The Propellerhead Software Producers Conference in Hollywood was yet another great event. It sold out with over 150 people attending, and users from the SF Bay Area trekked down to club King King on Hollywood Blvd. The program started at 10:00 in the morning - a decent hour - but people were arriving well before 9:00. We anticipated a crowd who would be into hip-hop, but there were people into a wide range of genres. The one facet we didn’t think about was the film and tv industry people who came. It was very cool mix of interests all related to Reason.
Despite a lack of sleep the night before, Rob Pointer and Dave Dolan were at the venue early setting up. Even though the venue has a sound system, they had to bring in their own Mackie rig for the conference. There always seems to be some kind of technical issue with these gigs, and the Producers Conference LA was no exception. We ended up using S-Video rather than VGA for the main projector. It was passable, but not quite as sharp as it could have been.
Chris Petti started off the schedule with a demonstration of ReWire into Ableton Live and exporting Reason songs as individually recorded tracks. He then went through and demonstrated using a variety of Line6 plug-ins to sweeten up his mix.
James Bernard followed up with a demonstration of his new Multi-Band Toolbox Refill. The Refill features a variety of BV512 based effects including some excellent chorusing modules and the phat parallel compression effect that produced some huge drum sounds. This is a free download from the Propellerhead Software website.
After sorting through some other technical problems, Richard Devine rounded off the morning schedule with his presentation on sound design and Reason. This was definitely one of the highlights of the day especially when he played some quicktime movies of commercials where he applied his sound design skills.
My session in the afternoon was not without it’s problems. I was dealing with micing issues. Eventually James came through and fixed me up with a better mic with a fresh battery. My presentation on Control Voltages and modular routing in Reason was based on Power Tools for Reason 3.0, but presented in a different manner for people who are unfamiliar with synth programming.
DJ Babu finished up the presentations with his excellent demo of using ReCycle to cut up samples and working them into Reason productions. The interesting part of Babu’s presentation was a discussion of sampling and royalties where he talked about some of the exorbitant fees paid for the rights to sample a track. Afterwards we were shooting the breeze and he told me about another project where the original artist started to comment on changes that should be made to a project produced with licensed samples. I told him that he should start working with live musicians and bands to get his own original material - support the hard working musical talent that’s out there!
Arabian Prince and Mocean Worker MC’d the afternoon listening session where attendees submitted their work for review by the panel, which included James. There were some really nice tracks presented including an excellent IDM piece from Quantum Anomaly. Eric from Chronic Productions, a music licensing company in LA, was in attendance and made several offers to people for production work based on what he heard!
As usual, I had a great time. It’s always a lot of fun meeting up with fellow Reason users, and I spoke with Kenny, who runs the MySpace Reason Users page about the idea of setting up a Los Angeles Reason Users Group for people who want to get together and talk shop. If this gets off the ground, I would probably make another trip down to hang out. For those of you who came and asked about Reason Workshops, GW and I will seriously consider taking our show on the road to the LA area. Please send me an email and I will keep you in the loop on when this happens.
Again, thanks to everyone who attended!
More photos are on my flickr gallery
On a side note, I spent Sunday cruising around downtown LA to visit a couple of museums. My first stop was the Japanese American National Museum and then the Geffen Museum of Contemporary Art. The current exhibition at the MOCA is titled “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution”, which features an amazing collection of work. I stumbled across a little installation with hand written notes from Pauline Oliveros from her composition, “To Valerie Solanas and Marilyn Monroe, In Recognition of Their Desperation”! It was cool to see these notes on the use of synthesizers, tuning of oscillators, and use of amplification.