A recording sponsorship from SIT | Te Pūkenga will provide new opportunities to this year’s Senior and Junior winners of the MLT NZ Gold Guitar Awards highest scoring Gore Country Music Clubs member’s category. They will be able to record a single on SIT Sound’s recently installed, new API 2448 console, the country music world’s console of choice, which can provide the capability and potential to produce country chart toppers in Invercargill.
SIT has teamed up with the MLT NZ Gold Guitar Awards to offer the recording sponsorship, valued at a minimum of $5,000, to the 2023 senior/classic and junior/intermediate winners, who will have studio time to record on the API console.
GGA Convener, Philip Geary, speaking on behalf of the MLT NZ Gold Guitar Awards committee, said they were excited by the opportunity to partner with SIT in offering the chosen winners the experience to record on such a prestigious recording desk. They believed it would also be of interest to the extended numbers of award entrants to learn of the existence of this equipment.
SIT Sound Programme Leader, Doug Heath, is looking forward to the collaboration. The console is housed at SIT Sound, Invercargill, just down the road from NZ Country Music’s biggest weekend in Gore. The only one of its kind in NZ, the mixing desk pulls together all the elements of the song being produced into the final, releasable single. Capable of producing the high-quality sound desired by country music artists, it brings opportunities to Southland for local artists.
“API consoles are known in the industry as the true American sound, so we have an industry recording desk which has that highly sought-after sound. It’s used in the top Nashville, LA and New York studios, including New Zealand’s Neil Finn-owned Roundhead recording studios.”
Since the 1960’s API has been recognised as ‘the’ American console, Mr Heath continued. “RCA studio in Nashville is one of the most iconic within the American music scene. SIT Sound’s console is in the same genre as that, and is also the world’s southernmost API console.”
The purchase of the top-of-the-line console is primarily to keep SIT students at the forefront of employment opportunities in the music industry, however, alongside a second-to-none training experience, Mr Heath said they hope to nurture another potential spin-off, by drawing more artists to Invercargill to use their quality studio set-up. It could help support a career pathway for local artists to progress to the international country music scene.
“Country artists can go from here to Gore (Gold Guitars), to Tamworth (Australia) to Nashville in the US, which is the pinnacle - the centre of the country music universe. It’s about artist development, and the console is in the perfect position for local artist development.”
As a non-commercial, educational facility, SIT’s focus is always about building opportunities for community to use and learn on the professional equipment in SIT Sound’s studios, Mr Heath said. The opportunity to partner with Gold Guitar winners as well as use the sessions for professional development for staff, and allowing students to be involved as interns on the project, “provides benefits for all parties”.
“We believe it will be a positive experience for all involved and it will support local talent to produce lasting legacies in the country music industry,” said Mr Heath.