“If there is an unimaginable passion,
if the drive and ambition is seething from your pores,
then you will find a way to express yourself.”
Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself to the Ninjas. Tell us about your name and where you’re from!
I currently live in Toronto, Canada. People call me Synapps because my intention is to guide the listener to make new connections through sound and vibration. Not only is Synapps a play on my name, Snappy, but I imagine how synapses link in the brain and my goal is to open new doors of perception through my music.
Dope! Speaking of the brain and perceptions, what are your earliest memories of music?
As long as I can remember, I’ve always been deeply affected by sound and the emotionality of music. My earliest musical memory is where I would listen to Puff the Magic Dragon on repeat and weep from the feeling of the melancholy mood of that melody. To this day I can still easily be brought to tears through sound, which I often use as a guide when composing and mixing.
So you’ve always been emotionally linked to music as a listener. How and why did you begin creating your own?
The events the lead me to my musical journey began when I started playing bass in bands at the age of eleven. I had some good reasons to feel frustrated and angry as a youngster and I gratefully found music as a channel to express those feelings.
During your early learning stages what were some of the major road blocks and frustrations you encountered?
Oh that’s tough because there have been so many road blocks…growing up in a small town before the internet it was challenging to have access to information or to find like-minded people to jam with. There is so much to say about having a team of peers or mentors to help you along the way, it can be critical for development. I had to learn much of what I know on my own through trial and error. My commitment was so strong that I was able to push through and find my voice as a musician, engineer and producer.
Had you ever had a mentor in music production before you enrolled at the Dojo?
Not really. I had gone to school for audio engineering and music production in 2000 and the industry was making some big shifts at that time. We were still using analog tape at the school and most of my mentors were pretty out of date with technology and modern production techniques. After graduation I quickly got a job working in a studio but i was in over my head. In a way, the clients became my teachers as I listened to what they needed to help them create in a successful session.
You had the drive to push through the struggle on your own for a long while, so why did you join Producer Dojo?
I was reaching a point where I wanted to make a deeper commitment to my path as a producer/DJ. Shortly after that decision I watched a video of ill.Gates speaking about the Dojo. I used to live in Toronto so I had been following ill.Gates for many years and I’ve always admired his relentless drive. The opportunity the Dojo provides, to have access to such a bounty of experience, is invaluable. I signed up for a year and learned so much as I submitted my tracks for feedback. Eventually he offered me this position as a Sensei!
What would you say are your strongest suits as a Dojo Sensei, and what DAWs and/or equipment do you specialize in?
I can really help Ninjas with arrangement and in making small adjustments to maximize the impact of a track. My strongest suits are in mixing techniques because I’ve been working professionally for 20 years. Of course we can always learn different methods on our own but little is more valuable than experience and time. Especially when there are clients paying you to get it right. I now own and run a recording studio called Playhouse Studio and we use a handful of analog gear. My DAW is Logic and I enjoy taking advantage of the chaos of analog and the precision of digital.
What are your favorite parts about the One-on-One Video Sessions with Ninjas?
I really love helping ninjas understand the tools better. There is usually at least one “Ah-Ha!” moment when explaining how processors work. EQ and compression is a big one because we use them all the time and they can be easily misused if we don’t grasp an effective approach to processing.
What would you say to someone considering joining Producer Dojo to level up their production game?
Do it! There is a wealth of knowledge available to you where you have access to experienced producers who are working in the industry. There is lots of diversity in mentors so finding what works for you is available. Producer Dojo will help to fast track your learning process creating a method to achieve your musical goals. If there is an unimaginable passion, if the drive and ambition is seething from your pores, then you will find a way to express yourself. Then, to have a mentor who can help direct a path for you, who can listen to your needs to help execute a vision, is invaluable. Discover and follow what allures you most. Find you own voice and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
You have a new song you’ve just released, #1 Tripper. You told me you wrote it for your friend who passed. Our ninjas can listen to the track below, what would you like them to know about your friend?
His name was Jay Tripper (aka Jeff Parker) and he was my graphic designer for 10 years.
A true brother of mine and a one of a kind human being.
Jay had a pure and bright energy about him who saw the importance of bringing people together.
His enthusiasm was contagious and he touched many hearts with his visual Art and Glitch Hop events.
Appreciating a challenge of trying something new, this is my first attempt at producing a Glitch Hop track.
For a dear friend and collage who’s life was taken so abruptly.
“Jay Tripper was the Number One Tripper”
Thank you, Snappy, from Trap Jesus and all the Ninjas here at Producer Dojo!
CHECK OUT #1 TRIPPER HERE: