Foundation Programme: Course 3

Part 3 of the Toolroom Academy Foundation Programme switches things up a gear.

Stepping out of the realms of learning the fundamentals of production, this course will zoom into the finer details of making quality House and Tech House. And most importantly, it’s about really injecting originality and creativity into your music.

In this course we assume you can finish a track. We assume you can effectively use sample packs to build your music. And we assume that you understand how to structure a song properly.

What you’ll learn is how to make your OWN sounds.

You’ll learn how to design and create original basslines, synth hooks and how to design your own drum sounds and grooves.

We’ll teach you the essentials of sound design, through a combination of synthesis, sample manipulation, audio effects and music theory. We’ll even go as challenging you to record your OWN world!  Recording and manipulating sounds from the environment around you! You’ll even be using your own vocals!

By the end of this course, your music will have more personal identity, you’ll have some amazing new creative tools to employ, and your music will stand out more to label A&Rs.

 

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Key Features

15 hours video tutorials

Watch Ben Remember’s screen in razor-sharp detail as he teaches you some advanced tricks. Pre-recorded videos, lifetime access.

Access to monthly QnA webinar

Get stuck? Need creative help? Join our monthly webinars, where you get to chat to Ben and other students.

Exclusive Sample Pack

Ben has created an exclusive sample pack for the course, but more crucially, you’ll learn how to make your own sounds going forward.

Test your knowledge

Peppered throughout the course are quizzes to test how much info you’re taking in!

Modules

  • Lesson One
    Building Drums

    In this module, we firstly approach how to analyse and understand our drums sounds on a detailed level. This will enable you to make correct decisions whilst designing sounds yourself. Then we go on to look at re-designing and shaping drum samples, manipulating and bending them to our will, making them sound exactly as they are in your head. We then move on to synthesizing drum sounds from scratch. And then how to layer these two ideas together, to get the best of both worlds. Importantly, we actually put these sounds into practice, by building drum grooves! Everything from Stylistic claps, top loops, percussion hooks to shaker rhythms, making sure that our sounds are all doing the jobs they’re designed for.

  • Lesson Two
    Building Bass

    We start with a relevant introduction to music theory – in a way that makes sense to House music producers. We cover the rhythm of basslines, giving you an understanding of the right notes and tones to be aiming for. We give you a wide view of synthesis by detailing a variety of classic and current House basslines, showing you how to get really different results by using Operator. Next, we show you how to make bass samples unique, and how to turn loops into single hits to create completely new basslines full of the right flavour and. We cover the relationship between kick and bass (a fundamental aspect to understand), show you how to make THAT techno reverb bassline, alongside a whole host of practical lessons on nailing your bass in House music.

  • Lesson Three
    Building Synth Hooks

    We dive a little deeper into the world of music theory in this module as we move towards writing our synth hooks. Major scales, minor scales, chords and more – this is a whole hour dedicated to the relevant and necessary music theory you actually need to know. Moving away from technicality for a moment, we explore the vibe and ‘feeling’ of your tracks – how the musical decisions you make will change not only the success of your track, but also how A&Rs and clubbers will feel when they hear your music.  We then move into using Ableton’s instrument ‘Analogue’, going back into synthesis before showing you how to add layers, write arpeggio lines and pad sounds.  We’ll show you how to ‘fix’ bad quality samples by enhancing them with multiple layers of samples and synthesised sounds.

  • Lesson Four
    Building your own FX

    This module really is a bootcamp on Ben’s sound designing techniques for creating EFX! We’ve all been there where sound effects are good, but not quite right. But what people don’t realise, is that EFX are just as important as the main hooks – you can let a track down by using generic EFX from sample packs. We show you how to make a wide variety of EFX sounds from scratch, using synthesis and sound manipulation, using the full force of Ableton’s native features.  Learn how to master rhythmic effects like drums fills, snare builds, crash EFX and much more.

  • Lesson Five
    Recording your own world

    Let’s get truly original! In the sample pack supplied with this course, you’ll find a folder of ‘found sounds’ recorded by Ben. But more importantly, this is about learning how YOU can use the everyday sounds around you to create truly unique tones and rhythms in your music. For example, we show you how to turn the sound of a bus driving past you into a Chicago style House music chord. How the sounds around your home (like doors and drawers) can be turned into a quirky Tech House hook. How recording your own voice can be manipulated and edited into a strong vocal hook, a practice which in itself gives you a deeper understanding of what makes a good vocal in House music.

  • Lesson Six
    Putting it all together

    By now, you’ve learned a whole host of new techniques, practices, and theories. But in this module, we actually help you use these new techniques in the real world. We’ve got over 3 hours on how to build song ideas and get out of that frustrating ”but what now?” mindset. Addressing common problems you’ll face when you stretch yourself creatively. Watch Ben actually struggle and work things out, proving when you learn the diversity of these new skills, you can find another level of understanding. We take our drums, basslines, synth hooks and EFX, and use them to create an artistic identity, not just a collection of individually creative ideas.

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What you’ll learn

A masterclass in constructing sounds

This course is about getting original and no longer relying on sample packs. Learn how to write and manipulate sounds yourself, and make your music stand out more.

Only the necessary music theory

We’ll teach you what you need to know about music theory and sound design, as a House music producer. We won’t bore you with over complication,  you’ll get the tools you need to be more confident when writing music.

Recording your own world

Stuck using the same old sounds? We’ll show you how to turn the sound of traffic into a house chord, how to turn the sound of your kettle turning on into a layer for your kick drum to how to record and manipulate your own vocals.

Put it all together

Ben Remember has designed this course to work as a friendly pocket book of techniques but he didn’t stop there! This course won’t leave you with a load of inapplicable ideas. We tie everything together and show you how to use these techniques in combination with each other to actually make relevant tracks for today’s market.

Meet the Tutor

  • Ben Remember
    Ben Remember is a key part of the Toolroom artist roster. Known as one of the most creative and technically accomplished producers in the scene, his tracks are instantly recognisable, and he’s been continually championed by Annie Mac on Radio 1 alongside receiving regular DJ support from the likes of Andrea Olivia, Eats Everything and Nick Curly.  But Ben is no overnight success story. Having spent 10 years perfecting his craft before getting his big break, he is well aware of the work new producers must put in before they get recognition – and as such, he is the perfect person to teach the next generation of upcoming artists.

Is this course for me?

A&Rs are rejecting my tracks

Maybe you’re making perfectly acceptable tracks, but they are lacking that edge. It’s time to challenge yourself and get more original.

I’m bored of producing using Samples

Set yourself apart from other producers by writing your own sounds and recording the world around you.

I’d love to get an understanding of music theory

We’ve got you covered – and crucially, we’ll teach you what you need to know for House music.

I’m a previous Toolroom Academy Student

Have you taken Foundation Parts 1 and 2? Have you studied our Production Certificate? This course is an ideal next step on your production journey.

Make it happen

Learn how to make cutting-edge House and Tech House with our 3 month online Production Certificate taught by Ben Remember & Ben Keen.