Category Archives: News

Vale Don Morrison

A Tribute to
18TH October 1952 to 21st April 2019

It is with sad hearts today, that we inform you of the peaceful passing of Don Morrisson, in the Wesley Hospital Brisbane at 6.40am on Easter Sunday.
Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy go out to Dons wife Anna, his son Jimmie, daughter Katie, son in-law Chris and his much-loved grandchildren Sofia and Oliver.
Don was an integral and Iconic member of our Music Industry and he will be deeply missed by all that knew and loved him. He always brought a smile to the face of everyone who came across him.
Don first started work as a Queensland Area Manager with Electric Factory nearly 31 years ago and remained in that role with them for 17 years. Don moved and continued this role with National Music for 4.5 years before ending his career at Musical Merchandisers, after 9 years, at the end of February this year. Don would often say he couldn’t believe he started his career selling Washburn guitars and ended it selling Washburn guitars.
It has been a wonderful journey for Don in the industry, he was known by so many people, he loved the retailers he would visit, and built so many long lasting and treasured friendships. Don loved a good story, a chat and many coffees.
Don was the recipient of many awards including being honoured as a Great Australian at The Great Australian Gala Dinner in Melbourne in 2016.
As many of you will be aware Don was also a wonderful author who wrote and published several books. Dons life was a wonderful book, in its self, cramming so much into his 66 years.
Don toured Vietnam during the War as a performer (Drummer) in bands and continued to play professionally up until a couple of years ago. He loved drumming and performing and made so many lifelong friends doing what he loved.
You’ve been an inspiration to so many. You will never be forgotten.

Memorial Service details are provided as follows;

Tuesday 30th April at 9.30 am
Lakeview Chapel at Albany Creek Crematorium , 400 Albany Creek Road , Bridgeman Downs

2019 Make Music Day Launches with Calls for Participation

As previously announced the AMA is proud to partner with APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office to present Make Music Day this year. After a successful pilot in 2018  we have joined forces with the Live Music Office and APRA AMCOS to grow the event to a national one. See the full releases again HERE. We are calling for people to take part – businesses and individuals – create an event or provide the means to hold one in your community. It is a great opportunity for retailers to support the community with the means to make music. Support a school or community group to come into store to perform – set up the car park with a stage, offer some Free introductory music lessons.

Make Music Day is a free celebration of music around the world on June 21st. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held on the same day in more than 800 cities in 120 countries.

Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day is open to anyone who wants totake part. Make Music Day seeks the involvement of government bodies, local councils, music stores, schools and community music organisations, music stores and industry, and importantly, the general community. It is a day of community-led free musical expression

Register your event HERE or get full details HERE

Download your Make Music Day Australia GUIDE HERE

Industry News

Australis Music on the Road with Big Guitar Brands

Australis made a visit to Melbourne last week, as part of its national dealer tour, and put on a pretty impressive display of guitars across its premium brands. CEO, Trevor Morrow said the visit was all about connecting with dealers after a successful NAMM show for guitar brands, Gibson, Epiphone and Ibanez particularly.

Allans Music Bourke Street Closes
The industry changes at the end of February with the closure of the last Allans Music store at 152 Bourke Street Melbourne. Since 1858 there has been an Allans Music store in Melbourne. However, over the last 20 years it has had an interesting commercial history.
It has been a nursery for many senior industry figures in sales and distribution of musical instruments in Australia and overseas, with many of the top executives and business owners having learned their chops at an Allans (or Brashs) store.
As read on social media ‘ 75% of my Facebook friends I met working at that store’

Punters queue at one of the many instore appearance made over the years








Link Audio Receives Award at the NAMM Show
At the PreSonus International Sales Meeting at NAMM, Link Audio was presented with the PreSonus 2018 APAC Distributor of the Year award. With Michael Jago in the photo is Laz Harris who is the APAC sales Manager for PreSonus, based in Cebu in the Philippines.









