Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Category Archives: News & Events

Listen. Enter. Win! It’s a Resonator Guitar Giveaway


Okay, here’s your chance to win one of the coolest guitars from Stephen’s personal collection – his 2007 Dean Chrome and Gold Acoustic-Electric Resonator!

This axe, one of Stephen’s favorites, is more of a hybrid than anything. You have the sound & tone of a true resonator, but the playability and upper neck access of an electric or really great acoustic guitar. It has a magnetic “lipstick” pickup and a piezo electric pickup, which gives you the ability to produce both electric and acoustic tones.

And who knows, master it and become the next Billy Gibbons of Texas’ own ZZ Top (maybe that’s a stretch but he owns one as well!).

All you have to do is:
1)  Listen to our four most recent news branding packages, and
2) Comment on which one is your favorite:  iNergy, This Is The Place, All About Early, or Canvas
(and feel free to tell us why you liked one more than the others…)

After that, your name will go directly into the hat… and you’ll be instantly eligible for the Dean Resonator — IT’S THAT EASY!

The drawing for the giveaway will be on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014.
Here’s a photo of your potential future Dean:

Listen to the packages here and leave a comment below:


This is the Place

All About Early


Click here for contest rules and eligibility requirements.

Would you work for free? Pro Sports vs Pro Music

Would Peyton Manning or Richard Sherman play football during intermission of a Bruno Mars concert for free?

Because that’s exactly what  Bruno did at their game a couple of weeks ago…

Bruno Mars is at the top of his game.

Bruno Mars and teh Chili Pppes perform at the Super Bowl

His second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, is at the top of the charts (as was his first).

In just three years, five of his songs have reached number one….

Forbes ranked him number one on their 30 under 30 list last year, and Time Magazine named him one of the top 100 most influential people…in the world!

Yet he was paid zilch for his performance that day, in front of 82,000 plus fans!

Granted, it was the Super Bowl, perhaps the most popular sporting event on the planet….but nothing?

I think an argument could be made that Mars is as skilled at his craft as any pro athlete is at theirs…

So it made me think:

The NBA…would Lebron James or Kevin Durant work (b/c that what Mars did – worked) for 30 minutes, for free, at a Justin Timberlake show?

MLB…would Derek Jeter or David Ortiz do a freebie at a Cold Play concert?

The NFL claims exposure was his payment, but does Bruno Mars need the exposure?

If we decided that exposure for one of our singer/songwriters was payment enough because of the popularity of a prime time show, a lawsuit would surely ensue.

Mars seemed to be okay with it, as was Anthony Kiedis and his crew, because of the once in a lifetime opportunity.

What do you think?

Honoring All Those Who Serve….

Today is November 11th, which around the world is known as Armistice Day – commemorating the signing of the Armistice and ending World War I.  Here in the states we know it as Veterans Day.  But no matter its name, it serves the same purpose:  to honor and recognize all those who serve.  And so, we’d like to recognize all of our family and relatives here at SAM who have served or are currently serving in our Armed Forces – Thank you for your service.

James Boyd – US Army, Iraq/Afganistan

Fernando Rodriguez – Sgt Major, US Army

Dr Carroll Bitting Shaddock – WWII Papua New Guinea

William Gillett – RAF Spitfire Engineer , WWII Europe and North Africa

Peter Bernays – US Navy, WWII Pacific Theater

Juan Garcia – US Army 1st Infantry, Active Duty

Tony Matute – US Marines, Somalia

Matt Bolton – US Air Force, F-16 fighter pilot, Afganistan/Iraq, Active Duty

Rick Bernardino –  US Army, Korean War

Travis Ohr – US Navy, Active Duty

Carlos Daming – US Army, Korean War

Bill Boyd – Air Force, Korean War

Jack Donald West –  US Army, Korean War

Darrell Nix – US Air Force (1950-1970), B52 Tail Gunner, Korean War

Joel Nickel – US Army, Korean War

Dave Lorance – US Army 7th Infantry, Bayonet Division, Korean War

Farewell, Ray Dolby

Go take a look at your DVD/BluRay collection. Go on … we’ll wait.

<twiddles thumbs>

Notice anything in common? They all have some kind of “Dolby” somethingorother, right?

But have you ever wondered, “Just what the heck is ‘Dolby’?!”  Well, that question has a few different answers.

Ray Dolby, who passed away this week at the age of 80, was a multi award-winning engineer whose contributions to the sound of our modern world can’t be overstated.  He is best known for his pioneering noise-reduction system.  What is noise-reduction?  For that matter, some younger readers might even be asking, “What is noise, and why does it need to be reduced?”

For those of us who can remember the days before CDs (and long before the mp3 was even a glint in the milkman’s eye), our first exposure to the Dolby logo was likely on — what was at the time — the most portable method for listening to your favorite music: the Cassette Tape.

Youngsters will never truly understand just how bad these things sounded.  Analog tape is inherently noisy.  There’s actually an audible hiss screaming from the speakers at all times.  Cassettes were just terrible … but they got us music junkies through the day.

While not as bad as the commercial cassette, the multi-track analog tape used in professional recording studios suffers from this same deficiency.  In order to minimize the underlying noise, Ray Dolby invented a system that kind of changed everything.  Ignoring for a moment the highly technical wizardry involved in actually pulling this off, the concept itself was brilliantly simple:

Since the noise on analog tape is consistent and predictable, it’s fairly easy to counteract with a two-step process.  As you’re sending a sound to tape, you first pass it through a circuit that makes it louder in the same frequency range where the tape noise lives.  Any part of the original sound that is similar to the tape noise gets boosted as it’s being recorded.  Upon playback, you pass it through a similar circuit that decreases the volume of that frequency range.

