s guitar sound the guitar amp was mic’d with a pair of SM57’s.
The videos from the Los Rios Rock School recording can be seen here;
(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) – I have always loved classical music; in fact, my favorite radio station is Classical KUSC. I listen to it when I drive, read, or write on my blog. Of course, when I clean my house, I still listen to Selena or Juan Gabriel. Come on, I am Mexican!
This week, I went to the Hollywood Bowl to see Joshua Bell with the LA Phil conducted by Bramwell Tovey. If you have never been to the Hollywood Bowl you are missing an amazing experience. The Hollywood Bowl is an open-air venue that sits nearly 18,000 people. It has restaurants, bars, shops and even a museum. The best part of it is that you can bring your own food and drinks, which makes it more affordable for the general public. The tickets for this specific show ranged from $8 to $116 a person. So as you can see, The Bowl also accommodates all budgets.
I was first introduced to Joshua Bell on Amazon’s TV show “Mozart in the Jungle”, where I immediately fell in love with his talent and passionate way of playing the violin. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a very attractive man. So when I found out he was coming to Los Angeles, I knew I needed to see him play live.
The concert started at 8pm with a warming welcome from the charming British conductor Bramwell Tovey, who even joked about his name, “I can’t believe you clapped after hearing my name, I told my parents I didn’t like my name”. He then introduced Stravinsky’s “Fireworks” and explained why this was a very important piece since it showed the author’s voice; hence, catching the attention of the impresario Serge Diaghilev, who played a key role in Stravinsky’s career.
Tovey by mistake mentioned Tchaikovsky “ I meant to say Stravinsky, I get confused with these Russian names. In these days I need to be careful with the Russian information I have”, he said jokingly.
Next we heard Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole” which was the first concert Joshua Bell learned. There is actually a beautiful book called “The Dance of the Violin” which recalls the 12-year-old Bell making a mistake at the Stulberg International String competition and the unexpected outcome, which transpired when he was given a second chance. The book was written by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić.
I am not a music expert, I was just part of the audience, but every time Bell played the violin he gave me the chills. He played with such passion that it was contagious. I loved being in an open-air venue, drinking a glass of cheap Merlot and listening to the orchestra in the hot weather. (Tovey of course joked about it).
The night ended with Stravinsky’s “Pretushka”. Tovey introduced the performance by telling us the ballet’s plot in a very amusing way, “At the end of this fight Petrushka is killed but he is a puppet so that’s rather weird”. He told us we could identify the moment when Petrushka dies when the principal percussionist Matthew Howard drops the tambourine. He warned us it was not a mistake, “I don’t want you to think that he [Howard] screwed up on his first gig”, the audience laughed and clapped.
My night got even better when I found out Bell was signing autographs if you purchased his CD or book. Bell was very kind to everyone, even with the old lady and her dog who licked Bell’s face while they were taking a picture with him. When it was my turn, I told him I rather have a picture with his $4 million Gibson ex-Huberman Stradivarius, which made him laugh a lot. Between you and me, I was not kidding. His violin was made in 1713 and has been stolen twice! Bell and I talked a little about Mexico, “Mozart in the Jungle”, and about my name. He made sure to spell it with a double “S”. I bet he was so tired after playing out his soul at the concert, but that didn’t stop him to make us feel special. He was grateful we were there. I couldn’t interview him for my Youtube channel whatthehelldidshesay, but I know one day I will. In the meantime I am grateful for an unforgettable night on a hot day in August…
Vanessa Lua is an actress and the host of www.whatthehelldidshesay.com, an outlet where she interviews celebrities. Her show American Man Dream won the Encore Producers’ Award in 2016.
HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS — AUGUST 15, 2017 — The question whether analogue or digital audio equipment sounds better has been an ongoing debate between producers, mixers and recording engineers for several years. In music mastering, where everything is under a microscope and even the smallest details of audio quality matter, this question appears to be even more relevant. – But who says you can’t have both?
Grammy winning mastering engineers Gavin Lurssen (Queens of the Stone Age, Miranda Lambert, Ryan Adams) and Reuben Cohen (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, India.Arie, Despicable Me 1, 2, and 3) have teamed up with producer/engineer Warren Huart (Aerosmith, Ace Frehley, The Fray) to showcase not only their analogue mastering chains, but also how you can replicate their processing inside your DAW with their newly designed mastering plugin ‘IK Multimedia Lurssen Mastering Console’ (link: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/lurssen/).
For many years the Lurssen Mastering team have been mastering a vast variety of genres and have carefully refined their processing chains for each genre and style. The Lurssen Mastering Console plugin was designed for you to utilize their workflow and provide you with digital mastering chains which are inspired by the analogue chains they use every day – providing ease of use, while keeping up high-quality standards.
