This Saturday night, the first-ever Pensado Awards will honor some of music’s best, but instead of traditional categories like “Record of the Year” and “Best New Artist,” megaphone statuettes will be handed out to mix engineers, interns, songwriters, and others who are championing the audio industry from behind the board.
The awards are the brainchild of executive producer Herb Trawick and Grammy Award-winning mix engineer Dave Pensado, the co-creators and co-hosts of the popular web series “Pensado’s Place.”
“We realized that with the advent of technology, the bulk of the current music and audio industry is hybrid folks – people who engineer and create and write and produce,” says Herb. “The pro and enthusiast communities represent this new hybrid and we wanted to give them more attention. We’ve been taken aback at the positive response [for the awards] and we’re pretty pleased with the reaction so far. It’s pretty overwhelming for a little web show.”
The nomination process was a complex one that consisted of recommendations from professional colleagues, the “Pensado’s Place” community, and music students, along with additional insight from Herb and Dave themselves. There are 16 categories, ranging from “Game Changer Producer of the Year” to “Excellence in Live/Front-of-House Sound.” Full Sail Recording Arts grad and 2010 Hall of Fame Inductee Leslie Brathwaite is nominated for the “OMG! Mix of the Year” award and Recording Arts grad Andrew Coleman is up for “Tracking Engineer.” A committee of industry pros and amateurs will select the winners.
“What happens with a lot of awards shows is that the most popular songs and mixes win, not necessarily the best ones,” says Dave. “We put a lot of thought into making sure everyone [in the audio industry] had equal accessing to receiving an award. Each category is unique, and is almost like an independent award show in itself.”
Saturday night’s ceremony will be hosted by producer/engineer Chris Lord-Alge, mix engineer Young Guru, singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb, and 2012 Full Sail Hall of Fame Inductee (and Recording Arts grad) Marcella Araica.
“When you think of Marcella you think smart, supremely talented, multi-dimensional, producer, engineer,” says Herb. “When you add that to the other hosts, it was a no-brainer.”
Both Herb and Dave promise a high-energy night that will ring true to the positive and educational tone that “Pensado’s Place” is already well known for, and will not only celebrate nominees and winners but celebrate the entire audio industry as a whole.
“It’s an event where people that love the audio space can get together and hang out and celebrate a few accomplishments, but also celebrate all of the pros and amateurs that love music,” says Dave. “I’m thinking it’s going to be a blast.”
The Pensado Awards take place this Saturday, June 28 in Santa Monica, California, and the ceremony will be broadcast online at pensadosplace.tv a week later.