My Top 5 Favourite Music Producers

PHARRELL

Pharrell Williams has been one of those guys I’ve had a heavy yet healthy obsession with when it comes to music, from a very young age. His unique ability for sound and making beats come alive helped create many of the hip hop anthems I enjoyed whilst growing up in the 90’s and 2000’s. In fact, listening to them today, they still hit hard and have been unmatched in style and flavour.

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Some of my favourites are:

I have no doubt that Pharrell will go down as one of the greats as well as the fact that from all the interviews I have watched, he comes across as a humble, caring and spiritual human being. One whom I would love to have the honour of meeting.

TIMBALAND

Another tyrant in the game and was pretty much head to head with Pharrell in the hip hop game was the all so talented Timbaland. Also with an incredible sense of rhythm and unique sonic ability, Timbaland helped carved up the early 2000 scene with some unforgettable anthems!

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 It felt as if at one stage, the radio was literally flooded with Timbaland and Pharrell tracks. They were clearly the two hottest producers of our time and to this day are still creating and releasing tracks that are topping charts internationally.

 

DJ MUSTARD

Dj Mustard’s ability to make up a monotonous beat and make it so infectious that you could literally listen to it on repeat without ever getting sick of it is admirable. Always drum and bass heavy and this grimey underground grooves that always just had such a strong vibe where you could play them all day long. Dj Mustard best known for entering the scene in the late 2000’s also with an impressive playlist of heavy loaded tracks. He crafted a fresh new sound for hip hop come 2014 and still comes out with some fire tracks.

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MARK RONSON

Mark Ronson would have to be one of the most current and commercially successful producers of our time. First starting out as a DJ turned recording artist Mark Ronson stepped up the bar when co-producing the album for Amy Winehouse winning him his first three Grammy Awards. Ronson has been across many records and has certainly hit a few out of the park with Bruno Mars’ smash hit Locked Out Of Heaven amongst others. His skill definitely lies in mixing old flavours with new and will no doubt have long lasting records heard for years to come. A classic styled producer with a commercial flare.

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KANYE WEST

We all know that Kanye loves Kanye, but I must admit, as much as he comes across as a mad man and complete douche at times, Spike Leo also loves Kanye.

Undoubtedly one of the most influential producers in modern hip hop not only in his own right but also producing for other artists.  Kanye jumped onto the scene in 2001 with the album “Blueprint” and since then has helped write records for Ludacris, Alicia Keys & Jay-Z to name a few. Kanye tends to be quite unpredictable in music choices and obviously private life choices (that seem to be blatantly public) that he is certainly one to always keep an eye on, hopefully for nothing more than just his music to be honest.

Here’s a playlist below (because the list is so damn huge) of songs Kanye has produced for others and if you’ve never heard of a Kanye West song before, then what are you doing on my blog? lol! Enjoy!

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Well, that’s my list of the hottest. Of course producers like Noah “40” Shebib, Scott Storch, Dr. Dre, Dj Mustard and probably a handful more should be there but those 5 above are certainly the ones who I have admired for the longest whilst growing up and still do very much to this day!

Blog ya later!

Spike Leo 

Top Gigs in Melbourne to look out for!

LIVE MUSIC MELBOURNE

Every week I do my best to try and get out of the studio and muster up the courage to battle the cold (much like Jon Snow from Game Of Thrones except, I have no sword fighting skills or experience riding fire-breathing dragons) and then, get myself out to see some live music.

Last week I had the pleasure of going to see the talented, “Harts” guitarist extraordinaire and budding music producer play live for the, “Jimi Hendrix Tribute Show.” Ever since I heard Daydreamer, Harts first album release in 2014, I have been a fan. Not long after being knighted by Prince himself with, “he reminds me of me when I was that age,” and soon after going to Prince’s house in Paisley Park for a little impromptu jam. Not bad at all!

Harts Melbourne

We arrived at Melbourne Recital Centre just as the bells started to chime. Soon after taking our seats, I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be the appropriate venue for such an event. Jimmy Hendrix seated Rock n’ Roll. The stage looked impressive and both my mates who sat beside me were equally excited and ready to be blown away!

