subscribe to an RSS feed of the blog
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

No Pews Required - Cover

A treasured RCA 77 DX

There are so many wonderfully documented mic shoot-outs, comparisons and evaluations (some of which are exhaustive) that it would seem that everything that can be said, has. But recently, after modding one of my pairs of ribbon mics ( I put Lundahl transformers into one of my pairs of Cascade Fat-Head mics), I was setting up for a comparison test between the un-modded and modded mics when I decided to add another 4 different ribbon mics and place them all in front of a guitar amp. Some of the results were just as expected, but a few were surprising, even after using some of these mics for decades, and I felt that this was too fun not to share.

The contestants:

note – Because I was using electric guitar for the test, I left a few of my favorite ribbons out, like Read the rest of this entry »

A Show at the Shamu Stadium, Sea World San Diego

We recently completed work on a new Shamu show for SeaWorld San Diego, Shamu’s Christmas, opening this November for the holiday season. DRR&P worked directly with the creative team at SW San Diego and composed, arranged and produced all the music for this production.

The show features Orcas (of course), live male and female host/singers and a live sax player. As the directors wanted a spectacular show that featured exciting animal choreography yet still retained a warm holiday and family spirit, we felt it called for a score that combined both classic orchestral moments as well as driving percussive, rock and pop elements. Read the rest of this entry »

Pro Tools HD I/O converters in recording studio

New Pro Tools HD I/O converters

Doing the right thing is rarely easy. But,”Am I doing the right thing?”… this was the question that plagued me as I broke the seal on my new Pro Tools HDX card. But let me back up a bit.

I’ve been running a Mac Pro 8 core with a PT HD3 system (48 ins 40 outs) since 2008 and it was a beast of a system. I do mostly audio production (most all of it being done at 96k,) but also do a fair amount of programming and composing so I run Vienna Ensemble Pro with a bunch of high quality (resource hogging) virtual instruments. The 8 core, running PT 8.1 on OS 10.6.8, did a great job keeping up, so I put off upgrading to PT10 as long as I felt I could.

Dan Rudin's Pro Tools HD3 system

Old Pro Tools HD3 system with 192 I/O’s and 8 core Mac Pro

Pro Tools 10 is sexy. I’ve been using it in other studios for quite a while now and while it didn’t blow me away running on an HD system, it is near unstoppable on a good HDX rig. Tracking an orchestra at Ocean Way Nashville recently, Read the rest of this entry »

I thought I’d share a bit of our production music for Royal Caribbean’s Saturday Night Fever. This project was very fun to record and it looks like the full theatrical production will be really spectacular. Enjoy!

RCL’s preview video

The Saturday Night Fever Rhythm Section and Production team

The Saturday Night Fever Rhythm Section and Production team

In the early 1970’s, music was getting heavier and more serious all the time. Rock bands were writing album long epic journeys, and Funk became the soundtrack for a wide audience as race relations changed in America. Disco, on the other hand, was more about feeling good and forgetting your daily cares, so it’s little wonder that, at the time, Disco was thought by many to be a mindless or soulless musical movement. Read the rest of this entry »

129 pieces

Orchestral Recording at Ocean Way Nashville

Orchestral Recording at Ocean Way Nashville

Wow, what a month. In just four weeks I’ve recorded orchestral scores for 4 productions I’m doing. Two great projects for Disney, The Little Mermaid and an adaptation of Winnie The Pooh, an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, and a new Christmas show for Busch Gardens Williamsburg featuring scoring from the Vancouver Olympic opening ceremony. All told, 129 pieces of music.
Read the rest of this entry »

In an age where being versatile is not only respected but essential, I feel very privileged to work on such a wide range of excellent projects.

Recently, among other things, I’ve finished production on a development project for alt-indy rockers The Pursuits; a production of Miss Saigon for MTI; Camp Rock, The Musical for Disney; mixing for new pop diva B.E.T.A (watch for her…. she’s killer); and mixing of a re-record by cowpunk rockabilly legends Dash Rip Rock of their hit Johnny Ace for Rockband.
Here are some selections I’d love to share…. pass it around!

Music Game Studio

If you don’t know already, my company Music Game Studio makes game play versions of artists songs. more on that here. And we have Youtube and Vimeo channels of our game creations as well!

subscribe to an RSS feed of the blog