New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Share your Ableton Live secrets here

Do you Recommend taking a music certificate course?

Yes
6
55%
No
5
45%
 
Total votes: 11

markos
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New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:40 pm

I decided to create a "New Producers Series" of posts that will be dedicated to answering all the questions us newbies have when we first start out. How does it all work? What should i be doing to get this sound? Should i take a course? etc etc....I think this will be a great way for new members and past members to get a grip on some of the questions that are out there. For me personally, im looking for the answers to help make my decisions in the music industry. It's very hard to choose. I will try to post a new question every week....so keep an eye out for the New Producers Question Series tabs on the forums!!



NEW PRODUCERS QUESTION SERIES: PART I

Hello everyone!

First let me start off by introducing myself and letting you all know who i am.
My name is Markos Polydorou (alter ego is markos stratos but i might change it). Im originaly from Cyprus but i live in canada right now until i finish my schooling.

I am a dj and im just starting to get into the production game. I have researched many schools and have been interested in attending an ableton certified training school for some time now. I've looked into many school around the world and although they all seem pretty cool, they are a bit of an overkill for what i really want to do. Produce techno and tech house and perform around the globe. So i dug deeper and deeper finding more course's that suited my needs and found places like dubspot in new york city, Alchemea in London, Liveschool in austrailia, and numerous other courses in London England.

My first question is:

Have any of you takin a course like this? What kind of advice would you be able to give myself and future students looking to make production in electronic music a serious part of mine and their lives? Is it worth it?

Im really looking for some good advice here and would appreciate it if we could keep the politics out of the answers.

Just want to hear your thoughts.

(NOTICE: im inquiring about ableton/productin course specifically. Not a full year diploma in audio engineering)

Thank You Kindly
Markos

DJMillsy
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by DJMillsy » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:53 pm

Hi Markos,

I have attended a variety of courses over the last ten years covering everything from a full time music production / professional engineering course through to weekend courses in music production / music theory etc.

I have found a real variety in quality and cost and would have to say it is a bit of a lottery when picking courses. A while ago I attended a two day course with a guy I know from the DJ circuit here in London, he has numerous tracks on Beatport and the like and is a classically trained musician. The course was one to one and I pretty much picked in advance the stuff I wanted to learn (mainly music theory with some very specific mastering and mixing techniques) and I have to say it was one of the best experiences I have had.

The problem in my opinion, with colleges as a rule, is the mix of individuals you will study with. It's great to meet lots of new people but normally everyone is at a completely different level and you could have a couple of DJ's, a band member, someone aiming at producing a pop track etc. This often means that you won't learn half of what you really wanted to know and can be a frustrating waste of time and money.

I am currently putting the finishing touches to a course based purely on Ableton and will follow a similar model to my friend (who works on Logic so i'm not stealing his thunder!!). I am moving into a new house shortly where I will have a dedicated studio and will run 2/3 day courses aimed at anyone who wants to use Live for production or at gigs. If you are interested drop me a message. What every you choose to do my advice is to go the one to one route especially as you have a very specific requirement. Clearly if you want to learn everything from Logic to Ableton to Mic'ing up a drum kit and recording an orchestra, then a full time college course is the way to go (In London I would recommend Alchemea).

Hope this helps.

Thanks

Keith

markos
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:06 pm

DJMillsy wrote:Hi Markos,

I have attended a variety of courses over the last ten years covering everything from a full time music production / professional engineering course through to weekend courses in music production / music theory etc.

I have found a real variety in quality and cost and would have to say it is a bit of a lottery when picking courses. A while ago I attended a two day course with a guy I know from the DJ circuit here in London, he has numerous tracks on Beatport and the like and is a classically trained musician. The course was one to one and I pretty much picked in advance the stuff I wanted to learn (mainly music theory with some very specific mastering and mixing techniques) and I have to say it was one of the best experiences I have had.

The problem in my opinion, with colleges as a rule, is the mix of individuals you will study with. It's great to meet lots of new people but normally everyone is at a completely different level and you could have a couple of DJ's, a band member, someone aiming at producing a pop track etc. This often means that you won't learn half of what you really wanted to know and can be a frustrating waste of time and money.

I am currently putting the finishing touches to a course based purely on Ableton and will follow a similar model to my friend (who works on Logic so i'm not stealing his thunder!!). I am moving into a new house shortly where I will have a dedicated studio and will run 2/3 day courses aimed at anyone who wants to use Live for production or at gigs. If you are interested drop me a message. What every you choose to do my advice is to go the one to one route especially as you have a very specific requirement. Clearly if you want to learn everything from Logic to Ableton to Mic'ing up a drum kit and recording an orchestra, then a full time college course is the way to go (In London I would recommend Alchemea).

