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DMP Video Tutorials

1 - What makes the D.M.P Tutorials so different from every other company?

First and foremost we're working producers and engineers who run a bespoke production facility/studio and work with professional artists, DJ's and record labels on an almost daily basis. 

Rick Snoman, the chief producer, has been producing dance music since 1989, written articles, reviews and columns for magazines such as Future Music and Computer Music (circa 2000), authored and tutors on a course run by Music for the Media and has authored 3 editions of the best-selling textbook The Dance Music Manual.

To put it simply, we know what we're talking about.

The fact is the current dance music tutorial field is packed with videos and tutorials that promise to reveal ‘secrets’ but in our experience, they're often run by companies looking to cash in on the latest craze and are stacked full of misinformation. We know (and we suspect by visiting us, you're beginning to find out) that a few samples, a couple of presets, a few tweaks when programming and nothing more than the plug-ins supplied with your sequencer doesn't always equate to a ‘professional’ record and it does every professional artist in this field a severe injustice. Producing dance music is simply far more complicated than it actually sounds - its an intricate and multifaceted process involving a vast number of finely honed musical production skills and techniques. 

There are no ‘secrets’ to music production and we can’t guarantee you the next number one hit if you watch our tutorials – that’s down to your own creativity and skill – but we can open your eyes to the often bewildering array of techniques that are involved and we can guarantee your music will sound better using them.

2 - Why don’t you have a large online presence?

We don't want or need one. 

We're not a dedicated tutorial company and our income is not determined by how many tutorial units we can make and "shift" to the public every week to meet some sales figures. We are not a corporate company in this for nothing more than milking the life out of the dance music scene. We have no board of directors, no stakeholders and no marketing departments.

We’re artists and producers. We love dance music and we love the scene. Because our income is not dependent on "shifting as many tutorials as possible" to the public we don't need to spam the internet (and you) with marketing campaigns. It also means we have the luxury of taking our time (approximately 3 to 4 releases every year) to produce quality, informative tutorials that really mean something. Not some flash in the pan, poorly scripted technique that will be out of date in a month to ensure you keep coming back for more...

To be straight, our goal has never been to be the biggest, just to be the best and we believe positive word of mouth holds more power than any marketing strategy promising to reveal "secrets". And our work and experience has artists searching us out - we don't have to find them. Our approach has proven itself to be so successful that we're struggling to keep up with the demand for further tutorials. Don't believe us? We have numerous signed artists accrediting our tutorials to their success - just read our testimonials and visit our forum.

3 - Do you supply demo lessons to download before purchasing?

We supply sample videos but not complete lessons.

Our tutorials are not constructed around a series of short 3 or 5 minute video tutorials. We’re not like other tutorial companies and don’t believe in just showing you how to accomplish a production technique, instead we place a much larger emphasis on explaining why. Any fool who wants five minutes of fame on Beatport can copy someone else but if you want to be an artist that stands the test of time, you need to know why we apply processing and effects in certain ways. This give you the ability to make informed decisions regardless of your project and as a result can be more creative with your work.

Each individual ‘session’ in our tutorials can run anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes since we not only show how to work but also explain the why. Moreover, we begin with the basics before moving to advanced so just one session could give the impression that its simple or too advanced. Therefore we believe its impractical to offer “demo” sessions. If you’re unsure read our reviews and comments from other customers on our forum. We have many who have been signed to labels and accredit it to our tutorials.

4 - Why buy tutorials rather than a Synthesizer or Processor etc?

You can have all the plug-ins in the world, but that doesn’t make you a great dance music producer, it just makes you a collector. You need to know what to use, when to use it and how to use it.

You can scrabble around for years trying to pick up on the techniques involved and wonder why you’re not sounding like the professionals or you can spend a few hours with a tutorial and find out why within a matter of hours. Some synthesizers today come with over 3,000 presets, if you spent just 10 seconds auditioning each it would take over 8 hours and even then you may not find a suitable sound – isn’t it cheaper in the long run to just learn how to program the synthesizers you already own?. Would you prefer to knowledgeably use a compressor, for example, or rely on a preset and guesswork?

Our tutorials show you what you really need and how to obtain professional results, whether its programming synthesizers, using effects and processors, creating drum loops, understanding music theory or even creating complete tracks.

5 - What sequencer is used in the tutorials?

