Beat Maker: Recording Arts

Beat Maker: Hip Hop Producer

Beat Maker: Ableton Live

Beat Maker: Mixing & Mastering

The heart of any great track is in the groove.  While nearly every genre has a rhythm, the level of detail required to make something that really bangs requires focus and intention.  Detailed sequencing, sampling, synthesis, and production techniques are all part of this package, and necessary for anyone looking to make it truly slap.  Learn to create your own grooves under the guidance of expert beat makers, and how to mix them down so they explode when the drums really kick. The only way to know how it will sound in the trunk, on the dance floor, or in the club, do all of this on our world class sound systems, with no volume restrictions.

1.5 Month Program

Intro Class: 



If you have an instrument, bring it in to help with live recordings in class. Don’t play an instrument, no problem, we’re teaching you how to record live instruments, not play them. As part of your enrollment, you have access to all of our equipment, acoustic and electronic instruments, and our various recording and production studios.

Stefon Taylor (Bionik) teaches Slam Academy’s Recording Arts Program, alongside Joe Woodling and guest instructor Charlie Erickson. “Bionik” is at one in both acoustic and electronic realms. He sings, plays guitar, bass, drums, and percussion, writing and recording all of his own sample-free music. As a producer of electronic soundscapes, his recent live performances have taken him to Minneapolis’ First Avenue, Los Angeles’ Low End Theory, and Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory.

Software Requirements: any DAW

Enrollment limit: 8 students

Recording Level 1: The Recording Studio

The Analog Studio – Jam on instruments and microphones that you connect yourself with instructor guidance.
Digital Audio Recording – Record yourself and others the right way with your computer and classmates.
Audio Bussing and Mixing – Blend those recordings together to make them sound big and beautiful.
(Session 1) Basic Studio Tracking – Create an original song using all of these professional techniques!

Recording Level 2: Professional Sync and MIDI Integration

MIDI Synchronization – Play synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, and more along with your recordings.
Control Surface Integration – Touch and control your sounds with buttons, knobs and faders to enhance precision and feel.
(Session 2) Multitrack Studio Tracking – Record a band or multiple musicians at once in a real studio recording session.
Listening Session and Student Feedback – Share your works with your classmates and instructors to get feedback.

Recording Level 3: Guided Tracking Sessions

The Recording Session – Record your own instrumentation to your own original backing tracks.
Editing your Tracks – Chop, stretch, comp, and refine your song on the timeline.
The Mixdown – Process and blend your sounds to achieve maximum sonic impact to your audience.
Final Project Review – Deconstruct your original works with the class and instructor for final feedback.

Upcoming Start Dates

Classes meet on Thursdays
New start every 3 months!

Dates my be subject to change.

3 Month Program

Intro Class: There are no upcoming events at this time.

Starts: There are no upcoming events at this time.

Ends: There are no upcoming events at this time.

Learn Sampling, Synthesis, and Recording in the Hip Hop industry, and apply those concepts to modern studio tools like the MPC, Maschine, APC40, Push, TR8, and more.  Go on a field trip with the DJs to a local vinyl shop, bring the tunes back to the studio and sample them straight off the decks into your productions!  Produce tag lines, record and process vocals, and chop/screw these recordings with expert guidance. Lastly, learn the do’s and don’t of the professional hip-hop industry and learn how you – an aspiring producer – can get started in the professional industry.

Greg Grease teaches Slam Academy’s Hip Hop Producer Program. Grease is a Musician / Visual Artist / Sewer out of Southside Minneapolis, featuring a blue-collar Afro-centricity present throuhout all of Grease’s music, particularly with his band Astralblak (aka ZULUZULUU), a Soul/Funk/Future Space movement created to empower and elevate through sonics.

Software Requirements: any DAW

Enrollment limit: 8 students

Hip Hop Level 1: Hip Hop 101 - Styles, Origins, and Production Methods

Comparing classic styles and origins of hip hop and what they involve ala DJ Mustard, DJ Premier, Chop/Screw, J Dilla, and more. Learn how to use the fundamental tools and techniques that make Hip Hop, from the microphones, drum machines, synthesizers, and samplers. Investigate the ways that the Sampler has inspired the genre, and learn the workflows used by Marley Mall, Timbalaand, Pete Rock, RZA, and others to bring these tools to life.

