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In other words – for producers to start trying to make finished tracks, or try advanced techniques – before they are ready. And sometimes, this can be a detrimental thing. Do you ever make tracks that you know aren’t quite right? Are you over complicating your creative process?
Another recurring issue for upcoming producers is not finishing songs! Folders upon folders of unfinished projects can get really frustrating. It may well be you need to take a step backward, before you go forward.
Without learning the fundamentals of the art form, you’re never going to fully hit your potential.
Taught over 6 weeks, Part 2 of the Toolroom Academy Foundation Programme will give you these foundations. It’s a direct follow on from Part 1, but also a standalone course for producers who already know their way around Ableton.
We look at the set-up; getting our files and folders organised properly. We examine the sample pack provided – essentially four different songs, broken down into one pack. It sounds simple, but we go over loading these sounds in – teaching you a systematic way, allowing you to be creative later down the line. We do a proper breakdown on sound choice – something totally fundamental to the Toolroom Academy teaching methodology. We explain why some sounds some better together than others. You develop your artistic identity in these early stages.
This lesson is all about editing and the groove. We focus on editing the drums, using Audio and Midi. New editing techniques will make your drum loops stand out, infusing your personality into the track. We look at Groove Pool and rhythm, adding swing and shuffle into sounds making them sound more real and less predictable. And finally, we focus on the musical elements – the stabs, the bassline, the vocals – making hooks your own. This is where Ben spends much of his own time making his tracks stand out.
Having got creative with the sounds, we’re going to develop these sounds into an idea – a small arrangement. Are the sounds working as well as we thought, in context? We look at automation and grouping effects, adding energy into our song. We focus on the why as much as the how – giving you a creative understanding of your track, as well as the mechanical. We’ll start making our own EFX with Operator.
This is the beginning of the song developing, taking our new mechanical knowledge, and putting it into good use. An introduction to song arrangement will show you why the specifics of the sounds are important, and why they work together. A good song isn’t made by tricks, but by a good ear and understanding of sounds. We’ll get an idea started, forming a mini arrangement – if we can get the smaller section sound great, we can make a full song amazing. We’ll then get into automation and effects – a truly key tool to make House/Tech House.
People jump to mixing down way too early in their musical journey. Yes, we need our song to sound massive in the club, but that’s not solely down to geeky tricks. We need to get some fundaments right before we start worrying about over-complication. Just having good sounds, balanced properly, is a massive deal, and a lot harder than it sounds. We’ll work through this process in three parts; mixing down your music, getting your levels, and being loud but balanced!
In the final lesson, we have a whole studio session with Ben, broken into three bitesize parts. We want you to feel like your sat in the studio with Ben, as you watch him work a little bit faster. He starts a completely new project, using all the same techniques from the course in different ways – so you can see how what you’ve learned so far can be applied in a multitude of ways. Learn Ben’s creative process, and he explains every step of the way.