What does this do?  It essentially “turns down” the noise without turning down the sound you actually want to hear, and you end up with a much cleaner and clearer recording.

So what does this have to do with your movies?  Well these days, not so much, actually.  One of the great things about digital recording is that there is no noise inherent in the recording medium.  You can record very quiet sounds without having to worry about that nasty hiss swallowing it up.  Lucky for us, Mr. Dolby didn’t stop at noise reduction.

He and his fellow engineers at Dolby Laboratories created practically everything involved in modern surround sound systems.  From innovative encoding techniques that deliver six (or more) discreet channels from a two-channel signal on a strip of celluloid, to standards and specifications on where you should put all those speakers in your living room, every blockbuster on your shelf owes its sound to the inventive minds of Ray Dolby and his team.

So the next time you hear something behind you and have to pause your movie to see if it was really there, you know who to thank.

Ray Dolby: 1933 – 2003

Station Summit 2013

We’re back (and well-rested) after a fantastic Promax Station Summit 2013. The conference was better than ever… and Vegas was hotter than ever! We saw all the usual suspects as well as some new faces with the addition of FPEC and our Telemundo amigos.

Congrats to all the Promax Silver and Gold winners! We’re elated to have won a Gold for our music/image campaign This Is The Place.

Congrats to WALA’s Sam Day who picked up the much-coveted Neil Young signed tele!

Thanks to everyone who came out for our third annual Thursday night acoustic jam. We loved having Greg Barnhill join us this year – as well as so many of our talented clients and friends who joined him at the mic. And we finally put the suite’s sunken tub to good use this year… Bathtub of beer!!!

See everyone next year!

Promax & Station Summit 2013 – See you There!!


So once again Promax is upon us and SAM will be there to booze and schmooze with the best in the TV broadcast industry!  We’ve got some new products to roll out – including the industry’s first fully searchable, keyword tagged online delivery for our syndicated packages - and if you’re attending the Station Summit in Las Vegas, then you won’t want to miss our legendary after hours Acoustic Jam Session (now in its 3rd year!)

Stephen will be presenting as part of a panel called “Hits and Misses 2013″ in Promax LA.  on Thursday, June 20th (check your conference guide for time and locations). He and other top producers, composers and music supervisors will look at case studies of where music did and did not work in particular projects.  Stephen’s been asked to present as an expert on custom music and sonic branding, which we’re very excited about!  Check him out on this list of Promax speakers here »

And don’t forget to stop by our ‘booth’ on the floor whether you’re at Promax LA or Station Summit where you’ll find 4 guitars on display in museum style displays for 360 views.  3 are from Stephen’s personal collection and featured in the book A Story of Six Strings.  The 4th display will be one of 2 guitars we’re giving away – either a 1930s National TriCone resonator replica (produced by Johnson) or a Neil Young SIGNED Fender Tele.  So stop by, have a chat, drop your card in the box and maybe walk away with an awesome guitar.

Good Luck and hope to see you there, whether LA or Vegas!

For more info on both conferences:

PromaxBDA Station Summit Las Vegas »

PromaxBDA: The Conference Los Angeles »

Breaking News!! SAM to partner with PGM Artists!!

SAM_PGMWe have a new partnership that we want to tell you about: Stephen Arnold Music and PGM Artists are now collaborating on select original music and sonic branding projects for the advertising sector.

PGM Artists is a high-level “matchmaker” that draws companies together from across a broad range of complementary disciplines. The firm was founded by marketing and production veteran Phil McIntyre, and they excel at connecting advertising agencies and corporations worldwide to creative and marketing resources, with the goal of enabling them to innovate, communicate and compete at the highest possible level.

There were a lot of great reasons to start working with PGM Artists. We think it’s a creative, forward-thinking company that really understands branding. And our commitment to creating memorable sonic branding is a perfect fit for the advertising world, which is where PGM Artists have proven they’re particularly effective.

It’s a highly accomplished firm with an elite track record – that’s the kind of company we like to keep.

All About Early – And The Winner Is …

Congratulations to Vic Richards, winner of our 4-day, 3-night trip for four to our Santa Fe home/studio.

Trendy Headphones and Rockin Ad Music!!

Releasing an awesome ad-friendly catalog makes you want to…  jump! jump! no, wait……give away some headphones!

You’ll need some of these trendy LSTN headphones while you’re listening to Song Zu’s The :30 Spot – Music for Advertising.  Even Dave Grohl loves em and heck, he’s probably listening to Song Zu…..

Stay tuned as this is the first of a 10+ volume collection and don’t forget to click in to win!  Drawing takes place this Friday, June 7th!

And, of course, you can register to listen to all 7 of our ready to license catalogs here – go hear!

Dave Grohl Loves LSTN Headphones

“All About Early” Santa Fe Trip Giveaway!

Update:  And the winner is …


The time for another Stephen Arnold Music giveaway has arrived – but this one goes beyond guitars.

You can win a 4-day, 3-night trip for 4 to our awesome house and studio in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico!  Imagine waking up in a beautiful Old World manor with a view of the Jemez and Sangre de Christo mountain ranges, eating breakfast on one of the decks, and going into town for some shopping or skiing … you deserve it!

Wondering how to enter?

It’s easy: Simply listen to our expanded “All About Early” audio/video campaign bundle – which now includes a new morning show package and image song.  Just leave a comment below to be eligible for the giveaway.

All elegible entries will be placed into our trusty fishbowl, and a winner will be drawn on Friday, June 7th.

For a full description of the house, as well as all the rules and regulations for the drawing, please click here.

Good luck, everyone!!


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