Awards & Training

Industry heavyweights give back to young musicians

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:40

Vocalists RubyGold and Sia

Prosound boasts as rich a history as DownTown Studios and was actually based in the very same street in Johannesburg - Fox Street - for many years. Prosound and DownTown Studios have long been discussing ways of collaborating in a way that benefits local artists. This event was an ideal opportunity to make a positive contribution through the sharing of technical expertise and the right product range to make it all possible in Audio-Technica. Using Audio-Technica’s products, Prosound and the DownTown team imparted some of their years of experience in the live sound and studio environments to an audience that was eager to learn.

About 30 people attended the workshop, and were in rapt attention through three different sessions:

The day began with sngers Sió, Charlene Lai and RubyGold hosting a panel discussion that highlighted the skills required to succeed as a vocalist in the South African music business. These very talented young ladies shared a bit of their background with the audience and gave them a few tips on what to avoid and where to concentrate one’s efforts when establishing a career as a professional vocalist.

The second session was sponsored by Audio-Technica. Prosound set up a stage on the DownTown Music Hub’s rooftop balcony and facilitated a workshop with veteran monitor and FOH engineer, Lee Brune, who spoke to the idea that a live performance is very much a team effort. He delved into the various aspects of a live sound reinforcement system with particular emphasis on monitoring and correct microphone choice. Microphone handling techniques and stagecraft were also covered, followed by some spontaneous acapella performances by Sió, Charlene, and RubyGold as well as members of the audience.

The last session of the day was held in DownTown Studio’s legendary Studio One. Paul Martin from the DownTown Music Hub, discussed how artists could prepare for sessions and save themselves loads of time, money and aggravation by effectively planning their recording sessions. He also presented many tips and tricks from DownTown Studio’s “Happy session Guide” and then handed over to one of the studio’s engineers Clifford “Riffi” Machingaifa, who hosted a live demonstration and discussion on studio microphone techniques with the assistance of Charlene Lai.

“There’s lots of talent out there, but we’re noticing that it’s not being nurtured and developed,” says Martin. “There’s some amazing musicianship and skill, but very little practical advice on how take the next step when developing one’s career. Mzansi Music Magazine and the Female DJ Network, who together convened the event, feel that these types of events are critical in assisting in the development of the South African music industry, so the workshop was facilitated to assist upcoming artists learn both the practical technical skills as well as life skills required for success in our music industry.”