The Lodge Academy just finished its third round of classes offering the Ableton Music Producer Program. Students learn the in's and out's of professional music recording, producing, and live performance using today's advanced digital and analog gear and software. On June 2nd, 2017, students that completed the program were invited to perform their original music live at Irving Theater near downtown Indianapolis.
This week I chatted with one of the graduates, Casey McDermott, to get his perspective on the class and his life as a music producer moving forward.
What was your favorite part of the Ableton Music Producer Class?
“As someone who hasn't been very technical from a sound design/engineering standpoint, this class was very helpful in understanding the why and how of sound design. I've always just been a ‘plug it in and go’ kind of musician and this class really enabled me to be more deliberate when producing.”
How are you planning on using what you learned in the course in the future?
“The use will be primarily to improve the overall sound and production quality of my own work. Obviously, I will be employing new skills when producing new tracks, but I'm also looking forward to going back to old projects to see how I can make improvements.”
Did you consider other music classes before choosing The Lodge Academy? Why the Ableton Music Producer Program?
“I have seen crash courses being offered in other cities, but I personally don't like the concept of cramming this much material into a single week. The fact that the Lodge Academy was local to me and actually spread the course material out over time made it an easy decision to sign up.”
Describe your experience performing live for the Graduation Event.
“It was a pretty awesome and a new experience for me. I've performed countless times on stage with band mates, but performing my own music on stage with Ableton Live by myself was exciting. The execution was a little nerve-racking, but there are things that I can simplify in future performances to alleviate that.”
*Here is a live video of Casey McDermott performing at The Graduation Event for the class.
Can you describe your growth as a musician over these past few months?
“There's been a lot. I've grown technically for sure, simply due to all the new knowledge and insight I received from Dan and the course material. But in reality, I think the changes have been much deeper than that. In many ways, the live performance exorcised some of my internal demons in terms of being willing to share my ideas and not being afraid to fail. Being around other artists that I don't know and seeing how other people approach their musical ideas has in a way taught me that everybody has their own way of listening and writing and producing, so there's no reason to try to compare myself to other artists or be afraid of not fitting into this or that category. This is a very brief description of the impact the course has had, but it really has been life changing in terms of how I view my music.
What was your conception of electronic music before and after taking the class?
Pretty much the same before and after. I've had an interest in electronic music of many flavors for a long time. I would say that Nine Inch Nails was my first introduction to electronic elements in the late 80's/early 90's. After that, towards the mid-to-late 90's, I was into The Prodigy, Crystal Method, Chemical Brothers, type stuff. Around that time, I was introduced to FL Studio (Fruity Loops) by a close friend and we spend the next few years trading licks and we even collaborated on a 6-track album we titled "Hail Eris". It was during this time that I really dove deep into writing beats and melodies and built up a library of electronic musical ideas. I didn't listen to a lot of electronic music until the last 5-6 years when dubstep became more mainstream in the US. These days, I'm mostly into chill/down-tempo type of stuff, but there is some Dub/House/EDM stuff I'm into as well.
What does your future look like musically?
This is a good question. The short answer is that I'm uncertain. I just started a new job and am getting ready to have my first child, so it's fair to say life has a lot in store for me for the foreseeable future. That being said, I have a lot of support to pursue my interest in music. My intention is to just keep creating new content when I can. I envision doing a lot on Youtube and the other social platforms to stay busy and just see where it goes.
The next Ableton Music Producer Class at The Lodge Academy begins September 11th, 2017. Click Here to see an updated class schedule and signup!
The video of Casey’s performance, as well as other student’s live performances, will be available on our website soon. The course is taught by Dan Giffin. To learn more about The Lodge Academy, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.