10 x 1,5 hours group sessions taking place every week
Interactive live video format, including demonstrations, exercises and discussions
Exploring a different topic every week
Every session concludes with a Q&A and opportunity for participation
LIVE - Group Session [13th April; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Introduction
- Hardware set up, cabling and workflow
- Software set up and configuration
- Analog synths, drum modules and drum machines
- Effect units and Pedals
- Hardware vs. Software
- Preamps and Converters
- “Real“ instruments
- Some thoughts about monitors and acoustics
- What is playing live?
- From pure improve to live playback
- Alone or together?
- Content that isn’t music
- Setting up a studio: what is important to know
- What does a studio represent to us?
- Listening position
- Home studio, considerations, pros and cons
- Introduction to my music production workflow. Hardware and digital configuration, my instruments, DAW, effects
- AD/DA conversion, sound card
- Matching the signals, avoiding ground loop, latency issues
- The introduction is an extra session to the complete programme,
it is not mandatary to attend. However this is where you will get the opportunity to introduce
yourself to the group and hear a little about the other participants. Sebastian will also go
over some frameworks for the course, these will also be emailed to everyone after the session.
Frank will talk you through his studio set up, what decisions lead him to his current set up. Specific talk about several topics such as cabling, workflow, software and hardware and “real instruments” and acoustics.
Erika will introduce the course and platform, share with you her experience and background, and discuss the concept of making live music.
Neel will talk you through his studio, explaining how it evolved over the years, what does the studio represent in his life and what decisions lead him to his current setup. In this session we will have specific talks on different topics such as the importance of our listening environment, speaker positions, hardware and digital setup, AD/DA conversion.
Meet your instructor Alma. In your first session you'll get to know her background in the music industry and take a first look at how her expertise can help to advance your music career. She will also get to know you better and understand your current status as an Artist.
LIVE - Group Session [20th April; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Gear 1: Instruments
- Improvisation is to listen; what is listening?
- Sebastian's approach to improvisation
- Similarities between improvisation and meditation.
- Improvisation; the creative expression
- Improvisation; openness and awareness
- The importance of improvisation - healing and acceptance
- Different improvisation exercises
- Improvisation with Circle of Live
- Let improvisation flow into your general life; Is improvisation our natural expression?
- How to start creating a song
- How to start a remix
- Some tricks I use
- Finding ideas through experimenting
- Recording a good signal
- Jamming in the studio
- Sound Design
- Synthesizers & drum machines
- Recorded sound
- Looping & live playing
- The importance of having a ready-to-go setup (are you able to quickly record a musical idea?)
- How to get inspired when we feel we are not
- How to make the sound we have in mind
- Exploiting the most from our instruments, the importance of limiting and disciplining ourselves
- Experimenting with tools (Unconventional ways of making sounds)
- Making movement in a sound (How to avoid flattened sounds)
- Hardware synthetisers and drum machines; which ones do I use the most and why I love them.
Improvisation as the core of Sebastian's approach to music, a philosophical introduction to the concept and its importance to tapping into your creativity.
We look at improvisation & creativity as something innate within human nature:
Frank will discuss the different mechanisms (pre-sets, tools, tricks) that he uses to help him improvise, capture valuable moments, condense the material, arrange his ideas, and finishing a song.
During these 3 gear sessions, Erika will walk you through her setup, discuss the roles that different machines play, and show how they work together. She will also address options and ideas beyond her current build, and provide a framework for planning your setup to keep track of cabling and connections.
The second session will be focused on different aspects of music production. Neel will show you his approach to music creation, the different techniques he uses and how his setup is important for his workflow. Moreover, he will talk you through his inspirations, methods and expressive intentions that lead him into making music.
Success in the music industry requires a pragmatic approach to creativity. Learn how to estimate your value, what to consider when approaching an agency, and how best to utilise social media and your creative output.
LIVE - Group Session [27th April; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Gear 2: Utilities
- Improvising alone vs with others
- Openness / inspire & get inspired
- Different collaborations / unlocking different things.
