RAMA’s Beatmaking Library
By associate professor Merlyn Luke Perez-Silva
In this project I will create a course of video tutorials focusing on the craft of ‘beatmaking’. The videos will be hosted on DJMs intranet, available to stream for all Academy students, current and future. Beginning with the very basics, and ending with advanced techniques and workflows, the videos will serve as a virtual ‘Valgfag’, giving students access to specialised skills, and supporting their learning in other subjects concerning rhythm, composition and music production.
Using the popular DAW programmes Ableton Live and Logic X to demonstrate, the videos will follow the familiar format of “screen recording and VoiceOver”. A series of 15 ‘bitesized’ videos will introduce core concepts in the form of repeatable exercises, and a further 10 longer videos will focus on both extended techniques, and interdisciplinary conversations with teachers from the various departments of the Academy (classical percussion, rhythmic percussion, songwriting and electronic composition).
I am constantly asked by my students to teach them to ‘make better beats’. Rhythmic electronic composition forms the basis of not only electronic genres, but more and more so in the classical, rock and jazz worlds. ‘Beatmaking’ in a contemporary context means the composition and production of rhythmic instrumental hooks, often forming the basis for toplines, raps or instrumental solos.
Delivering this teaching within our current educational framework is a challenge – the subject is too large to ‘squeeze into’ module plans without watering down the content, and detracting from other learning goals.
Instead of adding to an already large catalogue of Electives, I believe this technique-based practice could just as well exist as satellite learning, available to all who want it, regardless of their line of study or module choices.
I believe this is a vital subject and skillset in today’s music industry, and that all of our students should have access to leaning it, during their time at DJM. Beginner students can take the videos in series, at a pace that suits them, and more adept students can jump in at recommended points to improve and expand on their skills.
In this video I explain some of my ideas.
Producing video tutorials has been my second job for 4 years. I work as a freelance producer for Ableton, and as a course creator for the online school Warp Academy. I already own all the equipment and software necessary to complete this project, and I am confident in my experience and abilities in executing this task. My previous work can be found here: