Seven Phases

Audio Alchemy is the application of alchemical principles to the process of electronic music production.

The retreat provides 7 days of stimulating workshops and lab-time, 3 adventure days to let loose and explore, and a collaborative micro-festival on graduation day.

Each day of the retreat focuses on a specific phase of the creative process, equipping you with a revolutionary new workflow to make music in any style.

Workshops are based in Ableton Live using common third-party plugins and Ableton Push.

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Phase 1

Calibrate

The aim of this phase is to prepare your DAW and plugins; to design a whole environment of instruments, patches and FX that can be easily played by you, with whatever hardware controllers you possess.

Create highly expressive presets which can be articulated in a multitude of ways, and fine-tuned to your unique sonic signature.

Focus: Design Your Instruments

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Phase 2

Flow

Jam! Dissolve into flow. Learn to get in the zone on demand, and play your digital instruments like a modern virtuoso.

With good preparation in the first stage, you can more easily open the flood gates of creativity. Learn to get out of your mind, create from the body and make the most of your controllers.

Enter the zone where serendipity and happy accidents occur, and learn to harness "errors" and randomness in musical (and unexpected) ways.

Focus: Unlock Your Creative Flow

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Phase 3

Collect

After a successful session in flow, we have a huge amount of clips and creative material to work with; beats, bass-lines, riffs, motifs etc.

The Collection phase is about keeping the best ideas from your creative dissolution, and expanding upon them, while letting go of the dross.

Focus: Capture Your Best Ideas

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Phase 4

Compose

Bringing together the saved sonic elements from the previous phase, we compose a musical arrangement. 

This is where the project transforms from a collection of endless loops to a time-bounded musical journey with beginning, middle and end.

Focus: Compose Your Track

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Phase 5

Edit

The editing phase has several parts to it. For one, it's about referencing and reflecting - testing the composition on different sound systems, getting perspective and feedback with which to refine the sound.

It's also about getting creative with the art of editing itself; tricking out the music with details and depth that would be difficult to achieve by other means.

Focus: Refine and Polish

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Phase 6

Mix

The mixing phase is akin to distillation; a careful and subtle refinement process to bring about the perfect balance of opposites

It can be a slow and methodical process, smoothing the edges of waveforms and eliminating any remaining musical impurities.

Learn to dial in your mixes and find the perfect balance of tones, textures and flavours to satisfy your most refined taste.

Focus: Mixdown

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Phase 7

Master

Mastering is the final coagulation of the idea into a physical, releasable form.

This is the stage where the project becomes the product, where the music is released from your individual psyche to the collective mind.

Learn about mastering for release, as well as mastering for live performance. Get to grips with navigating the industry, and leveraging the digital domain for passion, purpose and profit.

Focus: Mastering, releasing and live performance

"I am currently on track to release a 16 track LP of all original music a mere 7 months after the retreat. If making music is your purpose, then being at this retreat will reveal the architect within you.

The echos of the Audio Alchemy Retreat will sound throughout the rest of my life. It’s helped me create stronger connections and learn to dive deeper in my life and my music."

Anthony Gibbs // Atlanta, GA

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