By Jacob Katel
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For three days, beginning March 22, some of world's leading music and technology pioneers will turn South Beach's National Hotel into the largest music technology showcase of the year. "[People] can come in, interact, converse with manufacturers, and learn about technology and new gear face to face in a real environment," says Joanne Zola, associate publisher and event director for Remix magazine.
Sponsored by Beatport and Microsoft, this free confab for technology junkies features workshops, interactive demonstrations, clinics, and Q&A sessions aimed at educating aspiring musicians. Participants touting their wares include industry giants such as the M3 Summit, Apple Computer, Roland, and Wired magazine. "What this event is, really, is our magazine come to life," quips Zola. Launched in 1999, Remix targets the musicians, engineers, and producers who create urban and electronic music and compose "a younger demographic."
"When Remix first started, we wanted to come down to the Winter Music Conference because it's the premier week of the year when all the big DJs and producers come to town," recalls Zola. "We knew that of the 40,000 people that come to Miami for the event, there was a percentage who are our target reader. But there has never been an event during WMC week that actually targets those guys with a specific technology event. What we decided to do was start our own."
Since its inception four years ago, RHMIA has become one of the most prestigious events of its kind and has spawned annual conferences in New York and Los Angeles.
"This event has become the annual pilgrimage for anyone serious about electronic music," adds Eric Schmidt from the professional digital media group at Microsoft.
Attendees with their sights set on mastering the ones and twos will have the opportunity to interact with some of the industry's most talented artists as they perform live sets from remodeled cabanas surrounding the hotel pool.
"When I was starting out, it was basically figure it out ... you had to fend for yourself," says Bad Boy Bill, one of the top talents scheduled to appear in the Beatport/Remix Hotel/M3 Sunset Sessions beginning at 5:00 p.m. daily. "This is just cool because not only are all the companies there that you can talk to directly, but other producers giving you their advice and their tips on what stuff they use and how they get things done."
But if you can't tell a Bozak from a Urei, never fear there is always the ubiquitous cocktail to be had, and every attendee will receive a gift card good for ten free Beatport downloads. And don't forget to register for some raffle tickets; every day during the event, organizers will give away a DJ set consisting of two CDJ-1000s and a Pioneer mixer.
Who knows? You, too, may soon begin searching for your own twelve-inch to scratch.