Thursday, May 15, 2014



I suddenly wanted to produce my own beats and even did a self learning session right after the "Sync: Music + Tech 2014" conference presented by SPINNR Indie (sponsored by JBMusic and Jack Daniel's) at Black Market

What resources did I use? Macbook, iPad apps, Youtube, Soundcloud, whatever help our WiFi can give me, and a reliable ears for sound. Mobile technology and internet has inevitably influenced the production, promotion and distribution of music. Is this the best time to exhaust digital audio? Some of our independent artists shares how.

Arrived at the venue almost 5pm, Smart's Jimmy Ayson, Abby Borja and Vida Sioson welcomed the event with the opening remarks and introduction to Smart's SPINNR Indie - the independent artist program of SPINNR. 
Monica Francesca hosted the event

Barbie Almalbis shared and talked about her stompbox and how music technology helped her innovate and better her performances. 

Music business prof Mony Romana (who also organized CSB's Music Business Week) shared some music business tips to independent artists. He said that music business isn't just about selling music and even quoted an Amanda Palmer line: 

“I think people have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is, ‘How do we make people pay for music?’ What if we started asking, ‘How do we LET people pay for music?"

Mony Romana also advised artists to know who their audience are and even suggested Grooveshark's analytics tool Beluga.

Singer / songwriter and former The Voice contestant Lee Grane went next and talked about how music technology can help you let your voice be heard, with consideration to the social responsibilities of artists at this modern age. She also performed her latest single "Sana" which is now available on Spinnr. 

Standing at the open bar drinking Iced tea while listening to Lee Grane's soulful voice

Following Lee Grane is admittedly a new (yet great) discovery - Jorge Juan B. Wieneke V aka Similarobjects, a beat-maker, musician and experimental artist. He started his talk by sharing how he is open to listen to all sorts of influences and advised us to do the same.
He has been listening to other samples to help his craft

Similarobjects also did some sampling / demo for the Roland SP404x which you can watch in this video:

Now it's Peso Movement's guitarist and music journalist Francis 'Brew' Reyes' turn to speak. He compared software / hardware (music) to men's wear with his statement: "Technology doesn't mean shit if you don't know how to write a good song".

I had no idea he did the musical scoring for MTRCB (that sound behind "Ang susunod na palabas ay Rated PG" ;D). He didn't get paid that much for it but what he regrets is to not having been able to at least asked for credit. I mean yeah, who knew it was him behind that all familiar sound right?
Francis sharing to us his music tools

Francis Reyes described how recording was for them before the rise of digital music. He talked about track bouncing and his early record days with The Dawn where they only have little options. They have to be on top of their game all the time coz if they don't get to record it right, they would have to go through the whole process all over again. And we're just talking about demo recordings here.

He continued his comparison over soft and hardware, even noticing this Orange amp Rockerverb MKII on his left side:
Orange Rockerverb 100 MKII

He then went on sharing how he appreciates Mac and Garageband, that though it is a default app present on Macbook, it doesn't mean it won't take you to as much as other paid apps you use to produce music. 

Francis 'Brew' Reyes pointed out again that we shouldn't let technology dictate what the trend (in music) is, let you dictate what a good song is.

Francis Reyes has been using the Garageband for all his project for 5 years now

As for the issue of foreign acts vs. OPM, Francis said: "Learn from foreign artists and make something better". 

Last to speak was Atty. Vin Dancel, a musician / lawyer / co-founder of Republikha and founder of Ritmo Learning Lab (whew, what a diverse profile you get there sir!).

Ritmo Learning Lab's aim is to create innovative and engaging teaching tools that incorporate art and music for every Filipino. They create apps (they're planning or they already have an app for public school teachers), iBooks and social enterprise.

One of Ritmo's creation is Joomajam, which is also powered by Republikha. Joomajam is a full length album featuring 13 of the country's brightest talents performing ALL ORIGINAL songs for preschoolers. Yes! Joomajam's aim is to teach children through music, ang cool! We got to listen to some of its tracks like Gary V.'s Salamin and Rivermaya & Jolina's song about books. Parents, you can download the Joomajam app for free!

Atty. Vin Dancel also mentioned the need to raise money to help fund their recordings and that they are also looking for more independent artists to join them.

Our tummies are all very satisfied as well. Aside for the overflowing free iced tea and beer, they also served a tasteful buffet. Was so glad to indulge on Iced tea the whole event, despite the temptation of the open bar. Well I got a bottle of Pale Pilsen but only finished less than half of it.

After the speakers and formal set-up, the attendees then gathered at the middle to listen and experience SYNC's performances!

I am in awe with my other discovery: beat-maker and singer Joee Mejias aka Joee and I!

Of course Francis 'Brew' Reyes gave us a sample of his digital audio creations too, yup together with his ever reliable Macbook.

The complete crew of Sinyma wasn't able to attend, except for Madz Abubakar aka Abdel Aziz. 

He showed us a demo of the Ableton Push, and later on played their latest track which I pretty much enjoyed (watch video below).

Then it was Similarobjects' turn to showcase original beats to us dancing crowd. Getting closer to their tools made me want to steal them and play with it at home haha!

Today's technology and digital era did create movement on the music industry, which in my opinion is for the better, as long as handled accordingly. I just hope that electronics won't take over the genuineness of sounds to music that deserves the authenticity. That technology won't compromise the social interaction music brings. That the accessibility and internet connected music world won't jeopardize the thrill of the chase. 

And that this day and age of music we are in to may encourage others to start creating their own beats of self expression. 

As what Francis 'Brew' Reyes reminded us: 

Use technology as your advantage but don't let it dictate your music... it's just a tool!

About Fao Rani Yarte

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