Electronic Music Production at CREA, Amsterdam


The Electronic Music Production course takes place at the cultural organization of the University of Amsterdam, CREA. Located alongside the old canals at the city center, CREA offers a state-of-the-art course in digital music production, with Ableton Live at its core.

The course brings together students from many backgrounds, including club DJs, producers and acoustic singer-songwriters. The founder of the course, Olaf Kerckhaert, is a composer, producer and singer himself, and finds inspiration in the variety of talent among the students. He helps them develop their talents further and encourages them to bring their music to stages or clubs in Amsterdam. "And the students help each other," he says. "Some organize parties here in the city, others perform as DJs or produce electronic dance music, and so on."

The basic goal behind the course is to break down barriers between musical genres and between music production, performance and presentation on stage or in clubs. Last but not least, the course deals with the barriers between people. "Everybody has specific talents, and bringing all those talents together can be inspiring and valuable." With this in mind, the course fluently integrates with Amsterdam's electronic music production community. Within this community, project groups form and talents combine to create specific productions. "These little project groups might become the record labels of this time."

Olaf found it natural to choose Ableton Live as the fundamental software for the course. "With this software it is easy to show the technical concepts behind all the different stages in music production, performance and DJing. And Ableton Live really helps to integrate these stages." During the course the teacher always starts with a musical idea and goes on to show how technical concepts that help to develop this idea are managed by Live.