News

A Successful Evening!

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Thank you to everyone who attended our event this past weekend! We hope that you had an EXPERIENCE to remember. We love throwing parties for our clients and bringing people together. We hope that you will all spread the word that Levels is the premiere audio facility in LA and help us afford to keep bringing these events back in the future!

Welcome Morrison Emery DeTolve!

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Phil DeTolve has a growing list of accomplishments over the past 5+ years he’s been at Levels. Not only has he mixed many amazing shows and films with an Emmy nomination in 2014, he also makes cute babies! We are thrilled to welcome baby boy Morrison Emery to the ever expanding Levels family this week. Morrison was born to Phil and Nickie DeTolve early in the morning on June 25th at 7lbs 4oz and is 19.5 inches! Congratulations to the DeTolve family on the birth of their first child!

Congratulations, Adrian!

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Another year, another Daytime Emmy Nomination! We’d like to congratulate Adrian Ordonez on his ‘Outstanding Sound Mixing – Animation’ nomination for his work on Nickelodeon’s Avatar. This is Adrian’s eighth Emmy nomination during his eight years at Levels and one of his favorite shows ever to work on. We’re thrilled for Adrian whose having a fantastic year; he also had his first child, Chase Thomas Ordonez, Sept 15th 2014. Good luck and congratulations to the whole team for amazing work!

Docu-mentionables!

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We’ve just wrapped work on The Offseason, an HBO documentary that follows Kevin Durant, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player through his training for the films namesake. You may not realize it but Levels has a long history in the documentary world, a world that allows us to bring a unique, personal passion to our work. This year we also completed The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir, a documentary that tracks the Grateful Dead front man through his life. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and landed on Rolling Stones’ Top 10 Films list. Because of our well known skill with music mixes we’ve also worked on “rockumentaries” such as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream, God Bless Ozzy Ozbourne and Bee Gees: In Our Own Time. We love in-depth expository documentaries as well, having completed the audio mix for films such as Turner Classic Movies’ acclaimed Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood and Mayor Of Sunset Strip, the Rodney Bingenheimer story. No matter what the genre or format, we have lots of experience with and a huge passion for documentaries. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing storytellers and are looking forward to many more!

Levels Audio Summer Party!

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This past Saturday Levels employees and their families gathered at Brian’s house for our annual summer throw-down. Taco’s were served up, margaritas were flowing and great music floated over the pool. Check it out!   

Levels Interview: Conner Moore

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If you have been around Levels for any amount of time, you know the incomparable Conner Moore. I’ll let him tell you in his own words how he got his start mixing and why he loves it. How many years have you been at Levels? I started in 2004 so 10 years now! I was at Post Logic for almost 14 years before that and I started mixing in ’93. I’d like to note here that even though I’m an old-timer, Jamie Ledner was already an old-timer when I started at Post Logic (chuckles).  Where are you from? I’m basically born and raised in LA. I moved down from Northern California at 11. I grew up at the beach. I was a surfer, volleyball player; I even worked in a surfboard factory. I used to foil fins for Becker. So where did you study sound? I’m pretty much self-taught. I took some sound classes at Harbor College; I was doing live sound for John Brown Band and built a home studio from what I had learned in class. I started recording local bands; early Pennywise and Surf Punks recorded in my garage. I finally got a job in Hollywood as an assistant and the rest is history. What is your favorite TV show that you have worked on?  Drunk History because it is awesome! I also really enjoy working on Shark Tank because it’s informative and fun. I have been known to buy products from the show before they blow up. What is the most interesting thing that’s happened to you on the job? I recall a time when I was chatting with Ray Manzarek in the kitchen and it was on the anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death. I will never forget how interesting and moving it was to hear Ray’s take on what had happened to Jim.

Meet April de Leon!

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We have exciting news to share this month as we welcome the lovely April de Leon to the position of Client Services!  April hails from the beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara, California and brings her sunny personality to everything she does here at Levels.  She’s a graduate of UCSB and has the experience, knowledge and grace that it takes to keep clients happy and concentrated on doing great work. In her free time, she loves going to concerts, traveling, and obsessively keeping up with many of the shows we do here at Levels. We are thrilled to have her!

We’re Deep in Scripted TV!

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“Levels Audio” used to be synonymous with big, explosive competition shows and high end non-scripted TV. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still best in the business when it comes to those genres (ahem…. check out our awards wall), but you may not have realized what a footprint we have in top-notch scripted television as well. Thanks to our incredibly talented staff, superb facilities and beyond fantastic clients, we are quickly becoming the go-to for networks and production companies alike on their scripted shows. Here are some of our recent scripted TV credits: Teen Wolf (MTV), Happyland (MTV), Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories (Adult Swim), Awkward (MTV), Drunk History (Comedy Central), Check It Out: With Dr. Steve Brule (Adult Swim), Eagleheart (Adult Swim), Avatar: The Legend Of Kora (Nickelodeon), Sanjay & Craig (Nickelodeon), Flight Of The Concords (HBO), Imagination Movers (Disney), Zach Stone: Is Gonna be Famous (MTV), Important Things With Demetri Martin (Comedy Central).

We’ve Got Emmy Nominations!

