BIMM Berlin: The World’s Capital of Music Production

We bet that if you took a poll of people anywhere in the world asking them to name the global capital of electronic music, a lot of them would say “Berlin”. So it goes without saying, then, that the city would also rate highly as an international centre for music production. In fact, music lovers proclaim Berlin as the world’s capital of music production.

Berlin’s rich history in music production and electronica started in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when musicians and bands, such as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Siouxsie & the Banshees, flocked to the city’s Hansa Studios to take advantage of its reputation for producing a “darkly sonorous sound quality”. At the same time, German electronic bands like Düsseldorf’s Kraftwerk and Berlin’s own Tangerine Dream were making a name for themselves thanks to their futuristic electronic music production techniques.

By the late 1980s, ‘techno’ arrived from Detroit. When the Berlin Wall fell on 9th November 1989, the city was ready to fully embrace this groundbreaking new sound, with young people organising underground parties in its newly abandoned and ownerless buildings. Bunkers, hangers, power plants and underground stations became temporary nightclubs as people celebrated the reunification of East and West. As time progressed, legitimate clubs like Tresor, E-Werk and Der Bunker were established, hosting DJs such as East Berlin’s Paul van Dyk, and these played a seminal role in the popularity of techno and electronic music in the city.

Berlin’s Love Parade, which ran from 1989 to 2010, put the city’s love of trance, house, techno and Germany’s own schranz music on the world stage, with 1.5 million people in attendance at its height. Local record labels such as Basic Channel were championed by record stores like Hard Wax in Kreuzberg and music in the city exploded.

These days, music production in Berlin is stronger than ever. Artists from all over the world, like Manic Street Preachers, R.E.M., KT Tunstall, U2, Snow Patrol and Nicki Minaj, continue to relocate to the city to add a little bit of Berlin production magic to their recordings. Berghain is the undisputed king of clubs and Tresor is still going strong. And BIMM Berlin is hard at work creating the next generation of illustrious music producers and DJs.

Jane Arnison – BIMM Berlin’s Head of Production – is a producer, composer, arranger and engineer… and also happens to be one half of the dark wave duo Evvol. She co-runs the record label Mad Dog & Love and creates house and techno music under the DJ moniker Jon Dark. Jane’s job is to encourage our Music Production students to explore their creative boundaries while offering musical help and career advice.

She works closely with the incredible team at TRIXX Studios – one of Germany’s most innovative recording complexes – where BIMM Berlin Music Production classes take place. Since 1985, they’ve been responsible for recording, mixing and producing albums by artists including Fleetwood Mac, Bryan Ferry, Wu-Tang Clan, Grandmaster Flash and Razorlight, and our students learn their craft with guidance from owner Klaus Knapp, sound engineer Fabio Buemi and BIMM’s Grammy-Award-winning Music Production tutor Pete Smith.

Students work with all the TRIXX gear, from legendary microphones (Neumann U47, AKG C12, etc.) and classic outboard (Neve, Tube-Tech, SSL, Avalon, Focusrite, AKG Spring Reverb, etc.), to vintage keys (Hammond C3, Minimoog, Prophet 5), guitars (Fender Stratocaster 1969, Gretsch Semi-Acoustic 1962) and amps (Vox AC30 1965, Fender Bassman 1962).

Berlin is also the global HQ of some of the most revolutionary music technology companies out there, such as SoundCloud, Ableton and Native Instruments – and BIMM Berlin enjoys a strong relationship with them all. During a recent exclusive industry visit to Native Instruments, our students were led through the company’s history and the philosophy behind their world-renowned products by Chief Legal Officer Tom Kurth and Head of Education Alexander Stamm, and were given a working tour of the studio by Sound Designer Antonio de Spirt.

BIMM Berlin students were also treated to exclusive Masterclasses by electronic and performance artist extraordinaire Peaches; celebrated Berghain DJ, producer and label owner, Steffi; and resident Berghain DJ, producer, label manager and magazine editor Nick Höppner. Those who participated in the BIMM Berlin Songwriting Camp were lucky enough to interact with star producer P*nut, whose repertoire includes Paloma Faith, Wiley, Emeli Sandé, Jennifer Lopez, Faithless and the late, great Amy Winehouse.

BIMM Berlin Music Production student, Georgia Murphy, relocated from Ireland specifically to take advantage of Berlin’s reputation in music production: “My Music Production course covers everything I need and want to know, and pushes us to get involved in the industry from day one. It’s like I’m constantly on the edge of discovering something new here in Berlin. It’s also a huge opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people who are the future of the music industry.”

So, if you’d like to study in the worlds capital of music production, order a prospectus, book to attend a BIMM Berlin Open Day, or contact our Admissions Team on +49 303 11 99 186 or by email at berlin@bimm-institute.de 

POSTED ON: January 9, 2019
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  • Berlin, Music Production