The fourth annual Pensado Awards, an award show acknowledging today’s emerging brand of music professional and “recognizing the faces behind the sound,” held its fourth annual awards ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 3 at Los Angeles’ historic Fonda Theatre.
The ceremony hosted a sold-out crowd of nearly 700 recording and music industry figures. This year’s co-hosts were drummer Samantha Maloney (Hole, Mötley Crüe, Peaches), legendary producer, engineer and mixer Chris Lord-Alge (Pink, Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne, Green Day) and Kosine of acclaimed production duo Da Internz (Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, John Legend).
Music industry legend Miles Copeland presented multiple GRAMMY®-nominated producer, musician and mixing engineer Greg Wells (Adele, OneRepublic, Keith Urban, Katy Perry, Twenty One Pilots) with the Pensado Giant Award. That segment of the show also included a special taped video tribute to Greg Wells from James Corden, Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Keith Urban, Mix Master Mike and k.d. lang, and a live performance by Greg on drums.
Presenters included engineer/mixer DJ Swivel (The Chainsmokers, others), producer/engineer Noah Passovoy (Maroon 5), multi-platinum producer/composer Busbee, Hamilton soundtrack engineer Eboni Smith, Harry Shearer (of This Is Spinal Tap, The Simpsons and much more), CJ Vanston (producer, film composer, keyboardist), Candace Stewart (Manager, EastWest Studios), mastering engineers Eric Boulanger (La La Land, Green Day, Diana Krall), Jonathan Wyner, Lindsay Rothschild from YouTube, Matt Terrell from Facebook and Pensado’s Place co-hosts Herb Trawick and Dave Pensado.
A special aspect of the evening was when David Francisco Platillero, a talented young producer-engineer and musician who suffered a severe traffic accident last year that left him unable to walk, came to the stage to present the OMG Mix Of The Year award. At last year’s Pensado Awards, Herb Trawick, Co-host/Executive Producer and Creator of Pensado’s Place, as well as Manager and Advisor to Co-host Dave Pensado, told David and his family, in front of the entire audience, that next year the audio community’s dream was to have David be able to walk again. And one year later after intensive physical therapy, David walked out on stage by himself and brought the house down with applause.
At the ceremony, the following winners were announced:
OMG! Mix of the Year: Jason Joshua for “Despacito”
Game Changer of the Year Award: Busbee for Keith Urban, Ripcord
Break Thru Songwriter: James Fauntleroy
Master of Mastering: Colin Leonard
Tracking Engineer: Joe Chiccarelli
Outstanding Brand (tie): NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants)
Outstanding Brand (tie): Mix With The Masters
Break Thru Mixer Award: Seth Firkins
Live/FOH: Rachel Rozzi, Florida Georgia Line
Spin Doctor DJ Award: Don Diablo
Pensado Giant Award: Greg Wells
Dave Pensado Educator Award: Reggie Andrews, Locke High School
Herb Trawick Visionary Award: Ray Williams, Xchange
Herb Trawick stated, “Four years running, and Dave and I remain humbled that the Pensado Awards means so much to so many. From the movers and shakers to the enthusiasts, it’s an honor and a pleasure to recognize these incredibly gifted nominees and winners. We thank all of them for their tremendous contributions to our industry.”
This year’s Pensado Awards drew a list of sponsors that comprises some of the most prominent names in professional audio, M.I., audio education and the media. Hip-hop production collective 1500 or Nothin', an American musical ensemble composed of record producers, songwriters, musicians and music videographers, based in Inglewood, CA, served as the Premier Sponsor for the fourth annual Pensado Awards. Additional main sponsors included The Blackbird Academy, NAMM, Avid, Westlake Pro, Roland, Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing®, Audio-Technica, AFM & SAG-AFTRA, iZotope, The Fab Factory, accusonus, FabFilter, BeatSkillz, Celemony, Tascam, Groove3, IK Multimedia, Indaba Music, LANDR, Heavyocity Media, International Music Software Trade Association (IMSTA) and Music Connection Magazine.
Created by Herb Trawick and Dave Pensado of Penwick Media (the producers of Pensado's Place and other industry-leading audio-related media), the Pensado Awards were founded as a means of acknowledging talented music producers, engineers, mixers, songwriters and their work, serving as a grand opportunity for the best pros, amateurs, brands and press to come together as one community to celebrate the uncelebrated. Since its inception, the show has continued to gain momentum and garner attention throughout the industry and beyond. The Fonda Theatre will provide an intimate backdrop for Pensado Awards 4, which will feature an entirely new vibe and new show format using cutting-edge technology, plus additional surprises throughout the night.