Hip Hop Level 2: Advanced Beat Making Techniques

Go to the local indy record store and come back with some vinyl. Sample it with instructor guidance, and chop that sample into your own tune. Add synth lines that are in key, and add drums that are in the pocket. Turn your beat into a full song by tweaking those sounds and add extra flavor with effects, shout outs, and ultimately vocals in your own tune. Explore processing and pitch and time correction tools such as autotune, melodyne, and vocoding for extra attitude on that microphone.

Hip Hop Level 3: Producer Success Strategies

Showcase your work as an artist or producer on the world stage the right way, with proper social media rollout techniques. Learn the ways that are tried and true in the 21st century for publishing, marketing, distribution, licensing, and more. Explore the various avenues a creative person can pursue in this field, from performer, producer, engineer, MC, and more. Hear industry success and failure stories from veterans in the game, and ultimately succeed yourself as you apply this knowledge to your own music and music career.

Upcoming Start Dates

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Classes meet on Wednesday
New start every 6 months!

Dates my be subject to change.

6 Month Program

Intro Classes:






The Ableton Program is the most rigorous training we offer in Live. It is a comprehensive and systematic approach from the ground up, designed for the most dedicated Live students. This sequence takes the novice producer through the most advanced content and cutting-edge techniques, equipping you with all the tools you will need to be a professional Live user.

James Patrick teaches Slam Academy’s Ableton Live Program. 15-year DJ and music producer, co-founder of Slam Academy, and Ableton Certified Trainer; James Patrick uses his professional involvement in both academic and popular electronic realms to unite the creative energy, ideas and people of his community.

Software Requirements: Ableton Live software (Suite preferred)

Enrollment limit: 15 students

Live Level 1: Interface Navigation

Create your own original music sketches using Ableton Live’s Factory Library sounds. Understand and practice the general workflow of music creation within Live. Customize Live to behave the way you want it to, and arrange your own grooves, basslines, melodies, and harmonies using Live’s virtual instrument collection.

Live Level 2: Sequencing and Recording

Create your own original sequences using Live’s intuitive Session View. Record your own sounds into Live and warp them to your own grooves. Mangle and twist those recordings to create entirely new sounds for your arrangements. Record yourself jamming on the knobs to add life to your sketch with automation and modulation.

Live Level 3: Arranging and Editing

Create intricate changes, drops, breakdowns, tempo changes and more using Live’s Arrangement View. Chop, slice, reverse, and further refine all of your sounds to create riveting sound environments. Record yourself improvising across the timeline to further enhance your tune. Export your first fully arranged and edited song by the end of this level!

Live Level 4: Effects Processing

Turn your electronic music into something incredible with professional effects processing techniques. Sculpt your audio creations into exactly what you imagine using your own custom signal processors. Improvise with these custom processors in your own music, or live on stage using Slam Academy’s world class techniques.

Live Level 5: Synthesis and Sampling

Create your own original sounds from scratch. Build your own synth leads, basses, drums, pads, sound effects and more, entirely with Live’s virtual instrument collection. Incorporate those into your final project for this level to create your own entirely original electronic music composition, from the very ground up!

Live Level 6: Controllers and Instruments

Add more human control to your music by connecting your own controllers and instruments to Live. Customize your APC40, Push, and other Control Surfaces to respond exactly the way you want them to. Learn the world of recording interfaces and external hardware. Record synthesizers, drum machines, and musicians playing real instruments alongside your arrangements.

Live Level 7: Performance

Play your own original songs live in front of an audience. Design a live performance set that will allow you to jam alongside live musicians, DJs, and more using Ableton Live and a MIDI controller of your choice. Also learn how to DJ with Ableton Live in this level. Complete the level with a short live performance of your own tunes.

Live Level 8: Mixing and Mastering

Push your original songs onto the world stage using industry standard Mixing and Mastering techniques. Polish your own songs alongside Slam’s expert mix engineers. Hear your own songs stack up to the loudness and clarity of your favorite all time tunes. Finish this level with a completed original song or EP, ready to share!

