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24th Annual TEC Awards Ceremony Honors 27 Winners

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss onstage at the 24th Annual TEC Awards ceremony

Photo: Dave Vann

On October 3, the 24th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards—presented by the Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio, and sponsored by Mix magazine and several dozen leading pro audio companies—were held at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel. Among 27 winners were the engineers, sound mixers, producers and other audio production professionals behind Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand, The Police’s reunion tour, Microsoft videogame Halo 3 and Universal Pictures’ The Bourne Ultimatum.

In addition to 27 awards for Technical and Creative Achievement, a sold-out house including many of the industry’s finest creative talents witnessed two riveting presentations: the induction of musician and producer T Bone Burnett into the TEC Awards Hall of Fame, and the presentation of the prestigious Les Paul Award, sponsored by the Gibson Foundation, to the “King of Western Swing,” musical artist Ray Benson. The Asleep at the Wheel Founder received a surprise video tribute from his old friend, film director/musician Billy Bob Thornton.

T Bone Burnett presents the production team of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ ‘Raising Sand’ album with the TEC Award for Record Production/Album

Photo: Dave Vann

Alison Krauss, a 21-time Grammy winner, and rock legend Robert Plant presented the Hall of Fame award to Burnett—together delivering a poetic appreciation of his knowledge of American musical history and dedication to the craft of recording. Both returned to the stage later in the evening with Burnett and his production team when their collaborative project, Raising Sand, won the TEC Award for Record Production/Album.

The evening’s musical highlights included Larry Batiste and the 2Cold Chili Bone TEC Band backing a crowd-pleasing performance of O Brother, Where Art Thou favorite “I’ll Fly Away” by San Francisco’s own Bonnie Hayes and Teresa Trull, with Dick Bright and Tommy Dunbar; a rousing “All Night Long” featuring former Back in the Saddle front man Frank Cefalu; and a rockin’ rendition of “Route 66” by Benson and Asleep at the Wheel.

Among the night’s winners for Creative Achievement were the production crews of James Taylor, One Man Band (Surround Sound Production) and Foo Fighter’s “The Pretender” (Record Production/Single or Track); the engineers and producers of NBC’s Saturday Night Live (Television Sound Production) and the 50th Annual Grammy Awards (Remote Production/Recording or Broadcast); as well as the acoustical team for Red Bull North America’s recently opened Red Bull Studio (Studio Design Project). The Award to Halo 3 for Interactive Entertainment Sound Production was sponsored by the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.).

In the Technical Achievement categories, the 17 winners included two awards for Rupert Neve Designs, the Portico 5015 (Microphone Preamplifier Technology) and the 5088 (Large Format Console Technology); Euphonix MC Mix Controller (Small Format Technology): Audio-Technica SpectraPulse Ultra Wideband System (Wireless Technology); Royer Live Series (Microphone Technology/Sound Reinforcement; Meyer Sound UP Junior (Sound Reinforcement Loudspeaker Technology); Yamaha PM5DV2 (Sound Reinforcement Console Technology); Universal Audio 2-LA-2 (Signal Processing Technology/Hardware); Digidesign Pro Tools Version 7.4 (Workstation Technology); Apogee Duet (Digital Converter Technology); and ATR Master Analog Tape (Recording Devices). In the category of Microphone Technology/Recording there was a rare tie, between Earthworks PM40 PianoMic and Telefunken USA Ela M 260.

For a complete list of the 2008 TEC Award Winners, go to