The Seven Phases of Audio Alchemy

Audio Alchemy is the application of alchemical principles to the process of electronic music production.

The retreat provides 7 days of stimulating workshops and lab-time, 3 adventure days to let loose and explore, and a collaborative micro-festival on graduation day.

Each day of the retreat focuses on a specific phase of the creative process, equipping you with a revolutionary new workflow to make music in any style.

Workshops are based in Ableton Live using common third-party plugins and Ableton Push.


Phase 1


The aim of this phase is to prepare your DAW and plugins; to design a whole environment of instruments, patches and FX that can be easily played by you, with whatever hardware controllers you possess.

Create highly expressive presets which can be articulated in a multitude of ways, and fine-tuned to your unique sonic signature.

Focus: Design Your Instruments


Phase 2


Jam! Dissolve into flow. Learn to get in the zone on demand, and play your instruments like a virtuoso!

With good preparation in the first stage, you can more easily open the flood gates of creativity. Learn to get out of your mind and create from the body, make the most of your controllers.

Enter the zone where serendipity and happy accidents occur, and learn to harness "errors" and randomness in a musical way.

Focus: Unlock Your Creative Flow


Phase 3


After a successful session in flow, we have a huge amount of clips and creative material to work with; beats, bass-lines, riffs, motifs etc.

The Separation phase is about keeping the best ideas from your creative dissolution, and expanding upon them, while letting go of the dross.

Focus: Capture Your Best Ideas


Phase 4


Conjunction is where your tune starts to come together. This is the stage for composition, song structure, arrangement and transitions.

This is where the project transforms from a collection of endless loops  to a bounded musical journey with beginning, middle and end.

Focus: Compose your Track


Phase 5


Fermentation is getting down and dirty with editing, FX automation, EQ and compression. It's tricking out the music with details and depth.

It is also the slow and methodical refinement of our composition, going over and over it from beginning to end, smoothing the edges, eliminating any remaining musical impurities from the mix.

Fermentation is that which turns grape juice into wine. Cheers!

Focus: Refine and Polish



Phase 6


Distillation corresponds to the mixing process; the subtle refinement of the composition and the relationship between elements in the mix.

Learn to dial in your mixes and find the perfect balance of tones, textures and flavours to satisfy our most refined taste.

Focus: Mixdown


Phase 7


Coagulation is the final solidification of idea into physical form.

This is the stage where the process becomes the product, where the music is mastered and released from your individual psyche to the collective mind.

Learn about the mastering process, navigating the industry, and leveraging the digital domain for passion, purpose and profit.

Focus: Master and Release

"I am currently on track to release a 16 track LP of all original music a mere 7 months after the retreat. If making music is your purpose, then being at this retreat will reveal the architect within you.

The echos of the Audio Alchemy Retreat will sound throughout the rest of my life. It’s helped me create stronger connections and learn to dive deeper in my life and my music."

Anthony Gibbs // Atlanta, GA

© 2017 Audio Alchemy Retreat