Studio Engineer: Recording Arts

Studio Engineer: Ableton Live

Studio Engineer: Sound Design

Studio Engineer: Mixing & Mastering

Studio Engineer: Producer

The essence of music making lies not within a single software application, but instead in the timeless practices of recording, arranging, producing, mixing, and mastering.  This coveted knowledge historically lies behind the crippling price tag of Audio Engineering schools, until now.  Slam Academy was founded based on the principle that everyone needs to have art in their lives, but nobody needs financial ruin.   Master the art form of sound through classic engineering and production techniques required to create a truly professional body of work.

1.5 Month Program

Intro Class: 

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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.

6 Month Program

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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

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

Dates my be subject to change.

6 Month Program

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… Apply that knowledge to modern synthesis types (FM, wavetable, granular, and physical modeling), sampling, re-sampling, and finally advanced signal processing. Create, observe, sculpt, sample, and process sounds using the same exact tools and techniques of the world’s leading sound designers. Use cutting-edge devices by world leading developers such as Glitchmachines, U-He, Applied-Acoustics Systems, Madrona Labs, and more!

James Patrick teaches Slam Academy’s Sound Design 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 Suite software

Prerequisites: Ableton Live Program or intermediate knowledge of a DAW

Enrollment limit: 15 students

Sound Design Level 1: Analog and Subtractive

Become familiar with the history and origins of electronic music through the exploration of the Analog Subtractive Synthesizer. Start with historical accounts and innovations, and then look into virtualized versions of these classic machines. In particular, the Ableton Analog will cover all of our Analog Subtractive bases for Level 1, so let’s keep that loaded onto a MIDI track for the duration of Level 1. We will also be configuring our first Audio Effect Rack in Live, in the Oscilloscope and Spectral Analysis equipped Visualizer Rack. We will be applying those tools in the creation of classic bass, lead, pad, percussion, and sound effects, and saving those presets into a well-organized sounds directory to submit for our final project on the end of Level 1.

Sound Design Level 2: Advanced Modulation

We will begin this level still in the Analog world, building on what we learned in Level 1. Still working with the Subtractive language, but adding on to its capabilities through advanced modulation and waveshaping techniques. For the 2nd half of the level, we will be introducing computer technology to the equation through the use of true FM Synthesis. First we break down the core elements through the creation of lead and bass sounds, and then we finish the level by designing our own custom FM Drum Machine for the Level Project! Gonna be a good one!

Sound Design Level 3: Effects Processing

For this level, we will begin with the fundamentals of audio signal processing, based on the 3 primary dimensions of sound. We will then relate those dimensions to our audio effects device collection in Live. We will begin with EQs and Filters, move through time based effects and modulation effects, and then finish off the level with our Dynamic Signal Processors like Compressors and Gates. The final elements of polishing up our mix and timbre will be covered in Level 6 with saturation, distortion, and mastering techniques.

Sound Design Level 4: Sampling

For this level we learn the art of sampling, from top to bottom. Beginning with recording techniques and professional audio file management, moving through the basics and tricks of sampling audio with the Ableton Simpler. Through this, we learn about time compression and Warp Modes, proper gain staging, and a whole slew of Ableton Live audio engine tricks. We then apply that knowledge to the Ableton Sampler and the creation of complex and intricate sounds on the Timeline, known as “composite sounds.”

Sound Design Level 5: Advanced Synthesis

For this level, we will be covering a variety of advanced synthesis languages. All of which take advantage of modern computing power and cutting edge interface designs. We will begin by furthering our control of “playback speed” inside of a sampling instrument with Wavescan Synthesis, and then we will be smearing and spraying those slices into clouds of texture with Granular Synthesis. We will add harmonics and organic warmth and nuance to our textures with Physical Modeling Synthesis. Then, we will relate that scanning and morphing waveform concept back to the oscillator, but now with a collection of waveforms to morph between within Wavetable Synthesis. WOW! Big stuff in this level! All of the major components of modern, cutting edge electronic music get covered here! *Be sure to check out “Synthesis Language Building Blocks” PDF to help visualize what language to reach for, and when!

Sound Design Level 6: Distortion and Mastering

Learn to finalize the creation of world class sounds through the professional application of timeline-based editing and compositing of your own original sound design creations. Polish them up to scream with spectral processing, analog and digital distortion, and world class mastering techniques. Finish the program with final projects that include an original short film score, or sample pack of all original sounds, presets, wavetables, and more!

Upcoming Start Dates

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Classes meet on Tuesdays
New start every 6 months!

Dates my be subject to change.

3 Month Program

Intro Class: 

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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.

3 Month Program

Intro Class: 

Starts:

Ends:

We assume you know the machines, software, and songwriting techniques used to assemble a basic tune. Now, in the Producer Program, it’s time to turn that tune into a Hit! Ride on the cutting edge of real-world music making and studio technology in action as you collaborate with others to realize how great songs are created from scratch.

Stefon Taylor (Bionik) teaches Slam Academy’s Producer 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

Prerequisites: baseline knowledge of musical terms, such as chorus, distortion, and timbre

Enrollment limit: 8 students

Producer Program - No Levels or Outline

The Producer Program has no set levels or class outline.

Students, instructor, guest artists, and teaching assistant sit in the studio and make tracks together, with the goal of releasing at least 1 EP at the end of the 12 weeks.

Upcoming Start Dates

Classes meet on Tuesdays
New start every 6 months!

Dates my be subject to change.

Registration

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

To enroll in the Studio Engineer 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: $9391.50 (Includes all classes, All Access pass to all Slam Academy regular classes, (including online classes) and up to 19.5 months of SlamPass)
Payment plans are available for this program.

Join the Studio Engineer Package for only $545/month using our simple payment plan.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact us.

Enrollment Includes:

  • Admission to all Recording Arts, Ableton Live, Sound Design, Mixing & Mastering, and Producer 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

Questions?

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

Need help?
Inquire about our scholarship programs.