October 5, 2014

Micah Stampley at Real 2 Reel

Micah Stampley at Real 2 Reel

We had a great time today at Real 2 Reel with Micah Stampley and several of his singers for an in-studio photo and video shoot.

As discussed in a previous post, Micah’s new CD, “Love Never Fails“, has been nominated for two Dove Awards this year.

Photos by Caleb Varnadeaux


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September 30, 2014

Micah Stampley Dove Award Nominations

Micah Stampley has been nominated for several Dove Awards.

Micah Stampley Dove AwardMuch of his newest release, Love Never Fails was recorded at Real 2 Reel Studios. Will McPhaul shared engineering duties with Asaph Ward during the sessions.

Click here for several videos taken at our studio during the sessions.
It is always a pleasure to work with such fine people and talented artists.

Congratulations Micah!

August 27, 2014

American Tread

American Tread at Real 2 Reel

American Tread has been at Real 2 Reel recording some great tunes for their upcoming EP, What A Ride.

Executive Producer Richard Cook – RC Entertainment Group, LLC.
Produced by American Tread
Engineered by Will McPhaul and James Cobb.
Mixed by Will McPhaul
Mastered by Steve Rawls

Brock & Jacobs are crafting some great tunes, supported by a smoking band!

American Tread is:
Terry Brock – vocals, guitar & mandolin
Kevin Jacobs – vocals & guitars
Chaz Butler – keys & backing vocals
Mo Dee – drums
Robb Rudd – bass
Jason Bennett – sax

Photos by Chris Peterson.

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March 9, 2014

Blackberry Smoke “Leave A Scar”

bbs-lowThis  fantastic live performance by Blackberry Smoke was captured at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, NC.  The band was on fire!  Real 2 Reel was asked to provide surround upmixing for the DVD and mastering for both the double audioCD and the DVD titles.  A partial listing of the primary companies involved are:

Our apologies to the many not mentioned above.  As of this date, a release date has not been set.

October 9, 2012

Will Turpin’s “Will and The Way” begin work on new album

Collective Soul co-founder Will Turpin gets his Way with new band, CD and tour.

Hot on the heels of a national tour with Collective Soul and a year after his debut solo EP, musician Will Turpin is headed into the studio with a new band for his first full-length CD, Serengeti Drivers. Beginning Oct. 8, Will Turpin and The Way have begun their first studio effort.

The CD is being co-produced by Real 2 Reel’s Jonathan Beckner and will include almost a dozen new tunes. “You’ll hear elements of a lot of different musical influences,” Turpin said. “Some Beatle-esque songs, some rockin’ numbers, and some real laid back stuff. The vocal mix of the three singers will be smooth enough to savor with a glass of wine or kick up your heels with a beer.” In addition to Turpin (keyboards and vocals) the band lineup includes Jason Fowler (guitar and vocals), Mark Wilson (bass and vocals) and Scott Davidson (drums).

Turpin said seven of the songs were co-written by Fowler, an Atlanta-based musician and friend. “A lot of times I have an idea for a song that is not finished or is halfway complete and Jason is able to help me out with a riff or a vocal melody or theme,” Turpin said. “Then there are times when we can create something right on the spot. We’re a good team.”

This holiday season, Turpin’s version of “What Child Is This?” will appear on A Rock By The Sea Christmas : Volume Three, a charity CD series set for release on Oct. 16. Net proceeds from the 13-song Christmas compilation will benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program in Orlando, Fla.

Turpin’s other group, Collective Soul, is a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Collective Soul has attained seven No. 1 songs and 19 Top 40 singles, making them one of the most successful bands of the 1990s. They are planning a 20th anniversary tour and boxed set CD package in 2014.

Will and The Way Press Release

View the photo album on our Facebook page


August 3, 2012

Starbuck Minimoog Sound

Starbuck circa 1976
Sloan Hayes is 2nd from the right

Starbuck Minimoog Sound

Real 2 Reel has been in business since 1976 so we get many questions about the way things were done “back in the day”.  Recently, we’ve received a few questions about how a famous synthesizer line in a 1976 hit was done.  While it wasn’t recorded at our studio it was played by our friend, Sloan Hayes.  Sloan was the keyboardist for Starbuck, now a session player and member of Abel, Rawls & Hayes.  Sloan played the memorable melody in Starbuck’s smash hit “Moonlight Feels Right“.  The song reached #3 in Billboard, #2 in Cashbox and #1 in Record World in 1976.  Enough history, on with the story….

So what did he get the Starbuck Minimoog sound?  Sloan Hayes provided the following insight.

“When “Moonlight” was recorded, synthesizers (like the Minimoogs that we used) were monophonic. That is, they only played one note. You could hit as many keys as you wanted, but only one note would come out. Each Minimoog used three oscillators. Normally, they were tuned similarly to a middle note on a piano; one at pitch, one slightly sharp and one slightly flat. That’s what gave those single notes such a fat sound.

Front panel of the classic Minimoog

In order to play multiple parts like the ones in “Moonlight,” mutitracking had to be done in the studio, and mutiple Moogs had to be used live. I used two Minimoogs and played two of the background lines in the verses and two of the answering lines in the chorus, and (at gigs) David Shaver used another Minimoog to play the third part. The parts themselves were written by Bruce Blackman on his original home demo. Jimmy Cobb, the bassplayer, also used a Minimoog to play the bass part. In all, we used six Minimoogs on stage.

The lines during the verses were played (a single note at a time) while the “Cutoff Frequency” knob was turned from the left to the right (clockwise). I suppose it could have been set up to make the filters open and close automatically in sync, but doing it manually was just easier.

