If you know anything about BIMM Berlin, you’ll know that one of the things we’re most proud of is the quality of our tutors. They’re all qualified educators who’ve had amazing careers in the music business… and continue to do so, pushing creative boundaries while offering help and advice to our students. This week we’re getting to know Jane Arnison – BIMM Berlin’s Head of Production – and asked her about her background in music, career highlights and what she loves most about BIMM.
Originally from Australia, Jane is a producer, recording and mixing engineer, composer and arranger, and mastering engineer… and also happens to be one half of the dark wave duo Evvol. She co-runs the record label Mad Dog & Love and creates house and techno music under the DJ moniker Jon Dark.
So without further ado… here’s Jane!
How did you get started in the music industry?
It’s hard to say – I’ve been involved in the music industry from so many different angles for quite a while! As an artist there was a lot of ‘right place right time’ stuff, plus a lot of grit, loads of rejection, and then some magic opportunities.
In terms of music production, I got involved about ten years ago when I finished my studies in classical music and was sick of the restrictions of this musical subculture, so I swung the pendulum the other way and got a job as an assistant in the biggest indie recording studio in Sydney. Here I learnt about the recorded side of music and sound, and really fell in love with the whole process.
I think I ended up producing and mixing myself because I felt unheard by the male producers I worked with, and in terms of mixing, the jobs that the engineers did was never satisfactory, in my opinion. So I decided to learn so I could realise the vision in my head, instead of handing it over to someone else who didn’t really get it. Then I realised it was something I was very good at doing – hearing and seeing another person’s vision and helping them manifest it – so the move into working as a music producer and mixer for other artists just evolved naturally.
What’s your favourite thing about teaching at BIMM Berlin?
The students are very inspiring. They really keep me on my toes, and drive me to learn more about my craft and continually see things from new perspectives.
What’s been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I’m the kind of person who, when something good happens, I just tick it off my list and look to the next challenge… but let me retrace my mind through some of my happy memories! I’ve had loads of ‘firsts’ that felt amazing when they happened – like my first big royalty paycheck from the label, my first publishing contract, my first big sync contract, my first vinyl pressing, releasing our music as Evvol, and all the amazing touring we’ve done together across Europe and the world.
But I think my great ‘moment’ moment was when I was at Berghain and my phone started beeping continuously. It was all my mates dancing in the Panorama Bar, messaging me to come upstairs because my track was being played! I ran up from the garden and pushed into the middle of the crowd with everyone going off to my track!
What advice would you give to new students in Berlin?
Be patient. Take the time you need to find your sound as an artist, learn your craft and figure out who you are. Only when you have these sorted should you start pushing your career. Oh, and also… beware the Berlin hedonism trap – have fun, but also maintain routine and discipline to make sure you keep your eyes on the prize.