Tech Do's and Don'ts

Sep 20, 2006 at 2:06 pm
Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins is this year's keynote artist at MidPoint.

The following panels and workshops take place during MidPoint's daytime hours at the Contemporary Arts Center, Sixth and Walnut streets in the heart of downtown. The workshops — which focus more on sound and recording and offer MPMFers a chance to talk directly to the pros — are located on the CAC's fifth floor, while the panel discussions take place on the museum's lower level "black box" theater space.

For musicians and music biz folks not yet registered, look for information on how to attend these events at

The CAC is also where artists and other attendees need to register and sign-in. "Mentor Sessions," where artists can chat one-on-one with industry pros, are available both days from 1-3 p.m. in the CAC's third floor conference room. Sign-ups for those begin at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

10 a.m.: "Indie MBA"

Be an independent band with a plan by checking out this overview panel dealing with things like licensing, law, technology, accounting, touring/booking and artist management. Panelists: Jeffrey Smith (Crash Avenue Publicity, Louisville); Michael Creamer (Creamer Management, Boston); Ryan Fielding (tour/production manager, Cincinnati); Jack Greiner (Graydon Head & Ritchey, Cincinnati); Chris Rose (Cincinnati); Lee Stanley (Ernst & Rabe, Cincinnati).

11:15 a.m.: "Technology Is a Musician's Best Friend"

Viral marketing is the new "hanging up fliers on telephone poles."

And it's much more effective, for everyone from the tiniest indie band to some of the biggest acts going. Learn how to best use Net tools (EPKs, music distribution, e-mail marketing, etc.) to your advantage. Cyberspace: It's not just for porn anymore! But still, mostly. Panelists: Jason Chilcoat (Our Music Experience, Cincinnati); David DeVore (Fanmail by Jambase, San Francisco); Mike Halloran (ZipScene, Cincinnati); Lou Paniccia (SonicBids, Boston).

12:30 p.m.: 2006 Industry Keynote Address with Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers is the embodiment of MPMF's independent spirit. He founded in 1998, offering indie bands and fans a one-stop online presence to buy and sell CDs. The musician-friendly site — started initially as a way to simply sell Sivers own CD — grew exponentially and is now the biggest indie music seller on the Net, chalking up more than $30 million in sales. Sivers also founded "HostBaby," a Web site hosting service for the same kinds of musicians who use CD Baby.

1:30 p.m.: "Who Manages Your Career?"

Music managers can do so much more than just score your band coke and take 15 percent of your earnings. This panel of experts will tell you just exactly what that is and also explain what a manager looks for when scouting new clients. Panelists: Michael Creamer (Creamer Management, Boston); Moses Avalon (Moses Avalon Company, Los Angeles); Leon Bass (Rich Crites & Dittmer, Columbus, Ohio).

2:45 p.m.: "Working With Alt Weeklies"

Weekly alternative news and entertainment papers are the greatest thing to hit print journalism since the invention of the printing press! OK, so we're biased. But alt weeklies in various cities around the country are an independent artist's best chance for print press while on tour. Learn about what we look for. Panelists: John Fox (Editor, Cincinnati CityBeat); Mike Breen, (Music Editor, Cincinnati CityBeat); Chris Deville (Music Editor, Columbus Alive, Columbus, Ohio); Aaron Epple (Culture Editor, Dayton City Paper, Dayton, Ohio); Winifred W. Chane (CMJ Marketing Director & Associate Producer, CMJ Music Marathon); Stephen George (Music Editor, LEO, Louisville).

4 p.m.: 2006 Artist Keynote Conversation with Bootsy Collins

Not only is Funk legend Bootsy Collins one of the most famous musicians to ever come out Cincinnati, he's also one of the most instantly recognizable figures in Pop music history. Bootsy's career took off when he worked sessions with James Brown at the legendary Cincinnati music institution, King Records. After pioneering some Funk with J.B., Collins took it to the next level as a member of Funkadelic with George Clinton. With a successful post-P-Funk run as a solo artist and major cameo-maker, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has maintained a steady, heady presence in music which lives on today in Hip Hop. Collins has been showing a lot of civic pride in the past few years, working with local musicians and even producing a groovy theme song for the suddenly on-fire Cincinnati Bengals.

11 a.m -1 p.m.: "Making Records, Part 1: Recording and Mixing"

Get tips on the technical side of producing your next CD or demo project from recording professionals Matt Hueneman, Brian Niesz and Ashley Shepherd.