Amber Technology will be distributing Apogee & other products from the Sound Distribution’s catalogue from March 1. Michael Horn after over 30 years in the industry is moving to other pursuits, and we wish him will.
Dealer enquiries can go to Tony McDowell –

Cranbourne Music Celebrates 30 Years
Way back in 1989, a small shop in the country town of Cranbourne! This year Cranbourne Music celebrates 30 years! They’re telling customers and friends to ‘Brace yourself for a year of photo flashbacks, hypercolour t-shirts, bad woolen and some not woolen jumpers, Michaels beard and lots of great people we met along the way!’








Sony and the Resource Corporation.

Following the success of their distribution of Sony MDR headphones and DWZ wireless systems The Resource Corporation have become exclusive distributors for the Sony Hi Resolution Microphone series.

High-Resolution Audio enables the listener to experience these sounds in the same way that they are heard in the environment of the recorded sound, with all of the overtones and harmonic content that we sense, feel and hear.

There are 3 microphones in the range:

C100 – side address
ECM100N – End address OMNI
ECM100U – End address Cardioid

National Sales Manager Tony Burn said “ High resolution audio will improve the experience for artists and listeners alike. These mics sound amazing and in reviews are often compared to microphones at twice the price.”

Industry Coalition Seeks CITES exemption on finished musical instruments

The long awaited CITES meeting scheduled for May in Sri Lanka is looming. In May 2019, the regulations governing the use of rosewood will be considered. The industry has been lobbying for changes to the existing restrictions on rosewood in instrument manufacture to include an exemption on finished musical instruments, finished musical instrument parts and finished musical instrument accessories.

The industry has argued that severe disruption in the musical instrument trade was an unintended consequence and that use of rosewood as components of a musical instrument was never really the intended target for the CITES ruling in the first place, and that rosewood restrictions were aimed at stopping illegal logging to supply the furniture industry.

This has been the subject of an intense lobbying process by the global music industry, and is an endorsement of the role of the NAMM initiated International Coordinating Committee over the years. At NAMM this year country representatives were given an update of the progress of the efforts of many associations around the world. The Australian Music Association AMA has supported an exemption proposal for finished musical instruments from Canada and the EU along with many other trade associations worldwide, and endorsed the proposals of the coalition to our management authorities, providing the government link to advise of the industry’s challenges in management of the regulations.

To view the Canadian and European Union proposals to the 18th Conference of the Parties, proposals that have been supported by the industry coalition, please CLICK HERE E-CoP18-Prop_draft-Dalbergia-Guibourtia-#15.

The Coalition led by the League of American Orchestras has also made a proposal seeking the carriage of instruments for non commercial purposes be exempt from the permit process. You can see this proposal HERE – Musical Instrument Certificate Statement ENG 3 19

There will be more updates on the work of the Coalition, including addressing the latest consideration to Cedrela being added to the banned list of controlled species, and an updated proposal which will also be presented to Australian authorities seeking their support of proposals to the Conference of the Parties.

The Industry Coalition has finalised it’s statements to the meeting of the parties, in respect to Dalbergia species (rosewood), Cedrelar (Cedar) and Mammoth Ivory. These can be viewed here.

Musical Instruments and Dalbergia February 2019

Musical Instrument Statement on Listing of Cedrela spp in CITES II

Musical Instrument Woolly Mammoth Statement

In the meantime there is comprehensive information hosted by our partners NAMM at THIS LINK


CITES is an international treaty that aims to ensure international trade in animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. The listing of a species under CITES means that import and export of that species is regulated through a permitting system. It does not affect domestic trade or use. More information on CITES  at


EarthQuaker Devices and Yamaha Music Australia Announce Exclusive Australia Distribution Effective January 1, 2019.

AKRON, Ohio & Melbourne, Australia — EarthQuaker Devices, LLC and Yamaha Music Australia today announced that effective January 1, 2019, Yamaha Music Australia will be the exclusive distributor of EarthQuaker Devices effects pedals in Australia.

