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Hollywood, CA, June 2018 - The Russian pop-rock quartet, Fox In Oil, chose United Recording to master its second EP, "Snow Falls in The Sahara Desert." Previously, the group worked with United Recording's mastering engineer Warren Sokol on the completion of their debut EP online in 2016.

The Saint Petersburg-based indie band was formed two years ago when a popular trio discovered then 15-year-old singer/songwriter Daria. The remarkable match led the band to a new era of creativity and artistry. In addition to lead vocalist Daria, Fox in Oil includes visionary founder Alex K, Alex V on drums and beat production, Eugene on keyboards and Dmitry on bass. The group specializes in chic pop-rock hooks, sensual modern R&B-tinged vocals and atmospheric textures.

"We enjoyed working with Warren on our previous album, but he truly outdid himself this time. He becomes a true collaborator. It's a pleasure to work with such a gifted mastering engineer, said Alex K. "Our songs became cleaner and bigger. We achieved the pro sound we wanted and Warren even fixed a couple of problems after mixing. It was simply a great job."

In 2016, the group issued its debut EP, "Flowers Bloom in Atacama Desert." Fox In Oil's latest opus, "Snow Falls in The Sahara Desert," is inspired by an actual freakish African snowstorm. The EP features crystalline keyboards, bold string sections, immersive atmospherics and a loose thematic blend of love and relationships mirroring the changing of the seasons-from heated romance to the iciness of breakup. The EP also benefits from the special touch of the Nashville-based production team of Christian Fiore and Daniel Grimmett.

To listen to a live version of "Fleeting Times" from "Snow Falls in the Sahara Desert," please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxwta95v8lw
To learn more about Fox In Oil, please visit: http://foxinoil.com/

Pictured (L-R) in United Recording's mastering suite are Fox In Oil's Daria, Alex K, and mastering engineer Warren Sokol. Photo/Article by David Goggin.

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Hollywood, CA - May 2018 - VEVA Sound, a leader in music preservation and archiving relocated its Los Angeles headquarters from Burbank to United Recording in Hollywood. The relocation reflects the company's commitment to establish a home base at the epicenter of the Los Angeles music scene.

VEVA Sound will occupy a recently renovated second-floor executive suite that once housed Frank Sinatra's office when his Reprise Records label resided at United Recording.

"We were looking for a label-agnostic studio in Los Angeles and United Recording was the obvious choice," explained Drew Waters, Vice President, VEVA Sound Los Angeles. "United Recording has been around for 60 years and is one of those rare studios that remains relevant and revered by high profile artists."

"We're pleased to welcome VEVA Sound to United Recording," said Rob Goodchild, United Recording's studio manager. "The renovation of our second floor comprises of three new executive suites, enabling us to provide a symbiotic environment to talented members of the music community like VEVA Sound and other leading companies seeking to operate under the United banner . We're excited to work together and advocate for important recording industry initiatives."

VEVA Sound has worked to define, create and implement industry standards for how sound recordings are verified, validated, preserved and enter the digital supply chain. The company services frontline releases for all three major labels.

Through partnerships with The Recording Academy, The Library of Congress, DDEX, NDSA and NDIIP, VEVA Sound creates technologies that allows clients to identify and properly credit their music collections, whether legacy recordings stored on analog or digital tape or current born digital projects. Through the use of their platforms and technology, clients can view, access and report on their information at any time.

"We work with audio assets post-recording so it makes sense for us to center ourselves in a studio that has a steady flow of artists, their teams and associated labels," added Waters. "This 'strategic serendipity' positions us in a mutually beneficial setting to interact with many facets of the industry. Labels are always seeking turnkey solutions and what better place to have that solution than at United Recording."

VEVA's future-proof archival migration and the corresponding metadata ensures that all assets will be available now and in the future, effectively countering the rapid software and hardware obsolescence and high probability of media failure that puts all modern audio and video recordings at high risk.

VEVA has recently released a free DAW-agnostic plugin (SCP- Studio Collect Plugin) that tracks detailed session information (metadata) that travels with all session collaborators and exports a valid DDEX RIN file, so your metadata can travel into the industry using the global standard defined by DDEX.
Learn more at: http://www.vevasound.com/

Pictured in one of United Recording's new executive suites are (L-R) Robin Goodchild, Studio Manager; Drew Waters, Vice President, VEVA Sound Los Angeles and Hayley Abell, Director of Label Services, VEVA Sound Los Angeles. Photo by David Goggin.

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Hollywood, CA - March 2018 – The indie-pop band Sister Speak chose United Recording to master its new EP “The Stand.” The album combines acoustic and electronic music into a refreshing new sound.

