South African musicians get vocal
SOUTH AFRICA: The DownTown Music Hub played host to the recent Vocal Techniques Workshop. The training was convened by Mzansi Music Magazine and the Female DJ Network, with Prosound and Audio-Technica, as well as the studio acting as sponsors.
The workshop was split into three distinct categories. The day began with singers; Sió, Charlene Lai and RubyGold holding a panel discussion that highlighted the skills required to succeed as a vocalist in the South African music business. The performers shared their background and offered tips on what to avoid and where to concentrate when establishing a career as a professional vocalist. They discussed a wide range of topics from how to approach song writing to establishing a personal brand as a performer.
The Audio-Technica sponsored second session saw Prosound set up a stage on the DownTown Music Hub’s rooftop balcony where veteran monitor and FOH engineer, Lee Brune, explained how a live performance is very much a team effort. He covered various aspects of live sound reinforcement systems with particular emphasis on monitoring and microphone choice. Microphone handling techniques and stagecraft were also discussed, followed by some spontaneous acapella performances by the singers as well as members of the audience.
The final session went back inside to the facility’s Studio One. Paul Martin from the DownTown Music Hub, discussed how artists could prepare for sessions and save themselves time, money and aggravation by effectively planning their recording sessions. He also presented tips and tricks from DownTown Studio’s Happy session Guide. Studio engineer Clifford “Riffi” Machingaifa, then hosted a live demonstration and discussion on studio microphone techniques with the assistance of Charlene Lai.
‘These types of events are critical in assisting in the development of the South African music industry. This 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,’ reflected Mr Martin. ‘The DownTown Music Hub was happy to assist with the hosting of the event as we believe the best music has always been made by small groups of individuals who play together with a common artistic vision. By having frank and open conversations, learning new techniques and networking with our peers we can only help improve our standards and encourage collaboration between 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,’ he continued. ‘We ensured a flawless event through the use of Audio-Technica’s superb products and through imparting some of Prosound’s years of experience in the live sound and studio environments to an audience that was eager to learn.’
The event was aimed at all the young aspiring vocalists with 28 in attendance. The reaction from the audience was reportedly very positive with everyone seeing the benefit of taking part.
‘These workshops are important as they hopefully provide motivation and equip upcoming musicians with the knowledge and skills they need in order to make it within the South African music industry,’ concluded Mr Martin. ‘They encourage collaboration and the establishment of co-operative business networks. With high quality local content in demand at the moment, it can only benefit the industry at large if we share our skills and experience with each other and really raise the bar for quality South African music and entertainment.’