Get to know our coaches
DJ & Producer
Mark Otten has a wealth of experience in the studio and music industry, both as a DJ and a producer with releases on labels including Armin van Buuren’s Armind (Armada Music) and Tiësto's AFTR:HRS, and support from DJ’s such as Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, W&W, Tiësto and many more. Mark's recent successes as a co-writer, instrumentalist (e.g. guitars), producer and mix/mastering engineer for the likes of Martin Garrix, U2, AREA21, Armin van Buuren and many more put him firmly at the heart of music today.
Mentor & Coach
As a former mentor & coach of Martin Garrix and other students including Julian Jordan, Firebeatz, Deepend, CMC$, De Sluwe Vos, We Are Loud, Maduk, Pythius, (Lucas &) Steve and SWACQ, Mark is one of the leading names in music education worldwide.
Additionally, Mark has many years of experience teaching music production at some of The Netherlands’ most prestigious music education institutions, such as the Haarlem Conservatory, the Rockacademy and the Herman Brood Academy, where he set up the Dance Producer department.
Releases by Mark
As an artist, producer/DJ and songwriter with releases on prestigious labels such as DJ Tiesto’s AFTR:HRS and Armin van Buuren's Armind (Armada Music), Mark has a thorough understanding of the needs of an artist.
Producer & Engineer
Alex Vasi is a powerhouse within the global music industry today. From producing and recording to mixing and mastering chart topping hits, Alex’s services have rapidly become in high demand. Collaborating with the likes of Kriss Kros Amsterdam, Tory Lanez and Dutch superstars such as Ronnie Flex and Boef and with streaming numbers totalling over half a billion to date, Alex Vasi is a force to reckon with.
Some highlights are his co-production, guitar playing and mixing for the number 1 album 'Remi' by rapper Ronnie Flex and delivering the mix and master for Holland’s most streamed song of 2019, ‘Hij Is Van Mij’ by Kriss Kros Amsterdam with Maan, Tabitha and Bizzey, topping the Dutch charts for 7 weeks straight.
Music has been a driving passion throughout Alex’s life. After getting admitted to the The Hague Royal Conservatory as a violinist, then taking up guitar and playing in several bands, he discovers electronic music, starts DJ-ing and immediately falls in love with it. Expanding his skills yet further he starts producing himself and lands a spot at the Dance Producer department of the prestigious Herman Brood Academy, with class mates such as De Sluwe Vos, Collé and Martin Garrix and Producer Coaching's Mark Otten as his teacher. After graduating and signing a management deal, Alex quickly starts to make a name for himself, working on some of the biggest pop, dance and urban the Netherlands in all kinds of roles: producer, mixer, mastering engineer, guitar player, etc.
Today, Alex is also a teacher at the Herman Brood Academy, teaching both music production and music theory at the Dance Producer department where he once walked around a student himself.
During his 3 years at the academy, Alex discovers his love for teaching and starts providing both music production and DJ-ing masterclasses. Gaining more experience in teaching, all the while making a bigger name for himself as a producer and engineer and so becoming an inspiration to his students even more, eventually leads to Alex's former education offering him a spot at one of the most highly regarded music production schools in the world, the Herman Brood Academy in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Music production is not just about the technical side of sound. More importantly, it’s about drive, emotion, energy, vibe and Dutchman Arjen Thonen is a true expert in transforming these aspects into music. With 15 years of experience under his belt, while only just in his thirties, Arjen is in the prime of his music career. Up to this point, Arjen’s main project has been his SWACQ venture but things have shifted fast recently, focusing on collaborating and doing projects with the likes of Tiësto, Nicky Romero and Deorro as well as more pop oriented ventures like with Black Eyed Peas drummer/producer Keith Harris, for instance on the Eurovision smash for Spain, ‘Chanel - SloMo’.
If you love EDM and bass house, you know SWACQ. SWACQ releases have appeared on some of the biggest labels in the world, including STMPD RCRDS, Spinnin’, Hexagon and Musical Freedom. If you’re into clubbing or festivals, chances are you’ve been dancing to one of Arjen’s performances, with highlights including an Asia Tour performing at the infamous Club One Third and going back to back with Tiësto at Wet Republic Las Vegas. Having experienced the electronic music scene from all these angles working with some of the biggest players out there, it’s safe to say Arjen’s knows the music business inside out.
Having attended the now legendary Herman Brood Academy, where he was taught amongst others by Producer Coaching’s own Mark Otten, Arjen has been at the forefront of electronic music education. This since then inspired him to always serve as a mentor to his peers. Now, Arjen feels it’s time to give his love for coaching more space and support the next generation: ‘I love working with people with a great sense of drive. I feel this is a necessity to take your career to the next level and when it’s there, combined with talent, I’m here to guide you, sharing my experience and my production and mixing secrets with you.’
She’s worked with Fred Again. She's scored over 125 million streams with Tate McRae (Lie To Me). She’s flying around the world doing sessions with the likes of RAYE, MNEK, Emily Warren (songwriter, e.g. New Rules by Dua Lipa), Daya, T-Minus and Shy Martin. Manon van Dijk aka Nova Blue is killing it in the international music world. Starting out in dance music, she got offered the chance to attend the Limpi private music college in Norway, backed by the likes of Stargate and Sony Music. After just 1 year there, Nova immediately found her way into the international writing and pitching world, doing sessions in Stockholm, London, Sydney, etc. with the who’s who of pop music today.
