“Studio Social has been something I look forward to every month. It’s something for anyone and everyone who is interested in producing music. There is a huge amount of talent in this city and I really had no idea how much! Open minded people working together to help each other grow with their skills. Being a part of it has helped me connect with a lot of great like minded people and I’m very excited to see this community grow. I have learned a great deal already in the past few months since the origin of Studio Social, there is so much to be offered! People of all backgrounds are involved in this and there truly is an oasis of knowledge to be shared. If you are interested in pursuing a career in making music there is no question you too should get involved!”
“Studio Social is one of those programs that deliver so much to the community. It offers a platform for Calgary artists to come into a club atmosphere and be heard by their local peers. As the GM of Habitat Living Sound, I truly believe that this has a massive impact on so many individuals in this community including myself, as we are building something very special here. Great friendships and connections are being made on these nights as the scene comes together once a month to listen to YYC original music.”
“Looking back on my career as a musician and composer, I can see the struggles I’ve had and I can see the people who supported me, they were few. But the difference is I can also see how I tried to do everything on my own. Sure, there were people who passed on knowledge and advice, and that was valuable. But to truly be supported by the actual scene, the people who make it happen, not just the people making music, but the people actively listening and coming to listen to me personally, those people, to be supported by those people is way more important, and something I used to shut out. Yes, because I’m old and old school.
Luckily, because “older” also affords me “wisdom”, I’ve realised in the last little while, that I can try as hard as I want, to succeed, if don’t include others in my circle, it will be that much harder to do something worthwhile. I need to let people into my circle that I trust and I need to support the people (you, the fan, and the listener) that support me. And not only me, but others like me. I have found such a circle… and it’s not exclusive. I have found such a scene, and it’s on fire.
Community, that’s people who believe in the here and now, and whose support makes Calgary’s music grow into something that can’t be ignored. That’s you (fan, listener, supporter) and us (artist, producer, dj) making a scene, TOGETHER!”
“When I was approached to become involved with Studio Social, I didn’t hesitate at the chance. I yearned for a way to contribute back to the scene at large that wasn’t behind the decks or in the studio, and Studio Social is precisely that. When I see new girls and guys getting their tracks signed, or even just saying ‘Hey I learned something today, and met some cool new people’ that means a lot to me – it’s the spirit of community made real. Back at the first meeting I knew 2 people in the room out of about 12-15, and right away I felt like an awful shut-in. It’s too easy to get cozy with yourself, in your own environment, and it can be difficult to find your place in the sea of club nights and personalities. Garnering critical feedback and building stronger social ties is vital to the success of any community, and already it feels like I’m part of a group way larger than it probably is, just because I now know 30+ people in the room. And there is no pretension at Studio Social – everyone is literally just there to hear everyone’s tunes and have a nice time. This is the finger on Calgary’s electronic music pulse.”
“Electronic music is a peculiar form of music where more often than not, a single individual is responsible for the production of an entire piece of music from start to finish. While this is extremely empowering, it can also be overwhelming, and at times very isolating in that technology most often takes the place of several bandmates.
This message is for those producers stuck in your own head. You know who you are. See, I had been stuck in my head for several years, attempting to craft my own electronic creations, alone, with varying results. It was a slow and arduous process of learning studio techniques from the internet and purchasing new equipment and plug-ins, resulting in perhaps two to four finished songs per year. It wasn’t bad. I was self-motivated and boyishly proud. Yet, I had reached a plateau. My musical output wasn’t what I’d hoped and the quality had stagnated. How to get that industry level sound? Why do other tracks sound so good? What are other people doing that I’m not? That was my next mission, but I didn’t know where to turn and I was exhausted of YouTube tutorials and listening to my tracks on headphones and blown out, unequalized car stereo systems.
Very rarely, some people are lucky enough to meet an experienced mentor that accelerates their learning curve and takes them to new heights. For the rest of us not as lucky, it can feel like we’re dragging an anchor, lacking the capacities and natural insights of our musical idols. What gives? Look, it was Einstein who said you cannot solve your problems with the same thinking that that created them. Don’t ignore the advice of a genius and listen to the man! The tendency is to continue one’s reclusive process, hole-up in the studio, and continue twiddling knobs. But here, I cannot understate the importance of doing the exact opposite – take your half-finished tracks, submit them to Studio Social, and get involved in a community of like-minded people on the last Wednesday of every month at Habitat Living Sound.
At the very least, you will hear your production on a very high quality and LOUD club system. Perhaps you’ll cringe at first while you and everybody listens. But, you look around and people are nodding their heads to the beat. Unlike those disinterested friends these people are actually listening. It’s exhilarating. Within the first 90 seconds, no doubt, you instantly know what to do next when you go back to the studio. Afterwards, people give you props and give you advice. You hear your track compared to others and realize you’re actually onto something. You want to come back because you know you can do better, and realize this is the spark you needed to reignite your artistic fire. It feels awesome – I know because it happened to me. And since attending Studio Social, I’ve never been more productive and creative.
After all, music is a social human endeavour. Stop denying it and come join us at Studio Social. Hell, you may even make some new friends! We’d love to hear where you’re at. Mark your calendar and see you this month!”
“After relocating to Calgary, getting settled in, and literally knowing no one – I had an unexpected urge to do something I hadn’t done in many years: make music. as I began that process, I had a realization. As reclusive and solitary an environment as I prefer to create, once I created something, I needed to decide whether I was happy making music purely as an outlet and expressive vehicle for myself – or whether I would take a risk and reach out to others to share my work and see if it had any merit from their perspective.
The first two people I reached out to had the same advice – attend Studio Social at Habitat Living Sound and share. I made some excuses, I put it off, they were persistent, and ultimately I committed and I showed up to my first event alone. This wasn’t easy as I could see everyone knew each other as more and more people filed in – however, drawing on past experience, I got comfortable assuming the role of outsider and observer, and I just focussed on listening to the music.
All night, what I heard and saw was inspiring. All different types of people making all different genres being played seamlessly under one roof.
Attending the events gave me the opportunity to meet new people, and provided a structure with dates and deadlines which motivated me to get into a routine to regularly produce music in order to submit and have it heard by peers with different tastes and backgrounds and experiences.
As soon as it was possible, I made the step change to actually participate with the planning and organization of the Studio Social events. This investment gives me a sense of pride, accomplishment and balance because it is something I believe in, and it is something that is founded and organized by people who I believe in. It also reinforces a philosophy that I have that the best way to help yourself achieve your goals is to help others achieve theirs.
Studio Social is – but is also a lot more than – DAWs and workshops and technical discussions about gear and process and workflow. It is artists making and sharing art, appreciating it together in the same physical space, and connecting and evolving organically, supporting each other in realizing their true potential against the backdrop of living and experiencing life in the same city.
If you’re lurking out there, reading about Studio Social – do not hesitate to come out. There is no substitute for person-to-person feedback in real time in the environment electronic music was primarily meant to be played – with no screen between you and your peers, with nothing in the way.”