The 2015 Pensado Awards

The 2015 Pensado Awards

imageThe ground-breaking and wonderfully informative hit IPTV show Pensado’s Place hosted it’s second annual Pensado Awards event to great acclaim on Sunday, August 30, 2015, at Sony Pictures Studios. We at StarChamber.TV are pleased to present to our viewers a look back at the evening’s festivities in our ongoing celebration of the star-making wizards “Behind the Glass Curtain!

The Pensado Awards (sic “The Penny’s”) are an outgrowth of the sensibilities found throughout the web-series Pensado’s Place. From the freshly-minted novice to the industry stalwart and across all demographics, music pros are finding new methods and new ways to reach audiences -  and this night celebrates them all. “At the awards we highlight the brilliance and hard work of all those producers, songwriters, DJ’s, engineers, mixers, ‘live’ `wizards and behind-the-scenes technicians in audio that often go unnoticed”, says show producer and co-host, Herb Trawick.

The scale of this sophomore event was anything but ‘sophomoric’. The affair was beautifully presented and the summer night’s sky was challenged by the number of stars in attendance!  Among the show-stopping presenters for the festivities were Quincy Jones, Randy Jackson, Chris Lord-AlgeYoung Guru, Al Schmitt and many, many more.

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Starchamber.TV's Peter Doell speaks with the legendary
Al Schmitt

Starchamber.TV's roving reporter Peter Doell corrals the legendary Grammy Award-Winning Recording Engineer and Producer Al Schmitt at the 2015 Pensado Awards.

Al Schmitt, the winner of more than 23 Grammy Awards, has had an astonishingly long career as one of the most successful artists "Behind The Glass Curtain™' in history. 

Having recorded and mixed more than 150 gold and platinum albums, Al's credits date back to the 1950s and lists over 1100 stars, including Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Marty Paich, Henry Mancini, Earth, Wind & Fire, Barbra Streisand, Neil Young, Diana Ross, Robbie Williams, Toni Braxton, Michael Bublé, Elvis Costello, Liza Minelli, Brian Wilson, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney to name just a few!

Al who famously likes to work at the renowned Capitol Records Recording Studios on Vine street in Hollywood, was inducted into the TEC Awards Hall of Fame in 1997, received the Grammy Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and his star on Hollywoods Walk of Fame in 2015. 

Starchamber.TV's Peter Doell talks with the recording engineer - producer Alex Oana.

Alex Oana got his start in audio recording in Minnesota - both engineering and producing sessions in world-class SSL, Neve, and API rooms - before relocating to the Mecca of the music industry: Los Angeles.

His lifelong love-affair with crafting sound has led him to make compelling recordings that move people emotionally and express something true about the human experience.

The producer, mixer and arranger cemented his place in the music industry by amassing a discography that features an array of indie and major label artists. Alex's interests and talents have carried him to writing for Pro Audio Review, Pro Sound News, Audio Media and Sound on Sound, handling front of house sound responsibilities for N.E.R.D and even handling front of house sound responsibilities for N.E.R.D.

While working for Vintage King, Alex worked with Slate Digital and Slate Pro Audio, which in turn lead to him inventing a breakthrough product called The RAVEN for Slate - an innovative, first-of-its-kind multi-touch DAW controller.

Alex helmed a creative team and worked intimately on the system’s software and hardware design, completing the project in two years and delivering a professional product to market that won over pro-audio critics and music producers alike.

Upon returning to Vintage King in early 2014, Alex Oana has once again brought his incredible experience to audio clients worldwide.


Starchamber.TV's Peter Doell talks with Berklee College of Music's, Carl Beatty.

Carl Beatty began his career nearly three decades ago working at New York's famed recording studio Mediasound.

A seasoned and respected recording engineer, Carl has recorded sessions for artists such as Luther Vandross, Tom Jones, Billy Ocean, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, the Ramones, B-52's, Joan Jett, and many others.