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There’s nothing that quite excites me more than seeing an artist live but in many cases, it has been either a make or break situation when seeing artists live whom I admire.

The show began comprised of one drummer left of stage, bass player right of stage and Harts dead front centre. Although I have never known Jimi Hendrix’ songs like the back of my hand, I still held a high appreciation for the music he created and was ready to be educated.

 The lights went up and 2 songs in I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed. Presented with poor sound in the first two tunes and guitar down low, it felt as if Harts was awkwardly trying to command attention with his seated rock n roll audience. There is no doubt that Harts guitar playing skills are high up there with the best, but when it came to playful banter with the audience, it felt at times, incredibly artificial and uncomfortable, one could say, slightly conceited and brat like.

The show went on and Harts spent a good 80% of the show either soloing towards the wall to the side of the auditorium or with his back to the audience jamming along with his drummer. At one stage we even had the pleasure to learn of the drummers name and for much of the show, Harts’ bass player seemed like that kid on side of stage who wanted to join the band ever so badly but with all his will, ability and talent, just couldn’t quite get the affirmation he so deserved, to the point that Harts never even introduced him, through the entirety of the show.

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We were now about half way in and Harts introduced onto the stage female front woman, Sarah McLeod from Superjesus. Right from the beginning of the song she dominated and commanded attention, like any lead singer should. Rock n roll Screams and yells with a ferocious and powerful voice certainly did justice to what the music demanded. Alas, we sat in our chairs and bobbed our heads along even though I felt like moshing up and down like a rock n roll teen once would and of course should!

Boom! The song finishes and she walks awkwardly off stage, no high five from Harts, no wink, nothing! Well… that was odd I thought to myself, maybe they just are just not fond of each other hence the lack of chemistry on stage.

A few tracks later another female lead singer from the band Saskwatch, Nkechi Anele. Not only the host of Triple J’s specialist music show “Roots ‘n All but also an accomplished singer in her own right.

“Nkechi,” was strong, sexy and powerful and stood side of stage letting her body move and groove to the music. Harts, dead and centre, stared mesmerised by his own guitar the through the duration of her performance, not once making eye contact or any form of connection as a performer should with his colleague! It did the song no Justice! Through the whole song she was staring straight through Harts and rocking the side of the stage. Ironically much of the time prior of which Harts spent staring in that direction soloing towards the auditorium walls. Song finished. Nkechi awkwardly walks off stage. By far, the weirdest live collaborative performance I have ever seen, zilch chemistry and by no fault of lead singer from Saskwatch. She couldn’t have tried to squeeze it out of him harder.  

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At this stage, my friends and I pulled out a small flask of rum and started passing it round in hope that we could forget or at least embrace the awful banter and uncomfortable performances we had just witnessed.

Half way through Harts begins to tell his story and association with the Jimi Hendrix foundation mentioning to the audience, “I don’t know why they let me be a part of this,” with much of the audience in complete agreement. The band walks off stage and Harts comes back on with a different jacket. Harts approaches his keyboard and some other electronic device that the audience cannot see.

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For the next 10-15 minutes we hear Jimi Hendrix voice play through the speakers. From what I gathered, Harts plays pad chords over the top of it, but no one was really sure. A lack of video visuals in the background and completely absurd and disinteresting musically, left the audience perplexed.  Harts slouched over with head down, it felt as if we were in the home studio with Harts as he tried to figure out what chords will sound best with this new A Capella. Finally, Harts moves back to the guitar and then continues to play with the Jimi voice over. My friend whispers in my ear, “Guitarioke,” possibly, the most entertaining and amusing part of my night.

Throughout many stages of the show I sat there in hope that Harts would show some humility. Although I have no doubt that Prince held a healthy dose of arrogance in his younger years I felt that maybe Harts is just completely unaware of how he presents himself on stage. Without doubt, he is talented but the art of performing is something that requires work and attention and I feel that Harts has not invested nearly as much time into the art form of performance as he has with his playing and production skills.

