ŌMAP is back for 2024!

Written by on 14 February 2024

Saltbox Studio’s Ōtautahi Music Access Program has been greenlit for its second season in 2024!

To celebrate, we sat down with ŌMAP’s director, Simon Claridge, for an in-depth conversation about what the program does, and why it has been renewed for a second season.

Okay so, in a nutshell, explain to me what ŌMAP is.

The Ōtautahi Music Access Programme (ŌMAP) is a program run by RDU 98.5FM, The Christchurch City Council, Toi Ōtautahi, and SALTBOX Studios.

It is a program that provides local Ōtautahi musicians a full, free day in Saltbox Studios. Something they may not be able to afford, thus limiting their progress or desire to create further work.

Successful applicants get use of all the equipment in the studio, are provided an engineer to produce and record their work, and are then provided a high-quality audio recording of their unreleased piece of music to push out to the world!

You’ve just been greenlit for a second season. How did last year’s season go?

Season one was amazing!

We were oversubscribed and unfortunately could not accommodate everyone who applied. In the end, we selected 20 local Ōtautahi artists across a wide range of genres and styles.

We ended up producing a double EP called SALTY BITS and published it through the RDU bandcamp at the end of 2023.



Some artists who took part in the program managed to gain further success from the program and some received international acclaim or were signed to international labels.

One of our artists was invited to an international musical program in Europe on the back of the work we produced with them!

So, in short, the program achieved more than it set out to! Ultimately we helped artists who are local and really talented but could not afford to pay for a full day in the studio with the right microphones, audio equipment, an engineer, or producer.

What level of skill or knowledge do applicants need in order to qualify for the program?

The program is open to all ages and skill levels, we assess each application as they come in.

Our goal is to work with the artist to produce a higher level of production, so we are able to elevate the musician into a space, they did not know they were capable of.

What kind of things do musicians end up learning through this program?

It’s about teaching them what a day in a fully functioning studio is like. We discuss pre-production, recording techniques, and production techniques. We show the artist what we do to capture the music and explain why.

An artist will leave our programme with a higher level of understanding of how a studio functions whilst giving them tools to help elevate any future works they may produce.

We also point them in the right direction on how to publish, distribute, and promote their music through various music industry channels, and how to approach the Student Radio Network stations.

What kind of musicians should apply?

If you are from Ōtautahi, you are a musician, have unreleased musical work, and want to have your music recorded or produced to a high standard… THEN APPLY!


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