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Congratulations to our Top 5 TEC 2019 Winners!

Technical Excellence & Creativity

Every year, the NAMM show brings tons of buzz surrounding countless new product announcements. While this gives us a glimpse of where the recording world will be going in the year to come, the TEC awards give us a chance to look back at some of the most innovative tools from the previous year. Standing for Technical Excellence & Creativity, this year’s list of winners and nominees is a testament to quality and innovation. With a huge lineup of stellar tools in every category, we’ve narrowed this list down to our Top 5 winning products. Read on to learn more about what won and why!

Workstation Technology/Recording Devices: Avid Pro Tools | ULTIMATE

Since the introduction of the Digital Audio Workstation, Pro Tools has been at the forefront of recording technology. To this day, Pro Tools remains a studio standard. Used in almost every facet of audio production, mixing, and editing, Pro Tools systems have been used to create countless GRAMMY winning records, blockbuster movies, hit TV shows, podcasts, and more. Formerly known as Pro Tools HD, Avid continues to bring a number of advancements to the newly titled Pro Tools | Ultimate. With a host of workflow enhancements, collaboration features, new software instruments, intuitive MIDI control, and iLok Cloud support, Avid continues to prove why Pro Tools is the standard for audio professionals.

Computer Audio Hardware: Universal Audio Arrow 

Don’t let it’s size, let alone cost fool you! If you’re familiar with the formidable Apollo series of audio interfaces, you’ll feel right at home with the Universal Audio ArrowA sleek and portable Thunderbolt 3 interface with 2 Unison enabled preamps, instrument input, stereo analog output, and high quality headphone out, the Arrow packs quite the punch. Add on a plug-in bundle featuring 14 legendary studio processors and amplifiers from the award-winning UAD-2 collection, and you’ve got a full-fledged virtual studio in your back pocket. This isn’t just another entry level interface – it’s your ticket bringing the award-winning power and tone of the UAD-2 platform with you on the road. And did we mention it’s bus powered? Perfect for impromptu hotel sessions, plane rides, and touring.

Microphone Preamps: Rupert Neve Designs RMP-D8

In the audio world, Rupert Neve is a man that needs no introduction. His legendary preamps, consoles, and studio processors have graced countless hits for a generations. With the introduction of the RMP-D8, you can now bring those tones to the stage. Featuring 8 remote-controlled preamps, custom-designed transformers, Dante connectivity, and mastering grade conversion, The RMP-D8 isn’t just another quality preamp for your studio. It’s a slick, forward thinking package that’s ready for the rigors of the road while feeling equally at home in a world-class studio.

Microphones – Recording: Neumann U67 Reissue

From “Hey Jude” to Nirvana’s “Nevermind” the Neumann U67 has been a studio workhorse since it was introduced to the market in 1960. How good is this mic? Just ask 23-time GRAMMY winning recording legend Al Schmitt (Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Madonna) who says “If I could only use one microphone – just one mic – it would be a Neumann U67.” That’s all well and good, but how does the re-issue stand up to the remaining vintage models? It should suffice to say that Neumann took such care in recreating the U67 from the original schematics that the parts are fully interchangeable. A sonic comparison will bolster this claim. The biggest difference between the reissue and the original is that you won’t need to be cutting sessions short in order to take your vintage mic in for costly repairs every other week.

Signal Processing Software (Dynamics / EQ / Utilities): iZotope Ozone 8

For many, mastering is a “dark art” which requires years of experience, a perfectly tuned room, and $100,000 worth of specialized studio gear. Of course, none of these things hurt, but what happens if you don’t have any of those? iZotope has answered that question with their latest installment of Ozone, their all-in-one mastering suite. A full collection of specialized mastering tools, Ozone 8 Advanced provides everything you need to get a radio-ready master. With the inclusion of machine-learning technology and unprecedented connectivity with other iZotope plug-ins (like TEC 2019 nominee Neutron in the same category), Ozone 8 Advanced provides everything you need to create a competitive master – right in your laptop.

TEC 2019: Runners Up

Just being nominated for the prestigious TEC Awards is an honor in itself. Obviously, a trim list like this only tells half the story, so we’d like to honor some of the other TEC winners.

Musical Instrument Amplification & Effects: Universal Audio OX Amp Top Box

Universal Audio had an incredibly busy year, and their numerous wins and nominations in the 2019 TEC Awards (including many of their latest plug-ins across multiple categories) shows just a fraction of what they were up to in 2018. The OX Amp Top Box is an essential tool for both the studio and stage. Being a reactive load-box that let’s you get classic, juicy guitar tones at any volume is just a part of the OX story. Built in FX, cabinets, mic modeling, rig presets, and dynamic speaker breakup allow you to get the most out of your amp without any loss in tone or feel.

