From June 21-June 30 Electronic Musician readers have the unique opportunity to win a full scholarship to attend Los Angeles-based Crē•8 Music Academy’s four courses in music production. EM readers can discover scholarship details and apply via social media, banner ads and email, or go directly to Cre8MusicAcademy.com/EMScholarship.
Launched in January 2016, Crē•8 Music Academy offers four expansive individual music production courses through a unique partnership with Westlake Recording Studios (Rihanna, The Weeknd, Adele, Michael Jackson, Imagine Dragons). Designed for producers, songwriters and artists, Crē•8’s courses cover every essential aspect of music production used by industry professionals including how to:
- efficiently arrange and construct songs to be monetized in the current marketplace
- select and build modern, professional sounds
- record, produce and arrange powerful and effective vocals
- mix and master
Emphasis is placed on fast, economical, industry-standard workflows in Protools 11 and Logic X. Each course includes 15 hours of in-depth classroom instruction, hands-on assignments, access to the Academy’s recording studio, new production workstations and written materials.
Westlake’s co-owner and CEO Al Machera explains, “Steve Burdick (studio co-owner and President) and I always wanted to create a learning environment. We finally managed to put the pieces together this year and make it happen.” Burdick says the motivation arose because they kept noticing production quality would often make or break deals -- whether it was a record deal, songwriting collaboration, management offer or licensing opportunity. “People form immediate opinions of a song based on its production value. If you don’t have a polished and professional sounding recording it hurts your chances.” He and Machera wanted to offer the knowledge, guidance and direction necessary to achieve success in today’s incredibly competitive marketplace.
But they didn’t want to be another recording or engineering school; they wanted to offer insights into what works every day in the real world. “We’ve had some amazing people come through our doors,” Burdick relates. “And often they bring something different to the recording process, a new sound or a new way to do things.” Crē•8’s curriculum is built to capture the essence of what makes successful recording sessions work and share those revelations in ways that translate to an independent producer’s budget.
Over the years, the studio has hosted an incredible array of recordings including The Weeknd, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Usher, Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson (Thriller, Bad and Off The Wall were all recorded at Westlake).
Recording industry veteran and Westlake engineer/producer/mixer Doug Fenske serves as Crē•8’s Director of Education. Fenske developed Crē•8’s unique curriculum to directly reflect the production techniques used at Westlake on commercially successful records. We have taken 45 years of Westlake experience and condensed the most important information into four courses. “There is a gap between what traditional music schools teach and what actually happens in a studio. It involves more than just technical expertise.” Crē•8’s courses were designed to reflect real world conditions and best practices rather than just technical knowledge.
Courses are taught by Fenske, who has experience in every capacity of record production with commercially successful artists, such as: Quincy Jones, Randy Jackson, Britney Spears, Cee Lo Green, Snoop Dogg, Frank Ocean, LL Cool J, Bruno Mars and many more.
Peter Petro, with 20 years of experience in artist development, radio promotion, film scoring, music supervision, music journalism and education, is Crē•8’s Director of Admissions. He sees his role as, “ensuring that those who attend Crē•8 choose the right course, at the right time, for the right reason”. He also helps graduates focus on areas in the industry that give them the best competitive advantage based on their skills and production style. “We are proud to say there's nothing that comes close to these courses anywhere in the world. You can significantly improve the marketability of your songs in a matter of weeks.”
The four courses offered within the curriculum go well beyond the basics of using Logic X and Pro Tools 11, the current standards on Westlake sessions.
- Initi•8 helps you construct, arrange and compose songs meant for commerce
- Activ•8 shows you how to design your most cost-effective project studio
- Stimul•8 allows you to effectively capture performances and polish your sound
- Liber•8 reveals how to consistently mix and master your songs in a professional manner (“in the box” or on a console)
Priced at $1300 per course, Crē•8 is specifically packaged so aspiring creators don't have to take out loans to make a good living in music. Notes Machera, “Going tens of thousands of dollars in debt does not put people in the best position to be successful in music.”
The school itself is located adjacent to Westlake Studios, with small classes of 8-10. Individual courses last anywhere from ten days to a month with night and part-time classes available. All four courses can be taken full-time in about five weeks (popular for those living outside Los Angeles). Each course focuses on a different area of music production. Liber•8 is popular for those who want to sharpen their mixing and mastering skills for their own projects or freelance work. Init•8 is perfect for anyone wanting to quickly get a professional foundation in keyboard, theory and arranging. Stimul•8 offers powerful professional vocal production techniques.
Fenske notes, “Westlake has been making phenomenal records for many years. We have a certain standard here that we would like to share with talented, creative individuals.” Fenske maintains that Crē•8 Music Academy will not only do that, it will also help students conceive new projects in a fresh and exciting way and even breathe life into old recordings.
According to Westlake’s Steve Burdick, the takeaway is that Crē•8’s producers will be able to compete with industry professionals who may have more experience than them. He reveals, “All creatives, whether they’re producers, songwriters or artists, want to make a living with their music. And that’s the mission of Crē•8 Music Academy.”
For information and additional details, visit Cre8MusicAcademy.com.