Tell us about your production journey so far – how long have you been producing? What drew you to it in the first place?
I have been producing for the past 4 years. I was a raver / DJ before I got myself fully into music production.Being born in the 80s, I grew up listening and raving to old school Hip-Hop, House and Trance. The 90’s sound massively shaped my taste in music, this is what I like to listen to and play as a DJ.
Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in any way?
Since I was a big fan of Toolroom Trax right from the start, I knew straight away that’s what I wanted to make.I used to buy a bunch of toolroom Trax records for my DJ set. It was just perfect for my ministry set and with those unbelievable speakers, it made me madly fall in love with the sound of Toolroom Trax.The course made me sit and think back to my early days and reflect on what I wanted to make as an Artist.
How bespoke was the course for you? Was it tailored towards your needs?
Yes, it was bang on the Money! I felt like the course was made for me because I had to do a questionnaire before we began so they could help tailor it to help me achieve my goals.
The personal touch the course gives was amazing! They made me feel a part of the Toolroom family right from the start and genuinely cared about me!
It was a dream come true to see my track come to life over the duration of the course!
What modules stood out to you throughout the 15 weeks?
It had to be the Arrangement and Automation module because I knew how to make a sick banging groove, but I didn’t know what to do after that. I was struggling to understand how to take the track further and make it interesting, energetic, and so on. It was a game-changer for me.
How did you find the A&R Feedback throughout the course? Was it as detailed and granular as you imagined?
The 1 to 1 feedback is world class! This is something you don’t get access to anywhere else! They really understood what I was trying to achieve with my track and to have their experience really benefitted me.
The feedback has really helped shape the way I think about my productions now.
How happy were you with the track you made throughout the duration of the course?
I was happy! We had four different genres to pick from.
To be honest I wasn’t very happy with the vocals in my track, I picked them up Splice, but I got the idea. It takes a lot of time to pick a great vocal. Because of time constraints, I had to pick the closest one, but it more or less fitted into the track I made.
Pete and Matt even put on their techno glares to rock with my techno track on the final day. I had so much fun watching them raving in the studio. Everyone in the class was so supportive and friendly.
What do you think was unique or different about Creativity Unlocked compared to other programmes/schools out there?
It’s definitely having Dean Ramirez as the tutor, he’s an absolute Legend! A really down to earth guy who knows so much about Music Production! I once had the pleasure of opening the main room in Pacha London for him.
There is no one like Dean and Pete in this industry. These legends make the course what it is. It’s very well thought out and they teach you exactly what you need to know. No more wasting time!
You finish the course being able to make a track to a professional standard!
How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?
I now have a much clearer idea of what I am doing and where I am going with my projects.
I now think carefully about each element I am adding compared to just dragging in anything.
I now also have a much better understanding of the whole production process, and this helps me to make better decisions.
Has your ability on Logic/Ableton improved since you’ve taken the course?
Definitely, I originally started in Logic but didn’t get along with it. When Ben showed me Ableton, he made it look so easy and I instantly felt more at ease using that DAW. The workflow is great and I can put my ideas together quickly.
I used to be scared because of how complex it looked but I now have a much better understanding and am addicted to it! Big thank you to Toolroom Academy for this!
How would you rate your tutors?
They are priceless, everyone is so passionate about sharing their knowledge with upcoming artists! I can’t give them a rating high enough! It was a dream for me to learn from those who have inspired me.
What was the single best experience you had on the programme?
It’s either the 1 to 1 feedback or the Social Media Class with Toolroom’s Director Miles Shackleton, both were very good and eye opening. It helped to put us in the right mindset as aspiring artists!
On a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to recommend this course to other producers?
10! I would highly recommend everyone to get stuck in because it’s exactly what you need as an aspiring producer! In the words of Mark Knight “It’s Bang on the Money mate”
As a graduate, what are your thoughts on the Toolroom Academy overall?
The toolroom academy not only provide you with great knowledge, they also provide you with a great networking platform where you can meet likeminded producers, DJ’s and vocalists.
The Toolroom team continue to look after you once the course is finished by providing sessions for Alumni!
It’s really inspiring to see names like Adrian Hour and Wheats doing so well having come from a similar position, it inspires me to do the same!
Overall, what makes toolroom academy stand out is how down to earth they are!