Music Camp for the Digital Age

By Palmer Mitchell

Every year audiences around the world are treated to the entertainment spectacle known as the Grammys. The Grammys honor the most innovative and successful musicians working in the entertainment industry today.

Fun. performing live at the 2013 Grammys.

Top-name acts like Skrillex, Adele, Gotye, Fun., and Frank Ocean have each refined their talents and sounds to strike a chord within popular culture. But how do artists begin their rise to fame? Not everyone has access to a recording studio…that is, until now.

The Home Recording Studio
Today there’s a multitude of audio equipment available to amateur musicians. Software like GarageBand and Logic Pro 9 gives aspiring artists the ability to record multiple instruments and edit them at home, without having to rent out expensive studios and hire producers to edit their tracks. By giving people the power to plug in MIDI controllers, such as the AKAI Pro MPK mini, users can create custom sounds by utilizing instrument plug-ins available through such software.

Musical Innovations
In today’s digital age, the ability to create music and innovate it has become much more practical that it was even just five years ago. For example, specialized synthesizers (like the Monome 64) use programming languages that interface with audio programs such as Ableton Live 9 or Reason in order to mix live sets using custom sounds.

Many artists are now using the same technology and software that is available to consumers. For example, the band Gorillaz recently released The Fall, having completely recorded that album on an iPad. It is becoming easier and easier for amateurs to release their songs on the Internet and get discovered by recording labels. Just ask Justin Bieber.


Daedelus performs an improv set live on KEXP using the Monome 256.

A Different Kind of Music Camp
Digital Media Academy offers a different kind of music camp. In Adventures in Music & Beat Production, campers learn the skills they need to inspire a lifetime of musical creation.

DMA’s music camps use both GarageBand and Logic Pro 9 as well as expert instructors whose dedication to their art helps students find their own personal sound. DMA even offers a camp for teens where they can learn how to create beats like professional artists. By the end of a week at DMA’s next-generation music camp, students have the tools and the knowledge to make music and release it. It’s the beginning of a journey that could someday end on a Grammy red carpet.