HOLLYWOOD , CA – July 18, 2017 – Promix Academy founder & producer/engineer Warren Huart (Ace Frehley, Korn, Aerosmith) has teamed up with Grammy winning producer/ mixer Cameron Webb (Motorhead, NOFX, Pennywise) to release a new Promix Academy course on mixing and producing Punk Rock. This video released on Promixacademy.comtakes you inside Maple studio and teaches the viewer how to craft an edgy, in-your-face record while using only stock plugins. In this course Webb mixes Runaway Kids’ “Fade Away” and explains his production and recording process behind the song.
This course goes over many important topics including the how to’s for EQ, compression, using drum samples, recording chains, and miking techniques. However, Webb doesn’t just teach the how-to, he teaches the why as well. Webb shows you every single mixing move he made and explains the reasoning behind his decisions. By watching this course the viewer can learn his workflow, philosophy and in which order he applies his processing to achieve powerful mixes. The best part is that you don’t need expensive gear to achieve the right sound as Webb teaches how to use stock plugins to their full potential and master everything from basic mixing concepts, like EQ and compression to advanced techniques like Automation, Bussing, Creative Effects and more.
Lastly, Webb gives us a full breakdown of his production and explains the arrangement and creative choices. He walks you through his studio and recording setup and shares his philosophy behind working with bands and making them comfortable to get the best performances.
Click here for more information or to purchase the course;
Los Angeles , CA – June 10th, 2017 – Pro Mix Academy founder and producer/engineer Warren Huart (Aerosmith, Ace Frehley, The Fray) has teamed up with A list Nashville bassists Amos Heller (Taylor Swift), Steve Cook (Luke Bryan, Frankie Ballard, Keb’ Mo’), and ‘You’re Not My Dad’ featuring Jackson Eppley and Ryan Truso to release three separate bass recording and music production courses through Pro Mix Academy. The three courses are Home Studio Bass and Production with Amos Heller, Producing Country Music with ‘You’re Not My Dad’, and Producing R&B and Remote Bass sessions with Steve Cook.
Home Studio Bass and Production with Amos Heller, who has been the bassist for Taylor Swift since 2007, shows the viewer how to record pro-sounding bass in your home studio, and come up with parts, grooves and phrasing that complements the producer’s and artist’s vision of the song, so they’ll be excited about your work and hire you over and over again. The topics discussed include writing a ‘Nashville Numbers Chart’ that makes it easy to follow the song and nail your performance, Tips for improving your groove and locking in with the drums, and How to get a wide variety of sounds out of a small setup that’s easy to take on the road.
Producing Country Music with ‘You’re Not My Dad’ featuring bassist Jackson Eppley and guitarist/engineer Ryan Truso give a complete breakdown of their production for the modern country song “Day Drunk in Reno.” The topics covered in this course include miking techniques & signal chains, editing & comping, and workflow and through process behind producing songs.
Producing R&B and Remote Bass sessions with Steve Cook takes the viewer inside his production of the R&B/ Soul song ‘Leave a Light On’ and shares his workflow and philosophy behind it. Topics discussed include mixing techniques: compression, EQ, emulating vintage and analogue sound, widening, multiband compression, delay, and reverb; what makes a great bass part?, and how to deal with clients and producers.
Los Angeles , CA – May 31, 2017 – Pro Mix Academy founder and producer/engineer Warren Huart (Aerosmith, Ace Frehley, The Fray has teamed up with Grammy nominated engineer Matthew Weiss (Ronnie Spector, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal) to release a drum recording course through Pro Mix Academy. This course was recorded at Matt Weiss’s personal Studio with Matt Starr (Ace Frehley/ Mr. Big) recording drums to different miking arrangements.
Matthew Weiss is a Grammy nominated and Spellemann Award winning engineer. He began his career assisting such notable engineers and producers as Bobby Eli, Mark Marshall, Denise Barbarita, and Ron St. Germaine. His clientele include award winning and Billboard charting artists such as Arrested Development, Dizzee Rascal, Uri Caine, Sonny Digital, Mega Ran, King Midas, Armageddon, Ronnie Spector, and !llmind. In 2015, Matthew executive produced the self-titled album “Soul Veggies” which debuted at #47 on the Indie Billboard Chart, #97 on the Hip Hop Billboard Chart, and #188 on Billboard’s Top 200. In addition to his engineering, Matthew has appeared as a guest speaker at Cornell University, ProStudio Live, SXSW, and SUNY Fredonia. His audio education tutorials are among the best selling and most highly regarded resources in the field of music production.
Weiss demonstrates drum tuning, choosing the best microphones and showing a wide variety of miking techniques and placements to achieve a full, punchy and well-defined sound that fits the viewers song. Even if the viewer has never recorded a drum kit before, this step by step guide will provide all the necessary tools and techniques and put the viewer on the fast track to recording pro-sounding drums.
In addition to Matt Starr and Matthew Weiss discussing recording drums, Huart interviews both Starr and Weiss focusing on what makes a great drum sound. Key parts of the interview are a discussion on recording drums in a small room, making the drums sit well with a dense mix vs. an open arrangement, dampening, the recording signal chain, gain staging, preamps, compression, great budget microphones and a lot more.