By Jonathan Widran
Given his years of expertise as an engineer, producer and DJ/promoter Dave Garnish—who was once signed as a songwriter with Universal UK—was happy to invite DJ/producer friends to his house for demonstrations in advanced music production techniques. As word spread about these informal sessions, their growing popularity sparked a unique idea: starting a boutique music production school that focused more on teaching people how to make records than working toward a certificate or degree.
Taking over a friend’s warehouse in East London, he launched the Garnish Music Production School in the summer of 2011. With classes limited to under 10 students at a time, the school became an immediate success; it has averaged 250 students per year including members of the bands Babyshambles and Placebo, Des’ree the ‘90s soul singer, and a number of high-profile DJs on the global EDM circuit.
In June, after extensive scouting for local instructor talent and the resolution of various Visa issues, Garnish opened his Los Angeles, CA, location (http://us.garnishmusicproduction.com) in West Hollywood, branded simply as an “innovative music production and DJ school for everyone.”
“While developing the concept and curriculum,” Garnish explains, “I noticed that most music schools offering anything similar make their students commit to three years of courses for tens of thousands of pounds, which is bonkers. You don’t need to go to a university or study for three years—you just need to learn how to use the tools. Our school is more organic in nature, built around the truth that you can learn Logic or mixing in a single, intense six week course, but not in a weekend. We’re teaching common sense things, like how to master your chosen DAW, recording master-quality vocals, and mixing to a professional standard in-the-box. If someone came to us that had never turned on a Mac before, they would be fine on one of our DAW or DJ courses.”
Continues Garnish, “It’s far superior to the many online courses out there because you’re interacting for six hours with an instructor and students in person. You will have questions to ask every 10 minutes and they are answered in real time which will obviously benefit their likeminded fellow learners too.”
The school’s website indicates the key features of what makes Garnish Music Production School an ideal choice: “Learn to produce, in your style, fast, with Grammy-winning instructors with record sales in the millions. Weekday, weekend and evening music production courses; You do not need to know how to play an instrument for most of our courses; Range of music production courses available for beginners to accomplished professionals; Specialist electronic music DJ school; UK price tag, but in dollars instead of pounds for this year only (which translates to $449 weekday, $499 weekend).”
The Los Angeles location offers all of the same courses as the flagship London school, plus a course in Pro Tools. Other initial offerings include courses in Pop Music Production, Mixing & Mastering, Sound Engineering, EMP, Ableton Live, DJ School, Logic, and a Music Producer course.
One of the school’s prominent instructors is Adam Moseley, famed for his work at Trident Studios in London and The Boat Studio in L.A., whose credits include Wolfmother, U2, Richard Marx, the Cure, John Cale and “The Big Wedding.” Moseley will teach two courses: a Pro Tools class (split with Grammy-winning engineer Warren Russell-Smith) and Music Producer, which is similar to a course he started teaching last year at UCLA Extension.
“Throughout my career, starting with helping to build an incredible team of producer/engineers at Trident Studios in the ‘80s, one of my purposes has been spotting and nurturing talent—and this led me into teaching,” Moseley says. “I’m excited to bring my knowledge and experience to aspiring engineers, producers and artists coming up in this very different environment today. The essence of my course is about how to create emotion in music and the origins and art of music production, which for me is the arrangement of notes into musical parts and the arrangement of those parts in the sonic field, which is the space between, above, below, behind and in front of the speakers.”
Contact Garnish Music Production School, 323-229-5070,