Recording David Masterson at Christ Church Anglican in Southern Pines, NC.

Concert pianist David Masterson contacted me about recording, mixing and mastering his new album, Desideratum.  David was playing a beautiful Steinway baby grand piano.  We used two Avantone C12 tube microphones directly over the piano strings and an AKG 214 about 12 feet way to capture the room sound. The resulting recorded sound was fantastic. The close mics provided a vivid clarity and the room mic added the ambiance of this lovely small church. David's playing is stellar.

We later added the tracks to ProTools to mix and then master. We used the Universal Audio Precision Limiter plug-in to balance the soft spots and peaks.

All in all a great series of sessions.  With a top notch performer, a great instrument and good sounding room - what more can you ask for?

The Avantones are quite heavy, so we recruited a couple of pew cushions for support.

David at the Steinway keyboard.

Keeping my eye on the levels as we record.

Spring 2016 Student Recital

Spring! My favorite time of year. Our annual spring recital is one of my favorite events. The recital gives my students a chance to perform in front of their parents and peers.  They get to show what music they've been working on and gain experience performing for a live audience. 

Amanda Coniglio played "Chanson" by Alan Hirsh.

I always remind my students that the recital is not a competition.  Music is a journey and some students have started earlier than others and are consequently further along. The recital was given at the Weymouth House in Southern Pines.  The "great room" as it is called, has wonderful acoustics. 

                                 John Kyle Coniglio, Ben Lewis, and Amanda Coniglio

In addition to each student performing as a soloist we also have some ensemble music prepared.  John Kyle, Ben and Amanda played an early Baroque trio titled "When Daphne."

I joined John Kyle in playing  a Two Part Invention by J.S. Bach

Our final trio was a brisk Rondo by Mauro Giuliani.

The students who performed as soloists:

Alex Zheng, (violin) Joseph Lin, (violin) taught by my wife, Seren; and the guitarists, Nathan Broadwater, Cindy Lin, Robert Seals, Rachel Gross, Amanda Coniglio, Ben Lewis and John Kyle Coniglio.

For more photos and to watch video of the ensemble performances, please visit the photo gallery at

Why There's No Substitute for Live Music at Your Wedding

Your wedding is a special day, maybe the most special day in your life, and there is nothing more ceremonious or celebratory than live music.

We live in a D.I.Y. world, and I love that. We live in a digital world and I love that, too. But let's not pretend that your iPod and your buddy who is "good with technology" is the best course of action when it comes to you or your beloved walking down the aisle.


Aside from it being infinitely more elegant to have live music for your ceremony, we are living people with eyes and ears who can adapt when the flower girl gets distracted and messes up the timing of your processional and who can add a tasteful "grand pause" for your officiant to say, "Please Rise," just before you or your betrothed make your way down the aisle.

We know more music than you do (it is our job) so when you tell me you're having a rustic, farm-to-table barn wedding I'm not going to force you into Pachelbel's Canon in D, or anything else that would be on a "Music For Your Wedding" CD from Party City, I'm going to hook you up with the tastiest acoustic guitar and violin duets with that roots-y vibe you're going for. Similarly, there is no underestimating the atmosphere that a live jazz or bluegrass ensemble creates for your cocktail hour.


This generation is rewriting the rule books on weddings and I think it's great. There are a lot of things in "traditional weddings" that we don't need and there are a lot of modern additions to weddings that are great. 

Live music is a tradition of celebrations since music and celebrations started. Your parents like live music, your friends like live music. 

You have one chance to dance with your spouse for the first time as a married couple. Do you want it to be to the same recording that was played on the radio for the past 20 years or do you want it to be a completely unique performance, just for you two?


Article: Why There's No Substitute for Live Music at Your Wedding

By Melanie R. Flannery


Cross Country Feeling to be used in Orange Is the New Black

Written and recorded in the 1970s, Cross Country Feeling will be used in the hit TV show Orange Is the New Black, season 3, episode 6, (2015).

We wrote the song at a time when it felt like everyone in our area wanted to head across America to California.  My friend and cowriter Richard Ivans had the idea.  We recorded several versions of the song at The Recording Workshoppe in Douglaston, NY.  Kevin Kelly was the owner and engineer.  Considering the recording is over 40 years old I think it sounds quite good.

The placement was featured in this month's TAXI newsletter.

Click here to listen to Cross Country Feeling



Real Wealth

Just saw an advertisement by a local bank, with the headline "Wealth - blah, blah, blah.

            Well here's to real wealth: Shelby and Linda Stephenson recently completed their album - a tribute to the great North Carolina songwriter, Don Gibson.  Great songs, sung with feeling and beautifully recorded.  A work of art.  Art is wealth - beyond dollars and sense. Here, there are fine renditions of Gibson's classic hits such as "I Can't Stop Loving You," (a huge hit for Ray Charles) and "Oh, Lonesome Me." These songs, along with lesser known Gibson gems like "Give Myself a Party," and "There's a Big Wheel" make this album a special treat.  Shelby Stephenson's voice captures the essence in time and expressive feeling of these songs.  Call it "white soul."

            Neville Beamer recently recorded a collection of his original songs.  They are earthy songs - lyrical, and sung in his raw inimitable, gutsy style.  One of my favorites called "The May Fly," is about the creature that lives for only twenty-four hours.  The song is as much about an insect as it is about all of uswho live this brief life here on earth.  Neville has that creativity flowing.

            Two years ago I recorded my first album project (other than my own) in my studio, Outback.  Rick Smith's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes," is a retrospective album that harkens to songs that stand-out in the timeline of his life.  Rick took chances with this album.  Ranging from folk to blues to country and to standards, he covered many styles - a risky prospect for any singer.  He naturally excels at the standards, with exemplary versions of Sinatra's "One For My Baby," and Irving Berlin's, "Let's Face the Music and Dance" as a boss nova.  But his renditions of Leonard Cohen's "Bernadette," and Peter, Paul and Mary's, "There is a Ship," are equally as poignant.  Perhaps most exceptional is his version of "I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight," from Lerner and Lowe's broadway smash,"Camelot."  Complete with full orchestration, one is transformed by Rick Smith's inspiring and rousing interpretation of King Arthur's trepidation on the eve of his wedding.

            My second major recording project was the duo, "Dust and Ashes"  - Tom Page and Mary Lou Troutman. Their album, "Songs We Believe In," is a compilation of faith-based songs by various writers as well as a few of their own creation.  Tom and Mary Lou are wonderful singers.  Their version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" will send chills down your spine.  Tom Page's original songs, "The Stone In My Hand," and his tribute to songwriter John Stewart, "Song For John," are both lyrical and moving.

I felt myself singing along to Mary Lou Troutman's upbeat song, "Looking For God."  All of the songs are beyond good.  They have a message, but the message is beautifully rendered without being too preachy.


Stephen Smith has been in the studio recording some poems and original songsHis song, "In Jail in Whispering Pines," is great fun.


So we come full-circle. Creative people doing what they love and sharing it with others.  It has been my great pleasure to work with these fine artists.

Here's to real wealth.


Danny Infantino


Visit: to view his Don Gibson album and others.  Find Rick Smith at, or on iTunes. Dust and Ashes can be found at:  Neville Beamer has not yet released his album, but we certainly look forward to that event.  Stephen Smith writes for Pinestraw and O'Henry magazines, and has a new novel soon to be published.

Outback Studio is located in Pinehurst. tel. 910-420-8580 

© 2018 Danny Infantino