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Testimonials

"I've enjoyed being here!  Everyone at the School is friendly, outgoing and nice to talk to.  The tech guys were fantastic - especially for the mastering and vocal recording sessions."

Torsten Miland

"The most beneficial and inspiring week I've had around music production"

Andy Nathan

"Bruce was fantastic - great presentation and teaching."

Jerome Meunier

"There was nothing that I didn't enjoy.  Everything was relevant and I learnt something new from every session."

Neil Ferry

"I really enjoyed the course, teaching, SM staff and the company.  Bruce was excellent - great teaching style, personable and passionate."

Simon Cunningham

"Applying what I learned in a practical situation was great. The vocal production session was particularly cool."

Lucy Hall

"The Q&A sessions were really helpful; I really enjoyed being close to professionals who could advise us with real knowledge."

John Murphy

"Both the vocal recording and the mastering sessions were great."

Benny Quinart

Summer School

The essential five-day music production course for producers of all electronic genres, from house and techno to dubstep and beyond.


Monday 30 June - Friday 4 July 2014. NOW BOOKING!

The in-depth course takes you through every aspect of electronic music production - from beats to bass, synths to vocals, FX to arrangement and mixdown to mastering - guided by expert Sample Magic tutors and sound-designers in the award-winning facilities of Alchemea College in the heart of London.

Led by producer, lecturer and Future Music/Attack Magazine regular Bruce Aisher and with guest sessions from leading music industry professionals - including mastering engineers, music lawyers and Sample Magic co-founder Sharooz - you will leave with a greater understanding of the tools and techniques used to create cutting-edge dance music as well as insights into the wider workings of the electronic music industry - from recording contracts and publishing to copyright and business know-how.

Hands-on learning is fundamental to the course, with plenty of time allocated for you to refine your skills with our tutors on hand to answer any questions. Not only does every attendee use their own music workstation, we will also get our hands dirty with classic outboard and learn studio techniques for recording vocals. We will also help you work on one of your own productions throughout the week - so that you leave with a finished, fully mastered, track.

All attendees also receive:

Note: We will mainly use Logic Pro for demonstrations and hands-on workshops, but the techniques are relevant to all DAWs. We will also spend some time with Native Instruments' Massive.

More information

Each day covers a different aspect of production:

  • Day 1: Beats 
  • Day 2: Basslines
  • Day 3: Music, melody and vocals
  • Day 4: Arrangement, structure and preparing the mix
  • Day 5: Mixing and mastering

 Each day starts at 9.45.

Monday - Beats

•    10-11am - Welcome and introductions
•    11-11.45am - Electronic music: An overview
•    11.45-12pm - Morning break
•    12-1pm - SESSION 1: Creating the beat - What is rhythm? Components of a beat. Choosing sounds. Sources for sounds. Using ambience and space.
•    Exercise: The perfect kick drum. Components of the kick. Layering. Synthetic kick creation.
•    1pm - Lunch
•    2-3.30pm - SESSION 2: Refining the beat - Groove and swing. Additional elements: the hat, clap and snare. Percussion. Using loops. Getting more from loops.
•    Exercise: Next steps in beat programming. The white noise hat. Getting more from loops.
•    3.30-3.45pm - Afternoon break
•    3.45-5.30pm - SESSION 3: Beat production - Compression. Introduction to parallel and bus compression. EQ. Reverb and ambience.
•    Exercise: Beat production

Tuesday - Basslines

•    10-11.45am - SESSION 1 - Basslines: An overview - Different kinds of basslines. Relationship to the kick drum. Source of sounds (synthesis vs samples).
•    Walkthrough: Bassline programming and synthesis.
•    11.45-12pm - Morning break
•    12-1pm - YOUR PROJECT - Develop a track that you've bought to the course, or a new project, with hands-on help from three of our on-site tutors.
•    1pm - Lunch
•    2-4pm - SESSION 2: Bassline production - Layering sounds. Use of filters and EQ. Compression. Side-chain compression. Stereo width. Gating. Advanced production techniques. Ideas for inspriation. 
•    4-4.15pm - Afternoon break
•    4.15-6pm - SESSION 3: Industry insider - We are joined by our legal and business expert for an open-panel FAQ session looking at everything from sources of income for electronic musicians and what to look out for in a contract. Your chance to ask your questions.

