Focus: Kick and Bass/ pre-production Objective: Mastering The Baseline
Setting up a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) production template (Cubase/Abelton) and focusing on pre-production, mastering and engineering a slick kick and bass.
The first class of this 4 part series will focus on the elements of Kick and Bass. Kick and Bass are
the most important components of any electronic music track, regardless of the genre.
Students will spend the majority of this session familiarizing themselves with their DAW (Cubase/Abelton) and learning the process and importance of starting every composition with a clean kick and bass.
Toward the end of class, we touch on drums/percussion/groove and discuss how to implement layers of percussion – this will be the focus point of the second session.
Focus: Percussion/Groove Arrangement
Objective: The creation of beats, understanding integration and components
• Beginning a track from scratch
• Knowing your software and where/how to correctly file your sounds/samples/folders
• Pre-production + creating a custom template for a much faster work flow
• Mastering the art of a clean kick and bass.
The second class concentrates on the elements of drums/percussion, rhythm and groove, composition and production, providing an understanding of timing and rhythm and the importance of accents and velocity.
This class will focus on creating beats, writing, producing and introducing drum and percussion components to the composition.
Students write and arrange their track, before moving onto mixing and EQ-ing, adding drums and percussion, making the groove sit nicely within the mix and understanding how and why it sits harmoniously with the kick and bass and overall composition.
We then move onto harmony – melodies, leads, chords etc, writing and arranging melodies and “hooks”. Briefly touching on some essential music theory Ie. The key in which the track is in, the root note. Minor and major pentatonic scales. After which the focus will then be on melodic arrangement and the overall mix. If time permits, this class will also briefly touch on the topic of build-ups and drops, serving as a prelude to the third tutorial.
Focus: Build Ups and Drops
Objective: Knowing the value of contrast and where and when to apply it
• Drum and percussion – Composition and production
• Groove knowledge – Timing/accents/rhythm
Melodies/Leads /Chords – composition and production
• Harmony/scales – Understanding the key of your tracks, which scales you can apply and
Assessment of the student’s track will take place in session three, before instruction is given on
how to add “Build Ups and Drops” where required.
The importance and effectiveness of dynamics when used correctly will be highlighted. Students will also touch on mixing and EQ-ing “Before and After” techniques to really bring out the ‘punch’ in their drops.
Focus: Finalising Mixes and Mastering
Objective: Finalising the track
This session focusing on the final mix/bouncing down in preparation for mastering, providing an understanding of the mastering process before final assessment of arrangements and mixes.
In this session, students will be asked to complete and finalise the mixing process in preparation for mastering their track, showing an understanding of the mastering process and tools required. This marks a completion of the composition/track, making it “gig ready”.
Each student should complete this course with the tools to take a track from concept to composition and an ability to finalise the creative process and play their track to the public.
Key points covered/skills gained:
• Final mix levels/pre-master
• Understanding the mastering process
• Completion of composition
• Using dynamics effectively
• How to create the most effective build ups and drops
• Applying this to your arrangement & engineering for the best results.
* An online forum is also available for students over the course of the four weeks, so that students
can submit queries and they can be answered between, so that they can stay focused and feel
supported, assisting them to stay on track and keep developing their skills between lessons.