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Articles September - October 2023

Capturing The True Essence Of Sound New!

From Lewitt Audio's Pure Tube Microphone to Sennheiser's Profile USB Microphone, these studio microphones offer precise audio quality to the users and deliver crisp, clear sound. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Photo Feature: Studio Showcase New!

From A.R. Rahman's studio in Mumbai to composer Raag Sethi's first Dolby-compliant studio in Gujarat, PALM Expo Magazine's Studio Showcase features the latest studios in India. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mastering The Art Of Sound With Donal Whelan New!

Whelan talks to the PALM Expo Magazine Team and discusses his foray into the world of mastering, his unique experience at the PALM Conference 2023, and more. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Nx Audio Celebrates Two Decades Of Pro Audio Journey New!

Nx Audio completes 20 years of delivering pro audio products for the Indian pro sound industry. Read about Nx Audio's journey over the last two decades. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mumbai Studio Explores New Verticals With Genelec Monitors New!

The combination of Genelec Smart Active Monitors and digital audio interface delivered an ideal monitoring solution for BOING Recording Studios. read more

Articles September - October 2023

IRAA Awards 2023: Jury Reflections New!

Read about IRAA Jury's perspective on the bigger questions in the music industry - AI for music production, the status of mega consoles, & emerging trends in sound recording & mixing. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Gray Spark Audio Opens New Studio For Academy Students New!

PALM Expo Magazine Team talks to Ronak Runwal to explore how the newly-designed Studio D is poised to become a recording haven for the academy students. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Firdaus Studio: Building A Sonic Paradise For Recording Artists New!

The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman stands as a beacon of innovation in the music production industry. PALM Expo Magazine explores the making of the musical maestro's magnus opus in the recording landscape. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Naveen Deshpande Elevates Stand-Up Comedy with Bespoke Lighting Designs New!

Naveen Deshpande, a renowned lighting designer, made heads turn through his recent collaboration with India's leading stand-up comedian, Zakir Khan, during the latter's international tour. read more

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Review: IRAA Awards 2020

IRAA 2020 Recording Arts Awards a Huge Success

Winners across 42 categories at India’s only technical excellence award for the sound recording industry represent the future of the industry setting new standards in sound engineering

Continuing its quest to seek and applaud creativity, commitment and excellence in recording Arts, the 2020 Indian Recording Arts Academy, awarded the most deserving, for their ingenuity and skill at the 14th edition of the awards. For the first time ever, the IRAA Awards took place in a virtual environment due to the ongoing Covid scenario. Following the suspension of the physical awards in May, the IRAA committee and jury decided to take the much awaited awards online. The event was a huge success as sound engineers and music industry professionals from across India gathered in strength to watch the event, cheer their peers and engage with each other on a virtual platform. PT reports

This year’s virtual Indian Recording Arts Academy (IRAA) awards demonstrated how the best time to go live can be in the midst of turmoil, as on the evening of Sunday, 11th October, 2020 the Indian sound engineering fraternity gathered in strength on their mobile and computer screens to watch the virtual streaming of the 14th edition of the Indian Recording Arts Academy Awards and to celebrate the year’s top talent in the studio sound recording and music production domain.

Hosted by Ms. Kennie Kukreja, the awards ceremony was streamed simultaneously on the PALM expo Facebook and YouTube channels.

Click here for Awards Ceremony video

IRAA announced winners across 42 categories at the ceremony. The winners and final nominees represented bold and innovative talent in sound mixing technique and creative sound recording from across the country setting new standards in sound engineering and influencing creation of music content in an ever increasing competitive domain. The winners and final nominees were selected from over 1000+ nominations received from across India, for movies, soundtracks and albums released between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019.

The IRAA 2020 was supported by HARMAN Professional Solutions India, a global leader in studio technology boasting of an extensive catalog of signature products for the studio, from legendary brands.

Leading the Concept and Production of the event were trailblazers in the Virtual Entertainment Events production space in India – NJSM Studios, in association with leading talent agency BNA Talent, ensuring superlative execution of the award ceremony.

“IRAA is going to grow exponentially and we are targeting 1 lakh members.”

Founder & Chairman, IRAA

Key Note Address

Anil Chopra, Founder & Chairman of the IRAA awards delivered the keynote address at the IRAA 2020 virtual Awards ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that the fraternity of sound engineers in India doing great work has been exploding each year and that the IRAA awards was a tribute to all the sound engineers who believed in their art. He thanked the sound engineers for diligently sending in their work for consideration. “The 14th IRAA awards received the largest number of nominations ever! We have crossed the figure of 1000 nominations and I’m happy to see dedicated sound engineers who believe in their work and have nominated themselves. I’m truly happy to see that the nominations are growing from year to year,” he said.

