Little presentation needs our guests today. On the one hand we have Justo Perez director of the academy and record label JAM 2.1 and on the other the two professors who teach the production course with Ableton Live at JAM 2.1 since this brand started its activity last year with great success and success. It is about José Rodriguez and David Rosell, two very experienced teachers in music production.
The three form a winning team, with a more than proven musical career in the electronic music industry and three authorities in the sector in the eastern Spain.
We started with Justo Perez, owner and CEO of the JAM 2.1 record label and academy, to tell us what his experience has been like since he created the JAM 2.1 brand and today we will focus on the academy part.
What was your first contact with music?
My first contact was when I was 15 years old when I started going out in the nightclubs of Elche and that was when I started to get interested in electronic music.
At what point in your life did you decide to take action and dedicate yourself to this as a way of life?
I was very clear from the beginning. It was shortly after 15 years. My brother bought a stereo with two dishes and a mixer and I started at home to make my first steps and learn to mix.
Do you remember what your first stereo was like?
I remember perfectly. It was a HI-FI team, an entire mini-chain with a mixer and two dishes and Bose brand speakers that at that time was a great team. We are talking about the year 1983-1984
How has your team changed since the first one you had?
I have been through many different devices in my life but the current one we are in the digital world and before it was all analog. Before the synths were analog and now they are all virtual, virtual machines … Notice that when we started making music we did it with an Atari with the Cubase in black and white.
Did you have the idea of having your own label from the beginning? What label did you start working with?
The first productions I started doing with the name of the club where I was working, which was Central Rock. I did my first songs with other producers and from the fourth or fifth song I already set up the studio with Paco Micro and we started to make our own productions.
Speaking of labels, you direct JAM 2.1 and we would like to know if it takes a lot of work to direct a record label based on your experience.
Yes, it depends on the level of producers you have working for the label. The more producers you have the more work because you have to receive them, listen to them, make the designs, work on social networks. The whole process takes a lot of work.
What would you recommend to producers who want to create their own label?
The first thing you have to have for me to understand are notions of production to know what approach you want to give to your label. There are cases of artists who, without being producers, create their label and from my point of view I think it is a mistake, however much other music disciplines dominate, when it comes to mastering, or assessing whether a production is well executed, it will always give much more security if you know how to create it yourself.
How is the day to day of Justo Perez, that is, of a person who like you dedicates himself with so much passion to music?
Well in my case the first thing I do is go to work in the morning to my usual job but every afternoon I dedicate it to music … to produce, to carry the label, to run the academy, …
We go to production. You have been in this for many years both as a producer and as a DJ. For a person who wants to start the first time. What is most important to dedicate yourself to this?
The most important thing for me is that you are passionate about music because in the end it is what makes you strive and advance more.
Yes, but you know that before you could be self-taught … today they have many tools that did not exist before. For a person starting from scratch it is inevitable to have to start in a course, right?
Now it is much easier to get to and produce music because technology is available to the user and courses like the ones we offer at JAM to get you started. Formerly on the one hand it cost you a lot of money to buy appliances and buy music.
Thousands of productions are published every month but we know that not all of them sound the same. What is necessary for a production to sound good?
It is necessary to have knowledge and for the artist’s production to know what he is doing. There are people who make good quality music with a simple computer and people who with very well prepared studios do not get quality in their productions. It all depends on the knowledge and experience of each artist.
Ableton or Logic Pro?
I started with Cubase, I switched to Logic and now I am with Ableton. They are different. I like Ableton because it is very intuitive and fast. Logic Pro brings out very good sound quality and is more complex and extensive software.
Why do you think people should sign up for JAM 2.1?
Firstly, because we are offering courses of excellent quality, with highly experienced professionals in the field and at a very affordable price available to everyone. Although there is a growing offer of courses, I would especially highlight the experience of the teachers who teach it.
What plans do you have for the future as a professional and about JAM 2.1?
