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  • Feb 02, 2019

    Morris Hayes and Tom Waterman Talk Music Tech at NAMM 2019 | #192


    Every year musicians and audio companies gather in Anaheim, California to show of the latest in industry tech and celebrate the heritage of centuries past at the NAMM show. Starting off the show, technology expert, Mike Castanon, and host, Mike Etchart, discuss the melding of past and present in audio technology that happens at NAMM. Then, Musical Director and Keyboardist of Prince and the New Power Generation, Morris Hayes, recalls what it was like to land the gig and work with the legendary musician, Prince, and how music technology has evolved over the years. Next up, Universal Audio Product Specialist, Tom Waterman, discusses the history of Universal Audio and their new line of Apollo interfaces including the Apollo X. Wrapping up the show, Mike Castanon and Mike Etchart describe the dramatic shift in prices of musical and recording equipment from 30 years ago to today – it’s an amazing time to build an at-home recording studio. Are you excited for the changes in the music industry?


    ·[00:00:00] Centuries of Music Tech Blend at NAMM
    ·[00:05:41] Morris Hayes on Working with Prince
    ·[00:12:30] The Time Morris Hayes Said Too Much
    ·[00:19:50] The History of Universal Audio
    ·[00:27:42] New Apollo X Records 54-Piece Orchestra
    ·[00:35:51] Now is the Best Time for Home Studios


    [00:00:00] Centuries of Music Tech Blend at NAMM
    We’re back with another year at Mike Etchart’s favorite place on Earth, the NAMM Show. Guest co-host and technology expert, Mike Castanon, weighs in on the evolution of the music industry and the convergence of old and new technology represented through the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center. No where else will you see instruments that have remained largely unchanged for several centuries next to the latest recording software. Stick around for some great guests from this 118 year old trade show.


    [00:05:41] Morris Hayes on Working with Prince
    When Morris Hayes was working as Carmen Electra’s Musical Director, he never imagine he’d end up as the Musical Director and Keyboardist for Prince’s newly formed band, the New Power Generation. Morris reflects on his time with Prince, from the mid 90s to his passing. He wore the hat of Musical Director loosely, as Prince was the true brains of the operation. We also learn about the technical wizardry that was required of Morris, as sampling technology was still in its infantile form. Get an insider’s look at the workings of the NPG and Prince through Morris Hayes’ eyes.


    [00:12:30] The Time Morris Hayes Said Too Much
    Being as gifted a musician as New Power Generation’s Keyboardist and Musical Director, Morris Hayes, can get you into some trouble; Morris recalls a time when his overambitious nature landed him a pile of extra work. When he joined the New Power Generation, he told Prince that his old E-Max keyboards we’re antiquated in comparison to his Roland S760 samplers. In typical fashion, Prince retorted simply: “Oh, okay well then fix it.” Once Prince realized the extent of what Morris could do, he loaded him up with many more responsibilities. Shifting gears, Morris explains the arduous task of stacking samplers and hard drives in the mid 90s to get as much out of them as possible. Learn how the famed keyboardist had to not only be a proficient musician, but a technical genius as well, to make it in Prince’s band.


    [00:19:50] The History of Universal Audio
    When Bill Putnam, Sr. founded Universal Audio in 1958, he had already been building studios and recording albums since the late 40s. In that era, everyone had to build their own analog recording equipment from scratch. Product Specialist, Tom Waterman, gives the history of one of the recording industry’s most revered companies. In the late 90s, Bill Putnam, Jr. and his brother refounded Universal Audio, with a commitment to their analog heritage, and a drive to be part of the digital future. Today, they still manufacture the unique analog equipment everyone knows and loves, as they forge ahead on the bleeding edge of recording technology. Learn more about the history of Universal Audio.


    [00:27:42] New Apollo X Records 54 Piece Orchestra
    If you’re going to start a recording studio, the number one thing you need is a computer audio interface. Universal Audio Product Specialist, Tom Waterman, fills us in on their recently launched Apollo X, Apollo Arrow, and Apollo Twin interfaces. Universal Audio recently teamed up with the 54-piece London Metropolitan Orchestra, Davide Rossi, and Two Door Cinema to record an orchestral version of their song “Sun” as a test of the Apollo X’s power. Get your hands on this premium product at a reasonable $2,000.


    [00:35:51] Now is the Best Time for Home Studios
    As we wrap up this edition of Popular Technology Radio, Mike Etchart and technology expert, Mike Castanon, chat about the radical change music technology has gone through in the past few decades. With the advent of increasingly powerful samplers, inclusion of computer processors and hard drives into the music making process, and the plummeting prices, there’s never been a better time to be a recording artist. Tune in for a look back through the decades, at NAMM 2019.


    Explore More with Helpful Links:

    ·Guest Co-Host: Mike Castanon | Technology Expert

    ·Special Guest: Morris Hayes | Musical Director and Keyboardist, Prince and the New Power Generation (NPG)

    ·Special Guest: Tom Waterman | Product Specialist, Universal Audio

    ·Website: World Symphony for Peace

    ·YouTube Video: Prince Performs “Purple Rain” During Downpour | Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show | NFL

    ·YouTube Video: Apollo Artist Sessions Vol. XIII: Jacknife Lee w/ Two Door Cinema Club and the LMO




    This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at


    Host: Mike Etchart
    Producer: Cody Castleberry
    Production Asst.: Joanne Bolden
    Audio Engineer: Cody Castleberry
    Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
    Guest Co-Host: Mike Castanon
    Special Guest: Morris Hayes
    Special Guest: Tom Waterman

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