- Invite / sharing your ideas
- Temporary roles
- Non violent communication
- Planning a live set and initial thoughts
- What equipment I use and why I choose it
- Bringing your own gear vs. renting
- Centerpieces: Computer and Mixing desk
- My workflow on stage
- About travelling with gear
- Electricity: powering your gear at home and on stage
- Power cabling
- Keeping time with MIDI sync, clock & transport
- Playing music with MIDI channels, notes, PC and CC
- Backup, restore and update with MIDI SYSEX
- MIDI & CV cabling
- What does mixing mean, what is your final goal
- How to start a mixdown, how to prepare yourself for a mixdown
- Mixing fundamentals, principles and tools that will always be valid
- Different ranges of frequencies, how to make the best choices and find the right balance
- Dynamic processing: how to treat your sound properly
- Spatialisation: the importance of creating a sound's image and its depth
- Differences between an analog and digital mixdown, & the power of combining the two
- Final test, master chain, general considerations and tips
The topic of improvisation naturally leads to the idea of collaborations, their role in the creative process (and of improvisation), listening and paying attention to other artists.
In the first session of the second week. Frank will lead you through his live-set-up. When you have watched this video, he will go into further details on the set-up, introduce you to his workflow on stage and answer further questions you may have.
In the second gear session, Erika will show you how to connect your instruments with MIDI and CV, and discuss the intricacies of sync, programming and control. She will also explain power and electricity, to keep your gear safe at home and on the road.
This session will be entirely focused on mixing concepts and techniques. Neel will treat this key topic from both theoretical and practical sides. He will share his experience in the field with tips and demonstrations, and help you with any doubts or questions.
In this session Alma digs deeper into the structure, agenda, and priorities of booking request. Understand how and when to pitch to festivals, who to involve in the process and what to expect of them, as well as developing the intuition to navigate these challenges confidently.
LIVE - Group Session [4th May; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Gear 3: Assembling your setup
- Different meditation techniques and exercises.
- Daily practice / retreat
- Meditation - non state
- Reminding, not teaching. presence is not something you learn, it's you!
- The natural expression of the wild
- Just be in nature, no activity.
- Different exercises in nature.
- Song selection
- How i create a live version of a song
- Jamming and improvisation
- Reacting on problems, dropouts etc
- Attaching to the room and audience
- Respecting the people playing with you
- Using computers for jamming and live performance
- Considerations for taking a laptop on stage vs using a computer in your studio
- Review different styles of mixers
- Choosing a mixer for studio and for live
- Audio cabling: different cable types and making the right connections
- Gain staging
- What is important to understand when you listen to someone's music. What is the purpose of a mastering engineer.
- Critical listening: why it is a main step of the mastering process
- Enisslab: The beginnings, how Neel built it's identity and improved it
- Being a music producer and a mastering engineer at the same time: the challenges and benefits
- Outboards and plugins: my setup
- What is the difference between a professional mastering and a self made/software/algorithms mastering
- How to understand the right hardware or plugins to use for our purpose
- Mastering chain. Aspects to consider.
- Multiband compressing: what it is and why is it used on mastering.
- Loudness protocols
- Differences between digital, vinyl/tape and streaming platforms
Discover how reconnecting with nature and meditation can be used as tools to unlock your own creativity.
In the second part of Frank’s introduction to his live-set, he will share more of his experiences on stage. He will give you background information on his approaches and solving issues on stage
In the third and final gear session, Erika will talk through using computers and audio mixers in the studio and on stage.
It's been now more than ten years that Neel started his professional activity with mastering, working and contributing to define the sound of some of the best labels and artists in the scene. This session will be fully dedicated to mastering both from the conceptual and the technical point of view. Neel will treat all the main topics of it, sharing his direct experience on field and showing some of his favourite techniques and methods of work.
Missed your flight? Reckless promoter not responding? Technical meltdown on stage? In this final session Alma will take you through the horror stories of being a touring artist and how to deal with difficult situations. You’ll learn the skills needed to be diplomatic, how to negotiate, and how to prepare for the road ahead.
LIVE - Group Session [11th May; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Jamming
- Software set up and configuration
- Hardware configuration
- Tape Machine (and why would you consider using it?)
