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  • Writer's pictureEric Doades

Gazing into the Future: A Sneak Peek at the Music Tectonics Conference

This week, Tristra and Shayli discuss the upcoming Music Tectonics conference and its various panels.

We shed light on the positive impact of AI in the music industry, highlighting the panel “Music Meets AI Navigating: a Positive Future” featuring Tuned Global, Endel, and TIDAL. Tristra gives her perspective on Endel's unique approach to creating immersive soundscapes with AI that take functional audio to the next level.

We further explore the conference, highlighting the fireside chat between Andreea Gleeson of TuneCore and Kristin Robinson of Billboard, and the “Untangling Music Data for the Benefit of All" panel featuring Dae Bogan from the MLC and Britnee Foreman from Exceleration Music. Plus Dmitri hijacks the airwaves for breaking news from the Swimming with Narwhals Startup Pitch Competition! Don't miss this opportunity to get insights from the forefront of music technology in this week’s episode.

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Episode Transcript

Machine transcribed

0:00:00 - Robot Voice

You're listening to Music Tectonics.

0:00:10 - Tristra

Hey everybody, this is Tristra Newyear-Jager and I am your host, sort of your co-host. Today for Music Tectonics, we are going to be doing something a little different from our usually wonderful interviews with music tech leaders, thought leaders, scholars, et cetera. We're going to be focusing on, you guessed it, the Music Tectonics conference which is coming up in a few short weeks. And it always sneaks up on me, it takes me by surprise. Before you know it, it's pumpkin spice time and we're all heading to Santa Monica to go and ride the carousel and find out what in the world is going on at the intersection of music and tech. So I have a resident expert on Music Tectonics here with me. Shaley Shaley, why don't you introduce yourself to everyone? I'm sure people have been hearing your voice for the last few months. Tell us a bit about what you're up to right now.

0:01:07 - Shayli

Yes, hey everyone, my name is Shaley Ankenbrook. I am head of events here at Rock Paper Scissors. I oversee programming, sponsorship, venue logistics, all that fun stuff for the Music Tectonics conference. And, yeah, I'm super excited to be here with Tristra today. We have some really exciting panels to share with you, some hot topics we're going to be discussing at the event this year. And, yeah, let's dive in Awesome.

0:01:33 - Tristra

So, speaking of topics, I have noticed a theme in this year's programming which one could easily sum up with the phrase AI.

0:01:43 - Shayli

AI yeah, that's that AI seems to be the hot topic everywhere, and I feel like we've seen this trend over the last few years. At Music Tectonics, there was Web 3 was the hot thing, and then NFTs was the hot thing, and now, yeah, it's AI, and we've tried to be really mindful at this event to not over saturate any one topic, because who knows what the next hot topic is going to be. So we really want to focus on the big macro level trends and topics that are happening and changing the industry. But, yeah, let's talk about AI.

0:02:17 - Tristra

So one thing that I think is really important, that is going to be relevant to the Music Tectonics creative universe, is that AI isn't just the generative AI kind of dog and pony tricks that we've seen from some big tech companies. No offense to the big tech company people listening to this, but there's a lot more to it, and that's what's the great thing about places like Music Tectonics is you really get to talk to people who are building the things, using the things, grappling with exactly what these things will mean for the music industry and artists, or maybe they're even artists themselves. So why don't you give us a little bit of a sample of how you're thinking about AI in the programming Shali, and what can people expect? What kind of panels are we looking at?

0:03:03 - Shayli

Yeah. So I definitely think we want to dive into some more nitty gritty about AI instead of just going back and forth on what's hot and what's not, but we really want to focus on the positives. We want to focus on rather than? I mean, I know there's a lot of negatives that have been thrown around with the emergence of AI in the music industry, but we want to focus on the positives. So one panel that we're going to be facilitating at Music Tectonics this year is Music Meets AI Navigating a Positive Future, and on this panel is going to be Tune Global, Endel and Title. So it's going to be really well-rounded. I think we're going to have some really great perspectives from three different companies in the industry who are all doing three very different things with AI. But, Trisha, I would love to hear a little bit about what ENDL is doing with AI and how you feel like they're going to contribute to this panel.

0:03:53 - Tristra

Well, endl is a really interesting example because while they're I mean you can almost call them an OG, they've been around for a long time by AI startup standards, and they've really tried to solve for some of the problems that we've already seen crashing like a bunch of breakers against the beach of music creation and IP Boy. This is getting very metaphorical, but so, and the way ENDL has sort of established their approach, it's very artist driven. So you don't have the problem of quote non artist noise, as I think a diesel press release put it recently. You have very much artist generated audio and you know, dare I say, music and you use that. You know ENDL has used AI in a very key moment in the creation process, which is taking very specific parameters that are meant to serve very specific mind state goals, whether it's relaxing or focusing or moving. They have some other really interesting directions they'll be heading in soon that I don't want to.