Wednesday - Music, melody and vocals

•    10-11.45am - SESSION 1 - Sounds and synthesis - Sourcing your sounds. An introduction to synthesis. Types of synthesis. Sampling. Real-world recording.
•    Walkthrough: Mastering subtractive synthesis. Create a simple bass and lead line. Synth chord stabs.
•    11.45-12pm - Morning break
•    12-1pm - YOUR PROJECT - Continue work on your project with our crack team of troubleshooters on hand to help.
•    1pm - Lunch
•    2-4pm - SESSION 2: Next steps in synthesis - Five sounds and how they do it: Swedish House Mafia lead. Stacked Deadmau5 pads. Skrillex Basslines. PWM filter pads / advanced modulation. The ultimate build and bomb.
•    4-4.15pm - Afternoon break
•    4.15-6pm - SESSION 3: Recording vocals - We head into the studio to record a vocalist. Choosing the mic. Setting up the session. Getting the most from a performer. Pre-amp or direct? How many takes? Discover the secrets behind a perfect recording.
•    6-7pm - IN CONVERSATION WITH... DJ, producer and Sample Magic co-founder Sharooz answers your questions on everything from creating bigger beats to keeping your financial head above water in today's climate. We supply the beers.

Thursday - Arrangement, structure and prepping the mix

•    10-11.45am - SESSION 1 - Song arragements - We listen to, and dissect, three example tracks and their arrangements. Emotion and structure. The flow of a track, its highs and lows. The vocabulary of structure. The perfect build.
    Walkthrough: Using samples, arrange a three minute 'radio mix' using what you've learned re arrangement to make a track.
•    11.45-12pm - Morning break
•    12-1pm - YOUR PROJECT
•    1pm - Lunch
•    2-4pm - SESSION 2: Prepping the mix - Smart workflow - and why it matters. Building the arrange page. Grouping. Busing. Initial automation. Project management and beyond.
•    4-4.15pm - Afternoon break
•    4.15-6pm - SESSION 3: Vocal production - Taking the vocal files recorded yesterday, we show how to work them into the mix. Comping. Re-tuning. Double tracking. Compression. EQ. De-essing. Reverb and delay.
•    6-7.30pm - YOUR TRACK: Group listen - As a group we listen to the tracks you have been working on during the week and talk about how they might be improved. Ideas, production, arrangement and programming are all discussed in a session designed to take your track to the next level. The Sample Magic team will be on hand to feed their ideas into the mix.

FRIDAY - Mixing and mastering

•    10-11.45am - SESSION 1: Approaching the mix - The theories of mixing - different approaches. The shape of the mix. Key elements. Essential tools: EQ. Reverb. Stereo enhancers.
•    11.45-12pm - Morning break
•    12-1pm - YOUR TRACK: Finishing touches - Refining your track using the feedback from yesterday's evening session. Bouncing and checking the master.
•    1pm - Lunch
•    2-3.30pm - SESSION 2: Group listen - Top tracks - We head to the Euphonix studio to take an in-depth listen to a selection of commercial dance tracks , analysing everything from the arrangement to the mix to see how the finest producers create their works.
•    3.30-3.45pm - Afternoon break
•    3.45-5.30pm - SESSION 3: Mastering the mix in your DAW - Using standard and more advanced tools common to all DAWs, we show how to get a solid master to your mix. Compression, multi-band compression, parallel compression, limiting, saturation and EQ are all discussed in the quest for the perfect master.
•    5.45-7pm - IN CONVERSATION WITH... One of the UK's leading mastering engineers takes us through his approaches to mastering; the kit he uses and the difficulties he confronts. We supply the beers to unwind after an intensive, interesting and fun week.

Register Your Interest

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£540.00 £490.00

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