MB5 CONFERENCE TACKLES THE FUTURE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESSA diverse group of industry insiders came together to discuss and debate the impact of the Internet and other hot-button topics in music recording at the MusicBiz 2005 Conference. The conference took place October 15-17 at the Ex'pression Center for New Media in Emeryville, Calif., and drew more than 300 producers, label reps, musicians and Internet entrepreneurs, along with assorted artist managers, music and IP attorneys and journalists.
"The end of the music industry is in sight," said free-speech advocate and former Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow in the opening keynote speech. He predicted the transformation of the music business from "the property model to the relationship model," where value will derive from the artist/audience relationship rather than from products.
"Polarization is deep in the music industry," consultant Jim Griffin said in his own keynote. Griffin described a split between dominant record labels that want to preserve their economic control of music distribution and "free music advocates" who look to digitization and the Internet to cut out the middleman. In another keynote, hip hop star and download advocate Chuck D predicted "a balancing out of distribution-not an eradication of the middleman."
Also having their say at MB5 were EMI senior VP Jay Samitt, Beatnik.com's Thomas Dolby Robertson and multi-Platinum record producers Jerry Harrison, David Pack and Arne Frager. MB-5 attendees participated in panels, exchanged views at "town hall" gatherings, witnessed new technology demos, and learned how to upload and download music tracks.
Liquid Audio "liquified" live performances by a variety of artists. Other attending companies-such as Studer North America, Tascam, Beatnik, CDDB, NXT and sonicNet-showcased products and services.
Event organizers will soon announce dates for next year's conference. Audio tapes of the panels at MB5 may be purchased by contacting Audio Archives at 800/747-8069 or by e-mailing email@example.com.
LIBERTY MEDIA BUYS 4MCLiberty Media Group, a unit of AT&T based out of Englewood, Colo., purchased post-production company Four Media Co. of Burbank, Calif., in a stock swap valued at $25 million, Variety reported on November 2. Last month, we reported that Liberty had purchased Todd-AO and Soundelux Entertainment Group. With these purchases, Liberty has become the world's largest provider of post-production services, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 re-recording stages, not to mention hundreds of editing suites.
Four Media has grown in recent years with the acquisitions of subsidiaries Video Symphony, Digital Sound & Picture, Digital Magic and Pacific Ocean Post. Terms of the deal with Liberty are expected to close in the first quarter of the new year.
BUZZ KNUDSON TO BE HONORED AT C.A.S. BANQUETRe-recording mixer Buzz (Robert) Knudson will receive the Cinema Audio Society Career Achievement Award at the annual C.A.S. Awards Banquet on March 4. He has been nominated for an Academy Award 11 times and has won three-for Cabaret (1972), The Exorcist (1973) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1983).
Knudson entered the motion picture industry in 1952 at RCA after playing minor league baseball for eight years. In 1982, he joined Todd-AO, where he currently serves as a consultant and vice-chairman.
The 36th annual C.A.S. Awards Banquet will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Universal Sheraton Hotel. In addition to honoring Knudson, the C.A.S. will bestow its awards for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Feature Films and Television. For information and tickets, contact Laura Long at 818/752-8624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEC AWARDS GRANT WINNERThe Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio has named Victoria Meyer the recipient of the 1999 TEC Awards Scholarship Grant. Meyer is a master's degree candidate at McGill University in Montreal and studies sound recording.
Applications for 2000 will be available in January. For more information, send your name and address to: MFEA, 1547 Palos Verdes Mall No. 294, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; or e-mail Karen Dunn at KarenTEC@aol.com. No phone calls please.
AES HANDS OUT STUDENT AWARDS, GRANTSThe AES handed out awards in the Student Recording Competition at the 107th AES convention. Marie Ebbing of Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) won in the Classical category, and received two Audio-Technica mics, RPG Room Optimizer software and a roll of Quantegy mastering tape. Avery Geitz of McGill University, Montreal, won in the Jazz/Pop category, receiving two Sennheiser mics, along with the software and tape. The recording was judged by a panel of Grammy(r) Award-winning engineers and producers.
The Audio Engineering Society Educational Foundation announced the recipients of its educational grants for the 1999-2000 academic year. Winners were selected on the basis of demonstrated past interest, achievements in audio, and faculty recommendations.
Nine students received awards this year: Clay Benning, North Carolina School of Arts; Jasmin Frenette, University of Miami; Avery Gietz, McGill University; Alexander Iliev, University of Miami; Cynthia Kerr, University of Cincinnati; Jason Le Bouef, Stanford University; Geoff Martin, McGill University; Russell Mason, University of Surrey; and Victoria Meyer, McGill University.
Additional information and application forms are available from the AES Educational Foundation, 60 E. 42nd St., New York, NY 10165.
Mix has announced that StudioPro2000, its third annual business and technology conference for audio professionals, will be held June 12-13, 2000, at the New York Hilton & Towers. The conference, hosted by the editors of Mix, will feature more than 75 of the industry's most prominent technologists and production professionals, exploring topics such as designing for digital, DTV and Internet audio.
Following up on the success of StudioPro99, held last June in Los Angeles, StudioPro2000 will focus on issues of concern to operators of both large and small facilities, as well as to producers, engineers and post-production professionals. World-renowned figures in music production and film and television sound will be on hand for a special luncheon forum each day.
In addition to panel discussions, StudioPro2000 will present a special workshop track for groups of 25 to 50 people, who will have the opportunity to learn about production techniques and specialized types of audio gear.
To receive additional information and registration materials, call Rob Irwin at 510/653-3307, fax 510/653-5142 or e-mail Robert_Irwin@intertec.com.