Equalizer: Manitoba Music Teams Up with Artist/Producer Joanne Pollock for Series of Audio Production Workshops for Women and Non-Binary Folks

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Joanne Pollock
Laura Dickens
Joanna Pollock at last season's Equalizer synth basics workshops

Manitoba Music has teamed up with artist and producer Joanne Pollock for Equalizer, a series of audio production workshops designed to offer a safe and encouraging environment to women and non-binary people who are interested in learning the ins and outs of audio production.

Curated by Pollock, the Equalizer workshops build on her existing work to share her expertise to encourage and inspire women and non-binary artists to get into the behind-the-scenes production work, whether it’s for their own music or to develop skills to support the work of other artists.

In Manitoba Music’s fall workshop season, Pollock offered hands-on fundamentals of synths and drum machines. She continues the series this winter and spring with three more events focused on gear and production, including Ableton Live, basic studio set-up, and translating recorded music to live performance

The new season of Equalizer events kicks off February 4 with a workshop on Ableton Live, a software music sequencer and digital audio workstation. Toronto-based composer and electronic artist Laura Dickens will provide a basic overview of the layout of Live and an introduction to a few of its most powerful software instruments. Dickens will also offer one-on-one sessions after the workshop, giving a rare opportunity for workshop participants to receive advice on a specific song or project, or to ask for music-career related tips from an electronic music pro.

Coming up on March 14, Pollock will facilitate a session on basic studio set-up aimed at teaching a basic understanding of what tools are required in order to run a small, functioning home studio. On April 4, Pollock will facilitate a workshop featuring local artists discussing how they take their songs from the recorded version to the stage, including different approaches, equipment, and technologies.

“We’re grateful to have this partnership with Joanne. She’s an incredible musician, a great teacher, and someone with a strong drive to make a positive change in our community. She instigated this work of her own volition and we hope as a team to create more opportunities for women and non-binary folks working in audio production to expand their production skill sets and connect with others in the local music community,” says Manitoba Music’s executive director, Sean McManus.

“By teaching the basics of synthesis, recording tools, DAWs and more, I hope to empower women and non-binary individuals to be able to make music, from start to finish, by themselves,” says Pollock.

Originally from Toronto, Pollock now makes electronic music from her home studio in Winnipeg. She began dabbling in production in 2010 when she downloaded her first DAW. In 2012, she released her first EP, December. That same year she met Aaron Funk, and together they formed the band Poemss, whose debut album was released on Planet Mu in 2014. After another EP release and touring throughout Canada and Europe, she released her first solo full length album, Stranger, on Timesig in 2017. She has since produced and mixed music for other artists in the city and beyond.

All Equalizer events take place at Manitoba Music, 1-376 Donald St. Space is limited and advance registration is strongly encouraged. More info and registration is available at manitobamusic.com/workshops.

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