Steven Han

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

At the age of fifteen my parents bought me my first Mac, I was always back there tweaking a program called GarageBand.
After two yrs I was able to put my ideas down there, I was pretty chuffed at that time even though they’re just a few 8bar loops. That’s the initial start,three and a half years from now.

What made you decide to enrol on the Production Certificate programme?

It’s a long story! I was a trained piano player in the early days, my Dad was always playing his disco collection when he was driving, and that’s the reason I’m in love with house music so far! And Toolroom is the leading label in this genre, most of my favourite tracks were comes from Toolroom. So when I saw a video of Mark introducing this program online, I hit the button within seconds.

Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in any way? How would you describe your sound?

Yeah I think that’s quite important for us, every success artist our there has their identity. It comes with brand, performance, sounds, etc. What I asked myself is “What you want to deliver? Where you want to be?” And I think the “sound” not just sound design, just like Jon said, the “sound choice” is also included. For me, it’s different between club & radio. It’ll be groovy & punchy with sustained bassline in the club, but on the other side, I’m trying to express the feelings with different piano progression on radio, I think that’s my kind of “sound”.

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

The marketing module is most unique in my opinion because that’s another topic besides the production technics that we need as an artist. Miles & Pete analyzed some most successful brands in the game and helped us to find our direction, most importantly, it’s the suggestions not everyone out there could give you.

How did you find the weekly assignment work? Did you find them challenging? Did the structure help? Was it an intense amount of work?

At the beginning of the course Pete said that we’re going to say goodbye to our social life for the next 12 weeks and that’s true!
I’m living in the other side of the earth, it’s a bit of bind at the beginning cause the live session is midnight in Asia, It’s not easy to make progress every single time and we don’t have to, Pete&Jon was so inspiring and give the right suggestions to us. Most of the pressure was coming from my self, always wanna make progress every week and bounce different versions before assignments and A/B them for hours! That’s what makes a difference! I think it’s a perfect system to gradually improve our observation and production skills.

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

To me, this kind of A&R feedbacks were priceless. I was always afraid to send my tracks to A&Rs out there, I might get nothing even an email shown as received.The A&R feedbacks and sessions were helped me through that, you’ll know what A&R focusing on when they listening to your work, and get real feedback from them and put the suggestion back into your works, that’s the guarantee of improving.

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

As I said before, I was chuffed when I first write down my notes in GarageBand. This time, the result was stupendously great! I’d say it’s the highest quality I ever reached in my career. I tested with my friends in clubs, it went quite well and I’m proud of myself haha!

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

Well, the difference is obvious! I watched tons of online tutorials about “how to make xxx” before this. The Production Certificate won’t cover every basic in DAW, it’s more like tell the feelings from the artist side and give us the chance to see what’s really behind the scenes. When compared with masterclass series on FaderPro, the unique about it is the assignment&feedback system——— directly connect with a real artist, A&R in this industry was another level of experience.

Has your ability on your DAW improved since you’ve taken the course?

Absolutely! I was thought the good tracks must be made with fancy plugins. After this program, I can use most comes with Logic to make a solid base. It’s a million times better than before! (My project before that was fully loaded with sophisticated plugins and they made my computer and my brain both unhinged quickly)

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

Yes! I’m so happy to get on a journey with them! They’re different ages from different countries and we all love the music that we made. I believe we’ll get some collaboration later. Can’t wait to meet them in the future!

How would you rate your tutors?

My tutor in this program was Jon, he’s brilliant and nailing it on the production side. His taste is unique, always patient to answer our questions,even from Instagram DM! I’m glad to study from one of the best pros in this industry, and Jon helped us to avoid many of the mistakes we could make, I’d give 10/10 to him!

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

The best memorable moment was the day of my 19th birthday, and we had a session that night. Pete knew this from Instagram and made me a handwritten birthday card! When he shows us at the end of that session, I was almost crying haha! That’s the time I felt connected with people overseas, and that’s exactly the beauty of this program, you’re not only learning from your tutors, but you’ll also talk to them face to face online,make friends with them! It’s a good way to building relationships as someone first into this industry!

Would you recommend the Production Certificate to other producers?

Of course! I’ve introduced to some of my producer friends who love house music! I think this’s the best they can get nowadays.

What is next for you in your creative career?

Next step is grinding my craft. Put time into works, effectively. And hopefully, reaching out to labels and publishers for pitching my work to the world!

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.