I’ll be flying from Toronto to Amsterdam, so as the song goes, “remember me to Herald Sq– God, sorry. It isn’t the prettiest part of Manhattan, exactly. Go in there and talk about music and then go to one of New York’s nicer parts. High Line! Photo by/(C) Oliver Chesler from last year; see the whole set.

CDM is a presenting sponsor of the IMSTA FESTA in New York on Saturday. It’s a completely free event, but registration is required. What’s notable about this sort of event is that it tends to be more directly musician-focused than big conferences like AES or the truly trade-only NAMM. Some of the highlights of which we’re taking note:

  • Vendor presentations by Native Instruments, Steinberg, Celemony, Propellerhead, Image Line, Waves, and Cakewalk should all be interesting as they all have new products, and say they’ll be showing some of them off. (Also present: McDSP, Pianoteq, SSL, and others.)
  • Legendary producer Hank Shocklee’s Shocklee “Innertainment” is involed, including talented chief Jo-Ann Nina.
  • Web music is front and central, including a look at the future of music platforms with our friend Oliver Chesler of the blog Wire to the Ear (with whom I’ve panelized a couple of times now), and Evolver.fm’s Eliot Van Buskirk. The CEO of Tunecore is on-hand, as is new cloud backup and sharing service for musicians Gobbler.
  • Production is there, too – think Hank moderating a panel with industry heavies on mixing pop, and teaching his own master class, plus drum programming.


Here’s the catch: normally, covering New York events is easy because I’ve been based in New York. But I’m currently on the road and based in Berlin for most of the remainder of 2011. So, if anyone wants to go and do some investigative research, take some video or the like, let me know!

Read last year’s write-up by Oliver on the panel I moderated:
imsta festa panel review [wiretotheear]

One other question, for the whole world and not just New York: what would your dream event look like? Where would it be? Would it be a mix of workshops and events? With so many events (Music Hack Days, trade shows, and the like), what aren’t you getting from present events? (Asia, Pacific, South America, Africa, interested in hearing from you, too, if you’re out there… not just Europe and North America.)

No specific context, but I do find the question comes up a lot.

  • I'll be there! I'm particularly interested in raising funding for a music related startup. Of course every event is good to network,  but I don't hear a lot of people discussing this subject, either the community, CDM or investors. For example, I can't seem to find one bit of info on the internet about valuation, nº of sales, investment or any adjacent information that would help us entrepreneurs understand the audio software market…

  • Hey Peter, I'm a longtime reader and videographer.  I'll film a bit could probably whip you up a highlight reel for CDM by monday.  Email me if you have anything special you want me to shoot – my email is my full name @ my full name dot com [avoiding bots].

  • midihendrix

    Looks very beginnerish and advertising driven.

    Especially since in the last week or so in NYC there were free workshops by Morton Subotnick, Mad Professor, Adrian Sherwood, and also free workshops on music publishing and field recording.

    The highlight of this event will be create digital, of course.

  • Peter Kirn

    Just to be clear, we're not involved in this event. We're a sponsor, but I wasn't involved in the programming, and we aren't sending someone to the event.

  • midihendrix

    By the way to answer the question, in my opinion, the best events are topically singular with a limited number of artists/lecturers, if not only one. (for obvious reasons)

    There is a trend…panels with lots of beginners will involve questions like "how do you make money?"

    Then typically an artist who is legendary enough to lecture is also not young. Therefore they will say  "I use the old technology, they don't make it like they used to" or "I try to keep up with some of the new technology" "technology is amazing" etc

    Other typical discussion topics involve the analog/digital debate, the importance of nonconformity, useless information about some esoteric piece of musical equipment.

    My favorite discussions break down the technical barriers and explore how the brain of the artist works. What inspires them, how life around them influences them, and the story of their creative journey. Alot of technical people might not be ready to commit to these vulnerable topics but for me this is where it becomes interesting and useful.

    As for music….the best nights are 1 artist, 1 focus. On a weekly basis….so we can all compress/decompress. Multiday music festivals with 200 artists is where quantity destroys quality of experience.

  • Peter Kirn

    Good feedback — always great to hear.