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First ever Edinburgh Festival Of Sound to be held at Teviot Row House

From November 16-17, Teviot Row House will host the first Edinburgh Festival Of Sound, which will explore the latest tech shaping pro audio. Festival producer Russell McMahon tells PSNEurope what visitors can expect from the event’s inaugural outing...

Located in the heart of the Scottish capital and co-created by Signum Audio and Red Dog Music, the first ever Edinburgh Festival Of Sound promises two days of product showcases, live demos, Q&As and workshops, all aimed at shedding some light on the most cutting edge audio technology available. Taking place at Teviot Row House from November 16-17, the event will explore the ever-evolving world of immersive sound, whilst also investigating the ways in which AR and AI are influencing the audio industry.

PSNEurope’s editor Daniel Gumble spoke to festival producer Russell McMahon to find out more…

Why did you decide to launch this event?

The Edinburgh Festival Of Sound was an idea that came about when we (Signum Audio) and Alex Marten (MD at MI and pro audio retailer Red Dog Music) got together. The idea was to create a festival which is broader than a music festival, concentrating on what we have at heart: the beauty and wonder of sound; the sense of hearing and what you can
do with your equipment. That one thing that brings together the equipment that Red Dog Music sells, and the work that Signum Audio does with software. Between the work that all of us do, we have a great network of people involved in the audio community doing great things, and the festival just naturally grew legs of its own into the exciting project that it is becoming.

Who are you hoping to attract to the show?

Anyone with any level of interest in audio. We have curated the programme so there is literally something for everyone, from a professional or academic level working in the industry wanting to tap into the latest trends in audio at the North AudioTEK forum, to hobbyists and bedroom producers looking to hone their skills or get new gear, and to people just looking for a fun day out that love music and sound. Under 14s can enter for free, so it’s also a great day out for mums and dads that work in or have an interest in audio, and might think that their child might be into it as well.

Talk us through what the festival has to offer?

The festival has three main sections. We have the North AudioTEK forum, which is tailored to professionals working in research and development, both in the industry and academia. We have the Exhibitor Zone where you can get hands on with the latest audio gear from companies like Roland, Akai, Universal Audio and Teenage Engineering, and you might also grab yourself a good deal on some gear from the likes of Red Dog Music. Then we have The Study Sessions where we’ll have performances, talks and demos happening, tailored more for education and entertainment. We will also have production workshops from Ableton, and even one where you can build and programme your own synth module. There will be interactive exhibits that include a Giant Roland 303 you can play, and we’re throwing a big party on the Friday night which is being hosted by EH-FM and powered by Funktion-One.

What are the key subjects you’ll be covering in your talks and workshops?

The talks revolve around the latest trends this year in audio, and are chosen to inspire people to get involved. During North AudioTEK we’ve got everything from AI in mixing and talks about immersive audio, to talks about sonic arts and how to make audio more accessible. The sessions will include talk and performances on experimental instruments, music production tips, and feature overviews of the latest gear with demonstrations.

Why should professional audio businesses exhibit?

Scotland is a fantastic location for the Festival Of Sound because we have a strong, close-knit audio community with its finger on the pulse of the latest developments in audio technology. Professionals and businesses will get a lot out of the North AudioTEK forum, which discusses the very latest audio trends, and will attract a credible pool of talent from the academic world who are looking to work in the industry.

There are loads of enthusiastic people here in Scotland, plenty of audio-related academic courses, great studios, a thriving events and festival industry, and it’s a beautiful city that attracts an international community. The plan is for us to make this an annual festival that will evolve with developments in the industry. Being part of the Festival of Sound puts you right at the centre of this Audio community where everyone comes together!