Artist Series

Beat Drop Selected for YouTube NextUp

What is YouTube NextUp?

NextUp is a program designed to nurture and accelerate the next generation of talented Creators on YouTube. Creators with 10K to 100K subscribers were eligible. Hundreds of Creators applied and YouTube selected the 10 finalists that we believed were ready to take their channels to the next level. The selections were made by YouTube staff who work with Creators every day. This is the first time that NextUp has run in Canada.

What happens at NextUp?

NextUp is a 5 day Creator Camp at YouTube Space Toronto, to learn about video production and techniques, access to a YouTube Partner Manager to help guide your channel’s development, $3,200 voucher from YouTube to purchase new production equipment, and extensive networking opportunities with established Creators. 

How did Beat Drop get selected?

We have been posting videos on YouTube for a number of years and see it as an amazing platform to share our love of music production and DJing through educational videos. It has been a tool to inform potential students about our school in Calgary and online. When we were offered a chance to apply for NextUp, we jumped at the opportunity and knew it could be great for our school. Part of the application is to submit one video that encapsulated our channel. We have a wide variety of videos on different topics on our channel, so selecting one video was quite hard. We chose this video from our head DJ Instructor (Canadian Thre3style champ) DJ C-Sik. It explains some high level routine preparation. It's done in a fun way and captures the heart of what Beat Drop is about. The motto of our school is to Inspire and Educate. This video tries to do both.

Our YouTube Journey

We started out on YouTube very slowly, about 5 years ago. One of our first videos we posted was a workshop with French Hip Hop Producer Onra showing off one of his famous beats.

The video production was super lame and you can hear the camera's gears as I zoomed in and out. He was such a nice guy and I wish we knew how to make better videos back then.

Another idea we tried was doing some reviews of gear we were interested in. We got sent some headphones from Urbanears so we decided to try our hand at doing a review video. Again with poor videography skills we tackled the subject, but this time we had a pro to quarterback it. Drew Atlas a local DJ and Radio host worked with instructors, Sandro and Kyle to make this pretty unique review. (Still one of my faves....those outtakes).

A video series that really helped our channel take off was a series of beginner's tutorials for Ableton Live we called Quick Start. It's a really low budget set of tutorials showing beginners how to use Live. Over the years it has helped a lot of people and the playlist has received over a million views. Pretty good for a super niche topic from a small school from Calgary, AB Canada.

A real strength of our school is that all of our instructors are in the music industry in some capacity making a living. We are also surrounded by amazing talent here in Calgary, so we get stoked when we can include them. Here is a YouTube series I started showcasing a unique instrument called the Ableton Push. We called this series "Push Beats". In this video I remixed the Game of Thrones theme song on the Push and then invited my friend and Platinum selling artist Jocelyn Alice to come sing on the track. (her performance is at the 2:55 mark).

Music production technique videos are all over YouTube these days. There is a lot of great content and a lot of content people need to filter out. With YouTube we really want to create content that applies to the modern day producer and is filled with usable knowledge while showcasing what it would be like to come to school here, whether it's online or in Calgary. Below Brandon Smith, one of our instructors, explains some high level synthesis combined with some production techniques.

I'm really excited about where our channel is headed as we place more time and resources towards it. The boom of LIVE video is a real opportunity for a school like ours and one that I see us taking advantage of more in the coming year.

NextUP Creator Camp Opportunity

I will be heading to Toronto from Nov 27 - Dec 2 to attend NextUP Canada.  I am stoked to network and learn for sure, but I'm most excited to meet with a Google YouTube Partner Manager. They are the YouTube ninjas that can help critique our channel and give us feedback to help us become more effective and grow our audience.

While I might be the oldest one of the Youtubers selected for this camp, I know I'm still young enough to learn a lot. My kids think I'm pretty cool now too and think I might get to meet some of their YouTube heroes like DanTDM and Miranda Sings. I told them they have a couple more subscribers than Beat Drop so I might not see them at the camp :) I'm just stoked to hang with other camera and audio nerds talking about creating content and growing our influence on the biggest video platform on earth.


Mitch Lee
Beat Drop


Beat Drop Spotlight - Brandon Smith

Beat Drop Spotlight - Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith is an absolutely massive part of the Beat Drop Community.  In addition to teaching SynthesisSound Design and Keyboard Fundamentals, he is the head technician at the Beat Drop Repair Shop.  Brandon is an active member of Calgary's music scene and plays keyboards in several bands.  Yet, somehow he finds time to work at the National Music Centre, a cornerstone of the Calgary scene and "a national catalyst for discovery, innovation and renewal through music."  We sat down with Brandon recently to find out a little more about him and his life as a professional musician.  P.S. Brandon can I please borrow your Minimoog?

Former Beat Drop Student Funk'nRight Wins Dirty Tones DJ Competition

Former Beat Drop Student Funk'nRight Wins Dirty Tones DJ Competition

Last weekend former Beat Drop student, Carsen Kendel aka Funkn'Right, won the 8th Annual Dirty Tones DJ competition. Carsen was enrolled in our DJ Program and successfully completed DJ 101 and Turntablism 101. He joins two other Beat Drop DJ students, Goodbar and Mystique, as winners of the Dirty Tones DJ Competition. Rick Cruz (DJ C-SIK), our head DJ Instructor, sat down with Carsen to learn what it takes to be the Dirty Tones champ and find out what the DJ community means to him.

Beat Drop Spotlight - Brynn (DJ Heebz)

Beat Drop Spotlight - Brynn (DJ Heebz)

Byrnn Collingridge (DJ Heebz) is one of Calgary's hardest working DJs.  He holds down residencies at The Hifi Club and Commonwealth Bar and Stage in addition to co-instructing Production and Remixing for DJs at Beat Drop.  Brynn is a prolific remixer, DJ and an amazing communicator.  We sat down with Brynn recently to get his take on DJing and life in general.

Beat Drop Spotlight: Krystle B

Beat Drop Spotlight: Krystle B

Few people have been a part of the Beat Drop community as long as Kloves (or NJVK).  This talented Calgary based producer is well known in western Canada as a purveyor of exquisite four to the floor beats and has experience rocking clubs and destroying dance floors on the festival circuit.  This rising young star of the Calgary scene is one to watch.  Kloves began her time at Beat Drop as student of our Music Production Certificate Program.  Since she graduated Kloves has been a TA at Beat Drop helping instruct Ableton Core I and Music Fundamentals. 

Beat Drop Spotlight: Timothy Allan

Beat Drop Spotlight: Timothy Allan

We sat down recently with Timothy Allan Ableton Core II and Mixing and Mastering Instructor at Beat Drop.  Tim is an accomplished music producer and mix engineer.  If you need mastering done he's your guy check out his mastering studio The Mixplant.  We asked him a bunch of questions. 

Skratch Bastid & Chris Karns

Beat DRop.JPG

Skratch Bastid and Chris Karns rolled through Beat Drop and laid down an amazing routine/performance. We had the privilege of shooting "Long Train Runnin" which has since blown up on the youtubes. Instructor and course developer C-Sik also got a few minutes to chat with them about their creative process, their history together and also about the Rane Sixty-Two Mixer. Some great insights from these two and some big knowledge they dropped on us. Check it.