To celebrate the tenth iteration of the entertainment and media trade show, Mediatech Africa and the Academy of Sound Engineering (ASE) collaborated with Freshlyground, one of the most acclaimed and successful bands to emerge from South Africa, to launch the new MasterMix competition for emerging sound engineers. 

MasterMix offered applicants the opportunity to mix the separates for Refuge, an as-yet-unreleased Freshlyground track, which will feature on the band’s upcoming album. More than a hundred aspiring sound engineers entered the competition, and a panel of judges from the ASE narrowed it down to just eight finalists ahead of Mediatech Africa.

The ultimate winner was announced at ASE stand with Gavan Eckhart walking away with top honours. Eckhart received an ASE bursary valued at R100,000 and a selection of gear sponsored by Wild and Marr, valued at R30 000.

A studio owner, sound engineer and producer, Eckhart has worked with the cream of the South African music industry – recording and mixing for industry giants like Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Soweto Gospel Choir, and Freshlyground. He also tours with top South African and international bands providing great live mixes for a diverse listenership. He has been nominated for a SAMA for Miriam Makeba’s Reflections, as well as a Golden Reel Award for the soundtrack to ‘Book of Negros’.

With an already well-established and illustrious career on track, Eckhart generously donated the bursary back to the ASE so that a deserving up and coming student can benefit from his prize.