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This Year, we were honored to compose and produce all the music for two new SeaWorld events; Pop, a bubble art show featuring 19-time Guiness World record holder Fan Yang and Electric Ocean, a night-time EDM event featuring Cirque style acts and a Fireworks spectacular.

Pop was a great team effort… composition by Chris McDonald and Kurt Goebel with composition design by me and orchestrations by Chris. The score features harp and a 16 voice choir with synth and a 64 piece orchestra.

Here’s a video of the show

Electric Ocean features original EDM compositions by Josh Harris, Russ Macklin, Josh Hawkins and Worldwide Groove Corp. Ignite, the 10 minute night-time spectacular features Fountains, Lasers, Fireworks and Flame Cannons, all set to the score Kurt Goebel composed and Chris orchestrated – it’s epic! All produced and recorded here at DRR&P. The soundtrack will soon be released for sale… stay tuned.

Check out this video

Marco Marinangeli Conducts Mickey's Most Merriest

Marco Marinangeli Conducts Mickey’s Most Merriest

Among the many, many other fantastic scoring projects this year, we are proud to have recorded and mixed two Holiday shows for Walt Disney World, Orlando!

Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! is a new Holiday Spectacular in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Read the rest of this entry »

nashville scoring recording studio

The new orchestra room at DRR&P

2015 was just a crazy year with both production and construction. I would never have survived it without the tireless help of the entire team here at DRR&P.

Projects:

We started the year with a full load of productions; Sea Lion High, the new sea lion and otter show for Sea World; new Junior musical versions of Peter Pan (the 1954 musical), Honk, Dear Edwina and Anything Goes; and a new full length musical (and Jr. version) based on the animated film Madagascar! In here somewhere I also managed to mix the score for a video game; more when that’s public.

Construction:

From April to November 2015, we made it through a massive expansion of our studio building, adding a big, new orchestra recording space to studio A and an entire new studio suite, Studio D (complete with another lounge, shop, and two more bathrooms), to our facility. Read the rest of this entry »

Some cast and creative team recording James and the Giant Peach

Some of the cast and creative team recording James and the Giant Peach Photographer:cousindaniel.com

Along with the announcement that the James and Giant Peach cast album I produced is now available for free download HERE, a few behind the scenes videos were released… like this one

The show, based on the Roald Dahl book, was adapted for the stage by Timothy Allen McDonald with music and lyrics by Pasek and Paul (Dogfight, A Christmas Story, Dear Evan Hansen.) Get a copy!

A few months back, we built four U-87 clone microphones here at the studio. They’ve since been in regular use in many of the roles an 87 might play in a busy studio; string section, saxes and other winds, lead and group vocals, guitars and amps, and they are fantastic. They have all the depth, tone, accuracy (and inaccuracy) and proximity effect signature of microphones that cost at least 6 times as much.

Since so many people have been asking for details on the build, my friend and colleague Daniel Noga, who headed the whole mic build project, did this great write up on the entire process from ordering parts to listening to the final build. Read the rest of this entry »

Recording  James and The Giant Peach at MSR Studios

Recording James and The Giant Peach at MSR Studios Photographer:cousindaniel.com

2014 was such a wonderful year for us. Among the many, many wonderful projects, The Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra’s No Pews Required and two big album releases in Latin music, Oscar d’Leon’s Classicos de Big Band and Ricardo Arjona’s Viaje were especially fun to contribute to. Read the rest of this entry »

Thought I’d share this fan video of the Christmas parade I just did in September. Though it’s hard to discern the individual float audio, you can get a rough idea of how complicated the audio production for a parade can be. There are looped sections for marches, and each float has it’s own unique overlay music and voice playback that has to be perfectly synched to the underlaying music playing through speaker systems along the parade route.

Caution: the first section loops until around 5:09… this may cause you agony, so feel free to skip ahead!

Basically, my entire philosophy of production as told by Stephen Sondheim himself!

Dan and the Tokyo Disneyland production team

Dan and the Tokyo Disneyland production team

I just finished another two projects for Tokyo Disneyland. It’s always great to work with the creative teams form Tokyo and Orlando, and this was no different. The first project is a Big Band Christmas show composed and orchestrated by Greg Smith, the second a Christmas parade composed by Tom Rau and orchestrated by Joe Alfuso. Both were overseen by Disney Entertainment producer Rick Mizell show director Takuji Higashiyama and music director Kuniyoshi Takeda.

We recorded the orchestra at Seattle’s Studio X, a nice room with a good collection of gear and an even better collection of staff. I had the pleasure of working with Anthony DiLorenzo, a brilliant trumpet player that I happened to have gone to high school with (and hadn’t seen since; it’s a small world after all), and the guy sitting next to him was no slouch either… the venerable Allen Vizzutti.

Then back to the studios at Disney world in Orlando for vocals and mix. A lot of work but also a lot of fun.

Back home I got word that Ricardo Arjona’s latest album, Viaje, has been certified Gold and has a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Singer-Songwriter Album.

The Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra

The Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra

It is with great pleasure that I share the release of a new big-band jazz album from composer/arranger Chris McDonald. The album, which I co-produced and engineered, features a burning hot ensemble of many of my friends and colleagues and was just a blast to create.

I recorded the album at my studio, The Tracking Room, and Ocean Way Nashville and mixing was done at my studio (that console re-furb was money well spent!!) Noteworthy mics for the sessions were the c-12’s and U47’s on the saxes (I like the bite they deliver without too much harshness) and the fantastic AEA stereo Ribbon on the brass room. I captured the string section in OceanWay A with a decca tree of M-49’s and U67 spots.

Jazz Times has said No Pews Required is “some of the most powerful and exhilarating big-band music you’re likely to hear anywhere… and the emphasis is first, last and always on jazz.”

Here’s the EPK video from the sessions

You can hear a couple of the tracks on my work page, and you can buy No Pews Required by The Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra here, or on iTunes and Amazon.com

No Pews Required - Cover

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