Soundkore Brings Production Workshops to Toronto
Toronto based company Soundkore is making a splash in the local scene in terms of audio engineering. Not only do they offer sample packs online and production lessons, but now the founders Adam K, A.J. Healey, and Andrew Poly are offering studio sessions twice a month, where producers can sign up to gain certain techniques in a positive learning atmosphere. A.J., also known as ½ of the house duo NuAlias explains, “We started a company called Soundkore, and the whole idea is to give producers the tools that we want as producers. There are tools that would make it easier which are not always available. There’s a lot of producers when they start out that are in a weird stage of having a lot of potential, but they’re not good enough where someone is going to come by and swoop them up as artist management. You can take away like 2 years of anguish by teaching them one trick.”
Euphoradio was invited along to sit in on their first session that was geared towards composition and how to start a track using Ableton Live. Artists are able to take notes, bring their computers, and ask all the questions their hearts desire. The first session curated by Adam K, explored composition ideas that took different directions. Artists were shown how to transform samples from the Soundkore sample packs, how to build melodies, layer elements, and aim for quality. Adam K, infamous for working with Soha, Kaskade and BT, took the lead on this one, “In this seminar, we did 3 songs in 3 hours – 3 ideas – and even Maddmon was like ‘are you going to use those [as completed works] because those are really good’. And that is exactly what happens; each hour, each idea, you get better and better with practice by not lingering too much and incorporating all the core ingredients. Now when you’re ready to actually finish a song and spend the 10 hours that it’s going to take for fine tuning, you already have the key ingredients.”
One of the main topics that constantly came up in the seminar was to create a track that does not fit into a certain subgenre of EDM, but to make something that intuitively feels right to the artist. “People are starving for good music that doesn’t sound like cookie cutter. If you make cookie cutter music, nobody’s going to know you for it. You might get one buy, but on a bigger level, you’re never going to break free.” – Adam K. Artists were constantly encouraged to break out of their routine formulas in order to create songs that stick out from the rest.
The need for seminars such as these has become more prominent in an oversaturated EDM market, contrasting to the dry academic industry. Artists who’ve spent the time and money on a post-secondary education for music production may have encountered the same experience as Andrew Poly, aka Pairanoid. “The inspiration came from going to school at Fanshawe for 2 years for a music program. I was literally teaching people there how to make electronic music. I went to the best musical engineer there and was like ‘can you help me with this mix?’ and he said it was great. I’m looking for that extra little bit but no one understood that genre. So we realized there’s a huge gap in the marketplace. There are no actual audio schools diving right into these topics. A lot of the post-secondary teachers come from rock backgrounds. Times are changing.”
Soundkore is filling the gap in Toronto in terms of teaching production tools to artists who are serious about pursing electronic music as a career. Even after the seminars are done, the community Soundkore has built has just begun. Artists are encouraged to send in their projects using the tools they’ve learned for feedback, and ask any music questions they may have for their mentors. But despite what genres Soundkore has planned to teach over the next few months, the founders constantly push for artists to stay true to finding their signature sound. “95% of music out there sounds like it’s going to fit a formula, you can try to enter that rat race and do what other people are doing, and do it better. And then maybe you can get ahead of them. Or you can do what feels good to you.” – A.J.
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Serafina Thoma – Euphoradio