In 1989, Carl embarked on a new phase in his career when he moved to Boston to teach engineering at Berklee College of Music. Now, more than fifteen years later, having served as the chief of staff to Berklee president Roger Brown for many years, Carl serves as assistant Vice President for artist and music-industry relations. In this role, Carl leads the effort to reach out to both Berklee alumni and to key figures and organizations in the music and entertainment industries.

Starchamber.TV's Peter Doell speaks with studioexpresso owner, Claris Dodge.

Claris Dodge is a member of N.A.R.A.S. and the founder & president of studioexpresso, a highly respected music production community of over 200 award-winning producers and songwriters. She is the publisher & editor of studioexpresso's monthly Ezines, and manages the careers of many acclaimed engineers, producers and arrangers.

Claris has been a force in the music industry since 1986, with more then 20 years experience in studio management, marketing, sales, public relations and has a Bachelor's degree in Business.

She has held positions with many music, media and entertainment companies over the years, including: Frank Dileo Management, Management III, PMK, Rogers and Cowan Public Relations, Prairie Sun Recording, Ocean Way Studios and Studio Bauton.

Ms. Dodge's work has helped Dr. Dre, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, REM, Counting Crows, Bonnie Raitt, Quincy Jones, Luis Miguel, Ringo Starr, Alejandro Sanz, Goo Goo Dolls, Grammy-winning producer, band leader, arranger and composer Brent Fischer (D'Angelo, Elvis Costello & The Roots, Usher, Clare Fischer), 13x Grammy-winner Rafa Sardina (Lady Gaga, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Stevie Wonder), multi-platinum certified mixer Ken Allardyce (Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, Yardbirds), and breaking rock guitarist, Chris Ruffin.

The Bakery's Eric Boulanger discusses life after Doug Sax with StarChamber.TV host Peter Doell.

Eric Boulanger is the founder of The Bakery (Boulanger means 'baker' in French) mastering and a professional studio violinist with exceptional skill in the studio and on the stage which readily translates to outstanding musicality as an engineer.

A classically-trained violinist since the age of three, at such renowned institutions as The Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and Tanglewood (the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home).

Earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2007, Eric distinguished himself as a scholar while there. Accordingly, Eric was awarded the Bose Corporation Research Award, the Electrical & Computer Engineering Honors Society Research Award (presented by Lockheed Martin), and the Sigma XI Scientific Research Award

Eric’s professional career began as the first-ever intern at the famed Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California. While at Capitol, Eric had the incredible opportunity to work with the esteemed producer/engineer, Al Schmitt who was pivotal in guiding Eric toward joining The Mastering Lab; the world’s first independent mastering studio - there mentored by the late legendary mastering engineer, Doug Sax

Eric opened The Bakery in 2015 on the Sony Pictures Entertainment lot in Culver City, CA., and with The Bakery’s inception, Rachel Platten’sFight Song” going #1 and earning RIAA Platinum certification.

Eric’s violin studies were under the tutelage of Oscar Ravina, the legendary veteran of the New York Philharmonic. He also studied under Alexander Markov, acclaimed soloist and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Eric is a leader of the Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) while serving as a member of its Steering Committee. 

Eric has mastered GRAMMY winning & nominated works and has credits which include: Colbie Caillat, OneRepublic, Hozier, Eric Burdon, Imagine Dragons, Neil Young, The Plain White T’s, Chris Botti, Amos Lee, Serena Ryder, The Doors, Olivia Newton John, Rufus Wainwright, and Sarah Jarosz.

Starchamber.TV's Peter Doell speaks with Skywalker Sound's Director of Music and Scoring, Leslie Annn Jones.

Skywalker Sound's multiple Grammy award-winning recording engineer Leslie Ann Jones was born into a musical world as the daughter of bandleader Spike Jones and singer Helen Grayco

Through her parents, Leslie was exposed to a wide variety of musicians and singers which made her develop an interest in music early in her childhood. At the age of 14, she was given a Sears Silvertone electric guitar which she used to play in her own band. 

