Production Masterclass

A totally unique learning experience in electronic music education. The Toolroom Academy Masterclass is a bespoke, 1-1 mentoring programme aimed at those who are truly serious about their music career.

This 1-1 programme is taught either face-to-face (in London and Toolroom HQ) or delivered online. No time is wasted – the syllabus is built entirely around your needs as a new artist.

We start with a true diagnosis of your current production levels; your intended positioning in the market; your social media profile and general knowledge about the industry. From this, we build out a personalised programme.

Each week you’ll benefit from individual production lessons alongside weekly, detailed professional A&R feedback and an intensive mentoring programme. The intention is for you to learn how to create professional tracks- that are ready to get signed.

  • Learn in Logic or Ableton
  • Enjoy 1-1 production sessions
  • Study with production legend D.Ramirez
  • Complete challenging weekly assignments
  • Work on your own music
  • Get intensive, individual A&R feedback
  • Study either in London or Online
  • Approved by the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM)

Modules

A brand new curriculum combining structured and bespoke learning, weekly assignments and tailored feedback.

  • Week One
    Creativity, Artistic Identity & The Importance of Sound Choice

    During this first session students formally meet Tutors D.Ramirez and Pete Griffiths to discuss their intended direction as an artist. Here we will analyse your current sound & style against your intended musical direction, and look at how this fits the current market, whilst focusing on the importance of sound choice and artistic identity.

  • Week Two
    Studio Session: Advanced Drum Programming

    During this session students will learn how to build their drums from scratch whilst further developing their own sound and Artistic Identity. Focus will be on Sound Choice, the correct processing for Tech House, layering sounds and the relationship between all the parts in your groove.

  • Week Three
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students will create five different drum grooves using the various methods taught during their studio session whilst considering style, sound choice and artistic identity. During this A&R session students will spend time with Tutor Pete Griffiths to assess and analyse the recently produced drum grooves, giving feedback from an A&R standpoint and advice on which drums to move forward with for the students course track.

  • Week Four
    Studio Session: Creating the Perfect Bassline

    Here we look deeper into the art of writing the perfect bassline – and how choosing the right sound and style can influence the success of the groove, showcasing how to write different basslines using varied techniques whilst understanding how variance in melody can determine style.

  • Week Five
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students will create five different basslines over their chosen drum groov,e using the various methods taught during their studio session. During this A&R session students will spend time with tutor Pete Griffiths to assess and analyse the recently produced basslines, giving feedback from an A&R standpoint.

  • Week Six
    Studio Session: Hooks Part1: Working with Vocals

    During this session we look at adding vocal samples to our tracks and creating an original hook to suit our style. We delve into the do’s and don’ts of sampling. We will be working with spoken word acapellas from various sources (YouTube, Films, Sample Packs etc) and will demonstrate techniques on how best to process these – whilst finding something unique to create a new hook, making these fit into the groove through processing techniques in Ableton.

  • Week Seven
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students will create four different Vocal Hook ideas over their groove utilising each of the methods showcased in the latest studio session whilst considering style, sound choice and artistic identity. During this A&R session students will spend time with Tutor Pete Griffiths to assess and analyse the recently produced vocal hooks, including advice how these can vary the stylistic identity and overall success of the track.

  • Week Eight
    Studio Session: Hooks Part 2: Creating Unique Musical Hooks

    During this session students will cover some Musical theory, understanding scales and how this applies to creating Musical hooks. The Tutor will demonstrate how to write an original riff using Lennar Digital’s Sylenth, we will also cover creating stabs, chords, pads and melodies, whilst considering your style and artistic identity.

  • Week Nine
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students to create four different Musical Hook ideas over their groove utilising the methods showcased in the latest studio session. During this A&R session students will spend time with Tutor Pete Griffiths to assess and analyse the recently produced musical hooks, giving feedback from an A& R standpoint and advice on each hook and how these work with the other key parts of your track.

  • Week Ten
    Studio Session: Arranging Your Track And Adding FX Part 1

    We extend our groove to a basic pre-arrangement of 16 bar groove, 16 bar break, and back into 16 bar groove to see how our ideas will progress and work to create the key moments in our track .During this session we will also look at adding FX to the focal parts of the track to create tension, drama and key moments alongside adding more common FX techniques such as risers, snare rolls and delays.

  • Week Eleven
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students to extend their groove to a 48 bar pre-arrangement to showcase & develop their ideas, whilst adding and creating FX to add tension. Students will also be required to start between two and four new track ideas during this assignment period to be assessed during the following A&R session.

  • Week Twelve
    Studio Session: Arranging Your Track And Adding FX Part 2

    During this session we will demonstrate how to take your extended loop and arrange it into a full-length track, whilst focusing on how this will work in the club for the DJ. Particular attention will be on each focal section, showcasing how the importance of creating key moments at the right times and blending these sections together well will keep your track interesting throughout. We will also delve deeper into more advanced automation techniques.

