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Southwest U.S. News & Notes

>Senegalese artists Daaja J Family, led by Faada Freddy and N Dongo D (pictured), were in Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas, Studio Y, working with up-and-coming in-house engineer Mark Gray on a new album project.

Senegal Meets Vegas

Senegalese artists Daaja J Family, led by Faada Freddy and N Dongo D (pictured), were in Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas, Studio Y, working with up-and-coming in-house engineer Mark Gray on a new album project.

“Working with the Daaja J Family was incredibly rewarding musically,” Gray says. “The performances were solid but the tracks were recorded in various ‘home’ locations with varying levels of recording expertise, so it took an enormous amount of time to make the tracks sound cohesive from song to song. Luckily, we didn’t have to record any fixes at all so it really was about being patient and weeding through the tracks over time. Ultimately we achieved the sound we were going for, and I’m extremely proud of this record.”

On a Magic Blanket Ride

Located in Mesa, Ariz., Flying Blanket Recording specializes in analog recording and mixing in a completely converted 3,500-square-foot home. Owned by producer/songwriter/musician Bob Hoag, the studio is a two-room facility replete with vintage gear, including guitars, basses, amps, keyboards and drums, as well as a numerous other “weird” instruments.

Though the studio focuses on analog, both rooms are also equipped with Pro Tools HD 3 Accel.

Studio A has a 1978 Neve Custom 8078 console, plus five channels of Neve 1079s, a Studer 800 2-inch 24-track analog tape machine and an Ampex ATR-102 ½-inch mixdown tape machine. There are also three live rooms for Studio A—a large one (Huerta Room) with 15-foot ceilings and vintage oak floors; a medium one (Rincon Room, pictured) with 9-foot ceilings and vintage oak floors; and a smaller, dead isolation hallway. Additionally, Studio A houses a large collection of guitars, amps, and drums (mostly vintage), as well as two vintage pianos and a Yahama electric piano.

Studio B (Reposa Room) is fully equipped with a late ’70s, hand-wired Amek 2500 36-channel console and additional vintage and new outboard gear. The small live room has vintage oak floors, and was designed to sound like a much larger room—great for smaller overdub and voiceover projects.

For more information, visit

A Studio for Students

The International Academy of Design & Technology Las Vegas opens Vegas View Recording this month, an on-campus 2,500-square-foot recording and mixing studio designed by renowned acoustician Carl Yanchar and IADT studio manager Bobby Ferrari.

While the studio is first and foremost a teaching space for IADT students, it is also available for hourly and daily lease by professionals.

The studio includes a vocal booth, a 1,200-square-foot live space and SSL 9080J-based control room. There’s also a 48 I/O Pro Tools HDX system with Waves Mercury Bundle, along with Neve 1073 mic pre’s, Summit Audio pre’s, EQs and compressors, Bricasti Reverb, JCF Latte converters, and Dynaudio M3 main monitors with Lab Gruppen amps.

“IADT Vegas is a great company to work for, and management truly felt that a commercially viable studio would be the best way to prepare students for the real world of audio,” Ferrari says. “The new facility will be open to the public to book sessions, and students and staff will be involved in all aspects. We are really excited about the future for our grads!”

A grand opening is planned during the NAB convention in Las Vegas on April 9, 2013.

Tempest Recording Mixes Floyd Dixon Film Soundtrack

Clarke Rigsby, the engineer and owner of Tempest Recording in Tempe, Ariz. (, reports that he recently mixed the soundtrack for Time Brings About a Change: A Floyd Dixon Celebration, a documentary film released in March presenting the blues artist’s two-day concert that took place in Phoenix in 2006, just weeks before Dixon passed away. Dixon, a pianist and vocalist, is perhaps best known for writing and recording “Hey Bartender” in 1954, which later appeared on The Blues Brothers’ 1978 debut album Briefcase Full of Blues.

Rigsby says that the film features “my old pal Kim Wilson, Henry Gray, Pinetop Perkins, Kid Ramos and many others for High John Records. We recorded it back in ’07 and I served as the recording engineer and one of the producers. But the film was just released. I mixed it with my pal Aaron Feller.”