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Congratulations Aaron, Ryan and Troy! We are honored to announce the Emmy nominations of three of our esteemed team members this year. First of all, a big congratulations to all the talented and hard working nominees for the 66th Primetime Emmys. As always we are humbled to find ourselves among such outstanding company. Our 2014 nominations are as follows: Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming (Single Or Multi-Camera): Aaron Cross – Sound Editor – The Amazing Race. Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series Or Special: Ryan Young – Post Production Mixer – The Voice. Outstanding Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming: Troy Smith – Re-Recording Mixer –  The Amazing Race. And congratulations to our clients for their nominations on: Shark Tank, The Amazing Race, Alaska: The Last Frontier, The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays, AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: Tribute To Mell Brooks, America’s Got Talent.

A Birthday Message from Brian Riordan

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Turning 40 today!  Man, I have been truly blessed to be able to live out my dream of building this company and doing what I love to do every day.When I reflect back on the number one ingredient to my success and happiness it is unequivocally friendship. The loyalty and friendship of each and every client. The loyalty and friendship of each and every employee. I have not chosen the simple road often in this life; despite so many ups and downs, LEVELS has been a constant for the past 15 years, the one solid ground for me to stand on. And really, who would ever have thought a recording studio in Hollywood could be considered the most stable part of one’s life!?
As I look back on the last 40 years and onward to the next 40, I’d like to reach down into the depth of my heart and thank everyone who helped make this small-town boys dreams come true. Through the death of loved ones, WTC bombings, three major hollywood labor strikes, a painful divorce, a major life transformation, relocation and buildout of a new facility, partnership dissolution, and major recession, you have stood right by my side.  I will never ever, ever forget that.
With love and gratitude,
Brian

Levels Interview: Bryan Parker

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Supervising Sound Editor, Bryan Parker, has been at Levels for almost five years. I cornered him this afternoon to ask a few questions. Where are you from? Kent, Ohio. Where did you study? I took a bachelors degree in Electro and Computer Engineering from Ohio State but that doesn’t help me much. I’ve worked in live sound since high school. After college I decided to go into sound instead. What is your favorite TV Show? Oh man…. my favorite all time show is The Wire, but the show I get excited about seeing now is Game Of Thrones, I know that sounds predictable. What is your favorite show you have worked on? Teen Wolf for sure. My two favorite genres are comedy and horror because the timing and sound elements that we bring have such a strong impact on how the story is told.  What has been your favorite moment as a Levels team member? [Story told] Okay, suitable for the internet…. Ha. Probably the years when a bunch of people on staff have won Emmys and we have gone together as a group. I also love the days when I don’t see anyone I spend the day making really cool sounds. Alright, finally, what is something that most people don’t know about you? I’m an open book but most people probably don’t know that I build custom motorcycles.

The Daytime Emmy Nominations Are In!

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We excitedly congratulate Brian Riordan, Phil DeTolve and Ryan Young on their nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing – Live Action for this years’ Daytime Emmys. The nominations are for their excellent work on The Disney Christmas Day Parade. This is Levels’ second year being nominated for the parade and hopefully will be our second win! Good luck to the boys and  congratulations to the whole team.

Levels Interview: Phil DeTolve

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Phil stands out not just for his flawless work but also for his sweet disposition and never-ending sense of humor. He has been a mixer at Levels for four years, coming straight from Harvest Music and Sound Design in Michigan. Where are you from? Michigan, but I was born in Illinois.  Where did you study? Michigan State.  What’s your favorite TV show? Breaking Bad, followed closely by Flight of The Concords. Is that bad? Since we worked on Flight of The Concords? No, that’s awesome. Is that your favorite show you have ever mixed? No it is definitely the iHeartRadio Awards this year, specifically the Arcade Fire performance because they are one of my all time favorite bands.  What has been your favorite (appropriate for  the internet) moment as part of the Levels team so far? Probably our holiday parties, they are SO fun. We’re all together and no one is chit-chatting about work. We eat, drink, listen to music and laugh. What is something that people don’t know about you that would surprise them? I studied classical piano at Michigan State. At the time I was playing guitar but they didn’t have a guitar program and I needed to play an instrument to be in the music program. 

We’re Not Just a Beautiful Face

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Have you seen our awards wall? I don’t mean to brag… but sometimes you just get an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment when you look at Hollywood accolades in person. Since 2003, Levels Audio and staff have won 6 Primetime Emmy Awards and been nominated for 28 more. We’ve also taken home multiple Daytime Emmys and CAS (Cinema Audio Society) Awards.  Some of the titles that we’ve won award on include The Academy Awards, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concerts and Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade. Okay, I’ll stop boasting now since obviously our work speaks for itself!    

It’s Erica’s Birthday!

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Today we wished a very happy birthday to the one and only Erica Potter! As General Manager, Erica keeps Levels buzzing with happiness and structure. She hates frosting so today we stuck her candle in a heaping plate of cookies with a side of milk. Yum. Erica also shares a birthday with Johann Sebastian Bach, Gary Oldman and Matthew Broderick. Fun fact: Erica has anything you would ever need to take care of your dog in her car. Except a dog dryer, which she has at her house.        

Hollywood Schoolhouse Comes to Levels!

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Annually, the elementary kids at Hollywood Schoolhouse march down Highland and file into Levels to record songs for their Spring Musical. We had a blast today with them in one of our ADR stages while Barry and Kyle recorded playback tracks for this year’s Alice and Wonderland themed show. Future stars in the making!
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