Hope this helps.

Thanks

Keith
Keith!

THanks for the reply back. THere are some very valid points in your response that are definetly worth considering. Cheers for that!

As for taking a course, right now im currently living in Canada and studing an advanced marketing diploma. Basically, im trying to plan for my future and although i know it's possible to studing music production on your own, and you can teach and learn most of this on your own, it still doesn't cut it for me.

I plan to move to europe (maybe london, or berlin, even thought about austrailia) where i will look into taking a course. I think London would be my best bet since most of the types of music that im looking into producing are being circulated a lot there.

I looked into alchemea, and i noticed there short course section where they offer workshops in ableton live. Looks really cool....and class sizes are around 6 people.

Although i think it would be really cool to work with an established techno/minamal producer one on one.

and i couldn't agree more with you on the diploma or engineering degrees. It really is over kill unless of course you want to record orchestras. hahaha

longjohns
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by longjohns » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:15 am

i don't believe in paying someone to learn something. (oops, damn! I took piano lessons and actually would like to again!)

but in other areas of life I have been able to get paid to learn things. I recommend that approach wherever possible

markos
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:36 am

longjohns wrote:i don't believe in paying someone to learn something. (oops, damn! I took piano lessons and actually would like to again!)

but in other areas of life I have been able to get paid to learn things. I recommend that approach wherever possible
well paying someone to learn how to produce would be similar to paying someone to learn how to play an instrument no??

im looking at the point blank online school and it seems pretty cool. the pro producer course for making minimal tech in ableton live is especially eye catching to me......price is quite fair too. a lot better then some of the berklee courses. considering they are in the thousands.

anyone taken it?

Doctor Doctor
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:12 pm

Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by Doctor Doctor » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:42 pm

hi markos.

yep i did the ableton live DJing course with point blank online a few months back and enjoyed it so much i signed straight up for the min tech course.http://www.pointblankonline.net/minimal ... bleton.php

if you're looking for some guidance from an established producer, i cant recommend this highly enough. danny lewis is a superb tutor, although more from a straight house background he clearly knows his stuff about techno. i believe once producers get to a certain level their skills become more transferable across genres anyway. this was the best value for money course i've done and the other students were all really passionate and eager to give eachother feedback. the only complaint is 4 weeks ended up feeling way too short!

hope that helps mate

markos
Posts: 130
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:56 pm

Doctor Doctor wrote:hi markos.

yep i did the ableton live DJing course with point blank online a few months back and enjoyed it so much i signed straight up for the min tech course.http://www.pointblankonline.net/minimal ... bleton.php

if you're looking for some guidance from an established producer, i cant recommend this highly enough. danny lewis is a superb tutor, although more from a straight house background he clearly knows his stuff about techno. i believe once producers get to a certain level their skills become more transferable across genres anyway. this was the best value for money course i've done and the other students were all really passionate and eager to give eachother feedback. the only complaint is 4 weeks ended up feeling way too short!

hope that helps mate
Oh wow!! very nice and thanks for the feedback!

What other specifics can you tell us about taking the course??

What did it cover?? Effects, Dynamics, Mastering & Mixing??

Also is it an acredited course? did you recieve anything after completing??

Does the Universal Music hook up and Jobs board apply to the online school as well?

thanks,
markos

Aequitas123
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by Aequitas123 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:19 pm

I think if you were really serious about learning you wouldn't need a paid course. This forum is a vast wealth of knowledge (most of the time). Theres been amazing topics about mixing and mastering and different effects... The Tips and Tricks Stickies are amazing.

I would also recommend all the articles on Soundonsound.com.

Its my opinion that if you read as much as you could on this forum and on soundonsound, and combined that with lots of practicing and experimentation, a course would do you no good.

markos
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:33 pm

Aequitas123 wrote:I think if you were really serious about learning you wouldn't need a paid course. This forum is a vast wealth of knowledge (most of the time). Theres been amazing topics about mixing and mastering and different effects... The Tips and Tricks Stickies are amazing.

I would also recommend all the articles on Soundonsound.com.

Its my opinion that if you read as much as you could on this forum and on soundonsound, and combined that with lots of practicing and experimentation, a course would do you no good.
but not everyone is a self learner, and like me, some people learn a lot quicker and easily when they are taught or shown how to do things by another individual who is a professional.

I know the diploma courses are a waste of money and time, unless your really pursuing an audio engineering career where you will be recording big orchestra's and bands, but i think if your just looking to produce beats, a small online course like this could be very beneficial!

