27th Annual TEC Awards Honor Steve Vai, 27 Award Recipients

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From left: Billy Sheehan and Russ Paul present Steve Vai with the Les Paul Award

The sound engineers, editors, producers and other audio professionals behind Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, Adele’s 21, Roger Water’s “The Wall Live” Tour, Inception, and NBC’s Saturday Night Live were among the many winners at the 27th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards. The gala, co-presented by the TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio and NAMM, was held Friday, January 20, 2012, at the Hilton Anaheim as a special event of the 2012 NAMM Show.

In addition to 27 awards for Outstanding Technical and Creative Achievement, an enthusiastic crowd of sound and music products industry professionals witnessed the presentation of the prestigious Les Paul Award to guitarist, composer and producer Steve Vai. Sponsored by the Les Paul Foundation, the award is given annually to a musician or recording professional whose work has epitomized the marriage of music and technology. The award was co-presented by Les Paul's son, Russ Paul, and celebrated rock bassist Billy Sheehan.

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Will Lee returned to host the 27th Annual TEC Awards

The show was hosted by veteran bassist Will Lee (Late Show with David Letterman), and featured musical performances by Lee, the 2 Cold ChiliBone TEC Band, Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan, Orianthi, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, CJ Vanston, scratcher DJ HAPA, and other veteran vocalists and session musicians.

In the category of Technical Achievement, winners included Avid’s Pro Tools 9 (Workstation Technology), VENUE 2.9 (Sound Reinforcement Console) and Pro Tools | HD Native (Computer Audio Hardware); Solid State Logic’s AWS 948 (Large Format Console) and Nucleus (Small Format Console); Shure’s Beta 181 (Microphone /Sound Reinforcement) and PGX Digital Wireless (Wireless Technology); Genelec’s 1238CF (Studio Monitor); Meyer Sound Lab’s MINA (Sound Reinforcement Loudspeaker); Radial Engineering’s WR8 Workhorse (Signal Processing/Software); Moog’s Slim Phatty Synthesizer (Musical Instrument/Hardware) and Spectrasonics’ Ommnisphere Version 1.5 (Musical Instrument/Software).

Winners in this year’s new Technical Achievement categories were Eventide’s Space (Musical Instrument Amplification & Effects Technology) and Lab Gruppen’s PLM 20000Q (Amplification Hardware/Studio & Sound Reinforcement).

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Steve Vai (at left) performs with Jeff Baxter and Orianthi

In the Creative Achievement category, Robert Plant’s production crews won awards for both Record Production/Single with “Angel Dance” and Remote Production with NPR Music’s Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, Live in Concert radio broadcast. The award for Record Production/Album went to Adele’s 21.

The Film Sound Production award went to the sound designers and editors behind Inception, and the Interactive Entertainment Sound Production award went to the audio team of Treyarch/Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Other winners for Creative Achievement were Roger Waters’ “The Wall Live” Tour’s sound company Clair (Tour Sound Production); Saturday Night Live (Television Sound Production); and the design team of New York’s Jungle City Studios, the Walters-Storyk Design Group.

View the complete list of 27th Annual TEC Awards winners.