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Seeking a Connection with unsigned artists

Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) has introduced a new initiative, Live Connection, that will see unsigned artists from the UK record audio and video in a pro environment at monthly live sessions.

Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) has introduced a new initiative, Live Connection, that will see unsigned artists from the UK record audio and video in a pro environment at monthly live sessions, writes David Davies.

For each artist, the project – which sees Live Connection partner with the streaming service We7, Live Nation UK, Tickemaster UK, Academy Music Group and Sub.TV content channels and social media platforms – will yield three live and recorded tracks that can be used for personal and UK industry promotion.

UK industry experts and decision-makers are being guided towards a new online portal at the Live Connection website where they can receive regular news and updates on emerging acts. They will have the opportunity to watch professionally-shot videos and listen to high quality audio content prior to Live Connection’s extended distribution through its consumer channels.

Live Connection’s Pete Webber (pictured) – who is recording, mixing and mastering audio for the sessions – explained: “As a sound engineer, I know how hard it can be for new artists to get in-front of the right people, so I approached Paul Latham, Chief Operating Officer at Live Nation Entertainment, to support emerging acts by recording, mixing and mastering their songs as well as filming their performance in a concert venue. With his support and industry presence, we have created Live Connection, a cost-effective model that puts the complete package together for new artists. In addition to reaching out to the UK music industry, we are extending our promotion of these acts to millions of music fans, through Live Nation’s associated networks and media platforms.”

“The exposure Live Connection can give to new artists is outstanding,” said Paul Latham, COO of Live Nation Entertainment. “With access to millions of music fans, Live Connection is the perfect exposure model for new and emerging acts. We’re not only showcasing their talent to the right industry contacts, we’re building communities, sharing their recorded music and video through Live Nation’s mailing lists, websites and social networks. We’ll also be pushing these artists towards publishing and distribution deals as well as looking to add live exposure and experience through our venue estate and festival output.”

The first live session took place recently at the O2 Academy Islington, North London, with a line-up of artists including Mancunian prog-rockers Mount Fabric, power-pop singer/songwriter Laura Steel, electro-rock outfit GoGoBot and London-based indie-rockers Halfway to New York. In each case, the artist will be provided with three mixed/mastered tracks and the original Pro Tools sessions and live video (three-camera shoot/mix mastered audio) for distribution. The recordings will also be uploaded to the Live Connection website.

While the video set-up includes three Sony EX3 cameras feeding into a Sony Anycast live content producer, recording programme direct to drive, the sound system was built to Pete Webber’s specification and is owned by Live Connection. The heart of the system is provided by a custom-tooled MacBook Pro running Pro Tools 9 Native, used in conjunction with a Presonus Firestudio Lightbridge interface and three Presonus Digimax FS pre-amps running ADAT into the Firestudio and, for back-up, eight analogue outputs each into a Fostex 2424 HD recorder.

Mixing/mastering is partly conducted ‘in the box’ and at The Square studio, Hoxton, using an ex-Olympic SSL 4056 G-Series console and outboard from Urei, Neve, GML and API, among others.