Sister Speak is comprised of frontwoman Sherri Anne on vocals, acoustic and electric guitar; Jacob Miranda on bass guitar; Sarven Manguiat on electric guitar, keys and vocals; Kimo Shim on percussion; and Stephen Haaker on drums.

“We set out to do an EP similar to our last album, showcasing acoustic music with new electronic elements,” said Sherri Anne. “The album’s unifying theme is individual freedom and features uplifting songs with messages of love, hope and inspiration.

Upon completion of the album, Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer Alan Sanderson recommended United Recording’s Erick Labson to master the EP. Sherri Anne recalls, “Alan informed me that Erick was the top mastering guy in Los Angeles.”

“Sherri Anne received previous masters that weren't hitting the mark. She provided me with several reference records that she liked and I just ran with it,” recalled Labson. “She requested the tracks to be open and expansive, but also have the ability to get the listener’s attention right away. I first heard her voice through a smart phone and it didn’t sound great. It was my job to ensure the sound was incredible on any system.”

Labson added, “I first focused on her voice and used some EQ to make sure there weren’t any peaks sticking out. I also used a little bit of MS mid-side processing to keep her centered, warm and present in the mix. Finally, I made space around the vocal so that everything could breathe. The EP translates well on both small and big systems, and still keeps her voice accessible. Once I started mastering the song and increasing the sound, the vocal started dropping back into the mix, so I added a half dB to the middle channel so that she would pop out again. And, there it is.”

“Erick livened up every track and brought out the electronic elements in a way that blended beautifully with the acoustic sound. There was also a combination of pop and indie components that’s appealing to diverse audiences,” said Sherri Anne. “He was able to capture my voice without it sounding overly compressed. I've tested it on 20 different sound systems and there's a warmth to it that works on all of them.”

Sister Speak released their debut album in 2014 and has toured with various artists and performed at music festivals all over the U.S. and western Canada. The band won Best Pop Award at the 2017 San Diego Music Awards.

“The Stand” was produced and recorded by Avli Avliav and is available today on iTunes. To learn more, please visit: http://www.sisterspeakmusic.com/

About United Recording

United Recording is one of the world’s most recognized music studios, with more awards than any other recording enterprise. Music produced at United has generated more than 1 billion in record sales worldwide. More info: http://www.unitedrecordingstudios.com/

Pictured in United Recording’s mastering suite are (L-R) Sister Speak’s frontwoman Sherri Anne, United Recording studio manager Rob Goodchild, and mastering engineer Erick Labson. Photo by David Goggin.

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Hollywood, CA - February 2018 - Acclaimed singer-songwriter Margo Rey chose United Recording to master her new LP "The Roots of Rey."

The album, an American/Latin American songbook, seamlessly blends English and Spanish with masterful arrangements by multi-Grammy Award-winning pianist Oscar Hernandez.

"I take great care in my albums," said Rey. "They are reminiscent of small movies with a beginning, middle and end. Mastering is like polishing a special piece of jewelry. We loved working out the precise spacing between the songs, we didn't want the standard two seconds."

Rey added, "We've created a sonic journey with this album. I've been writing pop songs for more than a decade and it feels good to return to my jazz and Latin American roots. It was also a pleasure to work with United Recording's engineer Warren Sokol, who provided wonderful enhancements to our mixes."

"My job was easy because the mixes were so good. We didn't have to do any noise reduction or recover vocals", said Sokol. "Since the dynamics were maintained, we were able to increase the sound without ruining the dynamics that are essential to both Latin and jazz music. Oftentimes, mix engineers squash things and call it pre-mastering to resemble a finished product, which ultimately impedes our process."

Rey, an eight-time Billboard Top 20 chart-topping artist, has toured throughout North America, the U.K. and S. Korea. In 2012, she wrote her first hit single, "Let the Rain" with John Oates of Hall & Oates. Rey has also performed with Marc Anthony, Dave Koz, Kenny Loggins and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

The full album title is "The Roots of Rey | Despacito Margo" and is available now on iTunes: http://bit.ly/therootsofrey.

To learn more about Rey, please visit http://www.margoreymusic.com/.

Pictured in United Recording's mastering suite are Margo Rey and engineer Warren Sokol. Photo by David Goggin.

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Hollywood, CA, February 2018 - Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls chose United Recording studio to track one of his newest songs, "Butt Call," which is included on his first solo album, "Smalls Change."

"Butt Call" is comprised of a series of heavy sound effects and features Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. "In one lifetime, the telephone has gone from a miracle to a pain in the arse," explained Smalls.