  • Week Thirteen
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students will now create a full arrangement of their track to be assessed in the following A&R Session whilst considering techniques displayed during the studio session. Students will also continue working on their second track based on recent feedback.

  • Week Fourteen
    Studio Session: Mixing Down to a Professional Level

    Mixing down can be one of the most daunting areas of music production to master, but by applying the right techniques in the right order it can be conquered. With the main elements to the track now in place we look at the preliminary mixing techniques focusing on gain staging to balance your track, working with the K-scale and introducing the right plugins and best practice when using them.

  • Week Fifteen
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students will now work on their initial mixdown of their track utilising the techniques displayed during their studio session to be assessed in the following A&R Session. Students will also continue working on their second track based on recent feedback.

  • Week Sixteen
    Studio Session: Advanced Mixing Techniques

    The final mixdown of a track can often be one of the key reasons why tracks get missed or not supported by many DJs. During this session we look at all areas of the track to complete a more advanced mixdown utilising techniques like parallel processing, compression, bussing and using Modulation FX. We will also showcase our Mastering chain which enables us to have a DJ Master ready to test in the clubs.

  • Week Seventeen
    Assignment and A&R Session

    Students will now work on their final mixdown of their track utilising the techniques displayed during their studio session. Students will also continue working on their second track based on recent feedback. During this session students will spend time with Tutor Pete Griffiths to assess the final mixdown whilst giving feedback from an A&R standpoint. Here we will also assess the students second track and give overall feedback and some points to follow for the final Studio session of engineering with D.Ramirez.

  • Week Eighteen
    Studio Session: Final Engineering Session

    During this session Students will spend time finishing off their second track that has been developing during the course, with Tutor D.Ramirez focusing on key areas for improvement and answering any questions that have arisen from the course.

  • Week Twenty-Four
    A&R Session

    Six weeks after the course finishes, students will receive an extra A&R session where they can submit further works for A&R Feedback and advice with Tutor Pete Griffiths.

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The Learning Experience

1-1 Teaching

Rather than being part of a group – and learning at the pace of other people – you get totally focused, 1-1 teaching throughout the entire programme.

Focused Curriculum

Our Masterclass curriculum is designed specifically around the music we love. We teach House, Tech House and Techno – and nothing else.

Continuous Feedback

Every week you’ll get detailed, granular feedback on your music from an industry A&R. This keeps you on track and speeds up your learning.

Career Development

You leave the programme with a personalised marketing plan and a clear action plan for the next steps in your music career.

Course Tutors

  • D.Ramirez
    For his entire career, D.Ramirez is a name that has been synonymous with cutting edge and beautifully produced House music. A true genre pioneer within Tech House, he has written underground anthems and crossover tracks, including the legendary tracks ‘Downpipe’ with Mark Knight, ‘Yeah Yeah’ with Bodyrox and more recently ‘Retreat’ on Crosstown Rebels. As a producer and studio engineer, his knowledge and reputation is unparalleled.
  • Pete Griffiths
    With over ten years service at Toolroom and 20 years’ music industry experience, Pete has played an instrumental role in making Toolroom what is today. Having scouted numerous Beatport top tens and discovered many acclaimed artists, he has an expert voice in identifying hooks, improving arrangement and ensuring tracks are 100% ready for commercial release. Some of the artists Pete A&Rs for include Mark Knight, Weiss, Prok & Fitch and Adrian Hour.

Methods of Study

London/Toolroom HQ
  • Attend 1-1 production sessions at the London studio of D.Ramirez
  • Attend Toolroom HQ in Kent for mentoring sessions
Online Learning
  • Log-in for 1-1 online production sessions with D.Ramirez
  • Log in for 1-1 A&R feedback sessions with Pete Griffiths

Is this course for me?

I can finish tracks myself, but they aren’t ‘label-ready’

This course isn’t aimed at beginners, but those who have been producing for some time, and want to get to professional standard.

I prefer to learn on a 1-1 basis

The Masterclass is entirely delivered 1-1. There is no group work at any point. We tailor the learning and feedback to you.

I’m looking for advanced production knowledge

The most advanced programme in the Toolroom Academy, the Masterclass will give you production techniques you simply don’t find elsewhere.

I really need professional feedback on my tracks

This course has the most individual, 1-1 A&R feedback time. By the end of the programme, you’ll learn to think like an A&R!

Testimonials

  • "I wrote three records with the Toolroom Academy. All three were signed by my target record labels."
    Tenova | Student - Toolroom Academy Production Masterclass (UK)
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  • "Not many schools allow you access to professional A&R feedback."
    Redux Saints | Student - Toolroom Academy Production Masterclass (LA/UK)
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  • "From the first phone call, the first visit, you realise they have such a great team over there."
    Camille | Student - Toolroom Academy Production Masterclass (UK)
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Take the next step

We’ll be in contact to discuss the syllabus and your production ambitions, plus info on start dates & pricing.

Please send us a message using the form below, and someone from the Toolroom Academy will get back to you within 24 hours.

Give us a call – (+44)01622 673676