Phil Woods (left) and Eric Doney
Jazz musician, producer and record label executive Eric Doney recently worked on five projects at StarCity Recording Company in Bethlehem, Pa. Doney is currently tracking Giants at Work, a DVD featuring the music of Phil Woods, in 5.1 surround with StarCity’s Jeff Glixman and Carl Cadden-James.
“As soon as I sat down at the piano in StarCity’s expansive live room and played a few notes, I thought to myself, ‘This is the place,’” explains Doney. “The studio adapts to all sounds. There are various-sized rooms for everything—recording, engineering, editing and mixing. Electronically, the design is exceptional. Acoustically, it couldn’t be better. There are lounges for relaxing before the next session, and the engineering staff is world-class. I am very happy here.”
Doney owns Pacific St. Records, a private record label. Doney’s other projects include a Christmas album sponsored by Yamaha International and an album with local jazz giant Jay Rattman. In addition, Doney will produce an album for 14-year-old jazz virtuoso Mark Williams, who has already taken the stage at B.B. King’s with B.B. King.
From L-R: Violinist Tracy Silverman on the set of World Café Live with Big Kenny and John Rich of Big & Rich
StarCity was also tapped to handle acquisition and post-production for an upcoming installment of Ace Entertainment’s MusicLab at World Café Live featuring country stars Big & Rich and hosted by violinist Tracy Silverman. MusicLab at World Café Live is available on iN DEMAND Networks and showcases popular artists in an intimate setting.
“Jeff Glixman and the team at StarCity Recording Company have done an exceptional job capturing the live performances at World Café Live,” says Tom Emmi, president of Ace Entertainment. “Whether it’s a surround sound or straightforward stereo mix, StarCity makes viewers feel as if they’re in the live audience.”
Arranged on short notice to coincide with Big & Rich’s tour stop in the Philadelphia area, the biggest challenge for Glixman and Zak Rizvi was the limited time allowed for setting up the performance at World Café Live. Using a pair of TRUE Systems Precision 8 preamps fed into an Alesis HD24 hard disk recorder and monitored back on a Soundcraft Spirit LX7, StarCity set up onstage just out of camera range so that the company handling the house mix could send StarCity a split of what they were feeding into the P.A. system.
Once back in StarCity’s A room to complete post-production, Glixman and Rizvi realized that due to the lack of prep time, room microphones were never coordinated to capture audience reaction.
“The audience for the Big & Rich show was really fantastic, so we regretted not having time before the performance to properly mike the entire room,” Rizvi says. “Then Jeff had the great idea of going back to the camera audio tracks and extracting the audience reaction to add to the final mix. You can really feel the energy coming from the audience.”