I have to teach a N00B. Advice?

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montrealbreaks
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I have to teach a N00B. Advice?

Post by montrealbreaks » Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:49 am

Hey all - I will be giving lessons on "how to make electronic music" to a total N00B in two weeks. I figure I can get this person started plopping out little midi ditties after about 30 hours... I might be out to lunch on this, but hopefully, with practice at home, I will give her enough knowledge so that she can go research deeper herself. At this point, she doesn't even know what MIDI is, doesn't understand what a sample rate is, NOTHING.

So, here is my proposed agenda that I sent her - The first lesson isn't for two weeks so I can make changes, can anybody make any recommendations?

And no, before you mention it, I will not be teaching her on Ableton Live.
I will be teaching her on REASON first. I'm final on that. I think that it's better for her to learn how to operate in a hardware type setting before we start abstracting things like in Live. Besides, Reason is a simpler program overall. It's not as flexible, but too many options can be a hindrance when you have a total N00B.

Anyways, here's my proposed schedule that I sent to her:
The program I'll get you started with is called REASON.

http://www.propellerheads.se

It's a good starter program with about 85 - 90% of the sound quality
of more professional, but more complicated programs. The biggest
advantage of REASON is that it looks like a real studio, with all the
controls you would see on hardware equipment. If you learn on REASON,
you'll know how to operate in a real studio.

First, I would discuss MIDI with you. That means 'Musical Instrument
Digital Interface', and it's the basic composition tool for most
electronic music. You'll need it for everything except for maybe old
school hip-hop. House, techno, trance, Drum and Bass, Breaks all will
require some knowledge of midi. We will go into greater detail about
MIDI and arrangement later on.

The second lesson would be on synthesis, or how to make / modify your
own sounds. We will use something called "subtractive synthesis". We
will discuss three basic things;
1. Oscilators (what makes the sound)
2. Filters (what changes the tone of the sound)
3. LFOs and Envelopes (change the sound over time)

Honestly, I could talk for weeks about synthesis. However, I will
just give you an introduction. For most times, you don't need to make
a sound from scratch, you can use a preset sound and as long as you
know the three things above, you can change that sound to your own
tastes, which is important.

The third visit, we could talk about some basic effects and mixing.
This is 95% art and 5% science. This seperates the pros from the
beginners, so there's not much I can teach you in a day - it took me
two years to get good at mixing. (by the way, I assume that you know
but some people think "mixing" like a DJ does... I don't mean mixing
records like a DJ. mixing is the term used by audio engineers use
when they mix multiple channels of sound to produce one recording - in
the old days they were mixing vocals, bass, drums, guitar, and all the
other instruments on to multi-track tape. We will do something
similar with electronic sources.)

Lastly, we'll talk about arrangement - how to lay out a track that has
tasteful variation, builds and releases, or other things. Up to this
point, we will only work with loops, and from this point on we will
actually make "tracks".

anyways, I hope this doesn't intimidate you, but if you want to
learn enough to get started, you'll probably want to visit for about 3
to 5 hours. Any less, and it's wasted time, any more and we'll just
get tired.

What kind of music are you interested in? Could you provide me some
links to producers or genres you like? That way I can tailor what I
will teach to your personal style.

I have changed my username; Now posting as:


M. Bréqs

zfigz
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Post by zfigz » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:03 am

Damn man, is she paying you? She must be really rich or really hot for you to do this...I wish I could have had someone sit me down and hold me hand when I learned how to make electronic music.

I think your curriculum is perfect man.

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:09 am

when i worked in retaul i found that i could teach people Reason within a matter of minutes by deleting everything from the preset and then going:

"see this list... these things make different sounds.. drop one in"
then point at the sequencer and say "see this, this will control that thing"

and show them how to access the notes.
let them explore a little and show them how to change presetds then they will come back to you with more questions relevant to them.

i have found that Live is verrry difficult for noobs to grasp, if theyre non technical.

LOFA
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Post by LOFA » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:26 am

They only guy I ever taught live to builds robots for a living...

but he picked it up pretty fast anyway.

I picked up live myself in about 3 seconds, and I'm like a brick usually. I can't imagine why it would take anyone any longer, especially now with 5's new tricks.

just build a song with them. create every element with operator. Give them the foundation from a sine wave up. Let them taste the dancing math!

continuous
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Post by continuous » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:52 am

Sounds like fun where do I sign up!?

