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Psytrance Producers Lab Retreat:

About the retreat:

 

Get ready for an exciting four-day journey into the world of psytrance music production! We'll be diving deep into various topics each day in classes.

 

PsyProLab 2024 - 3-6 April 

(With a psytrance party on the Friday night 5th April with our instructors E-Clip, Laughing Buddha and Inner State playing their best DJ sets)

Program Outline

 

The whole program is based on the track made by E-Clip, Inner State and partially Laughing Budhha. The whole program is created to show the track-building process by explaining the whole track structuring and creative and technical process. With this program, you will be able to understand the full track development process while having your own “hands on'' experience designing some of the elements yourself. Below you can read outlines of the program and what we will cover during the retreat.

 

1. Building The Groove:

This section of the retreat will make you understand the fundamentals of a Psytrance Groove: how to program it, and dig deeper into its individual elements. After each segment, we will cover how to set up the Groove group bus and the processing chain.

a. Kick Synthesis or Sample Selection

In this chapter, we will explore the Kick by explaining the Kick structure, synthesis and also sample selection and Kick processing and variations. We will explore the best tools for kick creation as well as the best plugins for Kick processing and kick samples.

b. Bassline process

In this chapter, we will dig deep into the bassline creation. We will go from basic synthesis to advanced processing. We will cover the different bassline styles and different key variations. We will explore the field of Kick and Bass alignment and mix.

c. Hi-hats

In this chapter we will examine the hi-hat structure, the different hi-hat types, how to program their rhythmic patterns as well as their group processing.

d. Share / Clap

In this chapter, we will analyze the Snare structure and how you can build it from the bottom up. We will go through the stages of synthesis, snare sample selection and layering.

e. Hits and Impacts

In this chapter, we will discuss and show the importance of the hits and impacts in the track, their different categories, as well as when and how to use them.

f. Fills

The importance of the fills, how to create them, when to use them and how. We will go through the different styles of the fills, and how and where to find the most interesting ones.

 

2. Single-shot sounds and atmospheres

 

a. Sound Sources

Through this chapter, you will learn the best sound sources you can use for creating single shots. We will go through the VST instruments and Samples. We will cover as many as possible, we will go through prices and smart budgeting for getting your studio ready.

b. Different Types of Single Shots and Atmospheres

We will explore the different categories and types of single shots and atmosphere sounds. We will teach you how to combine them to get the best possible results.

c. Arrangement

This part refers to the single shot and atmosphere sound arrangement: how to combine and where to place the different layers and types to create the appropriate atmosphere for your track.

d. Processing

Every element should shine in the mix and shaping elements is an important process of the creative process. Sound design by itself is important, but making elements shine and fit together properly will make your track stand out. We will equip you with the knowledge and show you the tools that will give you the ability to make your single shots stand out

 

 

3. Sequences, Melodies, Arps, Grids
a. Different Types

There are different types of sequences, melodies, arps and grids. In this segment, we will look closer at each one of them and analyze their types, purpose and effect on the track.

b. Sound Design & Processing Tools

This chapter will teach you the tools you can use to design your sequences, melodies and grid sounds. In addition you will be shown the most interesting tools and efficient techniques for how to properly mix and process them together, so as to have the maximum impact on your track.

c. Arrangement & Modulations

This chapter will be dedicated to the proper arrangement of the single shot sounds in the track while demonstrating techniques on how to combine them in order to create greater variety.

 

4. Track Arrangement
a. Theory

In this chapter, we will cover the theoretical approach for the track arrangement, analyzing templates as well as examining various structural options for the development of the track.

b. Track Flow

As this is one of the most important segments of psytrance production, you will be taught how to create, develop and keep the track flow for captivating storytelling and energetic driving force in your tracks.

c. Intro

We will go over the importance of the Intro, covering how to break it down to individual parts and choose the appropriate elements for its construction.

 

5. Mixing and Mastering Session

After the creative process of the track is complete, the final segment is making your track sound as best as possible and creating a powerful effect on the dance floor. We will cover:

a.Different categories

In this chapter, we will go through the group types of the track and how to categorize your sounds in the appropriate group.

b.Grouping + Mixing

You will learn how to approach group processing and how to process the sounds within the group for best-sounding results.

c.Tools

In this chapter, we will mention the best plugins and tools for mixing and mastering. We will explain the importance of certain tools and techniques to get your tracks ready to play.

