Digital Music Production Club


Photo Credit: rubra

via Ars Electronica

Leo Ontiveros, Writer

Hans Zimmer, Toby Fox, Kanye West —what do they all have in common? They love music. Because of their love, they are regarded as some of the best composers of the 21st century. While I do not consider myself among their ranks in terms of skill and fame, I would claim that my passion for music rivals theirs. In an effort to share my passion with others, I decided to start the Digital Music Production club at Cistercian.

Not only do I love music, but I’ve also been creating my own musical compositions for a few years. This summer, thanks to COVID, I found myself stuck at home, and I eventually discovered music production software, also known as DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations). I was already familiar with GarageBand, but those higher end programs, such as FL Studio, were on a whole new level. After hours of tinkering around and teaching myself the various shortcuts of the DAWs, I became skilled at handling the software by the start of the school year.

One day during English class, Mr. Nied told us that his son, Mr. Joseph Nied, was a sound designer, and he said that he was working here at Cistercian. When the senior Mr. Nied casually asked if anyone was interested in sound design, a light bulb blinked on over my head. The next day, I went over to junior Mr. Nied’s office and presented him with the idea of a sound design club. Funnily enough, he had formed a club just like this one when he was at Cistercian as well; to my delight, he gladly became the club sponsor. We were able to bring the club to Mr. Novinski for approval, and I was able to prepare an announcement for the Freshman class. I recruited Ayden Kowalski (’21), a fellow music producer, as my co-founder, and we gave our presentation to the new members of the Upper School. The rest is history.

I knew I was not the only one who wanted to master how to produce music. There are a lot of people who share my love for music and I’m sure they want to learn new music producing software; I’m sure that a few of them have used music programs before as well. Mr. Nied is doing a fantastic thing for the school and will be showing us how to use FL Studio, the program he used in his own club. FL Studio is not only a great beginner program, but it is also a good challenge for veteran producers. If they’re interested, anyone that joins the club will become an FL Studio professional.

However, this club is not just for learning the music software; we are also heavily dependent on projects. Each member, when he is familiarized with the software, should be able to create their own music. We will be sharing our projects with each other, commenting on them, and asking questions to the presenter about how they were able to do a particular thing in their song. While this year is limiting, I would love for the members of our club to eventually be able to play their music for a crowd. When things return to normal, I’d love for a few of our guys to participate in Coffeehouse, the Spring Talent Show, or even at ISAS. We’re the Digital Music Production club; we can’t produce music without an audience! I know that if our members are able to display their performances, we will be one of the greatest clubs ever at Cistercian. If anyone is interested, please do not hesitate to join. You don’t have to know music theory to be a part of the DMP club, all you need is a willingness to learn and produce music. Just contact me, Leo Ontiveros, class of 2022, at my Cistercian email if you would like to join; we’ll be happy to have you!