That the academy works well because I would love to be able to retire teaching all my knowledge and that JAM 2.1 as a label positions itself in the industry.
Next we will interview José Rodriguez and David Rosell focusing more on the course.
Since you have passed several calls at JAM academy we would like to know if they come with a defined style.
DAVID: The student already knows that in the academy we have a predilection for techno and tech-house, although I personally produce any style within electronic music. This helps me to advise you if you are looking for a specific style.
JOSE: I think they are aiming to produce their songs as soon as possible and I think that what they want are tools to leave the course and feel motivated and feel that they are already doing what they want and there we can advise them very well. .
You have the course already designed. What are they going to learn during this experience?
JOSE: A little bit of everything because Ableton is so extensive. Today all these programs have many tools. There is a part of rhythm programming, instrument programming, we also impart notions of mixing, of synthesis, in short, a review of all the tools that the program provides so that they know how to function.
DAVID: And not only based on Ableton but also musical concepts and even when developing your music we are also going to give mixing concepts and things that will serve you in the field of music in general, that is, we always try of going beyond the program itself.
Is it necessary to have notions to sign up for the course that begins in September? Can a candidate start from scratch start?
DAVID: If you can start a person who comes from scratch because the course is quite extensive and we start with the basic notions. Little by little, more aspects are introduced and the level of complexity rises.
JOSE: You can come to the course without having any notions because we start from the beginning and the learning is very progressive.
Could we say, then, that the course is more geared towards starting from scratch or can a person who already has notions be able to improve their knowledge?
DAVID: Yes, it can be useful because although there are basic tools, many times they have not seen them in depth or someone may have notions of Ableton, but as the software is so complete there are always things that can be learned. We have had disparate groups and the experience for both profiles has always been very positive.
Tell me a bit about the academy facilities.
JOSE: The facilities are fully prepared to carry out the course and at the device level we have everything you need: sound equipment, monitors, cards, external synthesizers also to work with hardware devices. The classrooms have a projector so that the student can see at all times what we are explaining and in this way be able to follow the classes smoothly. So I think we have all the necessary material for anyone to understand and assimilate the lessons perfectly.
DAVID: In fact the facilities themselves are a complex for teaching. They are well equipped and even for breaks it has its terrace, its rest area and what is the classroom is fully equipped to teach and make the student feel comfortable.
How long does it take a person starting from scratch, if you can measure it, to become a good producer? Is it a matter of talent, time, practice, even obsession? Where is the key to become a good producer?
DAVID: It all depends on the person. There are people who need less time but it always takes time and practice and your “illness” is bigger, it will take less time to reach a good level. So even we who have been there for a long time are always learning because the music is changing, new techniques come out.
JOSE: Exactly, it’s a non-stop. If it is true that if your level of obsession is high, you are going to dedicate more hours to it and that favors you to learn. Then there are people who have a certain facility, people who cost a little more but if you have a love for music and curiosity in the end, in a few months, dedicating time to it, you can be working.
I understand that in addition to having a good musical taste and feeling passion for music, it must also be important to have digital competence, knowing how to handle yourself with the programs, is that so?
JOSE: Today you have to be a bit “computerized” because you are very centralized in working with the computer. It also works with external devices but the computer is the brain of almost the entire process. So you have to be a bit
DAVID: No matter how many good ideas you have if you don’t know how to capture it on the show… .. it may be playing in your head and it may be the best idea in the world, but in the end what counts is that you translate it into the sequencer.
After finishing a course like the one that is going to be offered from September, the student already finishes the course, starts to produce. Do you have to go back to another course later or can you fly by yourself?
DAVID: We are going to teach you all the tools so that they can work. Then everything depends on the time they dedicate and the interest they put in it. I always advise doing a course because it is a way to continue learning new notions, plugins,….
JOSE: As David says, new plugins, new gadgets and even new music styles always come out.
Thank you both very much for informing us about the course that JAM 2.1 is going to start next September and from MOAI we wish all the students a happy and productive learning, never better said.