EarthQuaker Devices was started in 2004 in Akron, Ohio, USA, by musician and entrepreneur Jamie Stillman. Since then, EarthQuaker Devices pedals have been used by artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Boris, the Mars Volta, Mono, CHON, Asai Kenichi, and the Black Keys. Each effects pedal is built by hand at EarthQuaker Devices’ workshop in Akron, Ohio, USA, by a team of passionate artists and musicians.

EarthQuaker Devices is honored to work beside Yamaha Music Australia, and to play a part in Yamaha’s 130-year history. We are excited to deliver innovative and creative effects pedals which live up to Yamaha’s philosophy of “Kandō,” and it is our hope to supply musicians with effects pedals of supreme audio quality, build quality, physical appearance, and performance.

Yamaha Music Australia Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, is Australia’s leading importer of musical equipment, with many decades of experience distributing Yamaha, Vox, Steinberg, Paiste and more recently Line 6 and Ampeg products. EarthQuaker Devices is thrilled to join these legendary brands as we begin our partnership with Yamaha Music Australia.

For more information about EarthQuaker Devices and Yamaha Music Australia, please visit or

Soundhouse Music Alliance and the re-birth of the Banana Keyboard

The Soundhouse Music Alliance, the music products industry charity, has spent most of its energy this year reinvigorating the Soundhouse Music Alliance Special Access Kit featuring the Banana Keyboard.

Soundhouse Music Alliance Chairman, Adrian Alexander with the Banana Keyboard

For those unaware, this instrument, it was originally developed by the Soundhouse Music Alliance 23 years ago, giving access to music making for people with disability, through connection to a computer, where any sounds, scale patterns or audio loops can be assigned to the 16 large keys and 8 switch inputs.

These features allow for the use of adaptive switches already used by people with disability to now trigger musical sounds. The banana keyboard was designed to fit across a wheel chair.

This flexibility provides music therapists and music teachers working in a variety of settings to design inclusive and engaging music activities which are age appropriate.

The project was placed high on the Soundhouse agenda this year as a result of some ground-breaking work done by Music Therapists running the Accessible Music Program at The Channel, at Arts Centre Melbourne (ACM).

Two issues had arisen since the original creation and distribution of over 100 banana keyboards to schools and other facilities in several states of Australia, as well as internationally including Ireland, China, Singapore, New Zealand, and the United States.

Firstly there was a desire to employ wireless technology to upgrade the keyboards, and secondly the original software written for Windows XP had clearly become obsolete.

Through generous donor support from The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Charitable Trust  through Arts Centre Melbourne, a wireless version of the banana keyboard has been designed, produced and successfully tested.

Two of these units are used extensively in The Accessible Music Program at ACM.

Further exploration by ACM staff running the Operator program at The Channel revealed that the Banana Keyboard could be easily controlled by Ableton Live, and a range of activities and sound sets have been successfully programmed by music technology specialist Benji Miu .

This revelation opened the door to other facilities being able to use the extensive programming features of Ableton Live, and also allow facilities which are now Mac based to use the Banana keyboards.

Soundhouse Music Alliance then made contact with Ableton in Australia, and received overwhelming support with training of teachers and therapists, and site licensing for schools participating in the training program.

The first of these training days was run on Dec 6th at The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne. It was led by Ableton registered trainer Davey Norris, with additional support from several of the Arts Centre staff who have pioneered the development of the SAK application of Ableton

Participants were delighted by the range of possibilities the Banana Keyboard and Ableton Live integration had to offer.

The day signalled a new dawn on the possibilities for future music making for people with disability.

The SMA endeavours to continue development in 2 ways.

Firstly, with ongoing Ableton support, we hope to roll out further training days, the first potentially being Sydney in early 2019.

Secondly, we are seeking to provide wireless upgrades to 20 facilities using the Banana Keyboards in 2019. This will be dependent on financial support to meet those aims.

AMA members wishing to contribute to providing people with disabilities, access to making music, can do so by making a donation to Soundhouse in their annual charitable efforts using this DONATE link. SMA is a registered charity and all donations are fully tax deductable.

Soundhouse Music Alliance is the music products industry charity.

