Music Production


110 / 210


Matt Donner’s Production and Arrangement class was one of the most fun class experiences I’ve ever had. That guy is a riot and super knowledgeable as well. I had such a great time and made so many good friends while at Pyramind.
— Johnny Hwin, Cathedrals

Matt Donner 

CAO / Senior Instructor

Matt Donner has been playing music his whole life. He played throughout college while earning a Bachelor’s degree in quantitative Business Analysis but left and cut his Producer and Engineering chops in NYC. He found himself working for high-profile studios like Sound on Sound (Diddy, Anita Baker) and Greene Street (Run DMC and Public Enemy) right after earning his Masters in Music and Music Technology at NYU. He went on to perform for various TV studios and John Cale (Velvet Underground) that included 3 feature film scores using Pro Tools version 1.0 and a two-day live event to open the Andy Warhol Museum. After signing his band to an indy record deal, his cross-country tour brought him to SF where the drummer exploded - how typical. 

 

Production & Arranging 110

Taught by CAO and co-founder Matt Donner, this course covers concepts that will enable students to create finished, professional works in their desired style based on proven techniques across genres. As a cross between a DAW class and a Songwriting workshop, students will be responsible for creating a finished piece of music in the style of one of their influences. Various production philosophies, approaches and techniques will be covered.

Topics include:

  • “The 10 Commandments of Music Production”\
  • The “Holy Trinity” of Music
  • Anatomy of a song
  • Critical listening and song analysis
  • Integration of influences into a piece of music
  • Creating “Sound-alikes”, “Covers” and “Style-Matches”
  • Integrated production techniques vs. Separated production techniques
  • The Emotional Arc of a Song
  • Dissection of a “Target Song” through the “Holy Trinity”
  • Reconstructing an existing work.

Production & Arranging 210 (Theory 210): Producing Music for Picture (DSP)

P&A 210 is an extension of Pyramind CAO Matt Donner’s widely popular P&A 110 class. In this class, students watch and listen to various scores of music set to film, games and TV, and analyze the use of music against picture. Using this analysis, students produce their own works to picture – learning the details of scoring to picture as well as creating various character or situational themes and producing variations of those themes. Topics include:

Topics include:

  • Recognizing the need for music against picture
  • Timing of music against scenes and hit points
  • How to choose a style of music to fit the scene
  • Working with and selecting style guides against which to compose
  • Creating and manipulating various melodic themes to fit scenes in a larger work
  • Determining the proper mode and mood for the scene

Students will produce up to 6 pieces of music for this class:

  • One independent piece of music designed for a single picture scene

  • The same composition but integrated into that scene – edited and recomposed to “work” with the scene

  • Four cues for a single large-format project. Two EACH of one theme, adjusted to the needs of those related scenes