Logic Pro 8, Logic Pro 9 or Logic Pro X (or in Remixing, Pro Tools is used briefly and Studio One is used throughout Fundamental 7: Counterpoint)

However, the focus of the tutorials is on the techniques in the production of dance music not on the sequencer. Our tutorials are aimed at amateur to semi-professional users so we expect you to know your sequencer! We do not discuss any sequencer related functions – its simply used as a means to an end. Inserting and using a processor or effect, for example, is the same irregardless of the sequencer being used and we ensure any plug-in processor or effect we use is available on all platforms. 

6 - Do you have any sample videos?

Yes, most of the tutorials have short sample videos available on the individual tutorials page. These are accessible using the tutorial links at the top of the page, just choose the tutorial you're most interested in and the sample video will be located at the bottom of the page.

7 - Do you have sample tracks?

Rarely, because we feel it completely bypasses the point of the tutorial. Our tutorials are not like others and are not solely dedicated to how we make a track. The genre track is little more than a means to an end and the focus is on understanding the theory, techniques and decisions made by artists when creating a track in any particular genre. We spend the tutorial discussing as many techniques as possible that are employed in that particular genre, not just those used in the creation of the example track and therefore the example would also provide an inaccurate reflection of the tutorials contents.

Being a successful artist is about your ability to be creative not the ability to copy anothers music step by step. If you were learning to be an author, would you learn how to write books by copying another authors work word for word? This "monkey see, monkey do" copying process has been proven a failure time and time again within schools because there is little to no emphasis on understanding, and knowledge without understanding amounts to nothing. In fact, it only works to builds barriers since you become brainwashed into employing techniques because its the "done thing" without really knowing why. 

It is your ability to understand why certain decisions are made that permits you to truly be creative and employ it in your own work. We emphasise why we do what we do, rather than just ask you to copy along. If you truly want to be a successful artist rather than a flash in the pan Beatport star for five minutes, you have to move away from your comfort zone. Copying someone else isn't the way to succeed in accomplishing that goal.

8 - If I order, how long will it take to arrive?

We offer the tutorials in both digital and physical products. You can purchase and download a digital product within around 30 minutes, or you can purchase the DVD version to be delivered.

If the product is physical, we ship using one of three methods depending on your country; Royal Mail Recorded Delivery, Royal Mail International Signed For or Royal Mail Airsure. All of these offer tracking, require signatures (or scanned confirmation) on delivery and are covered for the full amount of insurance. However, they are not all next day services, and can take 5 to 10 days to arrive overseas from the U.K. If you want faster shipping, we recommend contacting us prior to ordering.

9 - What are the shipping charges?

Shipping anywhere throughout the UK is £1.95. This is for Royal Mail's First Class Recorded Delivery Service. Shipping anywhere outside the UK is £8.95. This is for Priority Airmail with tracking and the price remains the same regardless of the size of the order.

10 - Do you offer digital downloads?

Yes, We offer a digital download service allowing you to download the digital content of your choice. However, if you choose this option, please note that once the download link has been issued, we cannot offer refunds or replacements. It is your responsibility to ensure you have ordered the correct product.

Please note that digital orders are issued to your email in the form of a direct link and in order to prevent fraudulent misuse of our downloads system and to preserve the connection reliability and speed of our connection for other buyers, we can only re-issue the same downloads within 7 days of its original purchase. We are not a storage facility and it is the buyers responsiblity to ensure care is taken with their downloadable content.

We would strongly advise you make back-ups of any digital content since after seven days we may be unable to re-issue links for any downloadable content you have ‘lost’ through hardware failure or human error. All our digital content is available on DVD and if you believe you may loose your copy we would recommend purchasing DVD content over digital in case of errors.

11 - What are DM-Points?

DM-Points are Dance Music Points. These are our own form of reward points system and are offered as our way of saying "thank you" for supporting us.

Each time you purchase a tutorial from our website you are awarded DM-Points. DM-Points can be used as a form of currency against any future purchases from our site. This includes discounts from future tutorials and merchandise but more specifically they can be exchanged for our DMP Audio Services (D.A.S).

