courses

EARLY BIRD PRICING WINTER 2017

EARLY BIRD PRICING WINTER 2017

Take advantage of the quality you've come to expect from Beat Drop at a fraction of the cost. Save up to $2,296 with Early Bird pricing on all certificate programs and courses Beat Drop offers. Discounts apply to all Music Production and DJ Certificate Programs, Online courses and courses at our Calgary location. Early Bird is only available for courses starting in the Winter Semester. Act fast, Early Bird pricing ends November 20th 2016. For more information contact dan@beatdrop.ca or register online.

Early Bird Pricing On All Courses Starting Fall 2016

Early Bird Pricing On All Courses Starting Fall 2016

Beat Drop is offering early bird pricing for students registering in courses starting in the Fall 2016 (September) Semester. Early bird pricing is valid for courses online and at our Calgary location. All DJ and producer certificate programs and courses are eligible.  Early bird pricing ends July 11th 2016 so act fast!

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?

The History of DJ Gear Part 1: Ancestors of the Turntable

The History of DJ Gear Part 1: Ancestors of the Turntable

Take moment and think about how music has changed in your lifetime.  Now try to imagine what that music would sound like today without the influence of DJs.  It's hard to even conceive what modern music would sound like without them.  Join me as I investigate the history of the tools that DJs used to build their craft and how those tools altered the course of music history.  Like any good story, this story has a beginning and it all started with the most important tool in the DJ's arsenal – the turntable.

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.

This Is Your Bass On Compression - Part 3

This Is Your Bass On Compression - Part 3

Whether you're making pop, rock or dance music, bass is the anchor of your tune.  It provides rhythm, groove and lays the foundation for the rest of the mix to be built upon.  Producers often run into issues with bass.  Not only is bass difficult to monitor in a reliable way in most home studios, but certain attributes of the sound itself can cause problems.  Much like when dealing with drums (see These Are Your Drums on Compression), producers reach for compressors when processing their bass for specific reasons.

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.

THESE ARE YOUR DRUMS ON COMPRESSION

THESE ARE YOUR DRUMS ON COMPRESSION

You've probably heard all about the amazing things compression can do for your mix.  Add punch, tame peaks, increase the average volume, impart tone, glue a sub-mix etc.  But why do producers compress their drums and when should you do it?  

This Is Your Mix On Compression - Part I

This Is Your Mix On Compression - Part I

Compression is central to a modern producer's arsenal.  You've probably heard all about compressors and the amazing things they can do to your sounds (and maybe some of the not-so-amazing things they can do too).  Compressors are tricky devices to wield because often their effect is not obvious.  All of the moving parts found on a compressor only add to the confusion.  Is the compressor attacking or releasing and how do the threshold and ratio play off the other parameters?  All this confusion has manifested itself in often more perplexing articles, blog posts, YouTube videos and tutorials filled with truth, lies, myths and legend. T

How Tuning Drums Leads to Cleaner Mixes

How Tuning Drums Leads to Cleaner Mixes

Most producers don't include instruments in their songs that are playing out of key.  The reason being instruments playing out of key sound dissonant (or bad depending on your point of view) and can be unsettling to the listener.  However when it comes to drums, many skilled producers load up a sample, put it in their song and process it with EQ, distortion, and compression without giving a second thought to pitch.  This could be that many people assume drum sounds don't have a distinct pitch.  These people are wrong.

History of the Sampler Part 4: The Best Modern Sampling Tools

History of the Sampler Part 4: The Best Modern Sampling Tools

In the last three blog posts we’ve looked at the evolution of samplers – from tape, to expensive dinosaurs, to little grey boxes, to no boxes at all (besides the computer of course).  Recently, while trolling vintage samplers on Ebay I noticed that the prices vary quite wildly.  The Emulator I and IIs can go for as little as a few hundred to as much as several thousand dollars.  There are legitimate reasons for this – its more expensive if a technology is no longer produced, some have modifications like card readers and bigger hard drives.  A vintage samplers will also fetch more if it comes with a significant library of disks.  

