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I haven’t been to Brighton Music Conference before, but I was very glad to be there on Friday. It more than met my expectations in a lot of ways, but mostly around being able to talk to people in the business one to one.

You never quite know what to expect at these kinds of industry events, but BMC has to be one of the best I’ve been to in a long time. I think that a huge amount of the value that you can get from events like BMC or Superbooth or Musikmesse are from the people you get to talk to and meet, and today was brilliant from that perspective.

It was also very nice to be there with Native Instruments too, as they were hosting a broad range of sessions, but I’ll come to that soon.

BMC was full of great tech and great talks too. Lots to look and play with and see. For though these were the highlights:

Visiting Novation …

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Last year when Novation announced their new Circuit hardware I have to say I was impressed. It followed all the core values you’d expect from Novation. A simple, easy to use groovebox which could be used by anyone. I don’t have one as yet, but it is right at the top of my wishlist at the moment and I hope to get my hands on one soon!

Novation are one of the most forward looking music technology brands I know, and they’ve demonstrated that most recently with the arrival of Blocs Wave (which I’m sure you already know about). Blocs is their new sub-brand for iOS music making. It gives them the ability to do even more with iOS music making than they’ve already achieve with their excellent LaunchPad app which is extensively used in education to great effect.

Blocs Wave is a superb tool for getting people with zero previous musical experience into the world of creating sound. It is simple, flexible and has depth for when you want to go there. Today Blocs Wave has added Ableton Link, which is a great move for this app. All I can think is Blocs is going to go from strength to strength.

It was also great to get some real time to speak to the Novation team, but more of that another day.

Native Sessions …

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I spent quite a while in the Native Sessions area both listening to talks and also some live work too.

I’m a big fan of Native and also a user of a lot of their software. The sessions that they hosted over both days of Brighton Music Conference were of really high quality, and my only regret is that I didn’t get to spend any more time there.

One talk that really stood out for me was their talk on education which was hosted by my old friend Tony (of CDR fame).

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Tony hosted a panel of education providers including Point Blank, Toolroom Academy, SSR, and Beatcamp. It was a lively and useful debate on music education and I was glad to be able to chat to a few of the panel afterwards about some of the issues that I feel strongly about in music education.

So overall a really useful and productive day, and, from what I could tell, lots of other people felt exactly the same way about the event.

I’m certainly going to make an effort to get along again next year, and if you’re able I’d very much recommend it.

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