I don't want to give it away, but there's some really interesting things on ENDL's horizon right now that have to do with other human activities. But so you take these parameters and you can really easily set up machine learning system that can take these parameters, take what an artist you know, produces their sounds, their melodies, their their you know their rhythms and rework them so that there's these very functional but very beautiful soundscapes. You know they started out mostly just being an app and then moved into creating more static stuff. So right, so if you're not a subscriber, you can still jump on your favorite streaming service and listen to something that takes basically your sleep playlist or your air conditioner noise for eight hours to like the next level and really creates a whole new kind of experience. So it's a very interesting model and I really think they thought this through very carefully and kept the AI in service of existing human creators and their needs.

0:05:55 - Shayli

Yeah, so definitely they're going to. I think their use case on this panel is going to be really great, really insightful. And then and then we're going to hear from Angela Abbott from Tidal on this panel as well, and she is business affairs and music licensing at Tidal and I think that perspective is just going to be really, really unique on this panel because she is the one who's, you know, kind of facilitating these kinds of deals at you know between the DSP and the music tech company.

So With her on it, we're gonna hear from Con Rasso of tune global. If you could maybe give a little insight on what they're up to?

0:06:30 - Tristra

So Tune Global in the not too distant past, bought pacemaker and pacemaker was originally started out. We've actually heard a bit from Jonas, the founder, and what Jonas and con and tune global are trying to accomplish is to provide more AI tools for Streaming music and streaming media services so that AI can help facilitate more interesting Experiences for listeners, viewers, audiences, however you want to think about it. So it you know, it's a great way that AI can kind of seamlessly weave together something new from existing content and really hopefully push us into a more Either a listener being a more of a curator, or a listener having a more curated experience, highly customized, which you know, thinking about where the industry is going, with a lot more interest in ad-driven you know ad-driven experiences for music streaming services. I think they've got they're gonna have some interesting perspectives. It'll add a whole other layer to the conversation.

0:07:32 - Shayli

Yeah for sure. So super excited about that panel. I think it's gonna be layered with just a lot of great insights. But while we're talking about the next hot thing AI I would love to pivot into talking about the next. The next panel we're gonna do which is always a fan favorite the music tech investment panel. So this, yeah, yeah, we're super excited about this. We're gonna hear from Rishi Patel of plus a equity he's a music tectonics long-standing fan favorite. We're gonna hear from Sony Ventures investor Bruce Hamilton of mech ventures. And then, most exciting to me, this panel is gonna be moderated by Tatiana Sarasano, a senior analyst at Midia Research. So I think she's just gonna offer the perspective she's gonna give to this is gonna be so on point, because the research she does really focuses on Just all the emerging topics and trends in the music industry.

0:08:28 - Tristra

Yeah, she's been really killing it lately on some pretty forward-thinking stuff that takes the current conversations beyond. You know just what might happen in six months, and I really think she's trying to prepare people for what might be possible in the next few years where we're gonna see some pretty significant change to, you know, humans, relationships to music, you know, and the investment thing is so important. It's such a curious time right now and I think there's gonna be a lot of people in our community who are gonna really benefit from hearing directly from investors what they need, what they're looking for, where they see the biggest like rays of hope and Sort of what startups can do. Or you know people who might be entrepreneurs or want to work with startups. You know what we, what we can all do to like make the music tech space a really vibrant one and a fast-growing one, which there's so much potential. So it'll be exciting to hear what they have to say.

The Interaction of Music and Gaming

0:09:25 - Shayli

Yes, definitely super excited, and I just think it's gonna be such a well-rounded panel. You know, rishi is really focused on music tech. Sony Ventures, they're focused, they do music. They do a lot in gaming, though, which actually brings me to the next panel. Point is we are gonna be doing another panel called the explosion of music in gaming and eSports, and we are also gonna have a Sony venture investor sit on this panel. So super excited, because they are their PlayStation, so they have a constant hand on the pulse of what's happening in the gaming space, and I think music and gaming are more intertwined than ever right now. As we heard from our keynote last year, mahan was really, really on that train, kind of leading that train.