DAS allows you to take full advantage of our professional studios and equipment without having to leave your home. You can upload your mix, stems or project and choose whether you want them summed through analogue mixers such as the SSL AWS desk, SSL X-Rack or Neve 8816 Summing Mixers, run through esoteric processing devices such as the Empirical Labs FATSO, EL Distressors, Pultec EQ's, Manley processors or a range of Thermionic Birds. You can also opt for mix analysis, complete mixing and mastering services or you can request vocal recordings. You choose the session singer, send us the lyrics and track with a short description of the style you want and we'll record them for you. You can even choose the equipment they're recorded through!

With DM-Points, as your skill level grows with our tutorials, so can your sound...

12 - What format are the DVD & Tutorials?

Our DVD’s are DVD ROM not DVD Video and often contain additional files so are manufactured to be read by either PC or Mac computers. The contents consist of an HTML style menu with the video's embedded into the html pages. You can watch the videos outside of the HTML content by browsing to the "video" folder.

All of our videos are encoded in the standard quicktime .mov format and most are encoded to 1280 x 720 high definition. 

13 - Do I need to read the Dance Music Manual before watching these tutorials?

No, you can read the book without the video tutorials and you can watch the tutorials without reading the book. However, having both together so you can see how the theory and practice can relate to one another will no doubt be beneficial.

14 - Do you sell the Dance Music Manual?

No. We are responsible for authoring it (or at least Rick is) but the book was published and released by Focal Press/Elsevier/Taylor&Francis publishing company. The extent of our relationship with these publishing companies does not extend beyond supplying the final manuscript for print and therefore we do not stock or sell the book. You can obtain it from most good bookstores.

15 - Are these videos replacements for the Dance Music Manual?

No, the Dance Music Manual is a completely different product to the tutorials. The Manual is written to introduce the reader to the production of dance music, discussing the theory behind topics such as compression, delay, synthesis, programming, sequencing, mixing and mastering. The tutorials show the practical applications of that theory.

16 - I’m a signed artist, will my purchases remain private?

Yes, we have sold to a number of signed artists and all purchases made through us remain entirely confidential.

We are not run by managing directors in suits and do not have to meet monthly or yearly sales figures. We run a recording studio and produce tutorials in our spare time to aid and boost the dance music community. It is not in our policy or our interests to disclose any artists names in order to boost our sales figures. 

17 - Do prices include V.A.T?

Dance Music Production (tutorials) are not yet large enough to exceed the thresholds set by the UK VAT registrations so no VAT is charged. If you are from Europe, we cover the VAT charges.

18 - What payment options do you support?

We accept Credit/Debit cards, PayPal and DM-Points (our own reward points). If you already have a PayPal account, payments are immediate in a couple of clicks. If not, we can accept most major credit and debit cards. We employ the industry standard 256-bit GeoTrust Rapid SSL encryption that is dedicated to our site (it is not a shared certificate) so any online purchases are completely secure.

19 - Can I re-sell my purchased DMP DVD’s or downloads?

No. Our products are licensed to you and not sold. By purchasing any content, you agree to our licensing:

License Agreement:

The video/tutorial contents of all our tutorials on DVD and for download are licensed, not sold to you, the individual and end user, by Dance Music Production. Ownership at all times remains with Dance Music Production. This non-exclusive license, non-transferable license is granted to the individual end user who has purchased a registered and lawfully made release of our product from a distributor. The license expressly forbids resale, rental, loan, gift or transfer of the contents in any format or via any medium.

20 - Are the tutorials available anywhere else?

No. In order to keep the price down we keep all sales ‘in house’, in order to sell through shops such as Amazon we would have severely increased costs and this would have to be reflected in the price of the tutorials.

21 - If I change my mind can I have a refund?

Yes but note that returns apply under the current conditions and directives set by the UK Distance Selling Regulations. These regulations protect both the customer and the company from fraudulent behaviour and state that if the product is physical (DVD or merchandise) and has been removed from its original shrink-wrap we are under no obligations to accept a return. For a return to be processed it must remain in its original shrink-wrapping.

For obvious reasons, we cannot accept a "return" on a digital download. 


DMP Audio Services

22 - What is the DMP Audio Service?

DMP Audio Service (D.A.S) is our way of offering our customers the option and ability to access a professional studios equipment in the comfort of their own home. From running their music through the most respected hardware in the industry for that special edge through to session singers performing your ideas and being recorded through some of the best gear available, you get to choose what happens to your ideas and audio.  

