How SONAR user Bobbi Tammaro won a SESAC award over many Major Label Artists

Respect and credibility

A few weeks ago SESAC announced their 2013 Jazz Award recipients, and SONAR X3 user Bobbi “Funkeeboy” Tommaro was one of the well-deserved artists on the list.  I have been fortunate to get to know Bobbi in the last few years on and off the SONAR playing-field, and the first word that comes to mind is “respect.”  These days considering the state of the music industry, the word respect has more meaning than ever and Bobbi has earned it from his music peers along with just about everyone else that hears his story.  Besides respect, he has earned much credibility in the Smooth Jazz world from being a repeat-offender on the Billboard charts as an independent artist.

Bobbi who is also PKA “Funkee Boy” has amassed an impressive amount of credits throughout his music career. At the young age of 15 he was already making a name for himself winning the Connecticut State Organ Championship and also opening for national acts such as Spyro Gyra.  As he progressed he scored numerous chart hits across multiple music genres, as well as, several top Billboard chart hits/Top 5 Smooth Jazz hits, and licensing deals on television networks such as ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, SHOWTIME, VH1, etc.

Before making his own records his music has [and continues to in terms of residuals] appear on some of the most popular and well respected shows ever such as Beverly Hills 90210, General Hospital, All My Children, Sunset Beach, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Love Boat, One Life To Live, Young & The Restless, They Call Me Sirr, Soul Food.  Stepping out from behind the scenes as a songwriter/producer & into the forefront as a Smooth Jazz Artist, Bobbi’s track record progressed and continued to impress.

Most recently, starting off 2014 by releasing his 3rd CD “Soul Purpose”, the smooth jazz keyboardist/producer combined his talents with assembling a stellar line up of A-List recording artists. The newest award-winning record “Soul Purpose” features guest appearances from Warren Hill, Najee, Bob Baldwin, Cindy Bradley, Nick Colionne, LEILA, Surface, Lamone, Timmy Maia, Tevin Michael and more!!!

Chalk one up for the hard working jugglers. 

A few key elements set Bobbi apart from the pack that keeps him successful.  The obvious one is the raw talent of songwriting and performing his instrument, but if you go a few levels deeper, you will find a multi-instrumentalist, producer, mixing and mastering engineer.  Peeling back a few more layers exposes an organized machine who literally “does not need a label” to hit the Billboard Top 5 Smooth Jazz Chart.  In fact Bobbi has had many labels approach him and has respectfully declined any offers to do business.  Why?… because he has cracked the code and found a formula that works for himself as an independent artist competing in the major leagues.

It’s not easy

Hitting the Top 5 on any Billboard Chart is not an easy thing to do.  Besides the songs and production alone (which he does ALL in SONAR INCLUDING Mastering), Bobbi also has to oversee the efforts for Radio Promotion, Publicity, Social Media, Sales and Marketing.  If you ask me, this is a very rare skill-set to have as an artist considering just the time it takes alone to write and record a [great] full length record.  Bobbi does have help from his wife Leila who is also a very credible artist, and the two of them seem to have a great formula for getting the music out to the masses as if they were a Major Label.

Cakewalk:          It’s pretty amazing that you do so much to get your music out, can you describe the short-form version of a typical record release?

Bobbi Tammaro:            Sure, it’s hard to keep it short form because so much goes into it… So here goes Continue reading How SONAR user Bobbi Tammaro won a SESAC award over many Major Label Artists

How TC Spitfire used the ProChannel on the track “Surrender;” Currently #3 on Billboard Club Chart

Congratulations to Paul Oakenfold and TC Spitfire who found themselves at #3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs this past week with the track Surrender.

The track was written by Paul, TC and J Hart who also sang the track.  TC Spitfire who is a passionate SONAR X1 Expanded user co-produced and mixed the track using a combination of all the ProChannel modules.  “This new era with the ProChannel and X1d [Expanded] is on a serious elevated level.  The combination of the modules has me staying more and more inside SONAR natively,” TC told us.

On a daily basis, TC is very busy individual.  Between writing new music, producing, mixing and remixing, he finds himself a bit overextended these days and “taking it and enjoying it while it’s there.”  Most recently, he has worked with artists such as Cher, Matt Goss, Matt Morris and Jean Baptist – and that is just in the recent past.  “On a daily basis I will jump from remixing a track for 4 hours, to writing in another studio for 4 hours, and then back to our lab for another however-long-it-takes-session – for the next barrage of musical craziness.”

For the track Surrender which is currently charting on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, TC collaborated with both Paul Oakenfold and J Hart on the writing side and then built and mixed the song completely in SONAR X1 Expanded. 

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CW AR: This vocal sound is huge in this track.  What was some of the processing involved?

TC: On the vocal track I used the new Hybrid mode in the ProChannels QuadCurve EQ.  I cut quite a bit of the low end off and had quite a bit of mids popping for this track around 1.8k.  I was able to surgically cut out some other frequencies in the mids to get the vocals away from other keyboard parts in that range.

On top of that, I used the PC4K channel compressor along with a slight touch of the Softube Saturation Knob with the switch on the “high” setting.  I also sent multiple lead vocal tracks out to a lead vocal bus which had the PCCL Limiter on it for a slight boost and some tightening.

CW AR: This track and all your tracks for that matter are really tight, what are the main factors for you in achieving this sound?

TC: It’s pretty simple, but it’s also pretty complicated.  It’s simple, because most of it has to do with compression, EQ and limiting, which are 75% from the ProChannel in my tracks.  It’s complicated because carving the frequencies, making the decisions on where to compress and how much, and what to use a limiter on – all factor in.  Sometimes, over compressing and using too many limiters will just make a song sound flat-lined and not breathing.   I think another factor is not using too many of the same compressors or EQ’s on every single track.  I really like mixing up my inserts.  On some tracks I will use the 76 and others I will use the Softube compressor.  I even use the PC4K bus compressor on tracks – call me crazy – haaa.   There are no rules in the digital world and use my ear and the tools SONAR X1 Expanded provides to get the sound to where I need it to be.

In the next year you will be hearing a lot more from Paul Oakenfold and TC as a new deal was just signed with Sony Records.  As soon as the details are released on that we will keep you posted.  Until then, you can check out SONAR X1 for free here.

SONAR X1 is the most intuitive D.A.W. on the market today.  It’s easy to get up and running, and it’s just as easy with practice and experience to become an advanced user.  If you are running windows, and you are a musician, now is a great time to pull the trigger with the SONAR X1 Advanced Workshop Giveaway Promotion.

“SURRENDER” [Completely recorded, mixed and mastered in SONAR X1 Expanded:]