1-4 p.m.: "Critical Listening Session 1"

Sound pros will listen to your recordings and offer direct, one-on-one advice on, to paraphrase Sir Paul McCartney, how to take a bad (or at least badly-recorded) song and make it better.

11 a.m.: "Press Kits That Don't Suck"

I've seen a lot of press kits (online and hard-copy) and, sorry to say, many of them indeed suck. Learn how to make them better and more useful at this promo panel. Panelists: Bill Donabedian (MidPoint co-founder, Cincinnati); Jeni Boehmer (Merch Girl, Chicago); Paki Newell (The Lippin Group, Los Angeles); Ben Ricci (SonicBids, Boston); David Silbaugh (Summerfest, Milwaukee).

12:15 p.m.: "Royalties, Residuals and New Use: Why Not Have It All?

Wait, you can make money playing music? Apparently. This panel will offer pointers on how to negotiate and how to make sure you get your hard-earned cash from royalties, publishing, sales and other outlets. Panelists: Dick Gabriel (American Federation of Musicians, Los Angeles); Moses Avalon (Moses Avalon Company, Los Angeles); Cynthia Cleves (Covington, Ky.); Dennis Dreith (Film Musicians Secondary, Studio City, Calif.); Shawn Murphy (ASCAP, Chicago).

1:30 p.m.: "Play My Song! (Please!)"

As we learned from the recent payola scandals, bribery (iPods, exotic vacations, hard cash) is an excellent way to get your song played on the radio. But I'm sure this panel will discuss more proper and legal ways to grab the attention of programmers, from college and community stations to the corporate biggies. Panelists: Matthew Field (Senior Editor, CMJ New Music Report, New York); Lisa Braun (Director of Marketing & Promotion, Clear Channel, Cincinnati); Jon DeLange (Tinderbox, Minneapolis); David Fritz (Music Director, WEBN-FM, Cincinnati); Grady Kirkpatrick (Program Manager, WNKU-FM, Highland Heights, Ky.); Jeffrey Smith (Crash Avenue Publicity, Louisville).

2:45 p.m.: "MPMF Demo Derby"

They should sell separate tickets to this session, which offers constructive and sometimes harsh on-the-spot critiques of various attending artists' CDs. It's like American Idol, except not awful. This year's Derby goes two hours, to allow for more submissions to be ravaged ... er, respectfully evaluated. Seriously, the assembled panel mostly does a great job of offering honest opinions and tips. But the potential for tears and/or a full-blown fist-fight makes it all the more exciting. Panelists: Jon DeLange (Tinderbox, Minneapolis); David Fritz (Music Director, WEBN-FM, Cincinnati); Gil Kaufman (Senior Writer,; Erwin Musper (Producer/ Engineer, The Bamboo Room, Highland Heights, Ky.); Paki Newell (The Lippin Group, Los Angeles).

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: "Making Records, Part 2: Mastering and Design"

Once you've got your tracks laid down and mixed, where do you go from there? Dave Davis, Andrew Hamilton and Erwin Musper will offer advice on how to master and package your record, including tips about utilizing modern enhancements and extras.

1-4 p.m.: "Critical Listening Session 2"

See Friday Workshops above.


210 E. Eighth St., Downtown


Blue Wisp

318 E. Eighth St., Downtown



125 E. Court St., Downtown


Club Dream

Jail Alley (off Main Street, near Jekyll & Hyde's), Over-the-Rhine

No phone

Cooper's on Main

1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine


Courtyard Café

1211 Main St., Over-the-Rhine



825 Main St., Downtown


The Exchange

1130 Main St., Over-the-Rhine


Guido's Corner Tap

835 Main St., Over-the-Rhine

No phone

J Hall

1150 Main St., Over-the-Rhine


Jekyll & Hyde's (two stages)

1140 Main St., Over-the-Rhine



1204 Main St., Over-the-Rhine


Know Theatre (two stages)

1120 Jackson Ave., Over-the-Rhine


Mr. Pitiful's

1323 Main St., Over-the-Rhine


Neon's (three stages)

208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine


Red Cheetah

Main and 12th Sts., Over-the-Rhine


Rhino's (hosting an "open mic" songwriters showcase each night starting at 9:15 p.m.)

119 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine