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How to produce great pop records: deconstructing the tune "Red" with Paul Whalley

Tileyard Education


What will I learn?

From touring with Mumford & Sons & Ellie Goulding to featuring on #1 pop tracks such as Shout Out To My Ex by Little Mix, Paul Whalley is a true musician with a hugely diverse sound.

In this course, Paul lets us in to his studio at Tileyard in London and breaks down a song called "Red", with the singer Emmi Green.

By the end of the session, you'll understand how to structure and arrange the main parts and hooks of a song. You'll also have seen practical examples of how to build the drum track, bass track, synths, effects, ambients and vocals in your DAW and what plugins and what settings Paul uses to create his sound.

You'll get the opportunity to use what you've learnt to improve your own productions and submit one to Paul for his personal feedback.

Specifically, Paul:

  • Starts with identifying what the main parts and hooks are of the song what role they play in the overall composition
  • Looks at the writing process, explains the arrangement and analyzes a few rejected versions of the track
  • Takes apart all the sections and parts of the song: drum track, bass track, synths, effects and ambients, and vocals
  • Explains the mastering process, and what he does to get the track polished and ready for radio play, managers, A&R guys, clients or artists

This is a great course for anyone who wants to get better at writing killer pop tunes, with tons of hands on examples and inspiration that will up your game on any DAW - Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Cubase.

What do I need to know?


Course info


Course Provider Diploma/Certificate/Award (this must include an assessed element)

Study Hours

Variable - to suit the learner

Study mode




Total time for completion

No time limit

Who runs this course?



Tileyard , the largest professional music community in Europe, is home to 74 professional recording studios and more than 100 music and entertainment businesses including Mark Ronson, Lily Allen, The Prodigy, John Newman, Chase and Status, Tynchy Stryder, Notting Hill Music, Marathon Artists, Sound Advice, Spitfire Audio, Tileyard Music, MMF and many more. Tileyard Education is the latest addition to the group and is developing a post-graduate and professional training facility housing a world class recording studio, tech lab, production songwriting rooms and a lecture space. Students studying at Tileyard will fully connect with our commercial music and entertainment communities. All Tileyard tutors, mentors, masterclasses,

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Three things to check before you take a course

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  1. What will I be able to do when I've completed the course?
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