Angstrom
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by Angstrom » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:43 pm

markos wrote:
Aequitas123 wrote: Its my opinion that if you read as much as you could on this forum and on soundonsound, and combined that with lots of practicing and experimentation, a course would do you no good.
but not everyone is a self learner, and like me, some people learn a lot quicker and easily when they are taught or shown how to do things by another individual who is a professional.
I think you are right, and even those of us who are autodidacts (self-learners ;) ) are probably only doing it because we are overly proud of our big pulsating brains and like the feel of 'owning' the learning process. I think that most of us autodidacts would probably have made quicker steps by taking a lesson or two at the start.
The only reason I didn't take any lessons is - when I was coming up there were no lessons (SteinbergPro24 classes anyone?).
It took me 20 years to get to the point I am now in terms of answering 'how do you make that sound' and 'how should I mix this' or whatever.

So, despite never having taken a music-tech class of any kind myself, I would recommend them (!)

markos
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:22 pm

Angstrom wrote:
markos wrote:
Aequitas123 wrote: Its my opinion that if you read as much as you could on this forum and on soundonsound, and combined that with lots of practicing and experimentation, a course would do you no good.
but not everyone is a self learner, and like me, some people learn a lot quicker and easily when they are taught or shown how to do things by another individual who is a professional.
I think you are right, and even those of us who are autodidacts (self-learners ;) ) are probably only doing it because we are overly proud of our big pulsating brains and like the feel of 'owning' the learning process. I think that most of us autodidacts would probably have made quicker steps by taking a lesson or two at the start.
The only reason I didn't take any lessons is - when I was coming up there were no lessons (SteinbergPro24 classes anyone?).
It took me 20 years to get to the point I am now in terms of answering 'how do you make that sound' and 'how should I mix this' or whatever.

So, despite never having taken a music-tech class of any kind myself, I would recommend them (!)
I have been looking into institutions about music technology and audio engineering for over 2 years now. Took a berklee course (producing music with ableton live) and it taught me a few things but all in all i felt like the course had just taken the lessons from the live help section and based it's curriculum off of that. SO i got turned off of berklee and it's ridiculous prices. Continued searching and all i was getting was emails and phone calls from people offering 1 year diploma courses, degree options, 9 month programs that cost 20 grand and telling me how they are Number 1, they are number 1! how many students get jobs and actually make a living off of it?

Well im at the point now, where 2 years of research has paid off because im starting to realize there are very good technical school (some offer credentials some don't) at fractions of the cost to take either online or as a weekend / 3 OR 6 month course.

I think as long as you can figure out exactly what you want to do with your musical endeavours, then finding a course that best suites those goals is NOT a bad idea at all. Especially if your new to mixing and creating audio songs.

All i can say is that i am glad i waited it out because i would have never found places like Point Blank, Alchemea, or any other dedicated school offering short class' in ableton live....and taught by certified trainers and producers.

So to sum up what i just said:

- Figure out EXACTLY what it is you want to learn about. Finding out your needs and where you want to see yourself down the road is a crucial step in choosing a course that is right for you.
- Research every possible school you can about your needs and the course content and as EVERY question you have. The right course is out there to help you, just make sure it meets your needs.
- figure out how much you want to spend. Some online course range from 50 - 1500 dollars and can gain you educational discounts on software and music technology products and some even award you with a certificate. I have seen some really sad excuses for a course in my search for a good school and some that were asking way to much. Make sure that whatever amount you decide to spend on a course, that it is actually helping you learn and answer a lot of the tough questions you could not figure out on your own because the fact is if you spend enough time on your own you can learn it. Some of us just need a little extra help ;)

some places that i have looked into are:

http://www.pointblankonline.net
http://www.berkleeonline.com (expensive but some really good certificate courses. Also is acredited by the same organization that supports MIT, Harvard, and other high end universities in the states)
http://www.dubspot.com
http://www.saeshortcourses.com/(nothing online yet but they are developing an online curriculum. Also they have started to offer short courses into there original content but check out the website for more info)

I haven't decided what i want to do yet but i do think i will be taking a course from point blank soon (probably the minimal tech course) and maybe finish my certificate with berklee....who knows!! i might find an even better school that offers a fantastic course for ableton live!!

