Our friends over at the Contact Theatre are hosting an awesome music production masterclass ‘Into the Beats’ where Zed Bias and Silkie will be talking through their creative processes — showing what they do, how they do it, and how they do it so well. The forum will be open for producers and DJs to ask questions and generally pick the brains of Zed and Silkie too! Sound good? Thought so. Not only this, but as a Midi School student you can enrol for just £3.
But wait, there’s more!
If you want to loosen up after all the learning, then stay on for the afterparty — Madam X, Darka, T.Dot, Phaze One, Fallacy, Zed and Silkie will be setting it off in style. Again as a Midi School student you can get a nice reduction, signing up for the full whack (production class and party) for just £6.
So, if you want to learn to make beats like the below, then jump on this ASAP as places are limited.
Thanks to everyone who came down and made it such a fun day!
Also, a big well done to the following people, who cashed in big time on our raffle:
Daniel Mulcahy and Adewale Ogundipe : 2hrs 1–2-1 DJ training each
Gavan Myring and Alex Haslam : 1 online course place each
Jack Bracegirdle : 2 online course places!
Danny Eskdale : 3 months access to the Midi School DJ and Music Production suites!
Our nextOpen Eveningwill be on Tuesday, 23rd April, and as usual there will be lots of course discounts, and staff on hand to talk to you about the courses we run and where they could take you in your career in music.
Our Open Day is fast approaching and we’ve hit over 60 registrants already! For anyone that came to the last one, you’ll know what we mean when we say it was a bit of a party — a lot of people, a lot of laughing and a lot of music coming from all corners of the Midi School.
It’s a great chance to explore the studios, get a flavour of the different courses we run (and cash in on the discounts!), meet the staff and like-minded people, and get involved with our free music production and DJ workshops. If you’re a trooper and stay ’til the end we’ll also be giving away over £1,000 of course goodies.
Who is welcome? Everyone musically minded that’s 16+, unless with an adult.
How much is it? Totally free (you might even win a prize and go home richer).
Can I bring friends and family along? Of course, just let us know.
How do I book onto it?Enrol nowby dropping an email with the names of those attending, and join the facebook event for updates.
What’ll be happening on the day?
∆All studios will be fired up to show what we have on offer at the Midi School. It’ll be in the format of…
Walk-in interactive music production and DJ workshops (beginners very welcome)
Demonstrations and opportunities to play on high-end DJ and production gear
Informative short seminars on various aspects of the music industry
On the interactive workshop front, get involved with:
Music Production in Ableton
Music Production in Reason
Writing beats and sampling in NI Maschine
DJing: vinyl, CDs and digitally
There will also be half-hour seminars from industry professionals on the following topics, don’t miss out..
How To Become a Successful DJ
Music Composition : Adding Another String To Your Bow
Get Connected : Online Music Production Courses
Future Producer? How To Set Yourself Apart.
Loans and Accommodation : Becoming An MMS Student
Your Career In The Music Industry
∆ All the tutors will be available to talk to, so you can get industry-standard advice on how to get where you want to go in the music industry and what courses might suit you.
∆ Our Course Co-Ordinators will also be on hand to discuss finance, funding, accommodation, start dates and enrolment.
∆ On top of all this, there’ll be some major course discounts for those that enrol for courses on the day or within the next 2 weeks of it. another hefty prize draw. To give you an idea, winners at the last event went away with online course places (worth £449) and DJ course places (worth £695).
Get creative in the New Year and save yourself some money at the same time! But be quick — there’s just one week left to claim 1/3 off our online courses!
Enrol on one of the below courses before January 15th, and join any start date in 2013. As soon as you enrol, Tom our Head of Online Learning will be in touch to arrange which start date you’d like to join. For any more information,email us.
The future’s here, and it’s modular! To the untrained eye thenew Midi Schoolwebpage may look very similar, however on closer inspection you’ll find it like trading in your car for a Ferrari — it’s sexier, and much faster. The main key new features are:
Longer diploma lengths, with no increase in course fees: Music technology has progressed leaps and bounds in the last year or so, and we’re all over it. In the last year alone we’ve completely re-vamped 3 of our music production studios, bought 18 brand new2013 iMacs for the Midi Lab, splashed out on Native InstrumentsMaschinesand jumped on board with the fullKomplete 8 packages for the entire school (and that’s only the music production side of things, never mind the CDJ2000s!)
