Electronic music school mixes fundamentals with technology
For those that have the itch to scratch, spin vinyl or drop some groovy beats, Dub Academy offers courses in music production and performing for novice to experienced disc jockeys.
Dub Academy founder and owner Barrington Miles said the school is a way for him to give back as well as help shape the future of the musical medium.
“I really did not like the direction the modern DJ was going,” Miles said. “Pretty much anybody with iTunes was saying they were a DJ, and I like the whole art of it, manipulating a song, scratching, blending one song into the next. That whole art form is disappearing slowly.”
Miles said when he saw an opportunity to promote DJing and electronic music in the “Live-music capital of the world,” he decided to open Dub Academy in May 2010. Dub Academy teaches the fundamentals of DJing and music production through old-school techniques as well as training and experience with new technology.
The academy offers DJing and music production classes for beginners and experienced students of all ages. DJ classes range from $395 to $895, and music production classes range from $395 to $595. DJ classes teach basic techniques including music theory, beat matching and scratching as well as more advanced methods including crossfader clicking and faderless scratching.
The academy teaches music production to students through Ableton Live, a music sequencing and digital audio workstation program that allows users to record, edit and create music. Dub Academy is a certified Ableton training center.
Miles, who is originally from Jamaica and came to the United States when he was 19, said freedom of expression is the aim for all the courses offered at Dub Academy.
“The way I feel about music is it’s one of those things that brings you to a point of no thought. Folks just forget about their cares for a moment, have fun and be present,” Miles said. “That’s what I want to do. I don’t want to teach you what type of DJ to become, but we want to give you all the fundamentals and tools so you can become whatever you want to become.”
Gray Cunningham was excited to be taking his first class at Dub Academy on Nov. 19. He said he had been in a rock ‘n’ roll camp over the summer and wanted to explore other musical outlets.
“I was singing, and I was playing bass [at the rock ‘n’ roll camp], so I got this for my birthday present,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham added he might be asking for a set of turntables for the holidays if he enjoys the classes.
Lorenzo Villarreal, director of Dub Academy, said he has seen a steady increase in interest since opening and looks forward to continuing to expand the academy. Dub Academy officials plan to open a recording studio in 2013 and offered DJing courses this year in schools, including Connally High School, Dessau Middle School and Westview Middle School in Pflugerville ISD.
“Our opinion is everybody loves music, so with DJing, it gives those kids another thing to do that isn’t just [focused] on an instrument,” Villarreal said. “The thing about DJing is that you can pretty much learn it and pick it up within one course.”
Dub Academy, 906 E. Fifth St., Ste. 109, 512-600-2144, www.dubacademy.com