When just about everyone with a laptop is capable of producing music your ideas really need to stand out and production values can play a major part in that. With D.A.S you can have your stems summed through physical hardware such as the SSL AWS, X-Rack & Neve 8816 systems, it can be treated to tape saturation, transformers or compression through hardware SSL G series compressors or the Empirical Labs FATSO or Distressors or you can choose to have true analogue distortion added to your mix through a number of Thermionic Birds such as the Culture Vulture or Phoenix. 

With D.A.S we can also mix and master your music using state of the art gear, or more simply, we will listen to your mix on our range of monitors and offer advice on how to improve your sound and mix. 

23 - How does DAS work?

D.A.S is entirely dependent on you and what you think believe to be the most beneficial for your mix.

As an example, you may want your DAW stems summed into a stereo mix to increase spacial separation and clarity in the mix, introduce an increased bass presence and then add some transistor warmth to the signal by running the stereo signal through a FATSO. To accomplish this you would first order the analogue summing services, choose what hardware you want your mix summed through, choose any further processing (such as FATSO) and then place the order. 

We download your "stems", run them through the summing mixers of your choice, apply any further processing and then send you a short demo of the results. If you're happy with the track, you can then finalise the order and make payment or you can opt to make further changes.

24 - What is Analogue Summing?

 Computers don't make mistakes. When you perform a mix entirely In The Box (ITB), all the individual channels of your project are summed together with bit-to-bit and sample rate accuracy (commonly at 64-bit floating point mathmatical accuracy) and the end result is a perfect representation of all the audio channels being summed into a stereo file. While in theory this may seem to offer the perfect solution, human hearing isn't perfect and we find sonic inaccuracy more pleasing to the ear.

When a mix is run through analogue summing, distortion is produced in both amplitude and phase. Provided the analogue gear performing the summing is a quality unit, this distortion happens to be particularly pleasing to the ear. Although some argue that this form of distortion can be performed through "harmonic saturation" plug-ins and emulations, these are again performing under conditions that are 100% bit-to-bit perfect and unlike a real valve or transfomer that will distort the sound differently as voltage and heat changes, the plug-in can only produce a signal under direct efficient instruction. 

Many engineers (us included) also strongly subscribe that something else inexplicable happens when signals are run through quality analogue gear, the stereo field appears to open up and there is a greater depth to the soundstage. This is why all professional studios still employ mixing desks and don't sell their gear to work on a laptop. 

25 - What are stems?

Audio stems are bounced audio files that contain a submixed group of audio material. For example, during the composition of your project you may have 6 to 7 audio channels from the drum section (consisting of snares on one channel, open and closed hi-hats, cymbals etc on further channels). Once the project is considered "finished" its common pratice to bounce all of these drum parts into a single audio file or audio "stem".

A typical EDM project will be bounced into 7 stereo files and 2 mono files - the kick and bass are usually mono files and the final 7 stereo files may consist of a drum submix (without the kick), all the leads, all vocals, all keys, any sweeping fx, and a couple of FX channels (send effects). By splitting the mix into these subgroup stems you have the flexibility to adjust the individual gain levels of all the stems making it possible to quickly deal with any changes that may be required after the fact.

When creating stems it is important to mute all the channels that will not be contained in the stem rather than solo those that will. Although soloing may seem to acheive the same effect, when tracks are soloed the DAW can produce a different gain level, especially if a compressor has been employed in the signal chain, or it may not include send effects that are important to the sound quality of the stem. 

26 - What should be stemmed?

It depends on your mix but you have a total of 16 mono channels (or 8 stereo, or a mix of mono and stereo) for the analogue summing process. A common arrangement for an EDM mix is to create the following stems:

  1. Kick - Mono
  2. Bass - Mono or Stereo (depending on your bass)
  3. Percussion (Stereo)
  4. Pads (Stereo)
  5. Loops (Stereo)
  6. Lead Synth (Stereo)
  7. Vocals snips (Mono)
  8. Vocal FX (Stereo)
  9. Sound FX (Stereo)

This is only a typical arrangement and you should decide what would best suit your project. If you need advice, you can always contact us.

27 - What are the benefits of hardware?

The hardware vs software argument will continue to rage on and its not an argument we want to become too involved with but many professionals agree that when you run audio through "classic" hardware, something special happens to the audio. We personally don't see (or more appropriately hear) a significant difference between a completely digital hardware device and a software emulation but when it comes to analogue and classic gear, there is a significant difference between hardware and software. Especially when it comes to summing and mastering processors.