No this really sounds great, what a great outline...especially...
Lastly, we'll talk about arrangement - how to lay out a track that has
tasteful variation, builds and releases, or other things. Up to this
point, we will only work with loops, and from this point on we will
actually make "tracks".
I need to learn this myself! I wish I knew more, the kids in my town need to be checkin out Reason, making beats, and stayin' out of trouble. I've always thought Reason and a room full of donated computers could make a difference in Oakland.

Oops sorry, rambled off topic (it's the Peppermint Tea!)

She's gonna have a blast!

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:55 am

maybe you guys could be looking at a little bit more of a community thing. taking a cue from Adamjay's indy Live user group meets, maybe you guys will find a lot of joy from creating some kind of 'introduction to Live and electronic music' night.

Build the community up... if you build it they will come.

A good friend of mine set up a launch party independent of ableton when L5 was released, despite the small number of electronic musicians in Sydney, a fair number of peole turned out just to see what the fuss is all about.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:46 am

It probably won't take you too long to get going. Progs like Reason are idiot-proof.
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

telekom
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Post by telekom » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:02 am

Hey monty, I pm'ed you.
M
MacBook Pro Retina, Live 9.5, Reason, UC33, KRK RP5s, Teenage Engineering OP1, Korg ESX2, Korg Prophecy, Clavia Nord Lead, Bass, Guitars.
http://soundcloud.com/motorradkinophone

supster
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Post by supster » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:27 am

"how to make electronic music" to a total N00B in two weeks
hehe. ouch.

... oh, starting two weeks from now. :)





.
--
NEW SPECS: Athlon 4200+ dual; A8N-SLI m/b; Win XP Home SP2; 1 GB RAM; 2x 7200 RPM HDD: 1 internal, 1 Firewire 800 (Firewire is project data drive); M-Audio Triggerfinger

josh 'vonster' von; tracks and sets
http://www.joshvon.com

hambone1
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Post by hambone1 » Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:21 am

Do you do this for guys, too? :wink:

Seriously, looks like a cool agenda.

montrealbreaks
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Post by montrealbreaks » Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:19 pm

hambone1 wrote:Do you do this for guys, too? :wink:

Seriously, looks like a cool agenda.
Ha!

I have a commited cohabiting girlfriend, so there's no hanky-panky going on, it's just that she's the first person to ever ask me for a "lesson". I find some males have a harder time going to other men asking for instruction unsolicited. She's a friend of a friend sorta deal, and I haven't even met her in person yet, just email.

Why am I doing this? Because I am in the greatest, longest creative slump of my life. 6 months ago I started two tracks and haven't finished them yet. Before that it was almost 8 months since I worked on music. I need an excuse to sit down and work on my hobby... And this chick is an excuse.

I have changed my username; Now posting as:


M. Bréqs

montrealbreaks
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:38 pm
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Post by montrealbreaks » Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:23 pm

continuous wrote:Sounds like fun where do I sign up!?

I wish I knew more, the kids in my town need to be checkin out Reason, making beats, and stayin' out of trouble. I've always thought Reason and a room full of donated computers could make a difference in Oakland.

Oops sorry, rambled off topic (it's the Peppermint Tea!)

She's gonna have a blast!
Yeah, I figure that if I can get a good syllabus together I could teach at a local youth centre in Montreal just down the street. As I said before, I need an excuse to make music. Now that I don't gig anymore I've almost abandoned music alltogether...

I think that a half dozen $599 desktop computers with Reason and $79 midi controllers could do a lot of good for a community.


For myself, I struggled for two years trying to learn how to mix, and finally I went and took lessons from these guys:

http://www.precursorproductions.com

I didn't go through their whole program, I knew midi, synthesis and arrangement well enough at the time, I just needed help mixing. Best money I ever spent ($500 canadian for a "walk me through how to mix 5 of my crappy tracks" sort of arrangement.

I have changed my username; Now posting as:


M. Bréqs

continuous
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Post by continuous » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:01 pm

I turned a neighbor onto Reason, he was 16 at the time...unfocused...he's now making tracks for some signed artists. He says it "changed his life".

The schedule you've layed out looks great...I think you'll be a really good teacher. I just know the kids in my town would be so excited and even though they might not all become "musicians" it would still be a good thing for them and the community. It does seem like Reason is "the one" to turn noobs onto. Thanks for the link.

Regards!

p.s. some of my teachers tell me they learn some "key" things through teaching and representing info to their students.

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