EQ Techniques You Need To Be Using

EQ Techniques You Need To Be Using

No tool is more important than EQ when making a mix.  EQs allow you to carve volume away from select frequencies of a sound in order to make room for the other sounds in your song.  Having a clean mix means that every element in your track has its own place and can be distinguished from the other elements in the song.  Of course there are other mixing tools producers use to achieve clean mixes but every sound is comprised of frequencies and if you can get those straight your mixes will really shine.  Try applying these EQ tools to take your mix to the next level.

How Professional Producers use the Secret Functions of Racks

How Professional Producers use the Secret Functions of Racks

Ever listen to a track and been floored by the thick, rich tones of the synths?  My guess is yes and if so you've probably stopped and wondered, how do they make these incredible sounds?  You may already know the answer or at least part of it, layering sounds is a hallmark of electronic music.  To make interesting dynamic synth sounds producers layer synths.  In Ableton, the easiest way to layer synths is with Instrument Racks.

History of the Sampler Part 3: Sampling Comes to the Masses

History of the Sampler Part 3: Sampling Comes to the Masses

In the last 2 blog posts (Part 1 and Part 2) we looked at the history of sampling – from pre-digital manipulation of tape to expensive studio behemoths like the Synclavier and Fairlight.  That brings us up to the very early 1980s and a small company with big ambitions called E-mu Systems. 

EARLY BIRD PRICING SUMMER 2016

EARLY BIRD PRICING SUMMER 2016

Beat Drop is offering early bird pricing for students registering for courses beginning Summer 2016 (May). Register now! Early Bird pricing is valid for all certificate programs & courses until February 15th 2016.  Early bird pricing is not available on payment plans.  For more information contact dan@beatdrop.ca or register online.

Eight Simple Tricks You Can Use to Harness the Power of Clip View

Eight Simple Tricks You Can Use to Harness the Power of Clip View

Many producers don't fully understand the power of Clips in Ableton.  Most see them only as containers for MIDI or Audio information.  While this notion isn't wrong, clips can be used for so much more than production tupperware.  If you learn to harness the power of clips you can add a whole new set of creative tools to your musical palate.  Below are eight powerful techniques that take advantage of unique features of clips and will add interest, complexity and general gnarliness to your tunes:

History of the Sampler Part 2: Dawn of the Digital Age

History of the Sampler Part 2: Dawn of the Digital Age

In the last blog post of this series we looked at the analog pre-history of the samplers we know and love today.  The concept of a true digital sampler – something that could record, play and store sound while being manipulated like a synthesizer – only became practical in the late 1970s.  Even then, most mere mortals would have to wait until the mid-80s and the budget sampler boom to get their hands on one.  More on this to come in the next article.  Early digital sampling machines were dinosaurs by today’s standards – bulky, expensive and equipped with very limited memory which translated into very short sampling times.  

How Ableton's Hotswap Function Can Fix Your Mix

How Ableton's Hotswap Function Can Fix Your Mix

Have you ever been working on your mix and a certain element just won't fit?  Despite your best efforts, with gain staging, EQ, compression, phase-correction, or other effects, a certain sound falls out of the mix.  What's the best course of action when all else fails?  The answer is simple, change the element(s) that is/are causing the problem.  One cleaver function in Ableton makes changing a given sound for another almost painless, "Hotswap."

Spring Reverb: More Twang for your Buck

Spring Reverb: More Twang for your Buck

It’s still a classic effect today – and a ubiquitous part of reggae, dub and other genres.  It’s probably the simplest analog effect device in existence.  You send sound down a metal spring and pick it up on the other side.  Presto…..reverb!  

BEAT DROP THE TANK SPRING REVERB PACK

BEAT DROP THE TANK SPRING REVERB PACK

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours from Beat Drop.  This year to celebrate the holidays we prepared a special gift for you.  A royalty-free Spring Reverb sample pack for free download we call THE TANK.  It is made up of sixty four specially recorded reverb hits that rise, fall, swoop and swoosh,  The reverb tanks were removed from old guitar amplifiers and the signal was run through an analog signal chain to add warmth.  The sixty four sounds were loaded into a drum rack for maximum playability and organization.  All sounds are 24 bit wav files that will hold up to whatever you throw at them.