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Dax

Dax Liniere

Year of Award: 2012 Award State: Australian Capital Territory Arts - Performing > Music
To enrich Australian music by bringing new, culturally diverse techniques and perspectives to Australia - France, Germany, Netherlands, UK
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Just like a film director, a good music producer can be the difference between an ordinary representation of a creative work and one that's potential is fully realised. Australia has very few internationally recognised audio engineers and producers. Subsequently, many talented Australian artists take their projects overseas. Australia needs to be able to support its people's creative endeavours since it is artistry that keeps us culturally rich.
The aim of my Fellowship project was to enrich the Australian music scene by bringing new, culturally diverse techniques and perspectives in music production to Australia with a view to bridging the gap in production standards currently available within Australia, further bolstering it in the face of international competition.

There is a wealth of creative and artistic talent in Australia. While it is true that many albums are made in Australia each year, there seems to be a disappointing trend, especially among those artists who have achieved some form of success within Australia.

Many artists who release a well-received album in Australia will often look overseas to produce subsequent albums.  There are numerous examples of this including Kylie Minogue, AC/DC, Wolfmother, and The Vines. These are well-known, household names, but it should be noted that countless lesser known Australian artists send Australian dollars off-shore each year. Furthermore, empirical evidence shows that involving foreign personnel does not preclude greater success in either Australian or foreign markets.

There are, of course, exceptions to this. In 2004, Melbourne’s The Cat Empire travelled to Cuba to record with legendary producer Jerry Boys, of Buena Vista Social Club fame, and a troop of Cuban musicians. It could be argued that there's no place better in the world than Cuba, to find experienced Cuban session musicians for a Latin-inspired record.

On the whole, foreign productions will often cost more than an equivalent record produced in Australia and I, for one, would like to see that money stay here.

It is hoped that my research will contribute to the advancement of audio engineering practices in Australia and this will spell an end to the mindset that a foreign production is a better production.

I aimed to achieve this by gathering knowledge from some of the world’s top engineers and producers in Europe and the UK and to implement it in my own workflow, but also to disseminate it to the Australian arts-tech community via a series of workshops to be held under the name of MixDirection.

Dax has gone on to become a writer for Audio Technology Magazine, a guest lecturer at the Canberra Institute of Technology and he won two separate Producer of the Year awards in 2013.

I use the connections I made overseas to foster new opportunities for Australian artists with regard to acknowledgement, promotion and distribution in foreign markets.

I feel we are under-represented on the world stage and with such genuine talent, we really should be seeing more Australian music stretching around the globe. ve been an advocate for many years, is collaboration and the sharing of knowledge among engineers.

From my own experience, many engineers and studio owners are extremely insular about our craft. It’s almost as if they feel if they let someone into their studio and give away one of their tricks or ‘secrets’, the recipient will become a better engineer and steal all of their work.

I feel this is wrong for two reasons;

The truth is that everyone will approach a song and a band differently. No two engineers’ or producers’ results will be the same and, as with most of the arts, there is room for interpretation and so what is “good” is highly subjective. Diversity is the key.

The 'pie' is big enough for everyone. If we all work together to grow the Australian musician industry, imagine what we could achieve. New Zealand's film industry is a prime example. Would it be as strong as it is today without the collaboration and networking of so many talented individuals?

So I put out the call to Australian engineers and producers - let’s all lift our game and give Australian artists a reason to choose to stay in Australia when they record.

Let’s all grow together.

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