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Tenth Annual St John, USVI Recording Retreat: Reviewers In Paradise

Mix contributors Rich Tozzoli, Mike Dwyer and Bruce MacPherson went to St. John, USVI to record TV cues and review gear.

Tenth Annual St John, USVI Recording Retreat

Every year, regular Mix contributors Rich Tozzoli, Mike Dwyer and Bruce MacPherson mix business with pleasure by decamping to St. John, USVI, where they temporarily turn a house into a studio and record TV cues for popular reality and documentary TV shows. They also use it as a chance to test a ton of new equipment and software, resulting in a bevy of Mix Real-World Reviews written in a unique part of the real world! Enjoy this 9-part series as the trio reviews some of the best equipment that made—and survived—the journey.

USVI (May 6, 2024)—The adventure continues! This year’s late-winter recording journey to St John, USVI, took advantage of some powerful plug-ins, pedals and the ability for four different studios to “talk to each other.” The team had wildly varying schedules this year, so we decided to start some of the pre-production in our home studios, take the tracks down to the islands, then finish everything back home in our mix rooms. Tracks were soon flying around between the mobile setup in St John and the production rooms of drummer Ray Levier, keyboardist Bruce MacPherson, mixer/engineer Mike Dwyer, and myself.

We all use Pro Tools (I’m running V2024.3), which made life a lot easier in sharing the workload, allowing us to send session files that could be imported into a “master,” which was then handled by Dwyer. Sharing Pro Tools files like that also allowed us to leave all of the plug-ins inline.

This year, we were focusing on TV tracks for an international travel show. They had to be tight, clean and funky, and the software and hardware we used in creating the music fit the bill perfectly.

Here, we present a few of the technology hits from our creative getaway:

Kazrog Avalon 747 Plug-In

Process Audio Spicerack Plug-In

Audio Ease Altiverb 8 Plug-In

Kiive Audio Nfuse Plug-In

Eventide Blackhole Immersive and Micropitch Immersive

Korg Collection 4

Universal Audio Ox Stomp

Jackson Audio Silvertone Twin Twelve

Samar Audio AL95 Ribbon Mic