- Midi controllers / control surface
- Issues of noise and hum, how to avoid and how to live with it
- Stomp boxes and pedal trains
- Opening up for making music with others
- The importance of listening
- Studio collaborations
- Collaborations on stage
- About touring with a band
- What is jamming?
- What do you get out of jamming?
- Jamming solo vs jamming with others
- Being ready to jam
- Ideas and exercises
- Different approaches and possibilities when you build a live session
- Being able to improvise, listening what we do, feeling confortable with it
- My personal way to approach live performances. Why I keep on changing my setup.
- Modular synthesizer: how I use it to perform and how I combine it with other machines
- Technical issues and problem solving: before or while playing.
- Circle of Live: Setup, interaction. How it works, why every time it's different.
- Live jamming
Sebastian will talk through his studio set up, what decisions lead him to his current set up and his advice. Specific talk about several topics such as Software, Hardware, Soundcards etc.
Touring as a solo-act is one part of Frank. However the integral part of collaboration has been present and vital to Frank also before his electronic music career. He will introduce to the different forms and aspects of his collaborations and how you can grow / develop through these team efforts.
Erika will talk about her creative process, which begins with live jamming, and show you some techniques and ideas for writing music that will ultimately become part of your live performance.
Playing live has always been an important part of Neel's musical life. During this session he will show you how his live setup works and how it changed and evolved in the years. Additionally, he will share with you some of the experience he gained over the years through practical tips and anecdotes from his shows. Last part of the session will be dedicated to a live improvisation where Neel will show you and explain progressively all the decisions he takes.
LIVE - Group Session [18th May; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Prepare Your Set
- Express and write without a specific purpose
- What is your intention with making music? Allow that intension, don’t work against it
- Meditation as a tool, why does it help your studio work?
- Spend time with an instrument without recording, just for the pleasure of playing/feeling music.
- Different angles to approach the expression. Layering / free improvisation / arranging / looping /
- Use your feelings as a starting point
- Define your temporary frame and express from that
- Accept yourself, honour yourself, allow all feelings also the ones that are harder to accept
- Building a team
- Treating people
- My way
- Motivation and goals
- My way / your way
- Push & Midi looping
- What to prepare and why
- Jamming and practice as preparation
- Organizing sounds and sequences
- Making backups
- Creating notes or a set list
- Being mentally prepared
- What does collaborating with another artist means? The importance of sharing.
- How to merge two different artistic personalities into one
- My collaboration experiences (Voices From The Lake, LF58)
With improvisation as a technical aspect, Sebastian will discuss the different mechanisms (pre-sets, tools, tricks) that he uses to help him maintain a clear mind and therefore more open to the flow of creativity.
In this last episode Frank will give you an insight of how his story went so far. Here you will learn about his thoughts on communicating and relations, mistakes and decisions.
Molding jams into a solid live performance requires both intention and organization. Erika will show you the tools and techniques she's developed for turning sounds and sequences into a set that flows well.
During this session Neel will talk you through his life experiences in making music with others artists. How he approached it from the creative and technical side, how the different projects evolved in the years and what do they represent to him.
LIVE - Group Session [25th May; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Practice
- What software synths and plug ins
- Midi controllers & control surfaces
- My template
- Push & Midi looping
- Practicing your music
- Structuring your music practice
- How I practice for different types of sets
- Dealing with creative blocks
- Simulating the real world
- Practicing recovery
- What you can't practice
Sebastian will talk you through the various software programmes he uses, plugins and software synths (and why).
Practicing is how you grow from being capable to being excellent. Becoming ready to perform at a gig is about practicing more than just your music. Erika will discuss many methods of practicing to become ready for the stage.
LIVE - Group Session [1st June; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Recording
- Midi interface
- Midi keyboard
- Outboard effects
- Signal mergers
- Bags and travel recommendations (to protect your gear on the road)
- Recording as a part of jamming and practice
- Recording with the intent to publish or release
- Two-track vs multitrack recording
- Audio fidelity: bit rates, disk space and file types
- You've made a recording. Now what?
In this second module focusing on playing live, Sebastian will follow up on the topic by discussing the hardware aspect of his live set up and help you with any doubts or questions you may have to build your own.
