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Who’s who: Mohanad Al-Shaikh, CEO of Johnson Controls Arabia

RIYADH: A leading international audio engineer will hold a three-day course “Music Production: From Zero to Hero” in Riyadh starting November 28, aimed at nurturing emerging talent in the country.

The course is offered as part of the XP Music Futures conference. “I’m very proud, it’s very rewarding and I know it will be extremely rewarding for me to be able to share this information with young talents in the region,” said Marcela Rada, who is also the organizer of the conference.

Rada said that with the right tools and education, students would be able to fulfill their dreams. “I believe this will help tremendously in empowering artists in the areas where they may not have had the opportunity to access this type of information and tools,” she added.

Rada will lead the course of the six-session educational initiative along with El Fuego, the DJ and artist. Rada said it is the first time she is offering such a course in Saudi Arabia, which would cover fundamentals such as music production and sound engineering.

Students could gain enough knowledge to set up their own business at home where they can further develop their skills. “It’s designed for beginners, so it’s supposed to introduce the tools, whether they’re hardware or software, so they can continue learning on their own after that,” Rada explained.

The three-day course is divided into two sessions per day, with the first day focusing on “the art” of recording with an introduction to the techniques, Rada said.

“We’re going to go through a home studio environment and what you need in terms of hardware and software. We’re going to address the different types of microphones and microphone techniques,” she said.

The second session of day one then guides students through music production using digital instruments and creating beats.

The first session of the second day takes participants through technical ear training, audio processors and how to approach music mixing and sound processing.

“This is a session that will give you the tools to know what to focus on, what to research, and how to train your ears so you can approach mixing in a creative and professional way” , she said.

“The purpose of the session is to teach them the basics of the hardware and how to deal with the analog signal.”

The second session on day two will delve deeper into the specific processors available to modify sound.

“The goal of these sessions is to help students find ways to find their signature sound. The tools are out there, we’re going to talk about specific tools that they may not be familiar with, how to research them, which ones to use and which ones are free and available,” Rada said.

Session one of day three went into depth on immersive audio. “I’ve been researching immersive or specialty audio for about three years and I think we’ve all seen the boom in spatial audio in music production.”

The session would also showcase how a songwriter, producer or content creator could take their music to the next level.

“The last session of the last day is about collaboration. I want to give them the opportunity to work together and explore how different talents can work together to create something good,” she said.

“They’ll be able to collaborate and produce a beat, and then they’ll get feedback from me and their classmates, and we’ll be able to present something at the end of the class.”

During her visit to the XP Music Festival last year as a speaker, Rada said she was approached by several people who were eager to learn more about music production.

“That inspired the course, I saw the need and eagerness to learn in the area,” she said.

“I would describe them (the Saudi music industry) as very, very talented individuals, (using their culture and what they know of their musical influences in the region as well as what they have experienced internationally). Talent. I think there’s a combination of this very local talent being influenced by local customs and traditions,” she said.

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