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Mike Verta's Live Brass Class

MartinH.

Senior Member
You seem to be praising Mike's courses a lot. Let me give you my 2 cents and say it as it is. I have 10 of his courses and it's all just tips and tricks without any structure. In fact, they are all live streams where he is mostly just answering questions. He calls this a "Masterclass" of all things. And he wants to charge you for sitting for 4 hours chatting away. On top of that you need to put up with endless verbal diarrhoea, unfunny sexual metaphors and constant whiskey drinking. It's the worst source pedagogically from a relatively unsuccessful composer that never managed to develop a voice of his own. Yea, let's learn from this guy. I have wasted my money because I read threads like yours.
If it took you 10 classes to realize you don't like his style, you have no one to blame but yourself.
His teachings are so universal, that I recommended his business class - without ever having seen it myself - to someone who doesn't have anything to do with music or audio, because I knew there would be things in there that are relevant to all artists. I asked him how he liked it and this was his reply:

"For me it has been very empowering. The main focus is on marketing oneself and the larger mindset behind that. I've actually recommended the video to further people so I think it's pretty valuable."


If you don't learn anything from Mike's videos, that's a you-problem. If you don't take him up on his offer to refund or exchange if you don't like the class you bought, that's also your problem.


Go ahead and ask Mike what his day job is - … I'll wait. That's because he gets paid to compose music, and gets paid well enough quite obviously. Is fame your marker for successful career?, or not having to find work? Plenty of pop culture icons live dirt poor, bankrupt, ect. He's decades into his career, and still able to put presents under the Christmas tree.
Actually he does a bunch of other things, like VFX work and directing (mostly commercials iirc), but don't ask me what percentage that each is of his income, I have no clue and I don't care.
I still agree that he's a successful composer of course!
 

erica-grace

Senior Member
You seem to be praising Mike's courses a lot. Let me give you my 2 cents and say it as it is. I have 10 of his courses and it's all just tips and tricks without any structure. In fact, they are all live streams where he is mostly just answering questions. He calls this a "Masterclass" of all things. And he wants to charge you for sitting for 4 hours chatting away. On top of that you need to put up with endless verbal diarrhoea, unfunny sexual metaphors and constant whiskey drinking. It's the worst source pedagogically from a relatively unsuccessful composer that never managed to develop a voice of his own. Yea, let's learn from this guy. I have wasted my money because I read threads like yours.
Sorry, but it is difficult to disagree with this any more.
 

muk

Senior Member
Whoa, where are the personal attacks coming from all of a sudden? It seems Mike's classes are generally well loved on this forum, and that's great. But is it such a stretch to assume that not everybody will love them, and that the people who don't may have their valid reasons for not doing so too? Teaching styles are a subjective thing. What suits one might not suit another. And neither one is wrong. Either a teaching style suits you, or it doesn't.

Also, Mike being a great and succesful composer does not make him a great teacher. There are plenty of examples of fantastic composers who were horrible at teaching. And plenty of fantastic teachers who were not particularly succesful composers or instrumentalists. So in my opinion this line of argument is not helpful if we are talking about Mike's masterclasses.

Personally I have only bought one of his masterclasses, 'Template Balancing'. And frankly I had hoped for more. I did not enjoy searching through his personal ramblings and rants for the bits where he actual talked about balancing a template. And then I found the informational bits to be too basic for my personal needs. I learned nothing that I hadn't already learned through googling, reading forums, and my own trial and error.

For what it's worth, I found Thomas Bergersen's three page pdf article posted on SampleLogic (unfortunately not available anymore) much more helpful. It took me about ten minutes to read, and I already learned more about the process of balancing a template than sitting through the five and a half hours of Mike Verta's masterclass. But again, learning and teaching are individual things, and what works for me might not work for you.