He also thanked all the august Jury members and said, “Ever since the IRAA put together a jury under the Vice-Chairmanship of Pramod, the awards have become a matter of great pride for the PALM expo. IRAA is deeply indebted to the Jury for their time and extremely conscientious work. The level of sincerity in choosing the winner and the level of process that they have followed is truly amazing.”

Click here for list of esteemed 12 member Jury

In his keynote address Anil Chopra emphasized on two key points – 1. His disappointment on the absence of legitimate film awards platform and 2. His vision and mission that recording arts be treated as an Art.

“It is a very big shame that the film industry in India has not gathered together under an umbrella to form an academy with valid members and valid voting. They have failed to put up a legitimate platform which we can showcase to the world,” he said. “IRAA is the only awards in India that is process driven with valid jury that can stand for the awards and it’s the process that matters. The IRAA is a leader and we are playing a leadership role here. There should be attention to these awards from the film industry and brethren sound engineers across the world,” he added.

Talking about his campaign, which he started at the 2019 IRAA awards he said, “I have a vision and I have a mission. I have created three logos. The vision and mission is that recording is an art. I propose that the man who has the credit of the final mix and who puts all the sounds together should get the royalty just like the composer and the lyricist. In a recording, the myriad sound and the placement of the sound gives the composition meaning. It gives the compose meaning and the lyrics meaning.” He urged all the recording engineers in the country to use the logos (see adjoining box) in collateral and social media.

He ended his keynote address by expressing his gratitude to the event’s sponsors – HARMAN Professional Solutions, India. “This platform has a reputation for being clean and so HARMAN has associated this year and I hope this association continues for a long time to come,” he said.

He also commended NJSM and BNA Talent for outstanding execution of the awards ceremony.

Click here for full video of Anil Chopra’s Keynote Address

Neutral, Independent forum with focus on technical excellence

The IRAA stands out distinctly from other film awards because of the award’s focus on technical excellence. The jury was tasked with assessing a great variety of different content from all over the country. The diversity and skill on display, demonstrated fantastically a growing dedication to the art. The jury was looking for brilliance in the art based on several assessment criteria, from which the jury drew up the shortlist for the 42 different categories.

IRAA Founder Anil Chopra’s Vision and Mission for the Sound Engineering Fraternity

Click here for assessment process blue print

IRAA prides itself on the validity of the awards, with winners being selected solely on merit.

“This ceremony is a celebration for all audio and music professionals. The respect and acceptance for IRAA has grown rapidly, thanks to each and every one of you who have had faith in the jury.”

Honorary Chairman, IRAA 2020

In his address to the audience, Honorary Chairman Pramod Chandorkar said, “It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to see you all through this virtual event. This ceremony is a celebration for all audio and music professionals. The respect and acceptance for IRAA has grown rapidly, thanks to each and every one of you who have had faith in the jury.”

Click here for full video of Pramod Chandorkar’s Message

The focus on technical excellence rather than subjective opinions, budget or commercial success of the tracks and movies was pertinently summarized by Sreejesh Nair who was one of the juries judging the post production section for IRAA. In his message to the virtual audience he said “This is one of the most stringent and most comprehensive juries I have been on. Since this is probably one of the only awards for sound engineers by sound engineers, the entire judgment is extremely stringent.  For instance, if any of the jury members has their entry in a particular section, then that jury member steps out of the whole discussion and he’s not part of that decision making process at all. If there were entries in categories which were not up to the mark, there were no awards in those categories. We have taken a critical approach to these awards so these awards for me personally carry a huge weight and a huge amount of respect.

The credibility and appropriateness of the methods used to measure the outcomes was evident in the winning list. To learn more about our award winners and final contenders Click here for list of winners.

“From the post production segment we had a lot of very interesting entries and we listened through everything. The reason was that it had to be a complete and fair judgment.”

Jury member

Inclusion of important sound categories

Also unique to IRRA is the inclusion of categories like Sound Mixing for Advertisement and other fields of sound engineering art that are crucial to the recording and music production industry. These include Sound Editor (Effects & Ambience), Foley Artist and Foley Engineers and Dialogue Editors and ADR Engineers across streams which include Films, Documentaries and Short Films. In the last couple of years, with the objective of recognizing the regional music industry, the IRAA awards instituted ‘Regional Awards’ in the Audio Engineering, Audio Post Production and Music Production segments  to honour talent outside Mumbai. This year witnessed an increase in the number of nominations received in all these categories. 

