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'The most important skill is knowing how to listen'

19-08-2014

ADE '14
  • 'The most important skill is knowing how to listen'

Emmy-winning composer Stephen Webber will focus on the importance of listening at ADE Next.

Stephen Webber is the director of music technology innovation at Berklee College of Music. But what exactly does a director of music technology innovation? Webber explains: “In 2012, Berklee president Roger Brown asked me to design and launch a new master's degree program in Music Technology Innovation. I've hired the most talented, young and accomplished electronic producers, performers, engineers and technologists to teach and run the multi-million dollar studios and lab facilities that Berklee built into the space-age City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain."

Webber's presentation at ADE Next will focus on the importance of listening: “Listening is probably the most important skill to master if you are going to be in the music industry. Whether you are an artist, producer, composer, A&R at a label, blogger, DJ - - you name it. I'm going to reveal the tools I've learned from all of my production heroes and mentors; George Martin, Phil Ramone, Don Was, the list goes on. We'll examine the most important strategies of how to listen objectively, which can take your productions to the next level.”

The sort of technologies Webber is currently working on are numerous: "Technology-wise, we're doing everything from building musical robots, to virtual orchestra conducting environs, to wearable controller suits, to producing some very forward-looking, kick-ass music and video productions. My concept is for our graduates to launch into the world with Ninja-level music production skills, able to program, able to build Mobile Music Apps, able to DJ with vinyl and controllers, but most importantly, able to use all of these things in the service of creating music that moves people emotionally.” Music Production Analysis, the Berklee Online course Webber produced using these concepts, was recently awarded the Online Course of the Year award, up against every online course created in all fields. As someone who works in Europe and the US,

ADE Next takes place on Saturday October 18. The talent platform offers a broad program featuring big name producers, top DJs and leading music industry professionals such as managers, talent scouts and booking agents from around the globe. Stay tuned for more program updates.

ADE Conference: ADE Next: Listening like a producer
October 18, Felix Meritis
Tickets: € 15 + service fee, available here

Photo credits: Jon Forsyth

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