With new technology comes new and innovative ways of producing, and different ways to be creative — at the Midi School we believe keeping constant with the technological changes means giving students the best armory possible for creating their tunes, from the ethereal electronica to dancefloor destroyers. To do this, we’ve extended all of our diploma courses by three months, covering more software, more hardware, more plugins, and underpinning it all with solid foundation of essential production techniques and tenets that we’ve been honing since 1996.
This additional three months on your course will give you free extra studio time for you to get tracks produced in our professional studios, make use of our technical support, and work on some of the online courses that you’ll also get for free — that’s theAbleton Online Course,Maschine Online Course andReason Online Course.
Modules:We’ve broken down the diploma courses into modules, so that you can read in depth about exactly what you’ll learn on the courses. This is in the run-up to a major restructure of our courses that will be taking place in the latter end of 2013, where you will be able to cherry pick the modules that you attend.
New Navigation:When deciding on a course, we understand the need to weigh up all the options to make them easy to compare. You can go straight in and see what aspects ofMusic Production, Audio EngineeringandMusic Businessyou’ll be learning, and at what stages. Lovely!
To speak to someone about the courses we offer,email usand we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.
Vouchers- the perfect present for a music lover: useful, memorable, and a lot of fun!
Vouchers can be bought for any course that we provide. We’ll personalise it into a lovely certificate of enrolment, and send it to the person of your choice, free of charge. If you’d like to give them money off a course, we can give you that in a voucher format too. To buy one,email us.
At the Midi School we pride ourselves on giving access to music to all — our courses are open to all ages, and all abilities. Below we’ve given some examples of popular course vouchers, to help you pick the ideal gift. All start from a beginner’s level.
If your loved one would like to try their hand at DJing vinyl, CDs or digitally, then our taster or 12 week course would be a great place to start.
DJ course class sizes are kept small (8 maximum) and are open to all ages and all styles of music. Those on the 12 week course will gain unlimited access to the DJ suites during the course, helping them develop into superstar DJs! If however they have some prior DJ skills and would like to improve further with our DMC champion and platinum-selling DJ tutor, then a 1–2-1 DJ lesson might be the more advisable option.
If you don’t live near Manchester, then don’t worry! The beauty of these courses is that they enable beginners to master music production, they’re flexible enough to fit around even the most complicated of schedules and it means you avoid the dreaded commute!
Students benefit from an interactive online classroom and forum, weekly video lectures, and additional personalised tutor feedback and guidance from our Head of Online Learning Tom Lonsborough, who is in his own right a successful producer signed to several labels.
If you have an interest in creating music but no previous knowledge of it, then a music production short-course in the Midi School using our state-of-the-art facilities would be ideal. For the DJ-turned-producer, our Ableton Course is recommended, as this software is used for creating dance music, with the added benefit of being used as a DJing tool.
The Electronic Music Production course is taught on Logic software (mac only) and the teaching is tailored to the learner’s style of music — so if it’s drum’n’bass, they will be advised on how to create drum’n’bass sounds, and so on.
Remember, this is just an overview of the courses we do. If you are looking to study Music Production at a more in-depth level and gain qualifications from it, have a look at the range of diplomas we offer.
Are you lined up to DJ a set over the Christmas and New Year period? Feeling a bit nervous about it, and maybe want some more practice, or to hone your DJing techniques?
Have no fear! Our DJ tutor Mark One is available to teach 1–2-1 DJ lessons in any discipline of DJing and at any level, be it scratch DJing, CDJs, Serato or Traktor Pro. Slots are available between December 27th right up to January 1st, anytime between Noon and 10pm. Pricing is as follows: £75 for 2hrs, or £145 for 4hrs, which not only pays for tuition with a seasoned pro, but use of the Midi School’s top-end DJ facilities (1210s, CDJ2000 Nexus’, and a multitude of different mixers, controllers and effects units). To book, pleaseemail usleaving a contact number, so that we can arrange a time that suits you both.
Or, perhaps someone you know would like to learn to DJ? If you’d like to book a 1–2-1 as a present for them then we can make that happen — and we’ll send over a nice certificate for you to give them too!