0:10:09 - Tristra

Yeah, a lot of new things have started to come together from both the game development side and the music side, you know, facilitated by technologies like AI, but also by just a general change in the culture of licensing, and it really feels like, I mean I think Vicky Nauman has talked a lot about this as well that music, like the music folks and gaming folks are starting to understand the value they can bring to each other, both whether we're talking commercial music or, you know, generative music, that there's all these new ways that audio can play a role in experiences like games, and that there's all these great ways that gamers who really love music and for who music is a big part of their lives, could be enticed to, you know, exhibit the same behavior that they exhibit in game and make little purchases of, you know, audio emotes or little or musical elements.

I mean, there's a really interesting possibility of completely changing the way I don't know in general, shaley and I think gaming might have a role in this is short form audio, just like short form video, kind of seems like it's an emerging thing. I mean, anyway, soundcloud just announced some stuff. There's a lot of short form audio that's being used around the world to communicate. I'm kind of wondering if we are moving into the world of audio emojis, but that's not anything that they'll be talking about in that panel. This is my random fun thought thrown in there.

0:11:25 - Shayli

Okay, I'm so ready for like audio. Facetime Boy Smales.

0:11:30 - Tristra

Oh yeah, or fun little yeah, or just being able to like harass your family members with like really obnoxious, like little snippets of a sax solo, like that to me, I mean that's sort of paradise for me.

0:11:42 - Shayli

Yeah, so super excited about that one. Trisha, why don't you tell us a little bit more also about Reactional Music? They are going to be a company on this panel and I would love to hear a little bit about more how they bring the intersection of music and gaming to light.

0:11:53 - Tristra

Yeah, I mean I had a great short two short chat with David Knox of Reactional and you know, if y'all want to go back a couple episodes you can check that out, but you know we could have talked for several hours. There is so much going on there, but what's been really interesting is the move away from hard coding music and sound into a game at the development phase and really finding ways to make music really dynamic. So what they do is they allow for this sort of dynamic music that guess what reacts to gameplay and makes for a much more interesting experience for gamers. So a lot of times gamers will just put their well, you know they get after you've played a couple hours you're like I cannot hear this music again, I'm going crazy. So they'll put everything on mute and they'll just play a playlist of their favorite music, whatever that may be.

So what Reactional would like to bring to the table is a way for, instead of you know, the same sound playing over and over again, that there's always new sound or there's ability to adjust your sound to do to bring in new music, and so they're working on all sorts of cool tech and deals that will allow that to become a reality. You know, it's like Infinite Album. We've had, you know, karen Allen on at the conference before and on the podcast. So there's a bunch of companies working on this in different ways and I think they're all really interesting. But David has a lot of great things to say. Coming from the gaming world and having sort of broken into the music space, I'm going to be interested to hear. I mean, there's always a problem is how do I get to, how do I hear all the panels?

0:13:22 - Shayli

I know that's, that's, that's a, that's a common problem for a lot of people, but that's, I mean, I wouldn't be doing my job as a programmer if you didn't want to go to all the panels, right, exactly, yeah, cool. So the next one I would love to talk about is maybe the one I'm most excited for. We are going to be hosting a fireside chat between Andrea Gleason and Kristen Robinson, and the title is Strength in Numbers Growth of the Independent Artist and the Future of DIY.

0:13:53 - Tristra

That's that sounds really, really interesting, and I mean Andrea has such an interesting perspective on all this. I mean she's really changed tunecore's tune a lot, and so hearing how she's seeing all of this will be really, really fascinating. And, of course, Kristen is always excellent and she's an excellent journalist and will ask all the right questions and won't ramble on like certain podcasts that you may have heard.

0:14:17 - Shayli

Yeah, I personally am a tunecore stan, just from listening to Chance the Rapper my entire growing up. He is like Chance the Rapper and Taylor Bennett are two like die hard tunecore artists who distribute there. They shout out tunecore and their music and so like that's just really an organic way, I feel like I've become a tunecore stan and so now getting to like program the CEO of tunecore on like with a fireside chat is really cool and exciting for me personally.

0:14:48 - Tristra

Yeah, we'll try to hold the other stands, you know, back so that people can listen to the conference in peace and like no one's bus gets overturned or anything like that.

0:14:55 - Shayli

So yeah, so we can't stop fires. We've had those in the past, shhh.

0:15:04 - Tristra

Yeah, we promise. Yeah, we've been trying our best to avoid natural disasters ever since. Oh my gosh, it's going to bring on the bad luck here. Okay, superstitions aside, that will be a really great talk.

0:15:21 - Shayli

And just two bad ass women are going to be facilitating this. That's just so cool for me.

