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Making Music with Nashville’s Sputnik Sound

Vance Powell
Vance Powell, a 40-year veteran in the music industry.

Six-time Grammy Award-winning record producer, engineer, and mixer, Vance Powell, thrives on being a part of making music every day. Vance is the co-owner of Sputnik Sound, a two-room private recording facility located in Berry Hill, TN—just outside of Nashville.

As a 40-year veteran in the music industry, Vance said you have to fight to stay relevant in this business. “I think I speak for all artists, mixers, and engineers when I say we all do it because we love it,” said Vance. 

Vance talked to us about his passion for mixing and how he uses OWC drives and products to boost productivity and manage data in recording sessions.

A passion for mixing

About 70% of the work Vance does in the studio is mixing. A self-proclaimed “analog” guy, he doesn’t mix on the computer, but rather on a console. “I love mixing because a lot of times records aren’t always made exactly the way I would make them” said Powell.

What makes Sputnik special for Vance, is that it’s everything he wants it to be—and everything was built specifically for him. In fact, he said of the six Grammys he’s been awarded, the one that means the most to him was for “Best Engineered Album.” 

“I like being in the room when amazing things happen. I’ve had a few sessions in my life that have been ‘tingle inducing’—you know hair is standing up on your arm, and you’re like wow, something amazing is happening right in front of me, and I’m recording it. That’s an awesome feeling,” said Vance.

Award from National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Best Gospel Album Award, Engineer, 2017 for "Let Them Fall in Love" by Cece Winans
Award from National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Best Gospel Album Award, Engineer, 2017 for “Let Them Fall in Love” by Cece Winans.

I’ve had a few sessions in my life that have been ‘tingle inducing’—you know hair is standing up on your arm, and you’re like wow, something amazing is happening right in front of me, and I’m recording it.

Vance Powell

Reliability is everything

Today’s modern recordings consist of a great deal of data. Vance discussed the importance of how you store, back up, archive, and keep data forever—and he said that’s precisely why he uses OWC products every day. “I’ve had a great experience with customer service. They are fast and easy to deal with,” said Vance. 

The following are the OWC products that Vance uses on a daily basis in the studio:

Envoy Pro FX

Envoy Pro FX

Vance uses the Envoy Pro FX when he travels to take files to a session outside of the building, or when he’s bringing files back to his studio from a session. He said that he likes that the drive is small, waterproof, and drop-proof. 

Accelsior 4M2

Accelsior 4M2 

The Accelsior 4M2 is used as Vance’s base drive for recording and playback of all of his Pro Tools sessions. He likes that it is both fast (over 6000 MBs) and very secure. 

Thunderbay 4

Thunderbay 4

Vance uses the Thunderbay 4 as a drive holder for OWC SSDs, and they capture exact copies of his Mac Pro drives in the Accelsior every night. 

Thunderbolt Dock 3

Thunderbolt 3 Dock

The Thunderbolt 3 Dock is used as a cable port in Vance’s studio, and it allows him to ingest SD cards. He has it connected to a Universal Audio Apollo Interface behind his console.

Vance Powell at his workstation.
Vance Powell in the studio, his workstation powered by OWC.

Reliability is the most important thing in this business. We absolutely and positively have to have great data storage and great data transfer. If I have drives that are failing right and left, I’m not going to use them.

Vance Powell

Connect with Vance Powell:

Connect with Sputnik Sound:


Kim Wacker
the authorKim Wacker
Client Management & Senior Writer
Kim is a seasoned content marketing professional with 14 years of corporate communications experience. Her sweet spot is with creative writing both short and long-form, and she has a proven track record working with IBM, Jackson Healthcare, and Walt Disney World, among many others. Kim is also a singer and actor and has been performing on stage and screen since she was a child. She has a great passion for TV and film production and went to school for broadcast journalism. Kim is the CEO & Founder of Wacker Social Enterprises and the Director of Operations & Senior Writer for Blade Ronner Media. You can also find her on IMDb. LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/kimwacker BladeRonner Media: https://bladeronner.media/ Wacker Social: http://wackersocial.com/ Portfolio: http://kimwackerportfolio.weebly.com/
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