One highlight of the night is when the band slowed down and Harts commenced a slow blues number which was a clear passion as his playing was incredible and the sound of the guitar really had it’s moment to shine. Aside from the show pony tricks and agility, we really had a moment to enjoy Harts ability and musicality.

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And surely enough, after that wonderful moment, Harts then commenced to tell the audience, “This was just a test tonight to see if people will like it,” (Despite that people forked out $55-$65 a ticket) “and we didn’t even practise the songs, the band completely improvised everything we played.”

 Ha… go figure.

We finally made it to the end of the night, an empty flask, a few giggle here and there and one of the worst shows I’ve seen in a long time.  

Harts finishes the encore, doesn’t quite smash the guitar but from the neck throws it up into the air, the guitar awkwardly, like much of Hart’s performance, hits the stage and then proceeds to walk off like a spoiled brat leaving the audience standing and staring like, WTF?

If this is rock ‘n roll, then rock ‘n roll is dead.

…that bass player though, what’s his name?

Spike Leo

My Top 5 Favourite Current Australian Artists

I always enjoy finding new talent that offers something a little different from the masses! It seems the more time I spend on Spotify the more disheartened I become. This is due to the majority of today’s music generally sounding all the same these days, the same instrumentation, melodies and arrangement style across so many different genres.

Yet every now and then something or someone holds my attention for several minutes and that is all it takes to get me excited, when someone is trying to push the boundaries and guess what? A lot of those artists are right here on our home turf! Good old bloody talented Aussie artists!

So in light of the above, here are my top 5 favourite Australian artists!  

 1. FLUME

  • Flume’s first self-titled album was released back in 2012, November 9th to be exact. As a producer Flume demonstrated a powerful command of sharp bass drums and snappy vocals samples entailed with rollercoaster-like dynamics. Check out “Holdin On” one of my favourite Flume tracks!

  • It was nothing like I had ever heard and the mixes on these bad boys were incredible. The musicality and sound design that were heard through the tracks were that of a seasoned pro, yet Flume was only 17 years of age starting music production at the ripe age of 13.  

  • His career has taken him around the globe working with an array of internationally renowned artists and producers and his sound has been mimicked and infused into pop music ever since. To think it all started from a basic production disc found in a cereal box!

Flume

2. JOY

  • JOY, real name Olivia McCarthy is an exciting Australian Musician, singer and producer from Brisbane. She is an established, pianist, guitarist, singer & avid Ableton user. The first time I heard her voice was simply something out of this world. Smooth, creamy, silky vocals with attitude.

  • One of my favourite joy tracks is the song, “Like Home.” The production is smooth and I’m a huge fan of the sound selection, especially the opening chords that sound like they’ve been made up by some vocal sample.

  • Joy has released to EP’s up until now, “ODE” back in 2015 and SIX back in 2018. I think JOY is destined for stardom and is certainly one to watch over the next 5 years!

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3. ADRIAN EAGLE

  • Adrian is pretty new to the music scene but has had a really great start to what looks to be a long and promising career. His first official release was “17 Again” back in 2017 and has slowly been building a keen and loyal fan base. His voice is certainly one of a kind and produces songs that are heart-felt feel good autobiographical type tunes through his music.

  • His latest record, A.O.K is his first single release in two years and is an uplifting anthem on mental health and resilience with a twist of gospel samples and hip hop to the likes of artists like Kanye West and Chance The Rapper.  It’s an uplifting and positive track both in sound and message.

  • Adrian has toured and performed with Hill Top Hoods and has started playing around the festival scenes as well as tours through Europe. His main influences are reggae, soul & R&B. Another exciting career to stay tuned to!

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4. KWAME

  • Kwame first gained some attention back in 2016 when he lit up the stage with A$AP Ferg and the video went viral. The 21 year old Western Sydney rapper released thereafter two mixtapes titled, Lesson Learned & Endless Conversations.

  • With thanks to Triple J Unearthed, Kwame later found himself a spot at music festival Splendour In The Grass! Kwame is an exciting mix between a more future RnB sound of Kendrick Lamar & similarities to another artist I love, Goldlink.

