Category Archives: News

MMI’s Dugan McNeill has some thoughts about the music biz – read on….

This rant is about the ‘Press Darlings’. You know who they are. The ultra-hip-psuedo-indie artists that the Tastemakers (Spin, Rolling Stone, your local music critics, etc.) peer pressure us with, because we all want to be cool.

As a music fan, I have spent a good portion of my life seeking out new cutting edge artists. And have come to the conclusion that the bulk of them don’t have a whole lot of staying power in the long run.
On the other hand, whenever I check out a legacy artist that I missed when I was a wee lad, or just flat out dismissed because they were not ‘cool’ enough, I have unearthed gems that have always far surpassed the ‘next big thing ‘ that I should have been listening to.
The Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac, Lee Hazelwood, Rush, to name just a few.

Anyone growing tired of the ‘same old, same old’ that the tastemakers are selling, should take a moment to check out the great history of contemporary music out there.
The added bonus is a whole catalog of work to devour at your convenience.

Be wary of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. Most of the time there’s not much underneath in the first place.

Every Day!


Instructor Nancy Stillwell returned from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association summer conference  with some great news for students.

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation voted to allow MMI students to be able to apply for its annual scholarships.  The foundation offers two $2,000 scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships to assist students enrolled in broadcasting-related educational programs.  Previously,  MMI students had been ineligible to apply due to the school’s for-profit status.

Nancy has been a member of the foundation board since 2010 and has been encouraging members to revisit the decision.  Looks like her gentle encouragement has paid off.  Students will get a chance to apply for the scholarships in the fall.

In related news, the WBA summer convention always includes a golf outing.  Drew Wilson won $50  the long putt contest and Nancy Stillwell won $25 for having the highest score.


Recent REC graduate, Roxanne Zepeda, is now a stagehand at First Avenue working in the Main room! Roxanne has 12 shows lined up in July to work with a lot more to come.  The opportunity came up through MMI’s live sound teacher, Greg Huber, who has worked as the Front of House Mixer for 33 years at First Avenue.

We make things happen EVERY DAY!!

Tim Andersen: Mix Engineer and MMI Rec. Faculty Member

Mix Engineer Tim Anderson talks about a project 2 years in the making,

with a goal in mind….


Tim’s Mix Seminars  happen throughout the Summer from 10am – 2pm in Studio B

: ) Learn how to get these guitar sounds


Check out this cool and innovative release!
T. Perry Bowers, owner of Taylor Sound Rehearsal/Recording/and Video Studios in NE Minneapolis, has released the first Silverseed album. Perry (drums and lead vocal) and partner Charlie Henrikson on guitar and BG vocals, wrote, tracked and produced all songs. The band was 2 piece at first-drums and guitar with 2 vocals, until recently adding bass for the live show. The inspirational lyrics have to do with us living on the planet among many audio surprises reflecting on the complex Zeppelin era. 2 years in the making, I was given carte blanche on the mix. The band sounds remarkably close to the record when playing live, and was a main goal of my mix. You can enjoy the featured single “Sun Inside” on the U tube link.

Tim Andersen: Mix Engineer and MMI Rec. Faculty Member

Every Day!


To Michael Peterson and his lovely new bride Courtney!  They were married on Saturday.  All the best!

NEWS AND A LESSON….(well, it was a lesson for me)


Back in the day, real control rooms and their main monitors we part of a system.  Our control rooms and main monitors were designed by Westlake Audio over 20 years ago.  To bring our Westlake monitors into this century was quite the project and we are happy to say that both our A and B control room monitors are finally up and running.

If you didn’t know, a loudspeaker system is like an instrument, each driver / speaker covers a very specific range and has a ‘signature sound’ that complements the other drivers. The designers took great pains to match each component. along with designing the cabinet, the crossover network (it divides the sound spectrum into driver-specific frequency ranges) choosing the driver amplifiers AND mate the monitoring system with the control room!  After twenty-plus years, some of the drivers had fatigued and lost their ‘signature sound.’

The local team of Dave Meyers and Dave Berg came in to evaluate the drivers to determine their condition.  The 15-inch woofers were re-coned and then driven by a low frequency signal for several days to break them in.  They essentially reverse engineered the system to work with a digital crossover network that would allow greater flexibility, precision and repeatability.

‘The Daves’ then tested and refined the system’s frequency response over several days – tweaking parameters like inter-driver phase, crossover frequency and slope.  When finished, they achieved a remarkably flat frequency response – the foundation upon which we have applied a ‘curve’ that relates to the way our ears hear.  This is similar to the Equal Loudness Curve, but is adjusted for the typical listening level range between 70dBSPL and 85dBSPL.

What this means for ALL of our engineers is that we now have two calibrated reference rooms to listen and more accurately judge our projects.

We make things happen EVERY DAY!

Every Day!


World class guitarist Paul Bollenback stopped by MMI with producer Billy Peterson and engineer Brian Snowman Powers to record a few tracks. He’s in town playing at the Artist Quarter.


Here’s a student update: recent Madison GAM graduate Dan Tafaro has started to work at Raven Software in Madison on the Motion Capture team. Raven is known for developing many AAA titles like Quake IV and Soldier of Fortune.

We make a difference EVERY DAY!