2018 Melbourne Synth Festival

The Melbourne Synth Festival (Nov 23-25, 2018 Meat Market, North Melbourne)  presented a wide array of gear, informative workshops and some wonderful performances, as the AMA continued to be proactive in promoting the member’s products with it’s consumer show focus.

Thanks to the performers, workshop presenters, the exhibitors and folks that came along to check it out. The AMA’s Rob Walker said, ‘while crowds were lower than anticipated, perhaps due to the amount of activity in Melbourne Music Week, the quality of attendees was good, and as has been the AMA’s experience with new shows, the first year created a good benchmark from where to build in future years.”

Here’s a highlights reel to check out.

The following reports on the festival are available at these links

Day One

Day Two

Check out the Gear on Display


The annual industry pilgrimage to the NAMM Show is in many people’s calendar no doubt with plans well advanced. The show appears to be as significant as ever, with attendances on the increase and new categories being catered for in new halls. The new floorplan of the show was hailed a big success in 2018 with noise levels more controlled and product categories easy to find. The central mall with the main stage has added much to the event and the atmosphere too.

The NAMM U sessions have proved a popular part of the Australian delegates’ visits.

This year members will be invited to register for the now annual ANZAC reception at NAMM, an informal get together with the NAMM executive committee, this year 5.30pm on Friday 25th January. Venue tbc.

Registration is available, and the ‘free’ badge deadline for NAMM Members is 9 January.

ABC’s Don’t Stop The Music campaign receives over 1,500 instruments via Salvos Stores

What a real positive for our industry the launch of the Don’t Stop the Music on ABC TV these last few weeks has been. Rarely is our industry and key advocacy message broadcast to such a prime time audience. And what a positive for those students that will be helped by this fantastic initiative to further their music making at school.

The AMA encourages its members to get involved – this link tells you all you need to know about donating

In other developments, Federal MP Matt Keogh raps in Parliament about Don’t Stop The Music Parliament’s own Eminem, Federal Member for Burt, Matt Keogh gave a rousing performance in Parliament last week about Don’t Stop The Music and the importance of music education. Check it out here.




Make Music Day Australia is set to expand next year with the announcement of a partnership between the Live Music Office and the Australian Music Association to deliver the 2019 program.

Make Music Day is a free celebration of music making around the world, taking place on 21 June. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held on the same day in more than 750 cities in 120 countries.

Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day is open to anyone who wants to take part. It’s a DIY Music Festival! Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — can organise their own gig, or join the many organisations that will host events, to share their music with friends, neighbours, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public.

The 2018 pilot of Make Music Day Australia was conducted with the funding and resources of the Australian Music Association (AMA), via its partner the NAMM Foundation (US based). The event saw over 100 events in 80 locations register an event on the Make Music Day Australia website.

To expand on the pilot program from 2018, a dedicated role has now been established through a partnership with the AMA under the auspices of APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office, with the aim to build greater awareness of the initiative.

Australian Music Association Executive Officer Rob Walker said, “The AMA is very proud to be partnering with Live Music Office and APRA AMCOS in building the Make Music Day concept in Australia and creating an event that joins the world in celebrating music making on 21 June.”

“The synergy of purpose between the organisations is striking, and we look forward to engaging many more Australian musicians of all levels in live music in 2019.”

This role will grow these initial partnerships and relationships, increase the number of events from 2018, build on the assets and contacts created, and take the next step in developing this DIY Music Festival concept into one of a truly national interest.

Lucy Joseph of the Live Music Office will be coordinating the local initiative and commented, “Make Music Day is all about allowing communities of audiences and musicians to engage with each other for one day to make free, accessible music and to celebrate the role that music plays in our everyday lives.”

“In 2018 we saw a variety of successful activations across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland particularly, and we’re thrilled to be working so closely with AMA and NAMM to raise awareness and participation across Australia in 2019.”

The Live Music Office will work with Make Music Day to promote participation, engage with other government agencies and liaise with music industry stakeholders, local councils, venues and organisations promoting the benefits and opportunities surrounding Make Music Day.