  • Kwame’s goal is to become an international artist, touring around the country and going to cities and other countries with amazing stage production.

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5. TOUCH SENSITIVE

  • Touch sensitive is one of my favourite producers and artists! His music is always full of energy and stylistically sophisticated. One of his latest tracks worth listening to is, G.A.L which I currently have on repeat! A wonderful display of an upbeat funk-house groove with a heavy bass driven pulse and shimmering synth melodies!

  • Has remixed songs from artists such as Rufus & Hayden James.

  • Hit most radars with breakthrough tracks Pizza Guy and Show Me released in 2013. Touch has great video clips and awesome vibes and music to match! Check ‘em out for yourself

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So there are my top 5 Australian artists, they seem to change from month to month as I continue to explore what’s hot and what’s not! Stay tuned for future blogs and updates devoted towards my love and passion for music and the Aussie community! Make sure you check out our Squad Sunday event where our Melbourne music community come together every month! More details on my website and socials!

 Spike Leo

 

The 5 Stages Of The Recording Process

So… you want to make a record? You can hear all the parts in your head?

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And after several attempts of playing with either Logic, Ableton or otherwise, you realise that it may take you another 10 or so years for your song to actually come to fruition after realising that producing a song, is no easy feat. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong!

Songwriting is a craft in itself but when it comes to the technical aspects of music production, a seasoned pro behind the desk could save you roughly, well… about 10 years.

There are so many aspects when it comes to writing a song that sometimes as an artist, it can be more beneficial to just focus on the art of writing a great song. By no means am I discouraging anyone who has the ambition to song-write and produce up his or her own works, however be prepared for quite the marathon as it’s certainly no easy sprint.

I’d like to share with you the most important stages of the recording process and what some of that may entail but first things first… choosing the right music producer will get you halfway there!

So what does that mean exactly?

The right music producer is not just somebody who obtains the necessary skills within your genre to produce a fire track (although bloody important) they’re also someone who you can connect with on a creative and emotional level. You will be spending a large portion of your creative time with them and you most must feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable and honest to ensure you get a fantastic and desired end result, as well as a truthful performance. The soul purpose of a music producer is to be able to help guide, understand and bring your ideas to life!

Spike Leo Music Studio


STEP 1: Pre Prod. (Or Pre Production)

  • Sharing the main ideas, melodies, rhythms, style & feel, chords, beat, lyrics and any music in any stage of the song that has been completed to give the music producer an idea of where the song could end up.

  • This can also be called a demo and depending on what stage you’re at can be a full and rough arrangement of the song.

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  • Gives you time to play and open up the song whilst possibly re-working melodies, chords, bass lines & arrangement

  • A strong melody is key; everything else is just the foundation.



STEP 2: Recording & Sound Design

  • Sound design is one of the most important elements! What makes a song sound 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000 or today? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind… Maybe not, but based on the sounds and processing of plugins (Reverb, EQ, Delay) helps create a specific sound for that genre. Like an 80’s snare drum with lots of reverb. Or a 90’s STAB hit of a synth, or the Timbaland, Pharrell beats of 2000 and the trap hi hat phase of 2016 to now!

  • No need to stress, this is why you hired a producer! A good producer will ask you for reference tracks to help them understand better what your influences are. It is then our job, much like a painter, to pick the appropriate colours for the canvas before getting to work. You could like a bass line from Stevie Wonder - Superstitious. The Drums from Khalid – Better and the futuristic synth sounds of Flume.

  • Based on all the above, the producer will then start to select sounds that match your tastes all while crafting a unique and individual sound for you as an emerging artist. This is super important! Within the first few seconds of a song from artists you look up to, you can already tell who it is! Mainly because they have established a unique sound! This is where the 10 years+ of production comes in handy!

  • Don’t worry, you’ve picked the right producer, so now give them your trust and enjoy the process!

  • The producer now starts to build a vibe; it can be from the chorus, or verse or anywhere in the song. Now that you have the right colours, it’s now time to throw them down on that canvas!

