Songwriting Music Producer | SMP

Learn how to produce and write the commercial songs you find on the Billboard chart, and hear on the radio every day on our Comprehensive Academy program, supported by Ableton, Native Instruments, and Apple. Students learn the knowledge and skills to stand out from the crowd in their genre, benefiting from study with the world’s best music production instructors, including Grammy Award-winners and certified trainers.

Over the course of our strategically timed mentoring sessions, and work both in-studio and elsewhere on projects outside of class, students will write, produce, engineer, mix, master, and learn how to release and promote their own EP. All diploma learners can book our professional acoustically treated mixing & mastering facility at no extra cost, and will benefit from all of Garnish’s software partner discounts, and have access to our worldwide network of alumni.

Garnish students can opt in to take a UK-accredited ‘Level 3 Diploma’, without any official prerequisites or high school grades. Also, Garnish was the first music production school in the UK to offer the Music Grades system for music production, and all music production diploma learners, worldwide are entered for the Grade 8 examination at the end of their program as well. More on music production grades on our London website here. Both qualifications carry UCAS points, but even if UK music production qualifications do not obviously pertain to our students’ goals, they (and perhaps more so their parents) can be rest assured that our music production program meets a national standard of accreditation. Please note that both qualifications are not recognized by the United States education system.

Ableton Live 9

Many top-level songwriters swear by Ableton for its responsiveness and flexibility, which can make writing melodies fun, creative, and flexible, where other DAWs can be limiting. This is why we start students off with Ableton, and as a certified training center, it’s safe to say they will be in good hands. All Garnish learners qualify for a 40% discount on Ableton.

Music Foundation & Composition

Our instructors, including Grammy Award-winning musicians, will convey a wealth of contemporary record production tips, techniques, and knowledge in teaching students to compose original tracks. Students will assemble their own commercial backing track (within the pop, rock, urban, singer/songwriter, or commercial dance genres) fit for A&R meetings and production music houses. This section of the program will emphasize programming bass-lines and strings, synthesis, sculpting organic sounds, arrangement, choosing production-appropriate sounds, and bringing these elements together into a cohesive whole to take the production to the mixing stage.

Hit Top-Line Songwriting

Have you ever wondered why the songs that you write are good but don’t quite sound like hits? Have you read all the songwriting books on Amazon and watched all the tutorials on Youtube without achieving real improvement? Garnish’s top-level songwriting module teaches what other sources either don’t know or don’t want to give away. The concepts shared here are designed to finally bring out the hit songwriter in you!

Logic Pro X

By the end of this module, students will have a thorough command of Logic Pro X familiarizing themselves with such advanced features and techniques as Flexpitch, MIDI FX, slicing loops for use with EXS24 and learning all about the fabulous built-in sounds and FX now included with this comprehensive digital audio workstation. Many contemporary producers use Logic Pro X for its “sound” and argue that it is easier to finish tracks in Logic than Ableton, so we teach both. As the only Apple Authorized Training Center in Los Angeles, we can put students through the official training and examination required to become an Apple Certified Pro in Logic Pro X, so they walk away with another qualification at the end of their program, all included in the fees.

Synthesis & Sound Design

Many professional electronic music producers never move beyond subtractive synthesis in their entire careers, but in our SMP course we will cover subtractive, wavetable, granular, additive and frequency modulated synthesis. We will also discuss sampling, resampling, glitch, and more advanced beat-making techniques in this section as students develop their sound.

Sound Engineering & Producing Vocals

Over the course of our Sound Engineering module, students will master the art of recording typical instruments, including guitar, bass, piano, and synths (yes, there is an art to recording synths!). We teach vocal production with songwriters and producers in mind rather than singers; even if we, as producers, don’t sing ourselves, we still need to be able to encourage, coach, and produce artists and session vocalists, and the more we know about singing, vocal production, and recording vocals, the better the main part of our song – the lead vocal – is going to sound! Of course even though we cover vocal technique, actual singing in class is not mandatory – it is ok to just listen!

Mixing & Mastering

In the Mixing and Mastering section, we begin with content students would learn as professional engineers, by covering acoustics, and how to treat their home studio. Then it’s on to the essentials: in-depth EQ, filling the frequency spectrum, dynamic controllers, mixing vocals, generating a huge sound from a few elements, and making all of a production’s parts sound as one, exploring all the new amazing plugins used by professional mix engineers.

Music Producer

This module explores the music producer role and brings together the component skills and ideas from the previous sections, from pre-production to completion and delivery of the final master. We focus on such concepts as creating emotion through sound and performance, visualizing and defining the direction of the recording, and achieving production goals. By conceptualizing the essentials of music production – the arrangement of both musical material and the “sonic field” – students learn how to make a band or solo artist (this could be you!) both unique and compelling to convey their material and performance in the best possible light.

Field Trips

As part of the SMP program, students will enjoy hands-on training recording a band at Clear Lake Recording Studios. Students may find one of the studio’s many notable clients working in the room next door! We also make use of a pre-production studio, where students can experiment and program in a room full of vintage analog synths and processors to find some real analog sounds for their tracks.

Marketing & Branding

To finish off the program, students will learn how to create an effective electronic press kit (EPK), market and brand themselves, acquire genuine social media followers, and get the most out of digital distribution.

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Over 400 hours of tuition and uncapped studio time | $7999 + $300 registration fee | Payment plans

Academic year | Three 10-week terms | Wednesday & Thursday | 11 – 6

1st term: 2nd Weds. of September,  2nd term: 2nd Weds. of January, 3rd term: Last Weds. of April

Evenings | Six 10-week terms | Monday & Wednesday | 7.30 – 10.30

1st term: 2nd Mon. of September,  2nd term: 2nd Mon. of January, 3rd term: Last Mon. of April (x2)

18 continuous weeks | Monday to Friday | 10a – 2p or 2.30p – 6.30p or 7p – 11p

Start: February 26 (this is an updated schedule which is set in stone for 2018 onwards)

Specialized private tuition also available for whole diploma. Contact us for more information.

Free this year: optional Sound Design & Synthesis classes from our EMP diploma

If you have any questions, do send us an email or call our diploma admissions specialist (424) 281 7142. Then when you’re ready to move to the next step, please register below.


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