Win a Pass to SF MusicTech Summit #8

by Kara Murphy on April 20, 2011

A few updates: First, R.I.P. Max Matthews. You will be missed. Second, I will extend this contest to Friday, April 29th as the first Musica Tecnomica 2.0 in a long while is taking place on Thursday the 28th.

Here we go again…another contest! For those of you not yet familiar with the event, SF MusicTech Summit was created by Brian and Shoshanna Zisk several years back to help music business professionals keep apace in an industry that is notorious for rapidly transforming, innovating, and developing tools for the development and distribution of music. What initially started out as a local gathering has gradually evolved into the third most renowned music and tech event in the world (behind MIDEM and, of course, SXSW).

I’ve already covered reasons why I think you should attend SF MusicTech Summit and this recent Fast Company interview gives even more insight into its benefits plus other projects Brian’s been involved with for the greater good of the community. Luckily, two free conference passes (one per online publication) are up for grabs here and through my own personal blog, Read on to learn more about what to expect as an attendee and how you can potentially win…

As I was sorting through some photos of past SF MusicTech events, it occurred to me that both attendees and presenters fall into three (oftentimes overlapping) categories: Pioneers, innovators, and experts. Case in point?

From left: Max Matthews. On the bottom right-hand corner, Tom jams with Shoshanna Zisk.

SF MusicTech Summit #6 welcomed both Max Matthews, who wrote the first computer music program (aptly titled MUSIC) in 1957, and Thomas Oberheim – inventor of the first polyphonic music synthesizer.

On the left: SoundCloud’s Lee Martin. To the right: iPad DJ Rana Sobhany.

I met Lee Martin at SF MusicTech #5. At the time, he was leaving Silva Artist Management after 7 years of service and was wondering what his next step would be. He ended up at SoundCloud doing Experimental Development and has created some truly amazing products for some of the biggest artists in the world using HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, with a bit of Photoshop thrown in for superior design, that I’ve documented here, here, and here.

Rana Sobhany has always been on the cusp of practically everything Apple-related so it’s not a huge surprise that she was the first person to take an iPad and, with her extensive background in both music theory and technology, figure out how to transform it into a touchscreen turntable. She now travels the world as the pioneering iPad DJ and gave a demonstration at a recent summit in SF.

Finally, SF MusicTech has attracted some of the biggest experts in both music and technology including people from Facebook, Google, MOG, Pandora, Gracenote, and TopSpin Media. Below is a video interview worth watching with TopSpin’s CEO, Ian C. Rogers. When discussing the age-old conundrum of entreprenurial types working with established businesses in music including major labels and publishing houses, he states that “you should build a business model which is useful and not illegal. No one has really built a successful business on copyright infringement long-term…at the same time, no one has built a successful business asking for permission either.”

If you’ve made it this far, congrats and thank you. Now for the part you really want to know about: Music Hack Day will be taking place the weekend before and I’m curious to know what your favorite recent hacks are? Mine, personally, is a crafty mash up between Facebook and SoundCloud called SoundBook.

So, if you tweet out “I want to win a pass to @sfmusictech on 5/9 from @SpinnPlatt,” (minus that comma, I am a grammar freak) you’ll get 1 entry to this contest. However, if you comment below with your favorite music hack, you’ll get 3 entries. You can do one, the other, or both. I’ll filter them through and notify the winner on Wednesday, April 27th at 12pm, PST. Best of luck! Also, you can enter for a chance to win the other pass on my blog.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Paige K. Parsons April 21, 2011 at 7:50 am

My favorite music hack is Six Clicks to Imogen. It was hacked at Cannes. Love all the crazy connections.


Peter April 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm

My friend Marshall at, made this hack called Highlight to Listen. Highlight an artist’s name and a window pops up with information on the artist, songs and links. Perfect for music bloggers and unofficial music nerds.


Kara Murphy April 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Congrats, Paige! Please DM me for the next steps.


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