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Learn from Australia’s best musicians in this upcoming digital music seminar

If you’re a young producer or artist, and you’re looking to connect with Australia’s best hit makers and musician, we’ve got the perfect event for you.

On September 8th at five thirty pm in the Music Workshop at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, ex-Bluejuice frontman Jake Stone and a panel of musicians and artists will discuss digital music in contemporary times.

Called New Directions @ The Con – Digital Music Seminar, the event will feature talks about digital production software, instruments and techniques. Some of the speakers include Thundamentals, PON CHO, Commandeur, Pivot, and Victoria Hunt.

Commandeur

The seminar will also delve into each artist’s practice, shedding light on their creative process and the digital tools they use. For instance, Commandeur will give insights on how to write hit songs and score TV and film, while Victoria Hunt will discuss how she made her incredible live artwork, Tangi Wai.

Best of all, the two-hour seminar is FREE. Just don’t forget to send in your RSVP to jacob.stone@sydney.edu.au.

We recently caught up with two artists – Kevin Kerr of Thundamentals, and Jake Stone – who will be present at the highly-anticipated event.

KEVIN KERR

PON CHO

What are your thoughts on the current music scene in Australia? Who are some of the music acts that you are most excited about these days?

“I think the music scene in Australia is very exciting at the moment as far as creativity and innovation. However, we do have a small population as a country and therefore it’s much harder for artists in more niche scenes to really gain traction and get the support a blossoming artist needs to grow and reach their potential.

“I think the pop scene is a little bit safe and radio needs to get on board and support more progressive approaches to commercial music. When you look at an internationally successful song like Jon Bellion’s All Time Low, the progressive nature of global pop can really begin to be understood, and Australia is in a position to be a bigger player in the international pop scene if we embrace more of the quirky niche sounds that are here in parts of the scene and find a way to foster a more collaborative writing environment.

“Some acts I’m digging at the moment are Midas Gold, Kirkis, New Venusians, Silent Jay, Jace Excell, Young Franco and Turquoise Prince, to name a few. There’s a great little jazz scene in Sydney as well that doesn’t get enough shine.”

It’s so easy for aspiring musicians to record quality music these days. What are the basic digital tools you recommend to create and record the sort of music that you’ve been producing yourself?

“Oh man it’s so simple these days! Get a good fast laptop, and a sound card with two inputs and you are away! It’s a wonderful time for music makers as far as how much can be achieved with so little!

“I have a home studio with a vocal booth and sound proofing and a couple of keyboards and I spend 80 percent of my time making stuff just with my laptop laying down on my couch in my lounge room or outside in my back yard!”

Is analogue recording technology dead these days? If not, where do you see it being most useful?

“Short answer: NO. Analogue will never be dead because there is a certain satisfaction achieved by twirling dials and the hands on experience provided by analogue. However, unless you plan on taking out a second mortgage the analogue dream is pretty hectic.

“The beauty of modern emulations like the UAD stuff and the products by Slate etc is that you can still manipulate sound in a similar way at a fraction of the price. I use a lot of in the box stuff and VST instruments as well, and I truly believe while it will never be a replacement for having a giant awesome recording studio with 500k worth of gear in it, the advancements being made by modern developers definitely now deserves some respect as a viable option and shouldn’t be looked down upon as it so often is by discerning analogue purists!”

What advice would you give to a talented young producer looking to get their music out there?

“Find other talented people to bounce off, and be able to discern in between a genuine opportunity and something that is just going to take up time. Be active amongst the scene, meet people and try to understand the environment, there is a lot to learn and nothing beats experience. Understand your rights and basic intellectual property law. Don’t undervalue your ability. Pick your projects wisely and work with people that truly inspire you.

“At the end of the day if something you make is truly amazing it will find a way to be heard.”

JAKE STONE

Jake Stone

What are your thoughts on the current music scene in Australia? Who are some of the music acts that you’re most excited about these days?

“I am really excited to see what Tim Commandeur does with house music, since there seems to be a bunch of young talent in that spectrum of dance at the moment, and with huge songs like Chameleon coming out of legacy acts like Pnau, that section of dance is in a good place.

“I’d also like to see what hip hop artists like Tkay do with the form, since she’s about the most forward-thinking person in that genre here in Australia.

“My friend Kevin PON CHO from the Thundamentals also has a great solo career as a pop producer, so I’d like to see what he does with himself. And I like my other friend Matt Bilic as a songwriter and indie producer of significant quirk.

“People like Mere Women and those kinds of indie scene bands are also making some very engaging music, so I’m interested to see where that goes.”

It’s so easy for aspiring musicians to record quality music these days. What are the basic digital tools you recommend to create and record the sort of music that you’ve been producing yourself?

“I use an RME Fireface as the interface, which is probably overkill. I think Logic X is a really good platform for production, as it’s so easy that even a moron like me can use it. But I have to be honest and say I don’t do any operating anymore.

“I just play and write a bit, and talk to the experts about how and why THEY do it. I’m a host and journalist again!”

Is analogue recording technology dead these days? If not, where do you see it being most useful?

“I think analogue technology has a totally legitimate place, and people will always want those kinds of saturated, limitlessly distorted, warm and ‘real’ kind of sounds. I think digital technology and emulation just offers another layer of potential to fuck with.”

What advice would you give to a talented young producer looking to get their music out there?

“Work hard, don’t be discouraged by setbacks or rejection, collaborate, and make use of opportunities as they arise. Nothing is ever going to be ‘perfect’, so don’t spend your time hiding your music away for a ‘perfect’ opportunity.

“Mostly that is just coming from a place of fear. Since you are capable of much more than you think, don’t try to micro manage your career, just get out there and do it, and see where you end up!”

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