Live From Mix Nashville 2009: First Stop, The Legendary Sun Studio

Hello, Hello from Memphis and Nashville!

I used to be in Nashville and Memphis from time to time in my past life of a touring musician, but I really forgot how amazing this region of the country is; especially in terms of music. The trip started out early yesterday (3am) when I left my apartment for Newark Airport and then magically found myself in Memphis 5 hours later. I’m not too much of a plane-sleeper but I knew I needed some ZZZ’s for what was going to be a very busy day in “The South”. I met up with Cakewalk’s PR head Steve Thomas at his hotel and we both found it funny that we have more face-to-face business meetings in random cities than we do in the Cakewalk Headquarters. The afternoon rolled in and we headed over to Sun Studio in Memphis.

If you are not familiar with Sun Studio, it’s one of the most famous studios in the United States and has turned out some of the biggest hits in our time some including tracks from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, BB King, Roy Orbison and U2 to name a few. You might be wondering at this point why we would be visiting Sun Studio on a business trip and I can proudly tell you it’s because Sun Studio is powered by SONAR and as of yesterday, the new V-Studio 700 is at the helm. I had never been to the studio before and Steve has always mentioned how great of a vibe it has… and he wasn’t kidding.

First of all, head engineer James Lott is such a great guy and it was a pleasure to meet him finally. When he brought me into the studio, the combination of the room itself along with the gear and the memorabilia on the walls gave me an overwhelming sense of music history. I can totally understand why people still love to record in this room as it’s one of those places that triggers creative inspiration. Between the way the natural light hits the room, the d├ęcor (including authentic and rare photos of Elvis and other iconic artists) and the materials from which the studio was built, there is something very unique and inviting about this studio that I have never seen or felt before. The VS-700 looks great in the room and I’m looking forward to hearing all the tracks in the future that will be recorded on this system.

After working on the VS-700 at Sun Studio we jumped in the car for a three hour drive to Nashville and “Mix Nashville 2009” which started today. The work at Sun Studios combined with the length of the drive ruled out our ability to make it in time for the Pre-Mix Launch party at House of Blues Studios but we had our party bases covered as Product Specialists Rich Curtis and Mike Trujillo were able to attend.

According to Rich and Mike, the scene was pretty cool and interesting at the same time because the HOB studios are contained within three houses in a residential area in Nashville and you literally have to go from house to house to see all the different rooms. It was probably a good thing that I didn’t go because Steve was starting to get worried about my sleep deprivation? I woke up early and dropped the rental car off to enterprise where I utilized their famous “we’ll give you a ride” feature back over to the MIX Nashville Conference. Nice! The event is actually in the back of a gigantic warehouse in a remote area so I was laughing with the Enterprise girl as I promised here that I was not an escaped convict!

Walking into the event reminded me of NAMM because the building is gigantic. We have a great room with Roland and it’s stacked with all the latest gear. Rich and Mike have both the VS-700 and the New VS-100 set up and are doing some interesting demos where they are actually creating tracks from scratch to exemplify all the new features. I always thought Rich was a guitar player until I saw him jump up on the V-Drum setup to play live drums he has triggered into SONAR “Session Drummer” and then started kicking beats similar to that of “Animal” from the Muppets. Between seeing that and Mike tracking (playing) a right-handed strung guitar left-handed, I’m thinking those two should start their own band.

As I type this, Steve Thomas is catching up with Mix Magazine’s editorial Director George Petersen and showing him the new V-Studio 100. We have had a lot of interesting people and Cakewalk users stopping in to say hello and I was psyched to reconnect with Brian Desveaux who is the guitar player and one of the singers in the band “Nine Days” (Story of a Girl) who I have shared a stage with in the past. Brian is a great guy, a great songwriter and be on the lookout for his new solo project which should be out later this year.

If you are in Nashville please stop in and say hello.

Thanks for reading!

Jimmy Landry
Cakewalk Artist Relations Manager

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