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Kenny Moran

Artist Info
Kenny Moran

Base of Operations:
Los Angeles

producer, engineer, composer, sound designer and co-founder of NuVintage Music Group

M-Audio Gear :
Axiom 49, Axiom 61

Official Website:

Kenny Moran’s specialized production career spans more than a decade. Moran studied producing and engineering at the Harris Institute for the Arts. Upon graduating he began lecturing as an instructor at the school in the fields of digital audio, remix production, and rhythm production and began as an engineer at Sony Studios Canada. K-MO, as he’s known in the studio, is based in Los Angeles and is currently the sound design and keyboard tech for Greg Phillinganes and Toto on their Falling In Between World Tour. He also was the Mix Engineer for American Idol finalist George Huff, whose title song and single "Miracles" was released on Warner Music.

Kenny Moran
Producer/Engineer/Educator (Toto, George Huff)

Moran on M-Audio hardware and software: “My studio in Los Angeles is based on production and mixing so I have all my favorite toys at my fingertips. I use the Keystation Pro 88 for my main controller and an MK-425C for direct programming. I'm not classically trained on piano and sometimes other controllers are just too heavy for me, but I like the feel of the Pro 88. For synth lines I use my MK-425C plugged directly into the synth I want to play on so there is no latency. I just record the audio without the MIDI, that way the feel is right on. The others run directly into my patchbays, which run into Pro Tools HD.

“I exclusively use the Axiom 49 and Axiom 61 M-Audio controllers on stage with Toto for all of their sound design. Toto has always been a band on the cutting edge of synth technology so getting to work with them was like a dream come true—especially for the latest album that features three of the most famous synth Gods of all time: Steve Porcaro, David Paich and Greg Phillinganes.”

On M-Audio Software: “I use an Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo laptop with 1.5gigs of RAM and run Pro Tools M-Powered and Ableton Live on it.  My drum library is kept on my iDisk so I can get at it from anywhere. I compose right into Pro Tools and use Microsoft Word to write lyrics. I will put the basic idea down—rhythm and chords—and then take it back to the studio or email the session to a player if need be.

“I work with my partners in Toronto all the time. We email Pro Tools sessions back and forth and fully produce sessions through iChat. I'll sit in on vocal sessions from Los Angeles with artists in Toronto. Session players on the ball can track their instrument at their own studios. Mind you, I really like to have them in the room with me, but when it's called for you have to make the record happen.

“I use the Xpand! virtual instrument every day, and I love the GForce plug-ins! The Minimonsta:Melohman sounds really good, and I use Moog bass sounds everywhere.”

What he is proud of: “I am most proud of being the Mix Engineer for American Idol finalist George Huff, whose title song and single "Miracles" was released on Warner Music. It was the first project I was hired to do when I moved to Los Angeles. I mixed it at the Mix Room in Burbank on an SSL K9000 XL console. The room is perfect for me as it is purely analog with a Digidesign HD3 Accel system—I walked right in as if I was at home. I used some plug-ins that I always use and the rest was outboard gear and the SSL. Pure heaven!”

His songwriting process: “I'm pretty ‘ol' skool’ at heart. I still like to write and compose in the studio with the artist(s) on hand. I love traditional recording and Pro Tools equally. I use big microphones and preamps, but I don't use tape anymore. Everything I do has to be a song not just a beat with someone singing. Technology allows me to work at my pace on all aspects of the production at one time or any time.”

Why M-Audio? “M-Audio plays an imperative part of my sound design and how I work with bands like Toto and the productions I do in the studio. All of the M-Audio gear is really, really good. The software is rock solid and rarely crashes—it sounds great too! The MIDI controllers have been on the road and in the studio with me and never fail to come on and work properly.

“I would say that M-Audio has kept pace with me, which is really cool. I like new things for production and M-Audio always has something new to try. M-Audio saved the day when I switched to this Intel Mac. When our previous iBook motherboard went out, M-Audio had me up and running in two days notice to perform the next Toto show. All of the files and sessions ran seamlessly when I walked on stage. The M-Audio staff saved me!

“Tech support with the team has been great! I can always talk to somebody and they always have answers for me. It’s usually user error on my part, but nonetheless they figure it out quickly. I would say they have come a long way in a rather short period of time. They are the leader in controllers for keyboardists and enthusiasts alike. M-Audio and their partners have formed a very respectable allotment of software, sounds and hardware—I love working with them and using their gear.”