Monday, November 07, 2005

Welcome To The Hotel California-Remix Hotel hits LA, Nov 4-6, 2005

Remix Hotel invaded The Musician's Institute in Hollywood this weekend, giving music tech heads a inside peek at a virtual MIDI heaven! The long running conference has established itself as the place to see new music technology. This weekend was no exception as musicians experienced first hand the "total technology immersion" that was Remix Hotel 2005. The
Musicians Institute proved to be the perfect setting for the conference, as the classrooms were filled with soft and hardware manufacturers showing their new products. Many companies offered small workshop sessions of their new gear, while the main auditorium served as the meeting room for the panels and performances. The halls of The Musician's Institute were filled producers, musicians pro and novice, students and curious onlookers, wondering where all
the ruckus was coming from.

The world famous event kicked off Friday night, October 4th, in Hollywood for the first time. As I walked into the main passages, I was greeted by a DJ Battle, with a grand prize of $5,000, that was just starting in the main passage. Several people were gathered, listening to the DJs show off their skills on the new Mackie D-2 mixer. The vibe was very cordial and all seemed to be very excited to see Remix in Los Angeles. Up in the VIP section, we were treated to
appetizers by The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. Appetizers isn't really the right word for a Turkey & Roast Beef with cheese sandwich, salad, cookies, soda and
free Brahma beer. That' a full lunch in my opinion, but the point is they treated us very well. The fun was just beginning.

The real action took place on Saturday, as the panels and showcases kicked in full gear. One of the drawbacks of one of these events is there are so many things to do and see, you will invariably miss something. Personally, I was more drawn to the product showcases than the panels. I could have spent the entire day in the Digidesign/M-Audio room, listening to the M-Audio workshop. The guys at M-Audio started a Pro Tools M Powered 7 session to show the ease of the updated program. Later we watched as violinist and M-Audio rep Laura Escude played live and record on the fly with the new M Powered 7. The performance, production and the program are were equally impressive.

I got lost in the Vestax room for about an half hour, and had to go back later for another half hour. Vestax may not be the biggest name in DJ gear, but they are about to change all that with some of their new product. As I am a soon to be out of retirement DJ, I was able to fill my Christmas wish list in this one room. I may be on the fence as to which CD Player I want, there is no doubt about that the QFO DJ, designed by DJ QBert and Yoga Frog, is the one thing I need in my life. With it's built in mixer, cross fader curve control, 2 Band EQ, 180 degrees of pitch control, this turntable looks like a model of the Millennium Falcon, with the same amount of fire power. (Click here to see video of D JQBert working the QFO!)

When Joe Jack Giacopelli, the Vestax rep, held the QFO turntable on it's side and the thing kept playing the record, I was done. Good thing this wasn't a cash and carry event, because I would be broke right about now. If that wasn't enough, the TT-M1vinyl control unit sealed the deal. The little device connects into your CD player and hooks onto your turntable, giving DJ the option to scratch their CD, on a turntable with real time feel that some CD turntables lack. This went on the top of my wish list!

Actually, there were great products in all the rooms! The Roland/Edirol room had the slick
Motion Drive Tokyo Performance
package. The VJ software acts like visual synthesizer, with it's cross fader and clip cue sections. This tool is great for live performances and comes with a controller unit. The Rane Serato room had the impressive Scratch Live program that is slowly taking over DJ booths worldwide. The software/hardware combo set allows you to mix files from your computers CD or hard drive and connects them to your turntables. It comes with 2 vinyl LPs that have are coded to work with the program. In other words, you can take your laptop with ALL your music files to the party, and never have to carry and re-stock those heavy flight cases again. This program is the hottest thing on the block right now. If your a DJ and you don't have this yet, you're sleeping! This is a must have!

I could go on and on about the products. Pioneer, Numark, Cakewalk, Stanton, Rane, and Alesis are just a few of the sponsors that were on hand at Remix Hotel. I did manage to catch a few seconds of the panel "Record & Radio Production in the Digital Age." Walking through the halls of M.I., I bumped into a legendary hip-hop producer, Hank Shocklee and kicked it with him for a minute before he was mobbed by fans, producers, and anyone else who recognized the world famous beat smith. I wanted to get a in-depth interview with him, but he was whisked away to the panel session. I also caught up with Dan The Automator in the VIP area, and exchanged hellos and monkey prices between appetizer bites. Grandmaster DST was in the spot as well, along with the soon to be large hip-hop/r&b new age duo, Sa-Ra. As the night approached, we all went to the after party at the Avalon, for more good times and free booze.

All in all, Remix Hotel was a tremendous success. The event continued on Sunday, but this mild mannered reporter took a rain check. The night's party before really took a toll on me, as the free drinks flowed from 7pm to well in the morning. Stay tuned for the filmed coverage from The Remix Hotel and the after party at my affiliate site,

Thanks to Eric Hutton (send the girls to Miami) and Kylee Swenson at Remix Magazine, Shelli Andranigian at Andranigian Media (hope you didn't get lost!), Pinky Vargas at Mackie (Tell them Pinky sent you!), Maureen at NARAS (sorry about the tired comment, I meant it as a compliment to a job well done) John Ikuma and everyone at Musicians Institute for hosting a incredible event.

Next stop...REMIX HOTEL, MIAMI 2006!