The Virtual Awards Ceremony

The ceremony kicked off with a message from Aditya Todi, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing, HARMAN Professional Solutions, India and SAARC, wherein Todi reinforced HARAMAN’s commitment to the prestigious IRAA platform and reiterated the philosophy of the global leader in audio innovation to recognize recording talent and supporting engineers.

Click here for video of Aditya Todi’s message

The awards were segregated into three main segments - Audio Engineering, Audio Post Production and Music Production, with the winners in Audio Engineering Segment being announced first. 

“Many entries this year have been filed under the wrong categories. Please choose the category that is best suited for your production. While we are happy to fight over a half mark for the quality of work, please try not to give us a hard time by miscategorization.”

Jury member

Mujeeb Dadarkar who was on the Audio Engineering assessment panel addressed the audience and voiced some concerns with regards to the nominations and appealed to the sound engineers to make note of it. “I’m happy to say that this year’s entries have been the most ever, but on behalf of the jury, I would like to express some concerns. Many entries this year have been filed under the wrong categories. Please choose the category that is best suited for your production. While we are happy to fight over a half mark for the quality of work, please try not to give us a hard time by miscategorization,” he said. He went on to appreciate the independent music community and urged the independent music producers to also nominate their tracks in audio engineering. “This year a lot of independent material has stood out against mainstream feature film productions. Kudos to all you indie guys! A lot of entries in the music production categories would have qualified for entry in the engineering categories as well. Unfortunately they were not entered there. May I remind you that anyone can file a nomination. So a music producer can nominate his entry in the appropriate sound engineering category as well. So please do it next time,” he said

Click here for full video of Mujeeb Dadarkar’s message

The Audio Engineering awards were followed by the Audio Post awards. Elaborating on the assessment process for this segment Sreejesh Nair said, “When we were judging entries in postproduction, factors like compression, distortion panning correction, reverb matches dialog tonality, foley tonality etc. were all taken into consideration.”

He explained how the assessment process involved a lot of discussion and debates for deciding the winner. “It’s a very comprehensive process and it’s very important to understand how good a mix is. Some of the mixes are completely out of the box in terms of their design, thinking and approach and it’s very important that we as members also understand and discuss if that was a creative decision or not. We were also debating about a db level of changes – whether it was creative or a mistake, whether it was unintentional, how well the dialogs are matched between scenes of the same location, what were the reverbs, what was the context of those reverbs.  From the post production segment we had a lot of very interesting entries and we listened through everything. The reason was that it had to be a complete and fair judgment. We cannot assume the quality of any work by looking at a portion of it. We even loudness matched each one of these except for the streaming ones because the streaming ones were already loudness matched just so that we were not influenced by the levels,” he elucidated. “There are not a lot of award that go into this detail of judgment,” he added.

“IRAA AWARDS 2020 is the finest technical & only platform for technicians in sound engineering, designing and music production and I request for more entries next year with outstanding creative work.”

Award Director

Click here for full video Sreejesh Nair’s message

The ceremony concluded with the Music Production awards. IRAA 2020 Awards Director Yogesh Pradhan congratulated all the nominees and winners. “Every year it is getting competitive and challenging and I congratulate all the nominees and winners who have showcased outstanding work in every genre. IRAA AWARDS 2020 is the finest technical & only platform for technicians in sound engineering, designing and music production and I request for more entries next year with outstanding creative work.” He also thanked the jury members for devoting their precious and valuable time for assessment and appreciated the vision of founding Chairman Anil Chopra and efforts of the IRAA team.

Vijay Benegal was announced as Award Director for IRAA 2021

As a part of IRAA tradition of announcing the Award Director for the forthcoming year, Pramod Chandorkar announced Mr. Vijay Bengal as the Award Director for the IRAA 2021.

Due to the Virtual nature of the event and the inability to present the awards physically, as a mark of respect, the India Recording Arts Academy did not announce any Lifetime Achievement Awards as these awards are intended to honour leaders who have made significant contributions to the sound recording and music industry in India.

Anand Bhaskar Collective rocks the IRAA 2020 Virtual stage. Pic Courtesy: Suraj Uchil

ABC in the house

The IRAA 2020 also featured a special performances by Anand Bhaskar Collective, a band that has rapidly became a favourite amongst independent rock and Hindi-rock consumers in India. Band members comprising Shishir Tao (on drums), Neelkant Patel (on Bass), Hrishi Giridhar (on Guitar), Ajay Jayanthi (on violin) and of course Anand Bhaskar (vocals) delivered power packed performances on a number of their tracks from their albums like Samsara, Ufaq and others, which were very well received and appreciated by the online audience.

Band Performance can be accessed on

Please visit for the videos and for more information about the awards. You can also follow the posts published on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


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