To name a few of our DJ tutor Mark One’s accolades:
He was the DJ for the multi-platinum selling pop band Texas, and has played to crowds as large as 200,000.
He’s the 4 times regional DMC scratch champion
He’s signed to AV8 Records, the home of Fatman Scoop, Lumidee, and Armand Van Helden.
He’s DJed with…Grandmaster Flash, DJ Cash Money, Africa Bambaata, Hoxton Hores, Steve Mac, Steve Sutherland, Utah Saints, Mr Scruff, DJ Pogo, LTJ Bukem, Goldie, Roni Size, Norman Jay, Young Punx (to name a few!)
And has held residencies at…Houseparty — Area 51, Saturdays at Coliseum fka M Two, Saturdays at Bijou, Blow — One Central, Rehab — Birdcage, Walkabout, F-Island — Monthly — Birdcage, Loaf & Coliseum, The Big One, Glamour Woman of the Year Awards — London, GQ Man of the Year Awards — London.
Maschine is an interesting piece of kit, in that it’s clear to see the division between those that are ‘ok’ on it (those that have had a dabble, watched some Youtube videos, and glazed through the manual) — and those that are staggeringly good. The difference is woodshedding, and informed learning.
You can do both with the guidance of ourMaschine Online Course — and with the current deal of1/3 off(purchase before Jan 15th, and join any start date in 2013) it’s an absolute steal at only £165 / $267. Don’t be just be average, be amazing. See below on how to enrol and claim the offer.
It’s important to remember that the Maschine isn’t just an astonishing tool for music production, but the Robin to your Batman in the world of DJing. Sync it up to Traktor, spend some time using the Controller Editor to create your own personalised midi map and the possibilities for creating a really workable DJ setup are immense. There have been several cool videos shooting about the internet thanks to Native Instruments and people with webcams working their stuff on the Maschine alongside other NI goodies, so we thought we’d share some.
Disclaimer: If you’re a DJ, be wary, as this may make you take the plunge into a new piece of kit!
First up, arguably the person at the forefront of first bringing the Maschine to light -Mostly Robot’smainly robot Jeremy Ellis:
DMC Champ DJ Rafik mashing up Block Rockin’ Beats with the Maschine and Traktor Scratch Pro:
Maybe you DJ in a pair, and want to push that to the next level? DJ Zo and EOM give a quick demo on how they kill it with the S4 and Maschine, it’s nothing less than impressive:
Slovakian DJ Tomy DeClerque gives a detailed review on how he uses two decks looping in Traktor, and records quantised beats with the Maschine on the fly over it to create a completely new track out of the combination. In his words: “Bring the people what they want because this is what is the DJ work… to make the people that come to see it or hear it…to make them happy”. Slightly garbled but a great ethos Tomy, right on!
If you already own a Maschine, and are experimenting with using it live, Bass Kleph divulges a lot of his performance techniques (and it’s really helpful!)
Here’sDJ Shifteeof Mostly Robot spinning some tricks on the Maschine with the new Z2 — mind boggling:
And finally, a personal plug — a playlist of our Maschine tutorials from our very own Tom Lonsborough!
It’s always a nice surprise when a student on the Music Production Diploma gets signed to a label whilst on the course. Danny Knowles is one such student, whose release dropped on Monday and has already shot to 52 in the Beatport release chart. He’s just finished the course and headed straight for the sunny shores of Australia, luckily we caught up with him before he left!
Hey Danny! Well done on the Disco Electronica release! Can you tell me a bit about how that come about? Basically when I started DJing I used to play forDisco ElectronicaatSankeys, so I’ve known Mike and Sean for quiet a while now. I put Downtown on soundcloud and a label had approached me about signing it, but before he agreed I sent the track to Mike and he asked me to give it him!
That’s a nice little success story, especially that it was you getting approached, amazing! So let’s go back a bit — if you had to classify the style of music you’re really into producing, what’d that be, and how do you think you got there? Were there any big ‘I really want to produce music’ moments in your life? The sort of music I’m producing at the moment is mainly deep house — although I produce a lot of more experimental things that never see the light of day, and I’m quite happy with that! I don’t think there was ever really one moment where I thought ‘I need to produce’, I’ve just always been so into music. I’ve never been able to just chill and listen, which can get pretty annoying!
