Sound on Sound Magazine: San Francisco show is bigger and better than ever

On Saturday 11 November, Music Expo returned for its fourth outing in San Francisco. With over 800 attendees, the day of talks, recording sessions, workshops, and hands-on gear demos was a roaring success. 

The original idea for Music Expo came to founder and organiser Loic Maestracci ten years ago when he was watching David Earl’s SFLogicNinja YouTube channel. The inspiration was to take all bedroom producers out of their bedrooms to meet in real life. So, it’s quite fitting that David Earl should present at Music Expo this year, talking about composition for games, introducing the new NI Maschine MK3 and Komplete Kontrol MK2 and also to interview Emily Lafon in a session entitled 'Working With Artists’.

Kicking off proceedings at SAE Expression College in Emeryville was industry heavyweight and inventor Roger Linn with an opening keynote. Then on the second stage, mastering engineer Piper Payne (Third Eye Blind, Madame Gandhi, Ray Cooper) gave a talk about the unintended consequences of mastering tools.

Songwriting coach Jai Josefs ran a packed workshop on the underlying principles that are key to mastering lyrics and music. Nahuel Bronzini and Aaron Gibson ran a fascinating live recording session with The Experience String Quartet which was great opportunity to learn about mic placement.

Producer Decap's masterclass was a massive hit and saw him crafting a track on the spot in front of the audience. Other highlights included a practical workshop focusing on critical listening with Grammy-nominated producer Jay-J; a session on boosting your creativity with modular synthesizers; a demonstration by mastering engineer and Lead Product Specialist at iZotope, Geoff Manchester on how to get your tracks ready for release; a demonstration of Ableton’s new Live 10 DAW and Push 2 controller; and a particularly interesting session on how to start a successful studio and record label business.

Also, for the first time, Music Expo SF ran one-on-ones, allowing attendees to get face time with speakers. Music Expo also partnered with Today’s Future Sound who had six and nine-year-old kids producing a track during the show. They even got a chance to play it to the audience during the closing ceremony.

On top of all that is the expo itself, a exhibition attended by some of the industry’s top brands including Ableton, Antelope, Arturia, iZotope, Eventide. Native Instruments, VIntage King, Yamaha, Shure, Keith McMillen and Dave Smith Instruments.

“We’ve seen so much growth this year. First, we expanded to two new cities by bringing Music Expo to Miami and Boston for the first time early this year. Now, we are really excited to see the attendance of the SF show growing 35% over last year” says Loic Maestracci, the founder of Music Expo. While you’ll have to wait until November 2018 for the next Music Expo in San Francisco, Music Expo Miami will take place on March 24 at SAE Institute during Miami Music Week.