As we're all well aware, 0db + 0dB does not = 0dB and when an entire production takes place within the confines of a computer, the audio suffers. Just something as simple as running a series of stems through a piece of real analogue can bring out the kick, increase spacial resolution of the mix and really beef up the bass. If you don't believe us, request a demo and we're positive you'll hear a beneficial difference....

28 - Can I book a session/ghost production with you?

We only accept bespoke production work from advertising agencies, games companies, TV representatives and record labels. If you are an artist and signed to a label, please ask a representative of your label to contact us. If you are a DJ, please ask your manager or publishing company to contact us. We understand that confidentiality is of paramount importance to the reputation of the artist/DJ and label and we can supply the necessary Non-Disclousure Agreements before production work begins.

29 - Can I hear a sample production?

Unfortunately, no. Our production work is bespoke to the artist. We don't just pull an old mix out of our hard drive and hand it over because it completely defeats the purpose of custom ghost production work. However, while we are unable to list names (due to NDA's) we can absolutely guarantee you've heard our work on TV and in clubs.

If you choose to employ us for ghost production work, earlier production work can be heard on the initial meeting but if work proceeds the artist is often expected to attend all production sessions so they are aware of the procedure and work involved in case of interviews. The complete arrangement will be delivered to the artist with the relevent NDA. 

30 - What Equipment is Available?

The list of equipment you can choose to run your work through or have mixed and mastered on is available on the audio services page but includes:

  • Neve 8816
  • SSL X-Logic (4 x XR623 Line Inputs & XR626 Buss Compressor)
  • SSL Sigma 
  • Empirical Labs Distressors
  • Empirical Labs FATSO Jr
  • Manley Stereo Pultec EQP-1A
  • Manley Massive Passive
  • Manley Slam
  • Thermionic Culture Vulture
  • Thermionic Nightingale
  • Thermionic Phoenix
  • Focusrite ISA 828
  • Focusrite ISA 430MkII
  • Focusrite Red 1
  • Focusrite Red 2
  • Focusrite Red 3
  • Chandler Germanium TG1
  • Chandler Curve Bender
  • Chandler Tone Control (x2)
  • SSL ALPHA MADI Convertors

 

 


Support

31 - The tutorial video won't play in my browser

The video not playing in the browser can be a result of a number of problems.

1. Your browser security is too high.

Many browsers will block quicktime video for security reasons, this is particularly the case with the latest versions of Safari. To unblock the video on Safari you will need to:

>Go to Safari Preferences

>Click on Security Tab

>Select Manage Website Settings

>Choose Quicktime from the list on the left

>Toggle Local Documents from Allow to Run in Unsafe Mode

Quicktime will now work when viewing video files in the browser from a local drive. It does not affect viewing quicktime on the internet.

2. Do you have the correct codes to decode and play the video?

All our videos are encoded to the quicktime H264 .mov format. This is the most common form of video codec available that also maintains a high resolution. However, some computers may not have this codec installed. If this is the case we highly recommend download VideoLAN from here:

http://www.videolan.org/index.html

It is completely free, available for both Mac and Windows and installs a number of important video and audio codecs into your computer.

If these two steps don't resolve the problem, you can always send us a support request on the contact page.

32 - There is no audio in my tutorial

A lack of audio in the video is most commonly attributed to a lack of the proper codec to decode the video and audio. All our videos are encoded to the quicktime H264 .mov with AAC audio. This is the most common form of video and audio codec available that also maintains a high standard. However, some computers may not have this codec installed. If this is the case we highly recommend download VideoLAN from here:

http://www.videolan.org/index.html

It is completely free, available for both Mac and Windows and installs a number of important video and audio codecs into your computer.

If these two steps don't resolve the problem, you can always send us a support request on the contact page but please give us as much information as possible. A simple statement that "the audio doesn't work" makes it difficult to reach a solution.


What is Dance Music Production?

Established in 2003, DMP is an established studio and ghost production facility for international artists and DJ's, specialising online in tutorial videos. It is also home of the "Dance Music Manual", the critically acclaimed textbook on the production of electronic music published by Focal Press.

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Contact Address

Dance Music Production

Advantage Business Centre

132 – 134 Great Ancoats Street

Manchester

M4 6DE

Tel:0844 361090