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Film Scoring

Starts October 11

3 sessions: Wednesdays, October 11–25, 7–9pm

Location: Slam Academy, 1121 NE Jackson St, Suite 142, Minneapolis 55413

This introductory-level course focuses on the essential techniques of creating sound and music for film. We’ll cover various software production techniques (including synthesis, foley, and sampling of acoustic instruments), as well as compositional techniques. We’ll also listen to and analyze significant film scores. The featured sound engine of the course will be the Hans Zimmer designed Dark Zebra instrument by Berlin’s U-He, so come prepared for an intense and riveting sound experience. Prior experience in writing music, music theory, or audio software is not required. All skill levels are welcomed, and one-on-one time will be given for student projects during lab time. Bring headphones or earbuds.

Session 1: The Mechanics of Sound Design

  • Synthesis and sampling – when and how
  • Core elements of a score: rhythm, harmony, melody, and ambience
  • Technical matters: time code, file formats and mixing
  • Software overview: Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Reaktor, and ReWire

Session 2: Working with Samples

  • Working with sample libraries for realistic orchestra and instrument sounds
  • Building your own sample libraries
  • Getting the most out of your sampling instrument
  • Sequencing and arranging tricks

Session 3: Compositional Techniques

  • Tropes: arpeggios for the time lapse, ostinatos for the chase scene, legato for the love scene
  • The basics of harmony and its impact
  • Working with foley and non-musical sounds
  • Maximizing sonic range and depth with effects processing
  • Professional arrangement workflows

Tuition: $200 regular/$155 member/$125 low-income

james patrick_headshotJames Patrick is a Minneapolis-based music producer, composer, label owner, entrepreneur, and educator. He has over 20 years of professional experience performing at and directing historically significant electronic music events in the Minneapolis area. A pilot member of the Ableton Trainer Certification program, James participated in the first wave of trainer certifications and has been a critical force among the user base in the U.S. After more than a decade of teaching synthesis and sound design at various institutions including NYC’s Dubspot and Minneapolis’ Institute for Production and Recording, James cofounded Slam Academy in 2012, an Electronic Music School and Ableton Certified Training Center. James uses his professional involvement in both academic and popular electronic realms to unite the creative energy, ideas, and people of his community.

Click on image below to view a video clip showcasing Slam Academy’s state-of-the-art campus.

Slam Acacemy Composite

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full to be valid. Registrations are accepted beyond registration deadlines as long as space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 5 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund by PayPal (online registrations, minus PayPal fee) or credit/debit card (phone or in person credit/debit card registrations) within 5 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class if scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee (plus PayPal fee if applicable). For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee (plus PayPal fee if applicable). As of a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given.
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
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October 11, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
October 25, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
Event Categories:


James Patrick
Registration Deadline
October 6, 2017
Maximum Enrollment
Civi Event ID
Class count or Info
3 sessions: Wednesdays, October 11–25, 7–9pm