 

6. Artist Management & Promotion
a.Professionalism vs Productivity

In this chapter, we will go through two different approaches to your career. As there are advantages to both professional and productive approaches, we will explain what are the benefits and what are disadvantages from both. This chapter should help you to create the best possible mindset for your career development.

b.Yearly Plans

We will help you to build yearly plans and set your personal goals for the whole year, including how to follow the plan and how to track it.

c.Importance of Social Media Presence

This chapter will help you to understand the importance of promotion and how you can create a plan for being present on social media. We will help you “break the ice” by showing your face and your work and how to present yourself to build an audience.

 

7. Special full day of teaching by Guest Instructor Laughing Buddha

 

In this special segment of the course Laughing Buddha will join us to share his insights on various tips, tricks and techniques, on various subjects such as sound design, mixing, processing and more.

HERE'S WHAT WAS COVERED IN THE 2023 WORKSHOP (WHICH WAS THREE DAYS):

Day 1:

 

Morning Session (Theoretical):

 

  • We'll start by welcoming all participants and introducing ourselves.

  • Then, we'll outline the program and discuss how the masterclass will flow.

  • Get ready for an introduction to psytrance music and what it's all about.

  • We'll define what it means to be a music producer.

  • Discover the different paths you can take as a producer.

  • We'll talk about setting realistic goals and managing expectations.

  • Dedication and patience will be emphasized as important factors.

  • Of course, we'll have a Q&A session to address any questions.

 

Afternoon Session (Technical):

  • We'll focus on arrangement and structure, and how to create a captivating track story.

  • Explore the key features and flow of a track, breaking down the track blueprint.

  • Learn the art of designing kick and bass sounds.

  • Dive into stereo bass design, layering techniques, and how to handle them effectively.

  • As always, we'll have a Q&A session to clarify any doubts.

  • At the end of the day, we'll wind down with a DJ/performance session where you can enjoy some awesome music and witness mixing in action.

 

Day 2:

 

Morning Session (Theoretical):

 

  • Let's discuss the difference between gaining skills and gathering information.

  • We'll provide tips for a faster learning process.

  • Get a solid grasp of the basics of sound design.

  • Learn the art of creating sounds using synthesizers.

  • Discover the power of sampling in your productions.

  • Dive into writing and music theory.

  • And, as always, we'll have a Q&A session to answer your burning questions.

 

Afternoon Session (Technical):

 

  • It's time to master drum programming and beat creation.

  • Learn the techniques of parallel compression in drums.

  • Explore parallel distortion and its impact on your sounds.

  • Understand the importance of layering sounds to add depth and richness.

  • We'll also cover vocal processing techniques.

  • Of course, there will be a Q&A session to clarify any uncertainties.

  • At the end of the day, we'll wind down with another DJ/performance session where you can groove to some amazing music mixes.

 

Day 3:

 

Morning Session (Theoretical):

 

  • Today, we'll explore the business side of the music industry.

  • Learn how to build your brand as a producer and DJ.

  • Discover professional behavior do's and don'ts.

  • Get insights into developing a strong online presence and effective social media strategies.

  • We'll discuss music release and distribution strategies.

  • Learn how to prepare for your initial label contact.

  • Explore the benefits of networking and collaborating with other artists.

  • And, as always, we'll have a Q&A session to answer your questions.

 

Afternoon Session (Technical):

 

  • Let's focus on proper gain staging and preparing your sounds for the mix.

  • Discover the power of grouping and group processing.

  • Learn mixing techniques to make your tracks shine.

  • Dive into mastering techniques to give your music that final polish.

  • Understand the importance of proper studio acoustics.

  • And, of course, there will be a Q&A session to address any lingering doubts.

 

Get ready for an incredible learning experience packed with knowledge, practical skills, and lots of fun!


 

How do I get there?

  • Closest airport: London Stansted (30 minutes by train straight into Cambridge)

  • Next airport: London Luton (60 minutes away by taxi) and London Gatwick (120 minutes by train direct to Cambridge)

 

Where can I stay?

  • It is up to participants to book their own accommodation in Cambridge. We recommend either Airbnb or via Booking.com or a similar website.

  • If you need advice on places to stay, please do contact Nick Sireau at nick.sireau@gmail.com

Apply for the Retreat!

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