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STEP 3: Arranging & Editing

  • After that second session you now have a vibe of the song and start fleshing out the arrangement. Making sure you can see the verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge ect. I like to call this either, “the frame” or the “puzzle perimeter.” Remember when mum or dad use to get you to put the outer pieces of the puzzle together? Same concept.

  • Now you can see a full song in front of you, it makes it much easier to work with. Sometimes during this process we may play with the arrangement depending how much we covered during step 1.  

  • Is the arrangement interesting? Does it keep the listener involved?

  • The main time spent in this process is building up the sections and then gutting them out. The best answer to the question, “How do you know when a songs finished?” that I heard was, “When there’s nothing else left to delete.” The more room you make on your instrumental bed, the easier it is for those vocals to stand front and centre!

  • Making sure that everything is aligned with your BPM  (Beats per minute), which is the general timing of the song, and DAW (Digital Audio Workstation, Logic, Ableton etc.)

  • Once everything is built up and sounding good, the music producer glues all the transitions together by using sounds like sweeps or instruments crossing over sections. Such as, the verse to the pre-chorus and making sure they transition smoothly. Then the pre-chorus to the chorus and so on and so forth.

STEP 4: VOCALS, VOCALS, VOCALS.

  • For me, this is the most important session of all. It is the mother of all sessions. Your vocals. It doesn’t matter how great your instrumental sounds, if these aren’t done well and done properly, the song ain’t going nowhere.

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  • Make sure you know your lyrics and melodies like the back of your hand. If you’re rocking up to the studio and just winging it, then you can’t be too serious. You want to spend more time trying to evoke emotion into your lyrics and less time worrying about, how do I sound?

  • The way you sound is important but best practiced at home prior to your vocal session. When a listener hears the track for the first time, how will it make them feel? You might have one chance only and one chance could mean 10 seconds or less before they switch over to the next song! Let ‘em hear your soul!!!!!

  • Once vocals are recorded along with doubles (two vocals recorded over each other) and stacked up chorus vocals and harmonies, the producer then does the appropriate processing to make your vocals stick out! Tuning, Saturation, EQ, Compression, More EQ, aligning etc…

STEP 5: Mixing – Post Production

  • This is where you get to sit back and relax and let your music producer or mixing engineer do the hard yards. A mix is where all the parts or stems are then mixed and processed into a stereo track and then bounced into what we know as an MP3, WAV or AIF file. WAV being the highest quality but also the largest.

  • The sole job of mixing the track is to provide all the parts with space in the mix, cutting all the unnecessary frequencies and taming the dynamic range so you have a cohesive sounding mix. Things like reverb and echoes are used to put the sound into a room. A great example of this is the song, “Take Me To Church” by Hozier. Notice how all the sounds have been pushed into a church like room to give it big spacious sound. Most likely using reverbs that have taken samples from actual church spaces! Mind blown!!!

  • A great mix will not make a bad song great but a great song with a bad mix is still a great song! I cannot stress enough the importance of the song first before the mix. If we have that sorted, so imagine a great song with a great mix! That’s what we’re aiming for.

  • At any stage, the mixers job is to enhance all the parts and create a 3 dimensional sounding track. One of the most important aspects of creating a mix is using reference tracks within the same style to make sure that your mix is on the money! Everything is fine tuned until the producer and artist are happy with their final mix.

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Well well well…we’ve now arrived to the very last stage of the process called MASTERING. More often than not, a producer will send the track off to a Mastering Engineer with a fresh set of ears. It is the final process of the track before being released for listening. It is much like an intricate surgical procedure.

The Mastering Engineer’s job is not to make drastic changes but to enhance the overall stereo mix. They are not dealing with stems in this case but a print out of the track in stereo, a WAV file.

Things like EQ, Compression, Saturation, Additive EQ, Stereo Wideners and volume are all used to get the track to an appropriate listening level compared to released music and more importantly, the other songs on your EP or Album.

