Artist Impression: Shayna Zaid and the Catch on V-Studio 100

A few weeks before the launch we got to sit down in the studio with Shayna Zaid and the Catch. Their live shows have been packing crowds in NYC and colleges up and down the east coast. They’ve shared the stage with Norah Jones, Harry Connick Jr, Raul Midon and The Roots.

Their music has gone on to see much success with 8 songs licensed to “Young & the Restless”, 4 #1 singles in Shayna’s Native Malaysia, a 1/4 million Myspace plays, and Finalist in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition, among many other honors. As you can see, they know what it’s like to be a touring and recording act so we asked them for their impression of the SONAR V-Studio 100. Watch the video to see what they thought.

“Brilliant!  Finally something that encompasses everything we need to professionally go mobile.  With killer mic pre’s, an onboard SD recorder/player, an audio/midi interface and a DAW controller, the V- Studio 100 lets us create on the road – and at home.”

Artist Impression: RADIx’s Quite Nyce on V-Studio 100

Quite Nyce is one half of the emerging Hip Hop duo RADIx.  They’ve recently been featured on MTV2 and in URB magazine. And have toured with Das EFX, Onyx, the Beatnuts and many others.

Their debut album MONSTAPLEx is set to be released this April and features Afrobatik on a guest track. Quite Nyce also has a side project called Champs vs. the League, which just toured the UK and Germany with Akil from Jurassic 5.

Quite Nyce is a man who needs a complete solution that he can take on the road, so when he got a sneak peak of SONAR V-studio 100 last month he described his reaction as “speechless.”  Contrary to that comment, he ended up having alot to say about the V-Studio 100. Watch the video to get his impressions.

Artist Impression: Producer & DJ Sharkey on V-Studio 100

Sharkey has performed and produced with such heavyweights as Eminem, Everlast, Mickey Petralia, Mario Caldato Jr., Jedi Mind Tricks, The Black Eyed Peas, and Wyclef Jean. His first solo album “Sharkey’s Machine” featured guest appearances by Cannibal Ox, The Pharcyde, Grand Puba of Brand Nubian and Cherrywine from Digable Planets.

2008’s Monster Maker with C-Rayz waltz was a critically acclaimed foray into the world of alternative hip hop.  In 2009 he’s set to release Dastardly with 2009 Grammy-nominated artist Kokayi.

Based in Maryland, but doing regular sessions in NYC, Nashville, and LA, not to mention DJ sets, we thought Sharkey might appreciate a sneak peek of the V-Studio 100…but we didn’t expect him to try to walk away with it.  Watch the video to hear his impressions and more.

Artist Impression: DJ Johnny Juice on V-Studio 100

Producer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and long time SONAR expert, Johnny Juice was an original member of the Bomb Squad at the age of 15, and has been doing productions for Public Enemy, Reverend Run, and countless others ever since.

The man is always working; his credo is “sleep is for the dead,” so he’s always looking for tools that speed up his workflow, travel with him,  and sound great…and if they can combine more than one function in one device, even better.

Because of his long history with SONAR and relentless schedule, we asked Juice to put the V-Studio 100 through its paces. Watch the video to find out if it passed his test.

“This unit is ridiculous.   I can bounce with it on the road and use it for backing tracks AND recording, and then import my work when I get back to my studio right from the SD card.”

Sparks The Rescue Set To Release New Album in May

Sparks The Rescue, is an incredibly high energy group of guys in their early 20’s from Portland, Maine. They’re constantly touring and constantly writing. Having logged over 200 shows throughout New England alone, Sparks The Rescue has shared the stage with Hawthorne Heights, Just Surrender, As Tall As Lions, Dave Melillo, Roses Are Red, Stretch Arm Strong, and plenty of others.

Inspiration can strike at the oddest times, and when you’re always on the road, chances are there isn’t a good solution around to get that idea down in a usable form.  That’s why we let them check out the SONAR V-Studio 100.

“The V-Studio 100 is allowing us to write our second record on the road while touring in support of our first record.  This thing is built for the modern musician.”

Keep an ear out for a full-length album coming soon from Sparks the Rescue on Fearless Records.  And check back at this space for their video impression of the V-Studio 100.

Artist Spotlight: Carmen Rizzo

The Virtual Ornaments of An Innovator

Producer, mixer, remixer, writer & artist Carmen Rizzo

By Randy Alberts

Carmen Rizzo

Typically there’s room for doubt when someone claims that a new product has changed their life. Yeah, right. But when that someone is one of today’s best, busiest producer-musician-remixers around who helped forge an entirely new Grammy category, and their product rave is about a musical instrument—their favorite synthesizer—who’s to doubt it?

“Oh yes, Rapture has absolutely changed my life in how I make records,” says Carmen Rizzo, who four years ago led the way in creating NARAS’ new Grammy Award category for Best Electronic Album. “My life is all about making records and, really, I just can’t work without Rapture anymore. Every time I use it to come up with a sound I think, ‘Wow, I would’ve never come up with that sound without Rapture!’ Rapture opens up your mind to new things you just would’ve never thought of without it.”

Carrying the torch for electronic music with the help of BT, Crystal Method’s Ken Jordan and others was but one gem in Rizzo’s prodigious creative vein of music, concert, radio, t.v. and film sound achievements. Himself a two-time Grammy nominee, the short version of Carmen’s credits list reads like a who’s who of diverse talents and idioms: Coldplay, Alanis Morissette, Cirque du Soleil, Seal, Ryuichi Sakamoto, k.d. Lang, Pete Townshend and acclaimed British director Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In The Mist). Rizzo scored his first film soundtrack, The Power of the Game, for Apted’s documentary about the German soccer team’s 2006 World Cup win; released two critically-adored solo albums of his own (The Lost Art of the Idle Moment and the new Ornament of An Impostor); co-founded, produces and frequently tours with the world beat/electronic fusion band Niyaz and, currently, is among many pursuits DJ-ing a radio set heard by 14 million listeners each month on the highly influential KEXP.org/Seattle.

“I’d like to think that people come to me for something different, for something unique,” says Carmen. “The Cakewalk synths definitely make that easier for me to accomplish.”

Within Sight of the Hollywood Sign

A husband and father who donates 10% of his new album’s sales to a different charity each month, Rizzo owns and produces, writes, mixes and remixes in his Studio 775. There’s a close-up view of the intersecting street signs of Hollywood & Vine right outside his workspace window.

Carmen Rizzo on the Streets

“Be it audio plug-ins for EQ, compression and effects or virtual instruments, every producer and musician has their favorite go-to tools they use on everything they do,” he says. “Rapture is one of those tools for me. It’s there no matter where I’m creating music. On the road with my portable laptop rig or at the audio workstation here at Studio 775, honestly, Rapture is in pretty much everything I do.”

Continue reading Artist Spotlight: Carmen Rizzo