I often get stopped in the street and asked, “Mr Muso… How do I route my FX within my DAW so that I may achieve an effective side-chain effect to give me a rather pumping bass line?”
Ok, that’s a lie. I NEVER get stopped in the street and asked that. I do, however, get stopped and asked directions or if I’m in a shop, during my lunch hour, I’ve often been approached by irate customers wanting refunds on stuff, only for them to squirm away quietly when I point out that I don’t actually work there! It’s true, it’s happened. I kid you not!
Anyway, what I do get, quite often, is questions on here, or in music forums, where people clearly need some help in getting what’s in here (points at head) into their DAW of choice and sounding the way they want it. And, of course, this isn’t always easy, nor is it always the same method. Applications like Reason, Live & Logic all ultimately enable people to make music, but they all use very different methods sometimes. Some people use more than one DAW and need twice the knowledge. It’s a minefield, baby!!
So, whenever I do try and help people, which I try to limit as I have a full time day job and other things to be getting on with (the life of a Failed Muso is increasingly becoming less “failed” and more “successful”, but “Successful Muso” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue and sounds very conceited! ), I do like to be able to show these people what I mean, rather than type 1000 words or talk over Skype. To this end, I use remote access software like Team Viewer, or I invite them into a virtual classroom on Adobe Connect. This is ok, but can suffer from bandwidth issues and things like people in different time zones.
I’ve often thought I’d make a set of video tutorials to possible market and sell, but firstly, I don’t have that deep a knowledge, and secondly, I don’t have the time. Or that’s what I keep telling myself. So, when someone approached me and pointed out a new venture from the guys at ProducerTech & Loopmasters, I knew someone had beaten me to it, and beaten me well!
ProducerTech are an online music production academy and Loopmasters are a sample boutique of some repute. Together, they have designed and delivered a set of courses for Propellerhead Reason, Ableton Live and Logic Pro, all of them fronted by qualified trainer, Rob Jones. Each DAW gets courses for both Beginner/Intermediate and Advanced levels. The concept of the website is to allow students of all abilities and locations to login and study online whenever they choose, getting professional instruction and support as modules are delivered. Being a Reason-head, I was particularly interested in what that offered so I signed up for the Advanced level. The first thing that impressed me was the very simple to navigate site. As a Trainer and designer of eLearning, I know a thing or two about this stuff and it really does strike the right balance between looking the part and being very intuitive to navigate. The modular courses contain lessons of around 30 minutes each, with the 27 modules beginning at initial setup and audio/MIDI basics and introducing various advanced processing and mixing techniques, which culminate in the producing of a cutting edge remix. Students are supplied with comprehensive notes and Reason Sessions to work along to during each module, which are accessed via downloadable course packs that also features a huge collection of Reason-optimised samples and instrument presets from Loopmasters. Students also get access to a private online forum where they can chat together and talk directly with Rob and other students about the course and their progress.
The course caters for those with the very latest version of Reason, as well as users of previous versions too, covering both the old and new formats and feature sets. Furthermore, with an included bonus tutorial that teaches the new effects in Reason 6, these are the first online courses of this nature to be 100% up to date. Here’s a clip from one of the Reason course video’s to give you an idea…
I was really impressed with the pace and delivery of Rob, even though it was a little on the cheesy side, but in an endearing way, not in any way detrimental to the experience as a whole. The guy clearly knows his stuff! And to have access to his knowledge outside of the videos via the forums is invaluable. One thing I get a lot of, as a trainer, is students contacting me after the course to go over something again. But with this course, you just go back to the video, whenever it’s convenient for you, and Rob is there, keen as mustard, to deliver what you need, when you need it.
Prospective students can download a free information pack for the Reason course from the site to find out more details, and can watch a free module from each course simply by registering on the site, to judge the quality of content for yourself without any obligation to buy.
The price is £149/$230 for a single course, or just £225/$360 for both courses when purchased together.
These courses come with my official seal of approval, for what it’s worth