ASCAP Expo 2009: Aspiring Producers & Industry Professionals Talk Trade

I guess day #2 technically starts at midnight, so I will take it from there where we were fortunate enough to land some passes to the ASCAP celebratory dinner and party at The Highlands on Hollywood Boulevard. Steve Thomas and I had a great time catching up with some CPU’s (Cakewalk Pro Users) including Vivek Maddala, Wendy Starland, Justin Lassen and Chuck Carr. 

We also got a chance to hang with our friend Jake Ottmann of EMI publishing who is overseeing our installment of the new V-100 and SONAR Producer into the EMI US Headquarters in New York City. 

ASCAP did an amazing job putting together a round of some pretty heavyweight songwriters who took turns banging out their hits in a very informal and interesting setting.  There is something so cool about hearing hit songs performed by the actual people who wrote them and not the people who you hear perform them on the radio.  It was a great night and it’s obvious that this ASCAP Expo is on its way to becoming one of the most respected music conferences in the US.

The morning came pretty quickly and just when I thought we would have a tough time matching up to the production quality of yesterday’s home studio master-class with Giovanni Lauren, in stepped Mr. Shawn Clement who scored a 30 second Land Rover spot in front of a packed house all day. 

What an amazing experience it was to see this genius manipulating SONAR with laser like precision.  Shawn (and Brandon) went deep into SONAR-ville with the V-Studio 700 and really exemplified what this system is all about.  Thank you to Shawn for taking time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to share his expertise with music creators.

In the afternoon, I had a great time moderating a panel with some of the biggest names in the industry including Mark Needham (The Killers, Hawthorne Heights, Paramore), Emanuel Kiriakou (David Archuleta, Ashley Tisdale, Jordin Sparks), Alex Hackford (Dir A&R Sony Playstation), Ankur Malhotra (A&R, Urban/Pop – Capitol Records), “Spider” Ron Entwistle (Producer, Songwriter, Remixer) and Gavin Haverstick (Acoustical Engineer – Auralex). 

I’m not kidding when I say that this panel could have lasted 8 hours with the amount of information between all the participants.  Everyone who was in the room got firsthand knowledge on what is really happening behind the scenes in the music industry; home and project studios are making a large dent in the Billboard charts.  My angle here for this panel was to try to expose some “real” tips, tricks and advice from people who are impacting our musical landscape in the digital realm.  Everyone who was on the panel provided a wealth of direction and information and exemplified their points through what they do on a daily basis.  It was a good feeling to see that the panel was a packed house from beginning to end and I think we covered a lot of ground. 

Once again we were fortunate to get a nice perk of attending a celebration and honorary ASCAP award for Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra, The Traveling Wilbury’s) in the early evening on the 20th floor of the hotel.  The panoramic sunset fit perfectly for the occasion and myself along with Steve Thomas, Brandon Ryan, SONAR users Chuck Carr and Shawn Clement enjoyed great food, wine and music conversations with a nice group of people.  Congratulations to Jeff Lynne on such a well-deserved award.

Tomorrow (Saturday) we will be creating a commercial rock track from scratch with Joerg Kohring of the band Orbit Monkey and Cori Yarckin.  Thanks once again to ASCAP and everyone else who has attended our panels.

Thanks for reading,
Jimmy Landry