Doctor Doctor
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by Doctor Doctor » Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:48 pm

markos wrote:
Doctor Doctor wrote:hi markos.

yep i did the ableton live DJing course with point blank online a few months back and enjoyed it so much i signed straight up for the min tech course.http://www.pointblankonline.net/minimal ... bleton.php

if you're looking for some guidance from an established producer, i cant recommend this highly enough. danny lewis is a superb tutor, although more from a straight house background he clearly knows his stuff about techno. i believe once producers get to a certain level their skills become more transferable across genres anyway. this was the best value for money course i've done and the other students were all really passionate and eager to give eachother feedback. the only complaint is 4 weeks ended up feeling way too short!

hope that helps mate
Oh wow!! very nice and thanks for the feedback!

What other specifics can you tell us about taking the course??

What did it cover?? Effects, Dynamics, Mastering & Mixing??

Also is it an acredited course? did you recieve anything after completing??

Does the Universal Music hook up and Jobs board apply to the online school as well?

thanks,
markos
sorry for the delayed reply Marcos. I haven't been on here for a while.

to answer your questions. the full course breakdown is here: http://www.pointblankonline.net/ableton ... rse-dj.php but yes it covers all the things you mention apart from mastering.the mixing tips are quite basic but a useful start nonetheless... they do a proper mixing course too if you want a more in depth look at that.

the school is an official apple certified training centre as you can see here http://www.ableton.com/pages/education/ ... oint_blankand you get a certificate from point blank on completion.

the universal publishing hook up is open to all students and you can send in your tunes as long as you like after the course is done. they regularly post up remits they have received from big brands for ad campaigns etc... some dude got his music on the swatch adverts across europe recently. so its a great way to get some entries into the indsutry. not sure about the jobs board but i assume the same goes (open to all students past and present)

i've started on the min tech course now and so far it hasn't disappointed. again really enjoying the interaction with danny and the other students.

have you decided on a course yet mate?

markos
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:26 pm

Doctor Doctor wrote:
markos wrote:
Doctor Doctor wrote:hi markos.

yep i did the ableton live DJing course with point blank online a few months back and enjoyed it so much i signed straight up for the min tech course.http://www.pointblankonline.net/minimal ... bleton.php

if you're looking for some guidance from an established producer, i cant recommend this highly enough. danny lewis is a superb tutor, although more from a straight house background he clearly knows his stuff about techno. i believe once producers get to a certain level their skills become more transferable across genres anyway. this was the best value for money course i've done and the other students were all really passionate and eager to give eachother feedback. the only complaint is 4 weeks ended up feeling way too short!

hope that helps mate
Oh wow!! very nice and thanks for the feedback!

What other specifics can you tell us about taking the course??

What did it cover?? Effects, Dynamics, Mastering & Mixing??

Also is it an acredited course? did you recieve anything after completing??

Does the Universal Music hook up and Jobs board apply to the online school as well?

thanks,
markos
sorry for the delayed reply Marcos. I haven't been on here for a while.

to answer your questions. the full course breakdown is here: http://www.pointblankonline.net/ableton ... rse-dj.php but yes it covers all the things you mention apart from mastering.the mixing tips are quite basic but a useful start nonetheless... they do a proper mixing course too if you want a more in depth look at that.

the school is an official apple certified training centre as you can see here http://www.ableton.com/pages/education/ ... oint_blankand you get a certificate from point blank on completion.

the universal publishing hook up is open to all students and you can send in your tunes as long as you like after the course is done. they regularly post up remits they have received from big brands for ad campaigns etc... some dude got his music on the swatch adverts across europe recently. so its a great way to get some entries into the indsutry. not sure about the jobs board but i assume the same goes (open to all students past and present)

i've started on the min tech course now and so far it hasn't disappointed. again really enjoying the interaction with danny and the other students.

have you decided on a course yet mate?
Hey!

now worries about the late reply! glad you messaged back!

i haven't decided on a course yet, but im starting to lean more towards pointblank!

I was looking at the Professional Certificate from berklee but it's way to expensive. Point Blank seems to offer more course's to fit my needs and the prices are very fair. Looks like a really good school!

For course, i was thinking about taking the minimal techno one, then possibly the mixing and mastering one right after.

Krumbz
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by Krumbz » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:46 pm

www.Berkleemusic.com

Their online school is hands down unbelievably challenging and awesome!
Not even close.

Highly highly recommended.
(Been enrolled for over a year now)

K

markos
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Re: New Producers Question Series: Question 1: NEED HELP!

Post by markos » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:57 pm

Krumbz wrote:http://www.Berkleemusic.com

Their online school is hands down unbelievably challenging and awesome!
Not even close.

Highly highly recommended.
(Been enrolled for over a year now)

K
yes i would love to do my professional certificate in ableton live through berklee but it might be a while before i enroll.. course is 5 grand

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