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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

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!

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!

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

Here’s a fan video of the new show, “Mickey and Company,” in the Diamond Horseshoe Theatre at Tokyo Disneyland that I recorded and mixed back in January. It’s always fun to see how everything works together in the final production. We recorded all of the music here in Nashville, background vocals and mixing in the Disney production studios in Orlando.

The Diamond Horseshoe creative team


2013 started off with three non-stop weeks of show production and recording – five different shows! I’ll try to re-capture some of the fun for you.

I recorded and mixed a score for Disney Land Tokyo’s Diamond Horseshoe Dinner Theatre. A Vaudeville show with a western flavor, composer/arranger Greg Smith wrote for a 10 piece band contracted by accordionist Jeff Taylor (The Time Jumpers, Elvis Costello) that featured a “western swing-horn band” with some killer players like guitarist Bryan Sutton, trombonist Barry Green and fiddler Matt Combs.

After recording the orchestra at The Tracking Room Studio, I mixed the project Read the rest of this entry »

Ricardo Arjona - Independiente

Ricardo Arjona – Independiente

It’s always nice when a project you work on gets some well-deserved notice. In this case, Ricardo Arjona’s “Independiente”, which just grabbed 4 Latin Grammy nominations including “Record of the Year”, “Album of the Year”, and “Song of the Year”. Better still, I’m named in the first two along with my friends, Producers Dan Warner and Lee Levin and Mix Engineer David Thoener.

“Independiente” is full of great performances and beautiful songwriting. One of my favorite cuts is “Fuiste Tu,” nominated for Song of the Year, which is a duet with the incredible Gaby Moreno (her record “Postales” was released just last month.) My primary contribution to Ricardo’s album was recording the brilliant string arrangements by my long time colleague Chris McDonald.

The Latin Grammy Awards will be held in Las Vegas on November 15th and televised on Unvision.

Several years ago, Avid added a light version of Sibelius notation software to their flagship workstation, Pro Tools. While I don’t rely on Pro Tools’ notation capabilities for any involved work, it is often useful for printing out a part for a player or two.

A short while back I was lamenting to my friend John Hinchey, international Sibelius wizard (and more), that I was unable to print a violin part from Pro Tools on just one stave… it always defaulted to a grand staff (treble and bass staves together, like piano music.) Read the rest of this entry »

My Son Pinocchio Orchestra with Dan Rudin and Stephen Schwartz

My Son Pinocchio Orchestra


It was certainly no surprise when, in 2009, Stephen Schwartz was inducted into the American Songwriter Hall of Fame. He’s been much awarded and has written some of my favorite shows in musical theatre (Godspell, Pippin and, of course, Wicked) as well as songs for the films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Enchanted and Geppetto. I was asked by Disney Theatrical to produce the recording of Stephen’s stage adaptation of Geppetto, My Son Pinocchio, so after much prep work, arranger/orchestrator David Weinstein, vocal contractor Lori Casteel, Stephen and I settled into The Tracking Room Studio in Nashville for the orchestra recording dates. Read the rest of this entry »

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