0:15:26 - Tristra

That seems so appropriate for the DIY world and the fact it's been so much more welcoming than maybe I mean. Well, I don't know. We're in an interesting place in that a lot of women are excellent performers and do amazing work on stage and yet in the studio or in the recording process, women are still very much a minority. So I think that we're looking at Gen Z and whatever Gen Alpha and whoever comes beyond, and I'm sure that's going to change. But hearing from strong women now is really refreshing.

0:16:03 - Shayli

Okay, so the final one that I would love to talk about is untangling music data for the benefit of all this one. We're going to have the MLC on there, and they are all knowing when it comes to data and unveiling the black box of data in the music industry.

0:16:19 - Tristra

Yeah, they've been basically going through what is like an entire huge you know miles, square, afghan, and undoing all the knots in the data for years, and so they've really got their. They've really got a perspective on how the industry can go about using data, making data better and therefore making everybody get what they want which is in the case of a lot of data is to get paid.

0:16:50 - Shayli

And there's a lot of data out there. Yes, a lot of it to come through, a lot of data A lot of data A lot of data.

Perspective on Programming Panels

0:16:57 - Tristra

So who's on that panel?

0:16:59 - Shayli

That panel as of now. We have Dave Bogan from the MLC, brittany Borman from Acceleration Music, and then we are going to have a publisher on there. We haven't totally locked it in yet, but we're going to have some great perspectives there. We really like to. When I'm programming these panels, I really like to kind of grab three different perspectives to build it out.

0:17:20 - Tristra

So we're we're hearing from a lot of different voices and you know, day has Spoken at the conference before and if you, if y'all, haven't heard him speak, he is incredibly in, you know, incisive, thoughtful, he has seen the ins and outs of this industry and can really talk about it in a very down-to-earth way, which is a real gift. So, and you know, I think we've had Brittany has Brittany been at the Conference?

0:17:43 - Shayli

yeah, I bring here last year. I think she might have spoken on an online version as well. Yeah it's crazy, that's the fifth year.

0:17:49 - Tristra

I know it's. It's really, it's really really incredible. So That'll be a really awesome panel and I can't wait to hear what people think once they have sat down and really thought about it. It's a great excuse. I think a lot of us avoid thinking about data maybe not all of us. I know some pretty deep music tech nerds who love it and and thank goodness for them, but for the rest of us, a panel this kind of panel is a great way to just Get a get oriented at the issue, with the issues and see how they may be affecting what you're working on.

0:18:29 - Dmitri

Now wait a minute, hey, Dmitri, here before Shaly and Tristra wrap up their conversation. I just have to get this in. It's an update from music tectonics, swimming with narwhal start-up pitch competition. This Just in.

The finalists who will pitch in person at the conference in October are Ox that's a UX. A generative AI model that takes a text prompt and generates infinite audio samples and Get moments. A platform that lets live event organizers collect and monetize user-generated video from concerts, festivals and sports matches and make spelled M a y k. Voice tech with a focus on fun and easy UGC song creation tools and offstage. A super fan platform that makes a fan data accessible and actionable. And a fifth one, real count an Analytics platform for live music's key performance metric tickets sold. It's been a fierce competition. 10 semi finalists gave knockout pitches at our online pre-conference and I have to say these 10 startups really represent the cutting edge of what's to come in music tech. The jury's votes were so close, there was even a tie, so we opened up a fifth finalist slot. I want to shout out to all the other semi finalists. They did such a great job.

Creative Mind, Korea's first ever AI music composer with human-like songwriting abilities. Dequancy, which chose our event to reveal that they are joining forces with the rights to connect rights holders and visual creators With a web 3 enabled music rights portal. Everwave, a collaborative music production. Dow that creates songs in multiplayer mode. Loone acoustics, a hardware and software companion that removes barriers to learning. Guitar and Visual labs. Ai, a generative AI tool for making audio reactive music. You can meet all of these startups and more at the music tectonics conference in Santa Monica, California, October 24th to 26. You've got your ticket right. There's still time to get yours at music, but you'd better get your travel book soon. October 24th will be here before you know it and, as an added bonus, ticket holders can replay the whole pre-conference, all the startup pitches, Mark Mulligan's mind-bending keynote and a Q&A with the three stellar investors in the music Tectonics event app. So get your tickets, watch the video and I'll see you soon.

0:21:02 - Tristra

All right. So, shaley, what did you? We've talked about what we're gonna talk about, what? What is it gonna be like to be there, though? Like what? What is it like to come? Oh, I well, the biggest thing I like to play up is that you're coming to the beach.