Upcoming Start Dates





Classes meet on Mondays (Jun & Dec) or Thursdays (Mar & Sep)
New start every 3 months!

Dates my be subject to change.

3 Month Program

Intro Class: 



Learn how the art of Mixing creates dynamics and balance, and how this essential process prepares your work for Mastering. Then, in the Mastering lessons, discover how to bring the excitement, power, and sheen out of your mix in order to translate on any playback system and share your music with the world.

Andrew Hill (Nostalgia) teaches Slam Academy’s Mixing & Mastering Program. With a Bachelors and a Masters, Andrew Hill has the paper credentials to teach audio and music production. What makes Andrew Hill a great mentor, however, is his real-world experiences as the artist Nostalgia, having played his compositions around the world to thousands of people.

Software Requirements: iZotope’s Ozone 7

Prerequisites: Ableton Live Program or advanced knowledge of a DAW; at least 1 completed track ready to Mix & Master

Enrollment limit: 8 students

Mix & Master Level 1: The Setup and Theory behind Mixing

Prepare your tracks the right way through understanding proper gain staging and signal processing. Sculpt each sound in your mix to create interlocking puzzle pieces that are all clear as day. Compress and saturate your sounds for maximum punch and loudness. Buss your tracks together and color those busses with the same warm analog modeling used by your favorite artists. Understand how these elements all come together to create a world class mix, and implement that knowledge into your own sounds to optimize the impact of your music.

Mix & Master Level 2: The Mixdown and Render

Balance each element in the mix to the right level, width, and spatial position. Build the “pyramid” of sounds in your mix to ensure that each sound in your song is loud and clear. Spectrally process those sounds with multi band processing to surgically hype the sweet spot in the mix. Know the levels needed to make your songs as loud as the professional tunes in your music collection, and apply that knowledge to your own tunes with instructor guidance. Render your high-res premaster file to professional formatting standards and set yourself up for the best final product.

Mix & Mater Level 3: Mastering 101

Watch as professional mastering engineers demonstrate world-renowned techniques to make their own projects as loud as the biggest tunes on earth. Load your own sounds into those same sessions and apply those same methods with their guidance. Learn the subtleties of cutting and hyping the right sweet spots in the mix to accentuate the definition, clarity, and overall loudness of your mix. Hear how your own music can truly stack up to the pros, with the right mastering chain, acoustic space, knowledge, and experience.

Mix & Master Level 4: Final Project Master Sessions

Sit in the mastering position with the instructor and master your own tunes. Set up and dial in the room to the ideal decibel range for equal loudness. Watch and learn as each student in the room has this opportunity, and gain a deeper understanding of the nuances of mastering. Use iZotope Ozone and other industry standard devices, as well as the native tools in your DAW, to realize the ultimate goal of any musician – to hear their own songs at the level of the best.

Upcoming Start Dates

Classes meet on Mondays
New start every 6 months!

Dates my be subject to change.


There is no application, and all experience levels are welcome. Just signup with the red buttons!

To enroll in the Beat Maker Package, purchase below. This price includes all the required classes, at a significant discount from buying them individually.  

After payment for the program package is received, we will contact you to welcome you to Slam and answer any additional questions.
Price: $6885 (Includes all classes, All Access pass to all Slam Academy regular classes, (including online classes) and up to 13.5 months of SlamPass)
Payment plans are available for this program.

Join the Beat Maker Package using our simple payment plan.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact us.

Enrollment Includes:

  • Admission to all Recording Arts, Hip Hop Producer, Ableton Live, and Mixing & Mastering Program Classes
  • Weekly feedback on tracks and projects during class Lab Time
  • Feedback on midway and final projects from Slam Teachers and Guest Artists
  • 25% Returning Student Discount on all future enrollments*
  • Free Instant Access Pass (access to complete non-program online video library)
  • Discounts and Special Offers on hardware and software from our friends at Foxtone Music

* Not valid with other discount offers & coupons.

2 week Add/Drop period – Money Back Guarantee


Have a question about the program? Email us anytime at [email protected]

Need help?
Inquire about our scholarship programs.