Digital Music Maker was a whirlwind weekly online intensive programme which took a group of 9 young people through some of the most essential digital music making skills. Sessions were led by Noise Solution tutor, musician & songwriter David Brown & supported by Jay Mills (Haverhill South People’s Forum / musician) who gave it a resounding ’10/10′!
The programme started with an introduction to the online software VIP which gave everyone everything they needed to create & produce their own music. The group also had an introduction to the Noise Solution blog – a place for sharing music, asking questions & getting to know each other between sessions.
In the second week the group looked at how to construct a track using samples. Dave demonstrated the process using a clip he found on YouTube of a Donald Trump speech. This was imported into the software, edited down and mixed with grime audio loops (bass & beats) from the VIP loops folders.
In the 3rd session Dave introduced incredibox – a free web app for making beats (from jazz grooves to trap waves). The group also checked out google experiments / music as a fun way of playing around with arrangements.
Week 4 was about making a house track. The group followed the steps in a VIP tutorial and used their skills to build their own track from scratch, including making their own drum beats! At the end of the session everyone had a go at generating their own music video using online video creation software Rotor Video.
Next everyone got to experiment with Audio Tool – a free cloud based collaborative music platform full of emulations of real electronic instruments & a library of 250,000 samples! You could digitally access tools like the Roland 808, all kinds of synths, filters, beat boxes and effects pedals. For inspiration we watched a youtube video showing how the beat behind the Kendrick Lamar track “Sherane” was constructed.
In the final session everyone worked on their own lo-fi track in preparation for entry into the VIP Lo-Fi competition. This brought in some of the skills the group had learned along the way!
A sample of the tracks made during our final lo-fi session!
The 6 weeks flashed past really quickly and covered a lot of ground, giving intros to some key areas of digital music production. Hopefully these summer sessions served as enough of an introduction to spark an even keener interest, to enable participants to follow their own musical directions & get their production skills to the next level. There is definitely so much more to learn!
If you’d like to dig in and explore digital music making further for yourselves then check out Dave’s Studio Production youtube playlist !