MPGA/NARAS ALLIANCE NEGOTIATIONSThe Music Producers Guild of the Americas held a membership meeting at the 107th AES convention to announce a possible alliance with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Producer Phil Ramone emphasized the harmonious implications of the affiliation, and Leslie Ann Jones stated that engineers and producers who are members of the Academy and the MPGA have seen their visibility grow dramatically in the last two years, with added Grammy[superscript](R) recognition of their roles in the music industry. The proposal was submitted to the MPGA's membership; at press time the final vote was yet to be determined.
JERRY HARRISON CO-FOUNDS GARAGEBAND.COMProducer Jerry Harrison teamed up with Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tom Zito and Netcenter's former head of research Dr. Amanda Lathroum Welsh to launch garageband.com. The site's goal is to identify, cultivate and sign the best of the emerging bands via a unique rating and review system. The site's rating system was developed by Welsh and three of her senior engineers to recognize the quality of the music, not just the quantity of the votes. Known as the Lathroum Comparater Engine (LCE), the proprietary rating system is based on a range of measurement comparisons designed to eliminate the bias and lack of context that can skew other comparative rating methods.
Bands can upload as many songs as they like, for free, but in order to do so they must first review and rate at least two randomly selected and anonymously assigned tracks submitted by other bands. In order to expose every band's music to as many qualified reviewers as possible, garageband.com designed a "Frequent Reviewer" points program, with rewards ranging from time in a world-class recording studio for bands, to VIP concert tickets for fans.
Every month, top-rated bands will receive $250,000 recording contracts and will be matched with respected producers, engineers and other industry insiders who make up the site's advisory board. At press time, board members included Jim Dickinson, Dave Jerden, Paul Kolderie, Sean Slade, Stephen Hague, Ed Stasium, Clive Langer and Alan Winstanly, Nick Launay, Tim Palmer, Rick Novels, Dave Way, Mathew Wilder and Stephen Lironi.
Harrison says the site "offers every group an equal opportunity to be discovered-not just those playing in the big cities. For the music industry, we want garageband.com to be the prime A&R Internet site, both by identifying hot, new artists to sign and promote, and also by developing and nurturing those promising new bands that are not quite ready to head into the studio to cut their first album."
TIMELINE, TASCAM ANNOUNCE ALLIANCETimeLine Vista Inc. announced at the 107th AES convention that it has entered into a long-term audio product development agreement with Tascam. This alliance will result in a line of professional audio products and will carry the names of both companies. The MX 24-24 digital disk recorder and the TL-Sync machine debuted at AES. "Our collaboration with Tascam on the MM Series product line has shown how well the two companies can work as a team," TimeLine Vista president Bob McDonald said. "We expect this new line to further extend our successful track record together."
FAIRLIGHT MOVING TO HOLLYWOODFairlight ESP President and CEO David Hannay announced that the company's worldwide management of all sales, marketing, finance and administration programs will move to Fairlight USA's new corporate campus in Hollywood, effective January 1, 2000. Audio Research & Development, design and manufacturing operations will continue to be based in Sydney and Perth.
"The United States is our single largest market, and we believe that, as an American corporation, we will be better positioned geographically to meet the needs of our growing global customer base, access emerging new technologies and, as well, a broader capital base," said Hannay.
A number of senior management appointments were made in conjunction with the move: John Lancken assumed the position of senior VP, Worldwide sales; Mervyn McCulloch is executive VP, finance; and Greg Sampson is the new Internet business manager. All will be based in the States.
EMTEC GIVES $30,000 OF MEDIA TO PRESERVE AMERICAN MUSICEMTEC Pro Media announced the award of three grants to the following institutions that collect, preserve and archive American music: The Country Music Hall of Fame, the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, and the Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College. In-kind grants of archiving media, valued at $10,000 each, went to the three institutions.
BOGEN BUYS APOGEE SOUNDApogee Sound, a private company for nearly 15 years, recently became a wholly owned subsidiary of Bogen Communications International. The new company, called Apogee Sound International LLC, will remain headquartered in Northern California and will continue to design and manufacture loudspeakers, amplifiers, signal processors and accessories for the pro audio industry.
"As a subsidiary of a public company, we now possess many strengths and abilities that will propel the growth of the company," said newly appointed president Ken De Loria. "Emphasis will be placed on expanding our product line and cultivating new market segments. Our expanded engineering pool will enable development of a wide range of products, especially in the digital realm."
LAMBERT AND HATSCHEK TO COLLABORATEMel Lambert, head of Media&Marketing, and Keith Hatschek, founder of Keith Hatschek & Associates, announced that their two firms will cooperate to offer a range of research services-including surveys, focus groups and analysis-to the pro audio, broadcast and video production industries.
The initial effort will be a series of focus groups to determine what users need and expect from small-format digital audio consoles. The results will be sold on a subscription basis to a limited number of sponsor companies.
CORRECTIONSIn the "Technology Spotlight" on the InnovaSON Sensory II Digital Live Sound Mixing Console (September), we noted that the sound services for the Gipsy Kings tour were provided by Denver Audio. The actual name of the company is AUDIO DENVER, and more information on it can be found at www.AUDIODENVER.com. Our apologies.
The Audio Education Directory (August) included an old area code for Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, Calif. Their updated number is 925/439-0200.
In the story on Irving's Place (October), we misspelled the name of staff writer/producer/engineer Casey Chester. We regret the error.
In October, we stated that Piers Plaskitt was named vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Euphonix. In fact, he is president, worldwide sales and marketing.