"Smalls Change" features a host of renowned musicians including Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Peter Frampton, Dweezil Zappa, Steve Lukather, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Richard Thompson, Donald Fagen, David Crosby, Rick Wakeman, and drummers Taylor Hawkins, Chad Smith, Jim Keltner, Gregg Bissonette and Todd Sucherman. The album is set for release on April 13 via Twanky/BMG.

The long-awaited LP is funded through a grant from the British Fund for Ageing Rockers. The album was produced by longtime music director and Spinal Tap keyboardist, CJ Vanston.

Vanston, a contributor to numerous albums by renowned artists like Prince, Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion, enjoys producing tracks at United Recording. "I've worked in Studio B many times in the past, but I'm still impressed with the acoustics of that room, especially the enormous drum sound," Vanston said. "It's well known how many drummers Spinal Tap has lost looking for that perfect sound. Derek was so moved by the experience, he stated, 'Time and technology change everything, except the need for change'."

Pictured at the drums under the United Recording "drumbrella" is Taylor Hawkins; Standing (L-R) are CJ Vanston, Ross Hogarth, Wesley Seidman and "Drum Doctor" Ross Garfield. Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured waiting for Derek Smalls in United Recording's Studio B are cellist Gabriel Noel, producer CJ Vanston, vibraphonist Nick Mancini, recording engineer Ross Hogarth, percussionist T.J. Troy and United Recording's staff engineer Wesley Seidman (L-R). Photo by David Goggin.

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A classic cassette demo from John Lennon was recently archived at United Recording by head archivist, Dan Johnson. Retrieved by Lennon's producer/engineer Jack Douglas, the cassette was recorded by Lennon in Bermuda before his comeback in 1980.

"I was hanging out with Ringo and he said to me, 'I had a bunch of John's memorabilia in a box and when I moved the box disappeared. I don't have that cassette from Bermuda anymore,'" said Douglas, recalling a recent conversation with Ringo Starr.

Unbeknownst to Starr, Douglas had the cassette, which featured Lennon's demos for songs slated for Starr's album, including 'Real Love' that was later recorded by the three surviving Beatles for The Beatles Anthology Project in 1995.

Lennon recorded the demos after a treacherous sailing trip to Bermuda where several crew members fell ill and required him to steer the boat. The experience renewed his self-confidence, affording him opportunity to return to songwriting.

"I wanted to make a CD of the cassette for Ringo and came to United to work with archivist Dan Johnson. It's incredible to hear what Dan has done," Douglas said.

Johnson noted, "I didn't know what he was planning. Jack booked some time and explained he wanted to transfer a cassette. It was one of those 'Oh my God' moments, but you have to maintain a level of professionalism. I made sure everything was aligned properly and that the machine would accept the tape. The cassette was in great condition and played back perfectly."

United studio manager Rob Goodchild said, "We built our new archiving studio to accommodate analog and early digital recordings that are nearing the end of their shelf lives. We ensure recordings are properly preserved and archived."

Pictured in United's Archiving Suite are (L-R) Studio Manager Robin Goodchild, Archive Engineer Dan Johnson, and Producer Jack Douglas. Article & Photo by David Goggin

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Hollywood, CA, November 2017 - Seal, the British soul legend who has sold more than 20 million records worldwide, has returned to the music scene with his new album, "Standards," which combines his unique voice with some of the greatest jazz cuts and swing classics ever written.

Working with producer Nick Patrick and recording engineer Don Murray, the acclaimed recording artist tracked songs in United Recording's Studio B and recorded vocals in Studio A.

Seal's tenth studio album breathes new life into iconic hits from music legends, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and more. The richness of "Standards" is the result of Seal's choice to collaborate with the same legendary musicians who performed with the famed artists.

Randy Waldman, a pianist, toured with Sinatra and Paul Anka; bass player Chuck Berghofer performed with Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles; and drummer Gregg Field worked with Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. Additional album contributors include Grammy nominated British producer Nick Patrick, Grammy nominated arranger Chris Walden and legendary engineer Don Murray.

"This is the album I have always wanted to make," said Seal. "I grew up listening to music from the Rat Pack era, so recording these timeless classics was a lifelong dream. It was a true honor to collaborate with the same musicians who performed with Frank Sinatra and so many of my favorite artists."

"Standards" is available now on Republic Records.

Pictured in United's renowned Studio B are (L-R) Kevin Axt, bass; Dean Parks, guitar; Randy Walden, piano; Seal; Chris Walden, arranger; Nick Patrick, producer; Gregg Field, drums; Don Murray, recording engineer. Photo / Article by David Goggin

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Frozen Strings and Microphone Create Haunting Film Score
Hollywood, CA, October 2017 – The haunting soundtrack of the recently released crime thriller The Snowman was mastered at United Recording by engineer Erick Labson and composer Marco Beltrami. Beltrami’s score producer, Buck Sanders, devised a novel way to create unique sound samples that combine evocative brass and strings.