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There is various pricing when getting your song mastered, yet it would prove beneficial to use someone with experience that is really going to help strengthen the quality of your songs and give them the love, attention and the fighting chance they deserve in being heard. The difference between $50 for a kid in his room with crappy headphones may not do justice to all the time and money you have invested in your craft! Sometimes it’s worth using the guy with 30 years experience (Like Jack The Bear for example) and spending a little more for which you’ll thank yourself later when you listen back to your tracks in 10 or so years time! The best time stamp that you’ll ever make!

Well, I hope all of the above has helped you with the more comprehensive understanding of what goes into making a song. In a fierce and unrelenting industry such as music, making the wrong choices is the path to finding the right ones! Give it all you got with no regrets! At the end of the, this music life’s meant to be fun right?  

Best of luck!

Spike Leo.

How To Produce Music

From The Very Beginning

We now live in a day and age where the ability to become a professional music producer is more accessible than ever. Achievable? Well… with accessibility comes competition. The key elements such as discipline, musicality,rhythm, ability to network including a good dose of time & patience will heavily rely on each individuals ability to persevere and stay determined when times get tough. There’s no waiting for inspiration, you must find it at all costs and it’s not something that comes naturally either, I believe knowing where to find inspiration is something that is learnt and becomes a healthy habit like anything else!

So where does one start? I guess I would say the essentials would be a computer, maybe even a second hand Macbook with at least 8-16gb of ram, (For speed when using your programs). I would also suggest a hard-drive with at least 500gb to 1TB of room, (For all the crappy beats that you need to make and leave on the hard-drive beat graveyard). I usually suggest a pair of headphones which can be any at this stage and a small affordable midi keyboard so you can rock it like Freddie Mercury at a Live Aid concert!

Maybe not headphones with sticky tape…

Maybe not headphones with sticky tape…

In terms of pricing you want to keep costs low because who knows? Is this just a fad or is it something that you can see a future with whilst rocking the stage with Skrillex? I think all producers start off making music as a hobby which for most, turns into a semi-unhealthy obsession and great loss of dollars (due to becoming a gear junkie). Your DAWS (Digital Audio Workstation) will probably stem between $100-$1400 and a midi keyboard between $70-$1500. My suggestion… Keep costs low! DAW I would start between $100-$300 and a midi keyboard I wouldn’t spend more than $70-$100. The keyboard is usually powered by USB and allows you to operate the software sounds or VST’S (Virtual Studio Technology) that allow you to operate the synthesiser sounds and so on in your DAW. It is literally just information passing from your keyboard to the computer saying, “When I press this button, operate the sound selected on my computer.” Without those two connected, there will be no music! Headphones, the ones you probably own are fine!

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DAWS! There are many, many, many DAWS and we can argue for days which is the best one, if any? Yet, they all do the same thing. Give you a canvas to create your hits on! Some are better for live performance such as Ableton. Some are better for arranging and mixing like Logic X. Some are for dinosaurs like Pro-Tools and some of course are for millennials or hippies like Fruity Loops (probably their favourite cereal growing up) & Cubebase/Studio 1 etc etc… It’s really going to come down to what you can afford and I would highly suggest testing them out first if you can to see what you prefer. At the end of the day, you’ll probably end up using more than one anyway. I use Logic X & Maschine by Native Instruments, which is best for my workflow and style of making music. Logic X & Maschine are also clearly, the best DAWS.

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The next question is what type of music do you want to create? Hip hop? Electronica? Rock N Roll? Enya? Blues? Billie Eilish? All this will be detrimental to your first steps as a producer because, the best way to learn initially, is to copy! Not copy and release it, but literally, copy their sounds, beats and mixing style. If you can recreate the wheel then great, but to be honest, do as the greats do! Or the Romans… or something like that. Figure out how they get their sounds. Sound selection is a biggy! What makes a song 70’s, 80’s or 90’s? What makes a song late 2000’s? Is it that trap hi hat? Is it that 80’s verbed out snare drum? Sometimes, you can mix and match like Bruno Mars and take a 80’s or 90’s sound mixed with 2019. These are all things I didn’t understand when I first started but hugely important!

