The vendors and workshops at NAMM are invaluable for providing relative and current information for all things digital audio and digital media, which benefits many college programs in terms of staying current with the industry trends and the direction going forward in a business that is constantly evolving and changing.
Conversations with vendors like Brian Seagrave, who is the current Chair of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in Los Angeles, a worldwide organization, with about 14,000 members that include Recording Engineers, Producers, Composers, Broadcast Technicians, Sound Mixers, Students, Educators, Sound Designers, Film Mixers, and much more are invaluable. Mr. Seagrave gave the contact information of the current Chair (Jessica Livingston) of the San Francisco chapter. Seagrave expressed that it would be a great opportunity to create a sub-chapter of the San Francisco chapter at the community college in Santa Rosa to include a minimum of 10 students who would then be supported by the professional members of the San Francisco chapter who know where the audio jobs are from the South to North Bay Area in Northern California. AES is the audio industry standard for networking with mixers, speakers, workshops and more, which also includes an annual North American convention in locations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
Speaking with Kathryn Taub from the company Audinate, who manufactures a product called Dante, which is software and hardware used in audio computer labs to allow easy access to transfer files from a student station to the instructor station to share projects on the main screen with the class, proved to be a valuable resource for teaching audio production.
The NAMM Idea Center Sessions presented a series of talks with industry professionals on a wide range of topics.
The 5 Most Important Questions to Ask a Prospective Hire, which was a very well rounded approach to use during the interviewing process. These questions revealed a potential hire’s values, goals, what they need from an employer to be successful, why they want to be on your team vs the team they may be leaving, where and when they were most satisfied in their life, professional successes achieved that they wouldn’t necessarily want to do over again, team and client communication, what to do in uncomfortable or awkward situations, and how much of your attitude is under your control. This presentation included a full Power Point that broke down the value of these questions in terms of why the question(s) are important, the Key, and what to watch for in the interviewees answers and responses.
Music Publishing Essentials, which covered one of the most confusing areas of the music and recording business. Knowing the importance of this topic, in terms of financial success or losing out on potential income as a musician, composer and writer, this presentation included how to work with attorneys, agents, producers, percentages, collaborating artists, licensing, and the differences between the royalties for Writers, Publishers, Mechanical Royalties, and Synchronization Licenses. This topic absolutely should be a part of any audio program curriculum.
In addition to the countless vendors and workshops at NAMM, this convention also brings A-list artists from around the world who are demoing new gear, talking directly with attendees, and providing performances throughout the event.
The few highlights listed above are just a very small sampling of the countless vendors and workshops at NAMM. The overall experience is a rare opportunity to receive invaluable information first hand to help improve digital media programs including audio, film, virtual reality and animation.
Students completing these programs will become valuable mentors and advocates, able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge learned, to then share with aspiring media students, by utilizing and putting into practice the skills and techniques shared at such a unique gathering as NAMM.