BPM, the DJ Expo at Birmingham’s NEC is back again. I’m especially excited, as The Wife has let me go on the Saturday when the guest DJ is none other than Grand Master Flash himself – YEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!
Have been working on a surprise for The Wife for Sunday (various reasons – won’t divulge here).
Will let you know how BPM goes down – if you don’t here from me, chances are I made a right mess of Sunday………………
The DJ at American Audio. Curiously, wearing a Union Jack jacket, Either doing his thing for Anglo American relations or at the wrong fancy dress party......................
Parm Panesar (at Denon, obviously). This bloke has stamina - he seemed to be on the decks from the moment I got into the place 'til I left - quite a long set...
A couple of So Solid freestyling, ahead of their set at the BPM Arena
I have got some video, but have had a few issues getting it up here, but have found a better quality version of some of what happened at Reloop, made by the guys themselves:
Also found footage of the NI Traktor S4 controller (Mmmm……)
Anyway, I sat in on Tony Andrew’s ‘The Importance of Quality Audio’ talk (Thanks for the heads up on that one, Looby).
Tony Andrews seminar at BPM 2010. A man with a passionate belief & has made me look again at how I record my work.
Whilst not the most dynamic of presentations, he is clearly a man passionate about his subject, making genuine, salient points about quality audio in the digital domain.
Initially, the start of the talk was somewhat ‘esoteric’ (at one point I though I was going to get my head shaved & get married off to a pineapple), but once past that the essential thrust of the seminar was of importance to anyone caring about what they listen to & that is:
We are so used to consuming everything for the sake of convenience, particularly regarding music that quality is trailing a VERY poor second.
We spend more time choosing our digital music players than the quality of the content that goes on them.
This is having a trickle-down effect on every aspect of music (radio, live work, recording, etc).
Compressed audio formats (such as mp3), were designed to suit the needs of an much older Internet (lower bandwith, slower PCs) & lower spec machines with considerably less storage than that now available.
While computers & the internet has evolved, many of these formats haven’t & are constrained by the limitations they had in the inception.
(he summed it up nicely – do I want 10,000 lower quality mp3s on my Ipod or 1000 good quality ones?)
In my day job (I work in education) – we have a generation who already are unfamiliar with CDs, & in many case, you put on a CD quality track, they can’t cope because there’s too much audio information.
Didn’t get to see the DJ Mag tech Awards this year, but did get to run into DJ Mag’s Tech Editor,Mick Wilson – surprisingly, he remembered me from last time (odd that, as no restraining orders were involved. Maybe it’s a sign of my continued growth as a human being).
Attended ‘Produce>Promote..’ panel
Produce' promote... Q&A session with (from left): Mark Jones Guenter Loibl, Sally McKlintock & Rebecca Saforia)
with Mark Jones (Co-founder of BPM), Guenter Liobl, CEO of Rebeat, Sally McClintock of DMC, Rebecca Saforia (Trance DJ & composer of this year’s (first) BPM Anthem).
Interesting & informative. Got passed over in the Q&A (maybe try to be more assertive), but did get a chance to chat afterwards with Mark (nice man, suitably adult hair), Rebecca (warm & chatty).
The main points they seemed to put across were:
Think globally (always remember the home market, but the Net give you a potential audience of billions)
Don’t give up – persistence & patience pay off. (That said, if something isn’t working, leave it, try another track, avenue or tactic).
Network, network, network – not just using the Internet. Actually going up to people & talking to them can open up opportunities.
I got to speak to Guenter later on. I’m not sure if he understood what I was trying to say (that said, I know I’m often given to rather long, rambling dialogues, so it’s understandable), To his credit, he was patient, & encouraging. A gentleman by any other name.
Dodgy celeb lookalike alert – ‘Ulrika Jonsson’ (or some rather low-rent approximation) wandering through the BPM Arena during the prize draws. Which I didn’t win. Again. Roll on next year…………………………………..
Once again it was that time of year, earlier this month. This year’s event coincided with our Anniversary – major pain (that said, circumstances conspired to have us celebrate on the Saturday with me being able to go on the Sunday (LOADS of love to my darling Wifey on that one!! xxxxxx)
Though it seemed not quite as many exhibitors were there this year, it was still quite a show to get around. On this day I found:
No, simmer down!
DJ at BPM Vestax stand
Don’t get the knives out to carve up my sexist backside – I’m not talking in terms of eye-candy ‘brolley dollies’, none of that nonsense, I mean ladies on the stands Djing, demonstrating & advising. This was something I thought was lacking from an otherwise excellent exhibition last year, & it looks like they’ve taken it on board. A welcome change in my book, not a moment too soon.
Quite a few djs were there, & as usual, standards were high. DJ Angelo was back – check his MySpace & very good easy-to-follow tutorials (bloody nice bloke). DJ Ratzi (find his Facebook page). A couple of the So Solid Crew had a spontaneous freestyle session before their set in the BPM Arena. I even captured some of this on video. If it’s not up by the time this goes on the site, I’ll try to get it sorted. Also ran into DJ SS, one of the guys from my way, back in the old days, looking well & really up for his set later on.
To get through this day I found the following was helpful
A well stocked bag – important.
Being a cheapskate, I take my own provisions, using the on-site facilities for top ups/snacks rather than anything substantial. Also, some of the free bags aren’t as strong as you need if you’re spending on lots of items or a few awkward/bulky ones. The downside is, you have to carry the damn thing with you all day & negotiating your way through crowds/doors/ stands can be quite a test of one’s spatial awareness & physical endurance. The weather on the day also meant taking a coat. Oh joy.
You’ll never have enough, but it helps to have some idea of what you want to get before you go. That at least gives you something approaching a budget. Most places do fairly good deals, & I came home with a few choice bargains, much to the annoyance of my (long-suffering) wife. Ooops!
Network – approach people AND talk to them
It’s a DJ exhibition so go & speak to people about dj/sound stuff. Selling or buying, their there to make contact – plus they’re human, they can be approached, other wise they wouldn’t be there
Demos – If you’ve got any give ’em out, drop ’em off
This year, I had something vaguely resembling a plan
Go to the SAE Learning Zone, get some advice on automation & set up of my Korg Nano stuff in Ableton (Got some good advice on automation, showing I still have a limited practical aptitude, but I’m working on that. Forgot about the Nano stuff though)
Go to a couple of seminars, particularly about Serato’s The Bridge (Missed that, but got to have a chat with the guys in their Demo Room – bloody nice, the CEO/Inventor/developer of Serato also came in & had a bit of a natter. Not often that happens, top marks, people!
Take cash but don’t over spend (oops!)
(Well, I didn’t break the bank or indulge in any ‘lose the house & sell your kids’ – type of spending, but I will have to watch the pennies, for the time being at least).
This time I took a digital camera with a CHARGED battery. It’s amazing how little things like that make such a difference. It held out, allowing me to document the proceedings in something approximating their glory.
The SAE Learning Zone at BPM
The Serato Demo Room. Those lovely Kiwis, flew all the way here & dealt with my questions, despite my profound ignorance. Bless 'em.