An electric atmosphere began to bubble as enthusiastic veterans and newcomers to the industry shared ideas and experiences in Brighton Dome. Will 2 Listen was on hand to see what hot topics and trends were being discussed amongst the pros and budding producers.
There were some interesting talks aimed at production which worked nicely alongside opportunities to test out new equipment in the Exhibition Hall. Sound on Sound were on hand to talk about utilising the right kit on a small budget as well as providing insights into mixing techniques. Technical Editor, Hugh Robjohns and Editor In Chief, Paul White covered a range of elements of sound and mixing. Both provided key pieces of advice for budding producers with regards to EQ. “Make sure to take out the harsh frequencies you don’t like, rather than boosting the frequencies that you do like.” said Hugh
Paul then added “Remember that making your mix sound as bright and loud as possible is not necessary at the mix stage; that comes with mastering”
The strong message, as it was throughout the entire conference, is the importance of human interaction in terms of making the transition from bedroom artist to success story.
Other panels were aimed at raising artist profiles and
getting recognised. The obvious yet essential advice from most of these was the importance of hard work and sticking to what you believe in. Managing Director and Co-founder of Hospital Records, Chris Goss said “The important thing to remember is to be patient. Are you happy with what you’re doing and are people saying you’re doing all the right things?” This was said during the ‘From the Bedroom to the Main Stage’ panel and was one of many inputs advocating the fact that hard work and persistent devotion to your craft is still the tried, tested and successful formula.
This panel was certainly a highlight. Mala Dread, who had flown in from Belgium that morning to be there, promoted the importance of human connection as someone not reliant on the internet “I would rather hand CDs to recognised DJs/Celebrities in order to get support than constantly upload material and do everything digitally” he said. When Goss raised the question of whether social media is more important than the music Mala replied “For me it’s the music – it all comes back to your intent and passion.” This prompted Surrey-based producer Hyroglifics, a.k.a. Matt Harris to add that “It’s different for new artists in a noisy industry.”
The important thing to remember is to be patient. Are you happy with what you’re doing and are people saying you’re doing all the right things?
Chris Goss, MD /Co-founder of Hospital Records
The strong message, as it was throughout the entire conference, is the importance of human interaction in terms of making the transition from bedroom artist to success story. But from a more technological viewpoint, the human element of music is definitely making progress in electronic instrumentation. While many MIDI instruments now have good velocity sensitive functionality you would not necessarily say they allow for full human expression. This may be why the ROLI Seaboard RISE attracted a lot of attention for both days. “Product Specialist Demonstrator” Gerald Peter was busy demonstrating this new bit of kit to the masses of interested parties. The keyboard’s ability to emulate different instruments seamlessly as well as incorporate functions of tremolo, vibrato and transposition of octaves in addition to effects processing is groundbreaking. This is for those who prefer the keyboard setup as opposed to a grid system, such as that of Roger Linn’s Linnstrument.
The Demonstration Igloo also hosted a number of engaging presentations from DJ Sappo giving demonstrations of production tips within Cubase to Claudio and Dom of Doctor Mix showing the history and potential of the synth using Yamaha instruments.
The ROLI Seaboard RISE Keyboard attracted a lot of attention for both days.
Amongst the stalls in the Exhibition Stall were supportive outlets for musicians. Help Musicians UK “offer practical, positive support to emerging, professional and retired musicians – whatever the genre.” Adjacent to them were Dubzoo – a free online platform that helps DJs and producers manage all of their key activities in one place. So as well as insights into the industry and a lot of new equipment to try out and drool over, there was also helpful support on hand for newcomers who were not necessarily aware of the problems they may face and the services in place to deal with them.
As a closing statement for enthusiastic budding musicians I would say that another key piece of advice to take with you is that pitching and networking are two different things. Networking is a chance to share a brief moment with people in the industry and explain what you are about and find out about their experiences as well. Hopefully this can lead to exchanging details and at least meeting new and interesting figures.
By Will Hunt