Winter Music Conference

Hotel Party

Think of it as career day for DJs. Technology and music pioneers present three days of workshops, demonstrations, and Q&A sessions to enlighten aspiring musicians during Remix magazine's Remix Hotel Miami 2005. "It's an extension of what we do at the magazine -- focusing on the technical and creative aspects of music [and] to learn the nuts and bolts of making a solid recording," says Remix editor Kylee Swenson. Remix Hotel is now in its third year at WMC. "The manufacturers give demos on the latest gear. It's a creative and fun way to learn the process of making music." But don't think of it as school, says Swenson. "It's a friendly environment with a buzzing atmosphere of people enjoying the music. There are a lot of people who just come to hang out. It's not too studious."

Remix magazine launched in 1999 "to reach a younger generation," says Jo Zola, Remix associate publisher. "It was a time when two turntables and a mixer were outselling guitars and amps." Remix is published by Primedia, which also publishes the magazines Mix (more of a trade journal for professionals in the sound and recording industries) and Electronic Musician (for home-recording enthusiasts who have the money to spend). "Remix is oriented to the artist, with DJs on the cover versus gear," says Zola. "The average age of our readers is 29 ... and the number one instrument they plan to buy is a laptop." Zola could hardly contain her enthusiasm when discussing the educational and networking opportunities the Remix Hotel offers to up-and-coming musicians. "Manufacturers, producers, engineers, and DJs will interact with them one-on-one. It's a free event that's about the education and the interaction." And the Remix editors and staff pick up new information as well. "New columns in the magazine have been born out of Remix Hotel," says Zola. "It's so cool for [us] to interact with our readers."

Even if you don't know a damn thing about transducer technology and signal processors, you can listen to live music and drink up several complimentary cocktails at Urb magazine's poolside Urb Village. And there's always cool free stuff to snag. Presenting sponsor Apple will be giving away an iPod Shuffle every hour during each day's sessions, and those who register will have a chance to win a FinalScratch 2 from Stanton.

Other technology partners on hand to answer questions include Digidesign, Alesis, E-MU Systems, Mackie, and M-Audio, and there's also Q&A sessions with performers including Murk, Grandmaster Caz, Jazzy Jay, and Ken Jordan of the Crystal Method. Murk's Oscar G said his biggest concern is being able to stay awake for his afternoon time slot (since he'll be DJ'ing all night), but he realizes how beneficial these sessions are for new DJs trying to bust into the business. "When you're on the outside, it's like this weird group that you can't get into," says Oscar G. "I wish there was something like this when I was coming into the industry."

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Lyssa Oberkreser
Contact: Lyssa Oberkreser

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