Oh, how Remix Hotel has grown. A great big apology from the Remix staff for the unruly lines at the Remix Hotel New York 2007 (May 18-20) for this year's panels: Some attendees had to wait over an hour in the hopes of watching Just Blaze, Rob Swift, Kode9, Buckshot, Hank Shocklee and Eric Kupper talk about producing tracks and still couldn't get in. Remix might have to knock down a few walls at the SAE Institute of Technology in Manhattan to make that panel room bigger (just kidding, SAE). But if you missed any of the action — whether you were in line or under house arrest thousands of miles away — we have the best moments captured on video (Remix TV) and audio (Sound Bytes) at remixhotel.com. You can hear a debate on achieving success with or without a record label (“Digital Distribution Deals” panel), listen to legendary musician Vernon Reid rant intelligently about musicians' “arrogance of mastery” (“The Musicians' Roundtable”) and watch Just Blaze talk about giving artists/clients what they want in the studio (“The Producers' Panel”). “If someone asks for steak and eggs, and you give them a lambchop, they're going to look at you sideways,” Blaze said.
Meanwhile, the gear geek half of Remix Hotel was backed by the unofficial theme that the latest music technology can make music production and performance easier, more flexible and more creative, rather than bogging the process down in tech purgatory. Top experts from all the manufacturers involved their newest innovations, including many “computer-optional” pieces — the Roland MV-8800 and Yamaha Motif XS workstations, the Access Virus TI synth, Vestax PMC-280 mixer and the Denon and Cortex hard-disk DJ systems among them — that delivered powerful potential to be unleashed with or without the aid of a connected computer. But software was definitely in the house, too, as Steinberg showed its robust, yet affordable, one-window DAW Sequel; Galbanum demoed its graphic-to-audio Metasynth 4; SoundToys spread word about version 3 of its cult-following plug-ins; and Stanton rocked its Final Scratch Open computer DJing system. Cakewalk explicitly made its presentation of its software instruments and Sonar 6 DAW all about what artists actually do with the products, bringing in film composers and producers such as Sharkey and Johnny Juice to give seminars.
The evolution of DJ performance was also on full display, as DJ Enferno demonstrated his Live Remix Project in the Rane/Serato room and Moldover showed what he calls live re-mashing — using a PC laptop and a severely modded Novation ReMote SL controller in the Microsoft/Crossfader.com booth. Next stop, Remix Hotel Atlanta this September!