“The film’s premise uses snowfall as the killer’s motive, and we were challenged to capture the sound of actual snow falling,” explained Beltrami. “Buck conceived the idea to use strings and a hydrophone suspended in ice, which took two days to freeze. As opposed to the normal resonance in the air, we recorded the new ‘frozen’ sound to create a very textural score.”

Labson said,“I listened to the entire score from beginning to end before I even touched a knob. I wanted it to sound natural, yet ominous, and true to the original mixes with details preserved, but elevated at times to enhance the listening experience.”

Beltrami said, “The beauty of a soundtrack is that it focuses solely on the music. In the theater, the music is equalized to fit in with the whole sound environment, which includes dialogue and sound effects. It's a different experience than listening to a well-mastered stereo album score.”

In addition to the frozen strings, Beltrami also employed a distinctive Norwegian instrument for the film’s opening scenes. “It’s a hybrid of a viola and a hurdy-gurdy called a nyckelharpa,” he explained. “It has resonant strings underneath where it's played with keys as opposed to fretting the strings. There's no vibrato. It has a very interesting, almost medieval sound that just works well in the film.”

The Snowman follows an elite crime squad’s lead detective, who investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter and fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit, the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to this brutal new one, if he hopes to outwit unthinkable evil before the next snowfall. Based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller and directed by Tomas Alfredson, the film stars Michael Fassbender (X-Men), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash).

Listen here: http://smarturl.it/TheSnowmanOST

Pictured at United Recording are composer Marco Beltrami, United Recording manager Rob Goodchild, and mastering engineer Erick Labson. Article / Photo by David Goggin.

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Legendary recording artist Brian Wilson completed a new song, "Run, James, Run," at United Recording. The song is included in his new "Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology" compilation album.
"Brian is at the top of his game," said Wesley Seidman, a United staff engineer who has worked with Wilson for the past 10 years. "Brian is the consummate artist. His passion and artistic genius shine through in this up-beat track, which is reminiscent of the good times in his past. Brian's trademark flair for great harmony works magically in this song."
Wilson's eponymous solo debut for Sire in 1988 launched an extended period of renewal for the iconic Beach Boys co-founder and songwriter. Rhino revisits Wilson's solo career with a new 18-song collection that mixes studio and live recordings with two previously unreleased tracks: "Run, James, Run" and "Some Sweet Day," an unreleased gem he wrote with Andy Paley in the early 1990s for an unfinished recording project.

Explaining the vocal signal chain he employed for Wilson, Seidman said, "I usually use a vintage Neumann U-47 for Brian's vocals with a Soursound API 2312 customized mic-pre and a vintage Urei 1176 limiter. We do most of the processing on the way in while Brian is singing."

Matt Jardine, son of Beach Boys' co-founder Al Jardine, tours with Wilson and sings many harmony tracks on the new song.

"Because Matt sings so many different parts, I didn't want everything to sound the same," Seidman said. "We had a couple of different chains for him. One was an AKG C-12 with a Neve 1073 mic-pre and a Urei Blackface 1176 compressor/limiter. We also had the new Sanken CU-51 dual-diaphragm mic and that went through a channel of Soursound mic-pre and an 1176 limiter. Matt also used a Telefunken 251 with the Soursound and the Neve, depending on the part."

More than 30 vocal tracks were recorded for "Run, James, Run" and the harmony parts were all created by Wilson on the spot in the studio.

"Brian usually has an idea for a few parts before he goes to sing. He'll sing a part, do a couple of takes and change it, and then do another part or a few more parts to complement that particular track," Seidman said. "Later, he'll come up with additional parts for Matt to sing and he may also go back and create more parts for himself. I've never worked with anyone who works like Brian. He's pretty unique in the way he creates all these harmonies out of nowhere."

"Playback: The Brian Wilson Anthology" covers more than 30 years of music with selections from nine of Wilson's solo albums and is available on CD ($13.98), double-LP ($31.98) and on digital download and streaming services.

Learn more at: http://www.brianwilson.com/
Photo and article by David Goggin.

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The captivating trio, I’m With Her, recently recorded and filmed their first original song, “Little Lies,” in United Recording’s renowned Studio B. The group is comprised of three singers: Sara Watkins, violin; Sarah Jarosz, banjo, mandolin and guitar; and Aoife O’Donovan, guitar.

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