0:21:19 - Shayli

So you get to be on the beach in October doing business. So like what's better than that? The first day we kick off at the carousel and there's like a beautiful sunset at the end of the event it's like you get to come network at a carousel on the beach and watch a sunset. In my opinion, does not get better than that. We'll have pitches. We'll have our final pitch competition on the second day of the event. We're gonna partner with UMG for some stuff again this year, just all around, so excited for all of it. So isn't the second day?

0:21:53 - Tristra

at a swimming pool.

0:21:54 - Shayli

Yeah, well, there's a swimming pool on the deck. I would not recommend swimming. Oh, come on. Yeah, so there will be a swimming pool. If you wanna bring your bathing suit, I can't stop you.

0:22:07 - Tristra

And I promise I have threatened at times to pick one of my RPS colleagues to throw in the pool.

0:22:14 - Dmitri

You know I don't wanna say I'm gonna take votes, but it's not gonna be, shaley, I might throw myself in the pool.

0:22:19 - Tristra

That's the only really fair way to do it. But yeah, I was known as a teenager for jumping into pools when I shouldn't have, so I'm gonna really have to change my ways here.

Exhibitor Hall on Pool Deck

0:22:29 - Shayli

I know I'm so here for that. Keep it professional. I'm so here for that. Yeah, so that's where our exhibitor deck's gonna be. We're gonna have the exhibitor area all around the pool deck at the Annenberg community beach house. Gonna have some fun stuff there. I mean, who doesn't like an exhibitor hall around the pool deck? Right?

0:22:45 - Tristra

I think it sounds fantastic. I mean, I've never been to an exhibitor hall on a pool deck. It's usually in some, you know, eye-burning, seriously depressing liminal space type basement. So this will be a really refreshing beautiful place to be.

0:23:00 - Shayli

Yeah, I think that's. Dimitri's sole goal is to not do a boring basement anything.

0:23:09 - Tristra

Maybe we could do that in VR some year, though. So if you're really into being in a boring basement, let us know and we'll maybe prepare a basement for you. Maybe we could have network.

0:23:18 - Shayli

Yeah, on that note, and if there's anything else that you're really excited to hear about hope that we talk about at the conference, feel free to reach out to me and let me know. You can email me at shaley at Happy to hear panel topics. You wanna hear speakers, you wanna see talking. If you're interested in sponsoring, we absolutely have a few opportunities still available, so reach out on that front as well.

So the sponsor, you still have a few sponsor cabanas open yeah if you sponsor cabanas, Patricia might throw you in Promise I won't If you're a sponsor, I definitely won't throw you in the pool.

0:23:54 - Tristra

It'll be in the contract, don't worry. Okay, great, and Shaley, see someone has listened to us go on and on about how wonderful music tectonics is and they want to buy a ticket. What should they do?

0:24:05 - Shayli

Oh, yes, I have this information, so you can go to slash conference and buy your badge there.

0:24:19 - Tristra

Awesome, all right, well, I know I'm super psyched up and I'm really, really looking forward to hearing all these interesting topics and getting a chance to meet the music tech community once again.

0:24:33 - Shayli

Me too. I'm just so excited to be on the beach and to see all my favorite music tech nerds again.

0:24:38 - Tristra

It. You know, just the beach wouldn't be enough. You need the tech nerds.

0:24:42 - Shayli

Yeah, the carousel. It's a fine Carousel with music tech nerds, the best Totally different experience Exactly.

0:24:49 - Tristra

All right this has been fun. Thanks, tricia, no problem, thanks for putting up with my questions and ramblings, and we will catch you all very soon.

0:24:59 - Dmitri

Thanks for listening to music tectonics. If you like what you hear, please subscribe on your favorite podcast app. We have new episodes for you every week. Did you know? We do free monthly online events that you, our lovely podcast listeners, can join? Find out more at and, while you're there, look for the latest about our annual conference and sign up for our newsletter to get updates. Everything we do explores the seismic shifts that shake up music and technology, the way the earth's tectonic plates cause quakes and make mountains. Connect with music tectonics on Twitter, instagram and LinkedIn. That's my favorite platform. Connect with me. Demetri Vica, if you can spell it, we'll be back again next week, if not sooner.

0:25:41 - Robot Voice

Thanks for listening to music tectonics.


This is a fabulous episode of Music Tectonics.

Music Tectonics at NAMM 2023

Let us know what you think! Tweet @MusicTectonics, find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, or connect with podcast host Dmitri Vietze on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

The Music Tectonics podcast goes beneath the surface of the music industry to explore how technology is changing the way business gets done. Weekly episodes include interviews with music tech movers & shakers, deep dives into seismic shifts, and more.


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