Plugins! All DAWS have plugins that come with the program. When I first started in Logic, I literally opened up every single one of them, having no idea what they did, but just played around and experimented until I had some idea. Still to this day, some of my secret sounds and processing come from stock logic plugins from all those years experimenting!

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The capabilities now of music production are endless. There are so many options available to creating sound and sourcing information that really, the only excuse for not creating as a music producer who is first starting out, is the overwhelming amount of options! Keep it simple and take baby steps. Like anything, it first will feel like a foreign language but after much repetition and experimentation, it will slowly start to come together. The most important thing is, keep it light, keep it fun and remember to do it because you love it, as having the ability to create music from nothing is some of the greatest and most satisfying joy, you’ll ever experience! Happy music making!

Spike Leo

Music Production Courses

A Guide To: Music Production Courses

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Music production courses… Should you do them? Should you go online? Is it worth the money & time? What are you really getting? These are all valid and interesting questions!

My biggest tip is this…remember, all music production courses held at universities are businesses first and worry about students second. The idea of having creative courses like music production with pricing set between $40,000-$70,000 is ludicrous! I wonder what percentage of graduates make that sort of money from their creative profession annually within the first 10 years? I would guess around 5% if you’re lucky! Despite the above, these bachelor degrees also require a large academic component due to them solely being bachelor degrees and in order to make it an official integrated educational program, a large academic component is required. This basically means, you’re going to spend a great deal of time writing essays and sitting through not so exciting theoretical classes and less time being hands on actually using the equipment necessary to become an engineer or music producer. And guess what… This career is all about being hands on, turning the knobs, opening the plugins! It doesn’t matter how much theory you learn, if you’re not actually applying your knowledge directly to a mixing desk and/or computer, then your learning and production/engineering capabilities are going to be a result of that type of education which is, average.

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This brings me to going online. There’s an abundance of information and it can often be overwhelming. When first starting out you lack the vocabulary to understand exactly what it is you are wanting to search for as well as the descriptions or names of the problems that you’re encountering. I remember getting stuck so many times and it wasn’t that the information wasn’t out there! It’s that I had no idea what the name of the problem was or the vocabulary to be able to explain myself properly. You see, music and music production has its own language like any art form and when I first started searching on the internet I was watching videos that were way too advance for me and felt alienated from the information that was shared.

So… am I saying that university courses and online content are bad? No, not entirely. There’s no use being solely dependent on signing up for a music production/engineering university degree as, degree or no degree, it has nothing to do with you receiving any guaranteed employment thereafter. With a career where you’ll already start with a handicap, do you really need to start it in debt? My point is, a lot of people feel that because you’re doing the course within your chosen field, that it will most certainly guarantee you with a higher chance of employment or the big bucks after completion.

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Online is great! However, in terms of keeping productive and moving forward efficiently in your music production journey, this can often be quite challenging. I highly suggest finding some of the great and affordable online classes that have some type of syllabus based program. This will give you a stronger guide of your progress and take you from the start with simple and friendly vocabulary. Of course, if you have local music producers offering lessons and a syllabus like Spike Leo Music studios, then I would say, getting hands on, in a professional studio that is all about practicality with a healthy dose of theory is going to be the best bang for your buck! Of course, I am biased because that is what I do but let me assure you, all the above are mistakes I’ve made and learnt from. Attending face to face one on one classes that are tailored around you will have you writing, mixing and finishing songs in 1 year rather than 7! And because lessons are tailored around your strengths and weaknesses and not just some generic course, you will excel much faster as we tackle the problem you are experiencing head on! Our syllabus has been created from the best of what I learnt from courses and teachers across the USA, from NY to LA and gives you the exact skills that are sought after in the music industry all the way from beginner to advanced. My guarantee is this, in 6-12 months, not only will you know what you’re doing and how to create full produced songs, you’ll be satisfied with your decisions to take one on one lessons, you won’t feel pressured to take a job in an unrelated industry to pay off a massive debt, and you won’t have given up on your dreams to produce music.

Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best with your journey and am only a message away!

Spike Leo

Check out the video below for more about Music Production Courses

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