Tell us about your production journey so far – how long have you been producing? What drew you to it in the first place?
Before the Toolroom Academy I had been watching various tutorials and trying to self teach and getting to grips with Ableton for a few weeks, so I’m quite early on in my production journey. I’ve been DJ’ing locally for a couple of years and had a few small successes here and there in regards to winning competitions, but wanting to get to the next level, progress and make a career from music I knew it was time to start learning to produce to get to where I want to be.
On top of that I’ve always wanted to be able to produce my own tracks and get the same feeling you do with the crowd when playing other peoples music.
What made you decide to enrol on the Production Certificate programme?
I decided to enrol on the production certificate as I knew that following a structured programme like this was a step in the right direction, as it would allow me to learn step-by-step how to build a track, as opposed to trying to teach myself through tutorials and only picking up bits and pieces of information – and essentially going round in circles. So I knew that enrolling in this would make me learn a hell of a lot more and a lot quicker.
In addition to this I’ve always followed Toolroom as a label and to be able to learn and partake in the programme under a label as big as Toolroom was definitely an opportunity not worth missing out on.
How easy/difficult was the enrolment process?
The enrolment process was easy and straight-forward. I spoke with Miles at the label and he was very supportive in directing me to take the Production Certificate, which would be more suitable for the stage I was at – as beforehand I was looking into the Production Masterclass. Any questions I had were answered promptly.
Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in any way?
Yes it made me think a lot more about what I want to make sound wise, finding artists I can reference in terms of style/sound who I’d like to be positioned with and how using my creativity, choice of sounds can develop my artist identity.
What other modules really stood out to you throughout the 12 weeks?
Each module was wicked and really informative, however module two which was building drums and looking at different drum grooves and looking at the variance in each from the style of the kick drum to syncopation of each element I found really interesting. Module 3 on basslines was another one that stands out for me as its one of the key parts to a track. This module covered theory on the role of the bassline, what style fits your sound and taking loops and manipulating them to achieve your own unique bassline.
Another module that I really enjoyed was the marketing session with Miles. I found this made me think about myself as an artist in various ways such as branding and my social media presence and how I can be perceived. Along with this we studied artists in the industry and their personalities and what makes them stand out. I found this session really insightful.
How did you find the weekly assignment work?
The weekly assignment work I found great. Getting to practice and get to work on what I had been learning about and the structure of doing this each week I felt helped with my progression. At times it was challenging when things weren’t gelling together, but the feedback I received once submitting my project from Pete & Ben allowed me to rectify my mistakes.
What do you think was unique or different about the Production Certificate compared to other programmes/schools out there?
I’d say the Programme is unique because you’re learning to make the sound Toolroom represents and learning how to create a track step-by-step to a professional standard. Along with the additional module such as the marketing session and having the chance to remix one of Ben’s tracks you really do learn a lot over the 3 months and the value the programme offers is priceless in my eyes.
How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?
I know so much more now than I did prior to starting the course. My knowledge on production as a whole is much more established and I feel that’s due to the structure of the programme and how you have each module each week that you learn, the set deadline to work and hand your assignment in, then receiving the A&R feedback. For me that kept me fully focused and helped me learn productively.
How would you rate your tutors – Ben Remember and Pete Griffiths?
10/10 Pete & Ben are excellent tutors. Both very knowledgeable and always happy to help and point you in the right direction.
Would you recommend the Production Certificate to other producers?
Yes I’d definitely recommend the course to other producers. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced in production there’s loads you can learn and take away from it.