Studio Monitors: JBL 3 Series MKII

From home studios to Atmos cinema installs and powerful line array systems, it’s safe to say JBL know how to design a speaker system for any situation. With precise detail, a wide sweet spot, and a new boundary EQ feature, the JBL 3 Series MKII bring the best of the company’s long history to your studio at an affordable price.

Musical Instrument Hardware: Dave Smith Instruments Prophet X

Dave Smith, also known as “The Father of MIDI” is a legend in the synth world. His mark on the synth world is indelible, having created the Prophet 5 alongside a wide range of both classic and modern synthesizers like the Prophet VS, OB-6, Rev 2, and more. The Prophet X brings new worlds of sound to the Prophet line with a unique Samples + Synthesis architecture. Admittedly, I was a bit confused by the announcement. That changed the second I played it. The gorgeous layout and sturdy construction make it an intuitive instrument that’s as deep as it is fun. The Prophet X is a perfect addition to your arsenal, whether you’re a musician, sound designer, or composer. With the addition of user-samples and increased polyphony, the Prophet X is a truly inspiration tool.

So Much Gear, So Little Time

That’s a wrap for our top winners from the TEC 2019 Awards, but there was plenty of other gear featured at this year’s NAMM show. Which announcement are you most excited about? Which TEC 2019 winners are you hoping to try in YOUR studio? Let us know in the comments!

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New from NAMM 2019!

NAMM 2019 is here, and with it comes new gear!

Check out some of the latest releases from top vendors. From new mics to next-gen monitors, audiophile converters, and studio essentials, read on to see the latest from the industry’s top vendors! We’ll be updating this list as new announcements are made, so be sure to keep an eye out for the latest releases from NAMM 2019! Until then, click the images to read more about each release.

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What piece of gear are you most excited about? Drop your thoughts in the comments below, and reach out to your Westlake Pro Sales Consultant if you have any questions on these new releases!

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Vintage vs. Virtual Microphone Shootout

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a vintage AKG C12? What about the recently re-issued Neumann U67? Are you curious to explore the modern forefront of microphone technology?

Here at Westlake Pro, the answer to all three questions has been an emphatic YES, so we decided to hold a side-by-side mic shootout with three of our favorite microphones, and we wanted to invite YOU to join in!

We’ve recently had Townsend Labs join us in-store to show us their revolutionary Sphere L22 Modeling Microphone System. We had such a blast testing it back-to-back with some classic mics that we wanted to extend the opportunity to our fellow gear-heads. The mics on offer are a true-vintage AKG C12 in pristine condition along with the 2018 reissue of Neumann’s U67 which we’d like to invite you to compare to the models found in the Townsend Sphere L22.

Continue reading Vintage vs. Virtual Microphone Shootout

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2018 – Thanks for Another Great Year!

2019 is here, and before we get caught up in the new year, we’d like to reflect on the numerous highlights throughout 2018. We got to meet countless new people, host numerous successful events, and even open a new location! 2018 was an incredibly busy year for us, and we want to thank everyone that helped make it special! Read on to check out some of the highlights.

Continue reading 2018 – Thanks for Another Great Year!

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Universal Audio | Classic Consoles, Accelerated

For a limited time, you can get the sound of 4 Classic Consoles from API, Neve, SSL, and Universal Audio FREE when you purchase any new UAD-2 DSP Accelerator!

UAD-2 Satellite DSP Accelerators are your key to bringing the sound and power of the recording industry’s most beloved pieces of history right to your DAW. Loaded with up to 8 SHARC DSP chips, they provide enough power to run multiple instances of UAD-2’s award-winning plug-ins across a complex mix session, without taxing your CPU.

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Special Financing Offers from Westlake Pro!

Up to 12 Months Deferred-Interest Financing on Your Favorite Gear!

If you’re in audio, you know that there are countless tools needed to make great sounding records. From microphones, preamps, interfaces, headphones, monitors, EQs, compressors, controllers, cables, building a studio can certainly put a strain on the budget. Add on the latest in recording and post-production software, and getting the tools you need becomes a daunting task.

That’s why we’ve launched a new special financing program so you can get the gear you need when you need it. With up to 12 months deferred-interest financing, building out your studio is easier than ever!

Continue reading Special Financing Offers from Westlake Pro!

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Happy Holidays from Westlake Pro!

As the year comes to a close, we at Westlake Pro like to celebrate with a huge Holiday Sale to help our customers get stocked up for the new year. The line started early as people eagerly awaited their chance to score on some of the best deals of the season. Once the clock struck 10, our two huge gear tents were swarmed with people grabbing everything from new microphones, interfaces, FX processors, monitors, synthesizers, noise makers, and more!

