11 day intensive music production learning experience with 11 time nominated and 3 time Grammy winning music producer, Christian Castagno.
This retreat is for anyone who wants to explore a process of working with sound and music that is simple and effective under all circumstances. Christian is an extremely experienced producer and is able to create a very deep and solid understanding of what really needs to be done in a studio in order to get a result and in a very short amount of time given the level of the understanding produced.
The retreat is designed so that you have enough time to practice and improve your skills both individually and as a group as to insure that the concepts being learned are retained as to become second nature. All the participants are given generous amounts of time on our fantastic Adam S5H main monitors. This is invaluable in order to understand their recording processes from the perspective of an extremely well-tuned high resolution control room.
Christian Castagno is an eleven time nominated and three time Grammy winning music producer. Growing up in a Gurdjieff School surrounded by esoteric music and sacred dances, early on Christian showed a natural affinity for “the invisible sound that moves all hearts” and at fourteen took up playing various acoustic instruments until he received a Casio CZ-101 synth on his sixteenth birthday and that was that. By the time he turned 20 he had returned to New York City to pursue music and production full time and it was there he was fortunate to get a job at the legendary Manny’s music on 48th street in Manhattan.
In this same moment he met Walter Sear who became his mentor and later very generously traded him a 16 track Ampex for a mic preamp so that he could start his own studio because, in the words of Mr. Sear, “how else could I get him to stop pestering me”? From 1997 to 2008 he and fellow producer Danny Blume operated GoodandEvil studio in Brooklyn where they did a wide variety of records ranging from Pop, Jazz, Latin, Hiphop and Electronic music.
In 2003 Chris won his first Grammy for engineering with the return of seminal Louisiana favorite Eddie “the Chief” Clearwater. In 2007 Chris and Danny were nominated for best Jazz album with Sex Mob’s “Sexotica- a tribute to Martin Denny” as well as winning a Grammy for “best world music album” with the Klezmatics. In 2008 Chris was again nominated twice for his work on Miguel Bosé’s Papito producing and playing on five of the tracks most notably Morena Mia with Julieta Vanegas, 2007’s most downloaded Latin song on iTunes.
In 2010 Chris and his wife Tatiana chose adventure and moved with their son Apolo to the coast of Colombia to a little town hidden away in the jungle called Minca where he is building his studio and event space Sonido Selva. Most recently he was nominated for both North American and Latin Grammys for his work on Bomba Estereo’s “Hayo” as well as nominations for best global roots album by the Canadian Folk Music Awards for his production and mixing on The Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra’s 2020 album “Velkombak”. In addition to his album production activities Chris has fostered a substantial music and arts community in Minca with concert events as well as expanding his unique approach to teaching technical audio production and a broad range of related topics such as the math and physics of harmonic series, pitch and perception, acoustics and musicology.
As veteran of over two hundred records his credits include work with artists such as Iggy Pop, Bomba Stereo, Arcade Fire, Kombilesa Mi, Los Gaiteros de Ovejas, Miguel Bose, Systema Solar, Ru Paul, Naty Botero, Felix da Housecat and many others, Christian is now looking forward to passing on his experience in order to cultivate the next generation of young minds powerfully creative ambient of La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Learn the most important aspects of production in the studio with Christian in the context of Sonidoselva's ongoing Folkloric music program where there are always groups of musicians from around Colombia and as well various recording projects that are always happening. In this sense this is not a university setting or a classroom environment, it is "the real thing" with the idea that participants aquire a very full sense of what it means to make records on a professional level.
Sonidoselva offers a personalized and spiritual learning experience that will enhance not just your workflow but give you a very clear and advanced technical understanding of sound as it relates to physical phenomena such as harmonic series as well as how it is perceived in our minds.
Minca is a town in the foot hills of La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Known for its incredible natural biodiversity, it is one of the premiere birdwatching locations on the planet hosting more than 360 species with many endemic to here. The community in Minca is quite unique with a variety of hotels and hostels as well Minca has several different Yoga, meditation and wellness classes are available in this very spiritually connected community. To get to Minca is quite easy. Santa Marta is the nearest airport and taxis are available that go up to Minca from the terminal. For groups or musicians with instruments or equipment transportation can be easily arranged.
We are a cultural center on the Caribbean coast of Colombia that is working to preserve and share the vibrance of this unique region. It is located in a magical little town, called Minca, in the foothills of the world's only tropical coastal snow capped peak, La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The name Sonidoselva, Spanish for “sound of the jungle," speaks to the rich natural diversity of the region's ecosystems and its connection to music and culture.
Day 1: Orientation & integration
Day 2: How monitors & sound rooms work. Content organization
Day 3: Drums
Day 4: Productive communication in the studio & understanding the human elements
Day 5: The human voice & its characteristics
Day 6: Melodyne
Day 7: Mixing
Day 8: Mastering
Day 9: Workflow
Day 10: Analyse results & prep for release of finished material
Day 11: Departure
You need to have a basic knowledge of Universal Audio Apollo interfaces and Avid Pro tools or UA Luna software. Ableton/MAXMSP and Maschine are welcome too as we use them all the time however for the workshops we will be using Pro Tools as the main platform as it is the definitive standard for mixing and finishing music.
The whole retreat is done in English. Basic communication in Spanish is no problem however the technical aspects will be in English.
This program is oriented toward self development while gaining real and deep insight into the practical processes of producing music. It is a spiritual approach meant to develop understanding of the core of these processes in the participant separate from genre or style.
You should have an unfinished song that you want to work on during the 10 days so that the things being learned can be incorporated and applied to your process right away.
Sonidoselva by its nature is a collaborative space with all participants working to help each other with in an open creative space.
You should bring your own computer setup/interface and of course, interesting musical instruments of any type are always welcome.