Anyway, I appreciate Mike's work, and that he shares his knowledge with the community. And I salute his unquestionable skills as composer and teacher. Especially his track critiques are a fantastic service in my opinion. His masterclasses however, much as they are loved by others, don't suit my personal style of learning very well.
 

ProfoundSilence

Senior Member
Whoa, where are the personal attacks coming from all of a sudden? It seems Mike's classes are generally well loved on this forum, and that's great. But is it such a stretch to assume that not everybody will love them, and that the people who don't may have their valid reasons for not doing so too? Teaching styles are a subjective thing. What suits one might not suit another. And neither one is wrong. Either a teaching style suits you, or it doesn't.
Like I said, it's totally understandable if Mike's style doesn't work for someone. 100% understand that - however, how does a person get 10 classes and then suddenly realize this?

"He calls this a "Masterclass" of all things. And he wants to charge you for sitting for 4 hours chatting away. On top of that you need to put up with endless verbal diarrhoea, unfunny sexual metaphors and constant whiskey drinking. It's the worst source pedagogically from a relatively unsuccessful composer that never managed to develop a voice of his own. Yea, let's learn from this guy. I have wasted my money because I read threads like yours. "

I mean, this person was literally brain dead enough to buy 10 classes to figure this out, followed by throwing all kinds of shots at Verta. If this person has 40 hours of Verta's videos and didn't learn anything, than they either have a learning disability(understandable) or they know everything(less likely). Some of mike's casual tips in these classes end up being worth more than the original class itself - so to call it a waste is just plain ridiculous. If you're wondering where the personal attacks came from, look no further. I'm being blunt about this, because it would be akin to someone buying 10 spitfire libraries before deciding that "spitfire libraries are worthless, and I wasted money because of posts like these!"

"Yea, let's learn from this guy." <---- this has to be single handedly one of the biggest "punch me" signs the person could have possibly added to their already pointless post. And I think given how much the person has said about Verta, nobody has even insulted this nobody - or asked to hear their music, let alone criticized it. Mostly just people agreeing that they are a complete moron for buying 10 classes then raging.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
For what it's worth, I found Thomas Bergersen's three page pdf article posted on SampleLogic (unfortunately not available anymore) much more helpful.
Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check it out.


(unfortunately not available anymore)
"Not with that attitude" as I like to say :)


If you have hints how the other parts in the series are named, we might find them as well.
 
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muk

Senior Member
Thanks for the link Martin! Good to have the pdf around again. I haven't seen the other parts of the series, but at the moment I am looking for them on wayback machine. Thanks for the idea.
 

robgb

I was young once
You seem to be praising Mike's courses a lot. Let me give you my 2 cents and say it as it is. I have 10 of his courses and it's all just tips and tricks without any structure. In fact, they are all live streams where he is mostly just answering questions. He calls this a "Masterclass" of all things. And he wants to charge you for sitting for 4 hours chatting away. On top of that you need to put up with endless verbal diarrhoea, unfunny sexual metaphors and constant whiskey drinking. It's the worst source pedagogically from a relatively unsuccessful composer that never managed to develop a voice of his own. Yea, let's learn from this guy. I have wasted my money because I read threads like yours.
Personally, I find that sitting for four hours and listening to a guy chat about things he clearly knows about to be some of the best kind of teaching there is.

Your definition of success may be different than mine, but whether or not he fulfills that definition is largely irrelevant. If the information is valuable, the information is valuable, and in the business of Hollywood I've noticed that MANY composers don't develop a voice of their own but instead do what their director requests of them by essentially copying the temp score they've been using for the last year. So I'm not really sure what your point is in that regard. The movie business is ALL ABOUT imitating other money-making movies, and the composition game is no different.

From the couple of classes I've taken of Verta's (including a truly great How to Compose a Score in 7 Days [or something along those lines]) the information passed on was extremely valuable, and was much like looking over the composer's shoulder as he scored an actual film.

I get that you don't like Verta's classes, but some people do, and there's really no need to insult the guy to make your point.
 
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