Nova’s practical and feeling-driven approach to making music has made her in high demand as a collaborator. After all, music is only good if you can feel it! She’s able to use technology in such a way that it creates minimal interference with the creative process. Her already vast experience in music production has shaped her to be focused on getting results, instead of lingering too much over insignificant details. A true hands-on player!
Beside her work as a producer and songwriter, Nova also has a passion for guiding others to get the most out of their music. Among other places, she’s now a regular coach at her former education Limpi in Norway. Her time there proved to be successful and fruitful enough to get asked to come back as part of the top tier educational team. As this is only available to the Limpi students, her addition to the team here at Producer Coaching by Mark Otten is your chance to get her undivided time and attention in one on one (or two!) sessions. Nova: 'I really enjoy applying my knowledge and experience in making music to help others up their game. Also, I know from my own ventures in the music industry how much of a challenge it is being or becoming a part of it. To be able to help others find their way is a real joy to me!'
Producer Coaching by Mark Otten is available to those of 16 years and older who already have (some) experience producing music and have the drive to improve and develop.
We strive to support those with a genuine passion for music production.
Any style/genre is welcome and you can work within your own DAW.
WHAT DO WE OFFER?
Personal and professional support to develop your music in the areas where you would like to improve, customized to meet your needs.
Possible subjects include:
• Ear training: e.g. audio analysis, sound and wave recognition, musical hearing development
• Creativity coaching: e.g. how to be more free creatively, how to get inspired, dealing with perfectionism, overcoming writer's block
• Uniqueness: finding/defining your own style/genre
• Mixing and (pre-)mastering: e.g. volume balancing, eq-ing, dynamics (compression, limiting, loudness, etc.), spatial design (reverb, delay, etc.). From basic to advanced level
• Sound design and sampling: e.g. synthesis, sample application/manipulation/pitch/tempo
• Composition: e.g. creating melodies, harmonic structures, how to start a track, how to finish a track
• Arranging: e.g. how to keep the listener entertained, contrast techniques, maximising the impact of your drops
• Working with vocals: e.g. vocal production, recording, editing, tuning, mixing
• Studio gear advice: e.g. hardware and software advise, basic acoustics, computer management
WHAT DO WE NOT OFFER?
• It is not possible to combine a recording/production session with a training/coaching session, but of course you are welcome to book both separately.
• We do not offer guidance in sending out demos or help you get your demos out in the industry.
• Producer Coaching by Mark Otten operates independently to the STMPD studios.
• We will not contact A&R managers or make appointments with record labels to listen to your demos.
Disclaimer Taking part in the Producer Coaching by Mark Otten program does not give you any extra opportunity to get involved with the STMPD RCRDS label or its artists, including Martin Garrix. Producer Coaching by Mark Otten operates independently of STMPD RCRDS.
HOW TO APPLY
We will review your application and 3 of your demos, including a screenshot of each demo’s DAW project
These demos must be completely produced by you (no collabs allowed). Even when you choose to do duo sessions you need to always apply individually.
The demos need to be original work or, in case of a remix, must have your own beats, melodies, harmonies, etc.
Please note: re-works, re-edits and mash ups will not be taken into consideration.
If you’re selected we’ll invite you for an introductory session and possibly a follow up session depending on your requirements.
(For remote sessions: during the introductory session(s) it will become clear whether your system and internet connection are at a sufficient level to provide you with the level of service we stand for.)
These session(s) will allow us to align goals and expectations and to decide upon the subjects for the next 5 sessions.
Possible follow-up introductory
To be booked in cycles of 5
(2 hours per session)
All of our coaches are vastly experienced in the studio and music industry, whether it's as DJs, producers, songwriters and engineers. See above for more info on each coach individually.
It is always possible to switch from one coach to another for your next cycle. You can for instance do your introductory session(s) with Alex and switch to Arjen for a cycle with him. Switching within a cycle is not possible.
Sessions will be held in the producer rooms of the inspiring STMPD studios, equipped with the finest quality audio hardware and outstanding acoustics.
Zoom makes it easy to not only do standard video conferencing but also share your screen or hand over control if needed.
Audiomovers ListenTo is a service that enables streaming of stable and uncompromised audio (in case internet bandwidth is limited, Audiomovers can be used at lower but still great audio quality too).
When you're selected for the program, we send you instructions. You don't need a paid Zoom or Audiomovers account.
Remote sessions however have proven to be a great alternative. Making use of the perfect audio quality that Audiomovers provides most, if not all, of what you can learn in a studio session you can learn in a remote session as well. At a lower price, and without the need to travel to Amsterdam, this could certainly be the right choice for you.
It is always possible to combine the two, for instance start out with a remote introductory session and then come to Amsterdam for a studio session cycle, or follow up a studio cycle with a remote cycle.
Pricing Remote SessionsRemote = online sessions
Session duration: 2 hours
Cycle (5 sessions)
Pricing Studio Sessions
Sessions take place at STMPD Studios in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Session duration: 2 hours
Cycle (5 sessions)
*All sessions are also available for DUOs, effectively cutting the price per person in half.
Including VAT where applicable.
Payment in advance will be required.
"Mark is an amazing guide. He has a lot of patience, he made me wake up and start pushing myself. I had a lot of fun."– Maor, Israel
"My sessions with Nova/Manon really felt as if I was hanging out with a friend of mine. I got so much out of it because we were both able to speak our mind and ideas about my tracks. She is a super fun and creative person, is able to deliver good feedback and is incredibly insightful on the technical aspects of production. "
– Alan, Mexico