How old were you when you started DJing, was it a big break for you starting to play at Sankeys? I got my first set of turntables for my 18th birthday and just spent hours in my room just practicing. I had been going to Disco Electronica for a little while and used to speak to Mike and Sean a little bit when I was there. I saw on facebook that they needed DJs for the bar, so I messaged Mike and sent him a mix and lied to him! Haha he still doesn’t know this — so surprise if you’re reading! Saying that I had been DJing round and about and things…anyway he ended up putting me on. From there I ended up playing every month for them for a couple of years! Moral of the story: always lie! haha.
If you can prove yourself on the night, I suppose it doesn’t really matter what your past credentials were.. even if the links to them are quite tenuous (or non existent!)Can you talk to us a little it about ‘Downtown’, how it came to be, any hurdles or breakthroughs you had with it? The vocals are lovely I must say! I was working on Downtown for such a long time! From what it started at to what is now is crazy! The vocals were the only thing that really stuck, almost everything else has changed at least once. But as far as the writing of it went it came about quite quickly. There were a few sounds I wasn’t happy with, the bass line especially it took me a while to get a sound I was completely happy with and one that fitted nicely with the rest of the track and wasn’t completely dominating! Now its finished though I’m definitely happy with it.
What did you end up using for the bass; did you use your lovely Moog on the track? Were the vocals something you recorded, or did you take them from something? I didn’t have the Moog until after I had the track finished so it’s not on it at all! I ended up using theArturia Prophetsoft-synth which is an absolute beast! TheirMini-moogandARP 2600too are all unreal! The vocal is actually from a really country style sample that I pitched down and chopped up and after a bit of editing, it ended up sounding pretty decent!
Can you talk to us a bit about your time on the music production course? You’re coming to the end of the 9 months, has it been good? What would you say to anyone who was in a position that you were in — unable to just sit and listen to music? Yeah it’s been so helpful! Christophe has been really helpful, he went through all of my tracks with me at different stages — from when I was starting to write them, to listening to the masters for feedback. I’d definitely say to get on the course if you’re thinking about it!
It’s really nice to see students actually on the course already getting signed. What can we expect from you in the future, have you got more lined up with the label in terms of production and DJing? I’m actually moving to Australia in a couple of weeks so have no dates for DJing before I go, but I’m working on a couple of tracks at the moment that are getting towards being finished and we are looking at trying to get a follow up release on Disco Electronica again early next year!
Wow that’s a bit of a bombshell! What’re the reasons for the big move? Yeah! My girlfriend has just moved to Brisbane so I have been waiting to finish my course and go and see how it goes over there!
Awesome! Well, keep in touch, and I’m sure you’ll do damage to Australia if you’re producing to this sort of standard already! Haha! Thanks and yeah I definitely will do :)
Here are Danny’s 5 influential tracks. Take it away, and safe travels to Oz!
Nas — Halftime
Hip hop was the first genre I really got into when I was 13/14. I used to sit and just traipse through my cousin’s CD collection — he was really into late 80’s early 90’s hip hop and Illmatic was the first album I had listened to that made me just think ‘oh whooa’! Its without a doubt my favorite album ever.
Ronnie Hudson — Westcoast Poplock
Another genre I’ve always been into and I find heavily influential is funk! It’s pretty amazing how relevant it still is to modern music, and house music in particular.
Birshell — 6th Borough Project (Shell Toe Remix)
This was the first vinyl I ever bought! Instruments of Rapture is one of my favorite labels and this 6th Borough Project remix just kills it!
Daniel Dexter & Nhan Solo — Our Thang (Andre Crom and Martin Dawson Remix)
Martin Dawson has always been a big influence on me since I started liking deep house and ever since I started DJing, his tracks have always been an integral part of my sets. When he died a couple of weeks ago it was a big loss for house music.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard ft. Kelis — Got Your Money
If there was ever a straight up party tune it has to be this! I think a lot of music takes itself too seriously, especially house music, and a tune like this that doesn’t is a huge influence to me for just that. That huge 808 kick at the start of every bar and the double hand clap is a winner!