Leslie eventually became interested in audio production and recording, landing her first engineering job at ABC Studios working as a production engineer and making copies of recordings. She worked as an assistant engineer for several years, training with Roy Halee, Reggie Dozier and Barney Perkins until being asked by John Mayall to lead the engineering of his live concert album Lots of People in 1977.

In 1978, Leslie moved north to San Francisco, California to work at The Automatt and trained with engineer Fred Catero and producer David Rubinson.

And in 1987 Leslie joined Capitol Records where she stayed for ten years, engineering prominent jazz, vocal and classical recordings such as Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, and continued recording film and TV scores.

Leslie has recorded and mixed such artists as Santana, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Bobby McFerrin, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Maze, Confunkshun, Holly Near, and Angela Bofill to name a few.

In 1997, Leslie joined Skywalker Sound, where she where she now works as Director of Music Recording and Scoring.

Starchamber.TV's Peter Doell speaks with Breath of Life Records recording artist, Natalie Cadét.

Natalie Cadét is modern marvel as a musician, who began her musical journey singing in church at the age of four.

A natural soprano with a vocal range spanning three octaves, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Oakwood University (Huntsville) and a Master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory.

In 1990, Natalie and her five sisters formed the young Christian singing group, Cadét Sisters. Best known for their spectacular harmony, the sisters performed in churches, concert halls, Christian radio and TV networks all around the US.

As the principal songwriter, arranger and pianist for the group, Natalie developed her amazing songwriting skills, vocal dexterity and 5 to 6-part counterpoint which she displays on record for impresario Tony Shepperd's Breath Of Life Records.

Youtube star Beatbox legends Nicole Paris and Edward Cage speak with Starchamber.TV host Peter Doell.

When Beatbox artist and musician Nicole Paris was young, her father, Ed Cage, would 'beatbox' her to sleep at night. 

Years later, Nicole's vibrant energy and passionate freestyle Beatbox gained her icon status - and millions of fans - when a YouTube battle against her father and mentor, Ed Cage, went viral within hours of its release.

The duo became an instant worldwide phenom, known for their 'beatbox battle jam sessions', which mix electronic dance sounds and classic hip-hop beats.

Sparring live on ABC’s Good Morning America and the CBS' Late, Late Show with James Corden, Nicole was crowned 'the New Face of Beatbox' by popular vote, with well-known beatboxers hailing her natural talent.

Youtube Star Beatbox sensations Nicole Paris & Edward Cage

Grammy award winning Record Producer & Sound Engineer Rafa Sardina speaks with Starchamber.TV host Peter Doell.

Rafa Sardina’s love for music began at an early age - both learning to play the guitar and attending recording sessions in his native Spain.

And now, many years later, Rafa Sardina is a 12-time Grammy-winning, producer/mixer/engineer who easily connects with his artists and delivers a studio vibe that's performance-friendly.

"My studio philosophy is simple - I'm there to make sure the artist is having fun. I see my work much like a photographer's, as transparent as possible when required but always providing the creative edge to affect the song and performance in a positive way. To achieve that goal, I like to create a comfortable and inspiring environment using the best acoustics and tools available."

He has received 35 Grammy Nominations - both American and Latin - and built an impressive client list: Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello & The Roots, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Placido Domingo, Celine Dion, Harry Conick Jr, Josh Groban, Mariah Carey, Shakira, Dr. Dre, Dru Hill, Armando Manzanero, David Morales, Jessy Moss, Luis Miguel, Paco de Lucía, Chris Botti, Susan Boyle, Katherine Jenkins, Zaz, Sheryl Crow, Soul Coughing, Beyonce, Beto Cuevas, Kevon Edmonds, Kina, Eric Marienthal, Juanes, Angie Stone, René Pérez from Calle 13, Illya Kuriaki & The Valderramas, blues legends Al Blake & Fred Kaplan, Michael Buble, Juan Gabriel, Jumaane Smith, Jackie Evancho, Naturally7, Cristian Castro, Clare Fischer Big Band, D’Angelo, Alejandro Sanz and Macy Gray among many others.