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03 septembre 2005

Web Recording Site Draws Top Music Talent

By K.C. Jones, TechWeb News

Recording artists will soon have a place on the Internet to record and scout for people who have worked with Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and other big names in music.

“People who have always aspired to work with these musicians, but didn’t know how to contact them, or didn’t know that they could get them, will gain access to players they’ve always admired,” co-founder Kevin Killen said in an interview Friday. “It may be the catalyst for their careers. The next John Mayer is out there. There are a lot of up-and-coming artists, who don’t know -- with the way the industry has changed over the past few years -- which way to turn.”

Killen, an engineer and producer whose long list of collaborators includes U2, Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, will launch with Gina Fant-Saez in October. Fant-Saez has been praised in Billboard Magazine for her role in bringing musicians in Austin, Texas into the digital age.

World-renowned bass player Tony Levin, who has worked with John Lennon and Peter Gabriel, will be one of the featured session artists.

“I think this is a superb move in the direction that recording is going,” Levin said in an interview.
“More and more albums are being done by passing files around the world and this site seems to be the first serious attempt to organize that technique and open it up to the general public.”

The site will debut at the Audio Engineering Society Convention, which begins Oct. 7, in New York City. With the mere outline of a song, an artist in London will be able to work with a musician anywhere in the world. Killen and Fant-Saez compared their site to the glass partition in a traditional studio. will allow musicians to research each others’ histories, negotiate deals and record new albums. Though other sites bring players together, what sets eSession apart is the level of talent it has attracted and its broad reach. The pair, which worked with New York City-based Coolbirth to create the site, is targeting accomplished artists and those who are just getting started. The site is under construction and has already drawn more than 100 musicians who play a wide variety of instruments.

In order to register, the musicians must have 15 credits with major record labels. Discographies, biographies and samples will be available for those seeking instrumentalists.

The site will charge $25 for work request submissions. The session musicians do not pay a fee and can exempt clients by placing them on a preferred customer list. Once a work request has been submitted, rates will be negotiated. The musicians agree on a fee and eSession will charge a percentage. If the performers can’t agree, they’re not under any obligation.

Players can record their parts at their home studios. eSession, with a proprietary plug-in, will transfer the files across a variety of platforms, including ProTools and Logic. The musicians will need a high-speed connection, a workstation that meets professional standards and computer skills.

“They won’t be limited to any program,” Fant-Saez said. “As long as they can put their songs on the website, it doesn’t matter.”

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