Seattle Electronic Music Producers Association (SEMPA) is a group that has been helping local producers enhance their production and provide a network for local production talent. Formed by Jason Melton in 2015, the group has had humble beginnings, where musically like minded friends held basement sessions, feeding production ideas, tips, and tricks off of each other.
Then word began to spread about what was being cultivated in these sessions, allowing the group to organically grow. Experiencing the woes of the pandemic, the group was held together by long time members, Dave Clayton, Mindy Christman, and Ben Meadow.
“I really loved the energy and how people came from all different corners (genres) of the electronic music scene. The vibes were very positive. It was all about community, education and growth. There was zero scene politics or ego involved – a breath of fresh air from the working DJ world for sure.” – Ben Meadow
SEMPA is now homed at Substation, where their sessions are held on the second Wednesday of each month to allow producers of any electronic genre to share their current creations. As they continue to grow, they are considering adding in-person classes on Tuesdays (stay tuned). It is a unique opportunity for producers to hear their work played out on a club system.
A full-blown, state of the art studio with top-of-the-line equipment isn’t necessary nowadays to make good electronic music. Big dance floor groovers and talent are curated from all places around the world and from a diverse range of individuals. Advances in music software and technology, coupled with social media, has helped expose the vast amount of electronic music being produced, while providing a connection between artists and fans.
However, the sounds produced in your bedroom might not transfer well to a club’s sound system. In fact, it can be a difficult task that takes extra technical finesse. There is room-correction software available to help remedy this, but there is something invaluable about in person, hands on learning. SEMPA has helped many local producers through production difficulties in a welcoming, learning conducive environment. Curious about production? We listed Washington programs to help get you started!
“Being able to test your tracks on the loud sounds has really drawn out producers I had no idea existed in Seattle. We also love to have local producers come through for showcases on their own knowledge and processes. I also have personally taken on some one on one classes with people to teach fundamentals. I love this group of people and what we have cultivated. I am exited to see how we grow this next year” – Mindy Christman
Sessions start with a Producer Showcase from a local producer who shares his or her current production process and style, sharing tips and advice you can’t always get from a Youtube video. Then the session will move into the Track Feedback portion where producers in attendance are given the opportunity to play a few minutes of a track they are currently working on and in return the room gives feedback and comments.
“I have gained so much from this group from listening to major artist showcase to the many friends, mentors, collaborators, and networking opportunities I’ve gained as I’m sure some in this group can also say the same.” – Marcus Kidder
The sessions are welcome to any Digital Audio Workstation experience and any genre of electronic music. They do focus their teaching on Ableton, but inherently a lot of the same skills learned crosses over into other programs.
Outside of the session, SEMPA members stay connected through remix contests and online discussions. SEMPA embodies the connection and camaraderie that is much needed in the local scene, especially in today’s climate. Check out more of our stuff covering production!
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