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Antelope Audio Holiday Studio Special

Antelope Audio: 15 Years of Audio Integrity

For the past 15 years, Antelope Audio has been at the forefront of high quality digital audio. Antelope was first acclaimed for their ultra-precise Isochrone series of Atomic Clocks, which were quickly adopted in studios worldwide. From there, Antelope dove into the world of audio interfaces, from the ultra-flexible Orion Studio to the supremely powerful Goliath HD.

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Feeling Lucky? Win Over $15k In Giveaways At The Holiday Sales Event 2018!

Holiday Sales Event – Hot Giveaways from Top Brands!

Continue reading Feeling Lucky? Win Over $15k In Giveaways At The Holiday Sales Event 2018!

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5 Questions with Composer / Sound Designer Anthony Baldino

Whether you know it or not, if you’ve been to the movies lately, you’ve heard the work of Composer/Sound Designer Anthony Baldino. He’s responsible for composing the action-packed music featured in the trailers for many of today’s biggest blockbusters including Interstellar, Star Wars: Rogue One, Zero Dark Thirty, Avengers: Infinity War, Prometheus, and Ex-Machina. Obviously, a soundtrack must match or enhance the feel and emotion of the film. The music for the trailer has to do all of that in about two minutes while building excitement and weaving between quick cuts, sound FX, and snippets of dialogue common to modern trailers. It’s a unique format and workflow that Baldino has mastered.

Most recently, Baldino got to use his huge collection of vintage, modern, and modular synths and effects while working with composer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther) and longtime friend and fellow sound designer Chris Lane (Ghostbusters) for the out of this world soundscapes, alien whispers, and rhythmic textures for the record-breaking Venom movie, which debuted last month.

We got to chat with him a bit to discuss his workflow, studio setup, and experience shopping with Westlake Pro.

Continue reading 5 Questions with Composer / Sound Designer Anthony Baldino

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Spooky Sounds from Vintage Synths

Since the late 70’s, the synth world has seen an explosion of new technology, from the advent of digital synths like the Yamaha DX7, to the dominance of Digital Recording, and Software Synthesis. Despite this, the past decade has proven that musicians, producers, and sound designers have never lost their love of the classic, warm, and warbly sounds of vintage synthesizers. These early synths embody the sound of futuristic nostalgia, which has easily made them a go-to choice for Sci-Fi and Horror films for decades. From Stranger Things to Blade Runner, Suspiria, Mandy, and the latest addition to the Halloween franchise, the classic synths of the 70’s and 80’s have been the go-to tools used for eerie textures, melancholy memories, and a foreboding sense of dread.

While the sound of these instruments command a dedicated cult following, the hardware itself poses some serious issues for the modern workflow. For starters, let’s look at cost and availability: a Yamaha CS-80 in playable condition will cost you almost $20,000, if you can even find one. If you do, make sure you bring a friend to help lift the ~220lb behemoth, and leave room in your budget for regular repairs and maintenance.

Thankfully, modern software modeling has managed to bring these same sounds to your mix without the need to eat up your budget or studio space! The Arturia V Collection 6 is a comprehensive library of the most beloved keyboards and synthesizers in the history of recorded music. Classic Analog Synthesizers like the Minimoog, ARP2600, Jupiter 8, Prophet 5, CS-80 are modeled to sonic perfection, while the early wave of digital synths like the Fairlight CMI, Synclavier, and DX7 bring their unmistakable charm to the mix. Add on a host of Electric and Acoustic Pianos, Organs, and the Solina String Machine, and you’ve got an arsenal of keyboard-based inspiration that spans generations.

To put the V Collection 6 through its paces, I embraced the Halloween spirit and recreated some of the horror pioneer John Carpenter’s classic soundtracks, utilizing only the Arturia V Collection 6 to recreate the bone-chilling themes of Halloween and The Fog.

Check them out below, then read on to gain insight to which tools were used where:

Continue reading Spooky Sounds from Vintage Synths

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Get $500 Towards Any Apollo X!

Upgrade your studio today with a special trade-up program from Universal Audio and Westlake Pro! For a limited time, trade in your current interface to get $500 towards the any member of the new Apollo X Family!

Regardless of what interface you currently use, take this opportunity to upgrade to the latest in the award winning line of Apollo interfaces.

The sleek, Thunderbolt 3 design of the Apollo X fuses elite, class-leading conversion with the new HEXA Core processors which offer 50% more DSP than previous Apollos. This allows recording of even more tracks through UAD’s award-winning plugins with near-zero latency, while the improved connectivity and Surround Sound capabilities will be great fit in any workflow.

What’s more, Universal Audio has introduced a new member to the Apollo familythe Apollo x6, which seamlessly bridges the gap between the desktop Arrow and Twin interfaces and the rack mount Apollo models.

Check out the new Apollo X series below and take advantage of this huge savings opportunity while you can!

Contact your Westlake Pro Sales Consultant TODAY to trade in ANY interface for $500 towards a new Apollo X rack mount interface!

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