The oscillators were all set at the same range (8′), all using the same waveform (the first of the square waves, or fourth position from the left on the Waveform switch). The synth solo was done with the same setting and with the cutoff frequency “open.”
Tommy Strain (the guitar player on “Moonlight”) reminded me recently that after several attempts at the solo, Bruce and (co-producer) Mike Clark threatened to retune the synth to an easier key if I didn’t get it right soon. I got it right on the very next take. I work better under pressure.”     Sloan Hayes

Sloan Hayes performing on “The Midnight Special” using a pair of Minimoogs for that signature, fat sound in “Moonlight Feels Right”

P.S. there will be a reunion of many artsits from the 70’s at “The Greatest Yacht Rock Revival In The Universe” on August 18th at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.

The lineup includes Gary Wright, Robbie Dupree, Larry Hoppen of Orleans, Peter Beckett of Player, John Ford Coley, Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass, Walter Egan, and, of course, Starbuck.


July 25, 2012

Who Are Those Guys?

l to r: Kipper Jones, James Cobb (R2R engineer), Nadirah Shakoor, John Patti, Will MCPhaul (R2R engineer)

l to r: Kipper Jones, James Cobb (R2R engineer), Nadirah Shakoor, John Patti, Will MCPhaul (R2R engineer)

We’ve had several people ask for more information about the people in the recording session mentioned in our last post.  So here goes:

John Patti A rising star in the steel drum community.  In 1998 John was asked to make a special guest appearance at the Meeting of the Minds convention in Key West, Florida. There he had an opportunity to perform with members of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band, including his primary influence Robert Greenidge. That event inspired John to pursue his musical passion and he lobbied to incorporate steel drums into the music programs at his local high school and into college.   Since graduating from college in ’05, John has been busy combining his knowledge of business with his passion of music to pursue a successful career in the music industry.

He released his first solo album in July of 2006 titled ABOVE THE FOLD which blends the warm sounds of the islands with the cool sound of jazz to find a great “island jazz” sound.

Soon after his CD release, John joined Holland America Line and their fleet of luxurious cruise ships to travel and perform around the world. John has shared stages with various recording artists over the years, including Grammy nominated Nadirah Shakoor, CMA finalist for “instrumentalist of the year” Doyle Grisham, Nashville based Michael Utley and world renowned pannist Robert Greenidge, as well as musical legend and inventor Les Paul in New York City.

Nadirah ShakoorGrammy nominated artist.  At the tender age of five Nadirah told her parents she wanted to” be a singer like Diana Ross”. Her family migrated from Texas to California where she studied commercial voice and went on to become one of the premiere session singers in Los Angeles and a much sought after back up singer for major tours.

In 1992 she joined the Grammy Award winning Hip Hop group Arrested Development as the featured female vocalist. The group changed the face and sound of Hip Hop and received numerous awards including a Grammy, A Soul Train Award and an MTV Video award and was nominated for another Grammy with the success of their 2nd album “Zingalamaduni”. When Arrested Development disbanded Nadirah continued to tour with the groups leader, Speech, in support of his solo career. Speech then produced her solo CD “Soul Power” EMI, Japan.

In 1995 Nadirah joined Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band as a back up singer in. Her latest musical offering, “Nod to the Storyteller” is a tribute to Mr. Buffett who for the last 13 years has featured her as a part of his sold out mega concerts. Buffett fans (affectionately known as Parrotheads) have come to know and love Nadirah and claim her as their own. “Nod to the Storyteller includes Nadirah’s interpretations of popular Buffett songs like “Margaritaville”, and “Volcano”. Also notable are two duets she sings with him including “Son of a Son of a Sailor” and Eric Clapton’s “When the War is Over”.

Kipper Jones –   Motown trained as a session singer at 15, during the last of the Berry Gordy era. Lead singer and founding member of the venerable Los Angeles R&B/Funk outfit, TEASE, recorded for CBS/Epic Records, under legendary record executive, Larkin Arnold; Tutored and directed by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, and celebrated R&B icon, Luther Vandross; Performed and recorded with a multi-generational mix of industry lore; Johnny Mathis, The Winans, Anita Baker, Teddy Pendergrass, Brian McKnight, Teena Marie, Eric Clapton, Charlie Wilson, Lauryn Hill, and even Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s, Sly Stone, and Brian Wilson!

But it’s been as a songwriter where the legend of Kipper Jones is most associated. From crafting the platinum initial offering of superstar singer/actress, Vanessa Williams, The Right Stuff, as well as the double platinum follow-up, The Comfort Zone, to the landmark 5 million selling Atlantic Records debut, brandy, which yielded the #1 platinum Kipper Jones compositions, “I Wanna Be Down”, “Brokenhearted”, and the record setting, “Baby”. Along the way, the debut and sophomore releases of Kenny Lattimore, (featuring the initial smash single, “Never Too Busy”), the Warner Bros. greatest hits collection, Epiphany release by R&B icon, Chaka Khan, (including the Funk/Soul classic, “Somethin’ Deep”), “In The Middle” from the iconic motion picture, The Five Heartbeats, as well as original music for the Wesley Snipes produced, Sundance Film Festival Award nominated documentary on noted Black scholar John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk.

July 23, 2012

Nadirah Shakoor and Kipper Jones record vocals for John Patti’s Christmas CD

Had a great time in the studio today. John Patti is working on his upcoming Christmas CD. John enlisted the help of his friends Nadirah Shakoor and Kipper Jones on vocals. Engineered by James Cobb and Will McPhaul.