There are several reasons to record your full live sets, or live versions of individual tracks, and many ways to make recordings. Erika will talk through how, why and when to record, and show you how she makes both studio and gig recordings.
LIVE - Group Session [8th June; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Performance
- Your live set up is your trampoline and your parachute
- Your presence is your inner trampoline and parachute
- What are your intentions for playing live? Recognise them and honour them.
- Do it! Learn by doing and accepting ”failure”
- Technical rider and advancing
- Renting equipment VS bring everything yourself
- Pre-connected vs connect on sound check
- Having a tour manager (or do I need one?)
- Cases, bags etc.
- Rest & meditation
- Before a show: tech and hospitality riders
- Arrival, setup, and soundcheck
- Returning to the venue, linecheck, and performing
Sebastian will share his tricks about finding peace and presence on stage. These include pragmatic solutions to finding your creative flow, and a more holistic approach to touring (for e.g. monitoring and sleep).
Practical things to think about:
While each performance is different, there is a basic structure to a performance day. Erika will take you through the details of what should happen on the day of a show, including everything that could go wrong, and what to do when things don't go as planned.
LIVE - Group Session [15th June; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Business & Travel
- Looping / improvisation / meditation
- Looping in the studio
- Boss RC-505
- Midi looping with Push
- Duo Looping
- Sketches built on 12 sounds
- How to record sketches from scratch
- How to make a sketch from an existing song/track of your own
- Getting gigs, on your own or with an agent
- Fielding inquiries and offers/li>
- Turning offers into signed contracts
- Planning travel: more than just bookings
- Packing and traveling with your gear
Sebastian uses freestyle live looping as well as prepared sketches, both when he plays live and when he improvises in the studio. This episode gives a deeper insight into these two approaches and in what way you can combine them for better creative flow.
The final session is about the gig business and traveling, two topics that are incredibly important to live performance, but can be difficult to tackle as a creative person. Erika will share with you her understanding of how these things work, including the ways they can go right and wrong. She will also show you her packing and gear protection system.
LIVE - Group Session [17th August; 12:00 EST / 18:00 CET] - Mentorship Follow Up
- Working with a team VS doing everything yourself
- Your voice and intentions
- Allowing a creative flow within the team
- Establish ways of communication / Non Violent communication
- Booking Agent / Subagent
- Record Label
- Publicist / Press agent
- Social media manager
- Tour manager
As a final chapter, we will look at the misconception there is around having a team for underground electronic music artists. The importance of finding the right people to work with, who share your values and can cultivate their knowledge to bring your creative ideas to fruition.
Two months after the course concludes, join an optional follow-up session to share your progress and thoughts, and to ask questions of Erika and the group at large. There is no formal agenda for this meeting, it's simply an opportunity to reconnect, check in, and address anything that comes up after a period of working on and growing your musical practice.
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone with any amount of experience in making music or playing live, including you! if.... ...you want to make music (and maybe even play live), but aren't sure how to approach this from a creative or technical perspective; you might not have much or any gear yet. ...you have collected a studio full of equipment (sequencers, eurorack, hardware synths, soft synths, plugins, controllers, whatever!), but don't know how to make music. ...you are making music, and want to take your sound to the stage or stream. ...you have played live some, and are looking for ideas, tactics and inspiration to take it to the next level.
Do I need specific gear or equipment to participate?
While this course has a heavy focus on hardware, it is also relevant to those who want to perform with a laptop, giving techniques and strategies for managing a collection of tools and instruments to create and perform live music, regardless of the equipment you choose. Otherwise the sessions are hosted on Zoom, so we recommend getting the desktop app rather than working through browser
Will you be sharing the session recordings with participants?
No, we are not sending recordings to participants after the sessions. The intention is to practice presence, and experience the course in the moment, focusing on improvisation and real-time feedback. One-on-one sessions will be recorded however and shared.
What if I cannot make it to a session?
This can happen, such as in real life things sometimes come up. We look at this case by case, if someone has considerable changes in their schedule and is absent to more than 1-2 sessions then we speak directly to the student about the possibilities.
Is the course in English?
Yes, the course is in English.