Mai Mai

Mai Mai

Production Certificate

Tell us about your production journey so far – how long have you been producing? And what drew you to it in the first place?

Great question! I’ve loved house music for years! I went to old school raves and dance the night away. I always found myself so intrigued by the production of music. I DJ’d regularly and toured in different continents. I tinkered with Reason, Logic and Cubase in the early 2000’s before life took me away from music for over a decade. At some point, I couldn’t take it anymore and decided I would get back into music to feed my soul.

I became obsessed again with music and production, soaking up everything I could. I listened to music so differently, every design of sound character, effects and arrangement. I wanted to understand the how’s and why’s of everything. I must have watched a bajillion YouTube videos of random people instructing and sharing tips about various aspects of production. I took a few short classes and really enjoyed continuously trying to push my own understanding and boundaries of music. This is what led me to Toolroom Academy. I wanted to sharpen my understanding of the technical and creative side to production and well… I’m even more obsessed with music now.

Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in anyway?

Hmmm… yet another great question. I love all kinds of music resolving that good music is just good music. I also love people, but have always been a little uncomfortable drawing a lot of attention to myself. So trying to understand myself and becoming more comfortable with the music I produce was eye opening to help me become confident in the music I make no matter the style or who I’m collaborating with.

What other modules really stood out to you throughout the 12 weeks?

Every one of the modules has taught me something new or different that I’ve incorporated into my production now. I haven‘t watched one module that I felt like everything within it I knew.

How important was the A&R feedback throughout your journey?

Extremely important. It’s a true test of all your time and knowledge gained. We (producers) work on tracks, listening to them over and over and over again while agonising over sound design, arrangement and overall creativity. So it’s humbling, inspiring and exciting to hear in the moment what someone who listens to hundreds of demos has to say. It’s incredible to see and hear their A&R talent as well. They are incredibly honest, encouraging and provide technically sound advice.

It’s an amazing experience for anyone serious about elevating their production to higher levels.

How happy were you with the track you made over the course of the 3 months?

The first track was good, the second track was great, which was confirmed when it got signed. When the instructors said they liked it in their polite English accents I just assumed they said that to everyone (haha). Lucky for me, that wasn’t the case.

What do you think was unique or different about the Production Certificate compared to other programmes/schools out there?

It was organised in a way that allowed us learn, get feedback, as well as communicate and network with others. The modules were well thought out and left very little, that I could see, uncovered. It was cohesive, comprehensive and collaborative to the right degree.

How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?

I see music very differently now and spend less time watching instructional YouTube videos for sure!

Has your ability on Logic/ableton improved since you’ve taken the course?

Yes, I’m much faster at ‘driving’ and with my workflow in Ableton. Now that I have my ‘Toolroom’ in order, it has allowed me to spend more time on being creative with my music.

Now that I have my ‘Toolroom’ in order, it has allowed me to spend more time on being creative with my music.

Did you manage to connect and built relationships with other students on the course?

Yes! I’ve met some extremely passionate people, collaborated with other students on tracks that have done well, and will continue giving and getting feedback from my TA peers for years to come.

How would you rate your tutors?

I believe the term that the English use is ‘Legend’. I value their feedback beyond their understanding. I also find it admirable that despite their own taste or preferences in music, they are objective about their feedback and commitment to furthering the skill sets of their students. Cheers Pete, Ben and Dean. Much love and respect.

What was the single best experience you had on the programme?

There’s so many. Besides getting a nod of approval from Toolroom for signing a track of mine, or listening to every feedback video and letting out a sigh of relief out when they tell me I didn’t screw it all up… it would have to be when Pete and Matt were raving at the Toolroom headquarters when a talented classmate of mine George played his track during an A&R session. It was classic.

Would you recommend the Production Certificate to other producers?

Do you get the impression I wouldn’t?! Just kidding, of course I do. Every electronic music producer should.

As a graduate, what are your thoughts on the Toolroom Academy overall?

It’s an amazing experience for anyone serious about elevating their production to higher levels. It forces you to think about your own production, heightens your perception of music made by other producers, and then teaches you to put what you’ve learned all together and share it with the world. It’s inspired me to make music that makes people dance and outlasts me. For all this I’m forever grateful!

Production Certificate
Our flagship programme. Embark on an intensive 12 week journey, that takes you step-by-step through the essentials of building a credible and relevant track to a professional standard. Enjoy continuous A&R feedback and mentorship throughout the course.
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