Chicago - GRAMMY U Breaking Into The Business

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  • Photo by: Marvalace Garrett
  • Photo by: Marvalace Garrett
  • Photo by: Marvalace Garrett

By: Austin Godwin / GRAMMY U Chicago Student Representative

The Breaking Into the Business series educates and connects students with opportunities and professionals in the music industry. 
As a part of this series, GRAMMY U Chicago members partook in an event led by Bonny Dolan and her entire staff at Comma Music — a sync-licensing and creative hub based in River North, Chicago. Bonny, currently a Governor of the Chicago Chapter, spoke in great detail about what it takes to break into the music business. While munching on some tasty food, GRAMMY U members fired away questions at Comma Music staff. That evening, we got to hear from:
·         Bonny Dolan, Managing Director & Executive Producer
·         Leigh Salzman, Producer
·         Luz Gipson, Executive Producer & Licensing Director
·         Pete Schmidt, Creative Director & Sr. Composer
Additionally, Particle Audio — Comma’s in-house post-production and design company — was also present at our event to answer questions regarding sound design and recording technology. From Particle Audio, we got to hear from:
·         Steven Aguilar, Engineer
·         Jordan Stalling, Assistant Engineer
Throughout the night, we discussed hot topics like royalty splits, sync licensing, sync libraries, sound design, and the evolution of the music industry — to name a few.  We also learned about the Comma Collection, Comma’s own sync library. This collection, filled with thousands of tracks, is used to license music out to corporations like State Farm and McDonald’s. The music library contains a plethora of music genres; from indie pop to electronic. 
As the event came to a close, GRAMMY U members were then given a tour around the space. On this tour, we were able to see Comma’s many beautiful studio and production rooms. Thanks to Bonny, and the entire Comma staff, GRAMMY U members were given insightful expertise on the music industry.

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The Recording Academy is the preeminent organization for musicians, producers, engineers and other music professionals. Our mission is to advance artistic and technical excellence, work to ensure a vital and free creative environment, and act as an advocate on behalf of music and its makers.

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