One of the highlights of the 2nd Annual Nashville Recording
Workshop + Expo was the active demo, ‘Capturing Electric
Guitar and Bass,’ with engineer Russ Long (seated, center)
conducting a live session on stage with guitarist Guthrie
Trapp (with the Tele) and bassist John Billings (not shown)
with an assist from engineer Lynn Fuston (standing, right).
by Frank Wells.
Nashville, TN—The second annual Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo, held March 5-6 at Belmont University’s Curb Event Center, was packed with informative and evocative presentations, beginning with a keynote address by artist and studio owner Ben Folds, who treated the NRW+E attendees to previews of tracks from an as yet unreleased new project. Speaking from his own varied approaches to the recording process, Folds illustrated the interaction of creativity and technology, reminding the audience that the focus is “always, the music first.”
The emphasis at NRW+E was on practical information, letting home-studio owners understand how audio professionals work, but also tapping into the presenters’ experience to give attendees takeaway tips and techniques that they could apply to improving their own productions. “It’s easy to fill a stage with purely ‘talking head’ panels, and while such discussions have their place, the mission of NRW+E is enhanced when we can incorporate audible examples of the subjects being discussed, including live on-stage demonstrations,” commented NRW+E committee member and president-elect of the international AES organization, Jim Kaiser. “This year’s NRW+E included even more of these active presentations than last year, from recording vocals to capturing electric guitar and bass to long-distance collaboration to using virtual tracks–all to the delight of the attendees.”
Ben Folds discussed creativity and
technology in his NRW+E keynote.
In the NRW+E exhibition space, pro audio manufacturers and retailers demonstrated hardware and software for attendees. The Expo area was also the location for a Sweetwater Pro Audio sponsored reception the first evening of NRW+E.
Attendance at the 2010 NRW+E was up over 10 percent from the previous year, with the ample space of the Curb Event Center allowing continued growth in future years. The CEC staff, aided by Blackbird Audio Rentals and by the Belmont-student-run sound reinforcement company, Clear As A Bell, set a complicated and sophisticated stage for the presentations, including a full Digidesign/Avid Pro Tools rig and a portable sound booth from exhibiting sponsor, Whisper Room. A legion of students from Belmont, MTSU, SAE Institute of Nashville and IADT’s Nashville campus aided the professional NRW+E staff during the conference.
Organizations like AFM 157, NSAI and The Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing also participated in NRW+E. The Nashville recording community of audio professionals, joined by nationally known audio pros like studio designer John Storyk, were generous in their support of NRW+E. Presenters included producer Nathan Chapman (co-producer with Taylor Swift), engineers Chuck Ainlay, Trina Shoemaker, Niko Bolas and songwriters Ray Kennedy and Pru Clearwater, to name but a fraction of the NRW+E lineup.
The Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo is a production of the AES Nashville Section and Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, in conjunction with the Audio Engineering Society in NY.
In the interest of full disclosure, PSN editor Frank Wells serves as program chair for NRW+E.
Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo