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Clarian: “You don’t need expensive equipment to make good music, you just need a vision”

The start to the new decade brought excitement for many. There were big plans in store around the world, but it all came to an unprecedented halt affecting everyone in some way. The silver tint of the pandemic we are currently facing has been the newfound time we have been given to re-evaluate our goals, to re-asses our ideas or create new ones. With a touring schedule that was put on hold, Clarian had ample time to do what he does best, music. As a self-taught producer who has created music for some of the best labels in electronic music and world-renowned production companies, he was ready for a new challenge, one that would take him from producer to mentor for budding and professional producers around the world.

We recently caught up with Clarian to discuss his musical path and how he came to create the Complete Audio Producer 2020 course that is now a best seller on Udemy. With endorsements from Kompakt Records and the likes of Hernan Cattaneo, Tiga, Guy J and Felix de Housecat, over 1,200 students have enrolled in the course in just a couple of months.

With DJ’s unable to play at clubs and music lovers having more time on their hands it was the perfect chance to explore other options where making music can still provide opportunities, such as commercials or other audio engineering projects.

Clarian’s vision is to demystify producing and show that you don’t need expensive equipment or come from a musical background to make music. He wants to open the barriers of the past and lead by example, wherein having a vision and basic equipment you can create top quality productions like he has. His first album ‘Escape Yourself’ with his former synth-pop duo Footprintz, was made in his home apartment back in Montreal with just his computer, a Juno 106 and a condenser microphone.

“I wanted to create a cosmic and therapeutic
journey for the students”

The album was signed by Visionquest and was released on CD in Mixmag, which went on to sell over 100,000 copies. As he says “a really good producer can work with any kind of equipment and make it sound great. You don’t need expensive equipment to make good music, you just need a vision and to know the basics, which is why I made the course the way I did”.

Expanding on how he created the course he adds, “I started out where I wanted to have projects for people to work on but then it advanced into an education system from basic to advanced. First, I wrote out a course outline, then I thought what if I go back to the beginning? What are the things I need to be able to produce music for studio work or tracks etc? Then I compiled different sections, and the foundation with physics of sound principles, soundwaves, and vibrations. I started building those projects from film scoring to radio projects, they took months and months to design for the course and then deconstruct them. The next step was to extrapolate from that into the digital world, answering questions like what happens to sound when it is converted into binary and why programs like Abelton exist, what is happening under the hood? Once that clicks that you can use any software because they all share the same principles. No other program exists the way I have put it together and I am as inspired about it as I would be in an album”.

The passion Clarian has for this project resonated over the phone and it was wonderful hear how respectful he is of his students. He wants them to be able to have quality work in a portfolio that could be used to get jobs right away. Since he is self-taught, he knows of all the challenges of going from ‘zero to professional’ – the tagline of his course. “There are so many tutorials and information but it’s over saturated. There are also a lot of archaic processes that take people in the wrong direction so it’s hard to find the right material and not loose time. I value the time and teach the best tools with practical lessons to lead students to a path of quality so they can start working right away”.

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Learning should be fun but often people feel stressed, especially when creating something new so Clarian put a lot of thought into how to make the course. He repeated the 18 hours of course content ten to twenty times each until he got them right, now that is dedication! He not only wanted the course to be an informative journey, but also a relaxing one. As someone who practices transcendental meditation, he “wanted to create a cosmic and therapeutic journey for the students”. To support that he made more than an albums worth of music that starts off very ambient and relaxing for a hypnotic meditative approach then it builds it to a more enthusiastic level with the added touch of Clarian-style humour and coffee talk, his all-time favourite drink.

Learning things like how to make the sounds you hear in your favourite albums is the exciting part, but what about the business aspect of it? There is a saturation of quality talent out there who never make it because they don’t know how to get their productions heard by the right people.

So how did Clarian learn the business side of the music industry?  “When Footprintz fell through I was disappointed but maybe it was a blessing in disguise because it pushed me to continue to make music. If forced me take on an entrepreneurial approach, the hard way. I had to reinvent myself with a new name, so I learned a lot on how to present myself and how to put out my music to the right labels. There is section in the course on how to create a portfolio that you could submit for jobs. There are all kinds of very talented people out there that that don’t have the presentation skills to communicate their work with others, so it is a skill set that is very important. I hope that the students in my course take the time for those sections as they are very important tools”.

Adding to the challenge of networking with promoters or A&R label reps which normally would be possible in person at events like ADE or regular club nights, producers need to find other ways to make themselves known. So I asked Clarian for a last bit of advice for those facing this current challenge.

“I had to reinvent myself with a new name, so I learned a lot on how to present myself and how to put out my
music to the right labels”

“You have to put yourself out there if you want something, you have to make yourself visible, otherwise the labels etc won’t know about you. Keep trying and keep putting yourself out there, it is hard, no one is going to come hand you anything, so you have to actively search for it. Make people aware. Make sure you have a press kit, and have a strong online presence such as Soundcloud, etc. There are so many ways to drive traffic to your online presence, you just need to learn the tools”.

It was inspirational to speak with Clarian, someone who has a genuine love for music and for his students. So whether you are someone who has been producing for years and want to step up your game, or you are starting from scratch, this course is highly recommended. Along with the course is a social platform on Discord where students peer review each-others work, discuss weekly topics, share ideas, along with submitting their productions for monthly competitions, which are judged by Clarian. Winners go on to have their tracks released on the APO Soundcloud and supported on Clarian’s social media, which is great exposure for new talent.

To join the APO community and enroll in the course follow this link for a discounted offer of only €34.99, a huge bargain for a class of this caliber!

Good luck to all the students, we look forward to hearing your music in the near future!

Follow Clarian: Facebook | Instagram | Souncloud

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