Alper Tuzcu is a 3rd semester student at Berklee. He is from Istanbul, Turkey. He plays guitar and is a Contemporary Writing and Production major. 


It’s the finals week in Valencia, and it is extremely hard to concentrate on school work when the weather is constantly sunny, 80+ degrees. Having the knowledge that there is a beach 15 minutes with the blue waters of the Mediterranean is not really helping either. This is where the “Berklee beach” satire comes into life, minus the joke.


It is pretty common to start a day with a quick swim on the beach before classes. Moreover, on the days where there are no classes half of the day is spent on the beach, maybe other half is spent at the school for the work. It is an unusual way of spending finals week, but with the right combination this works out pretty well. It is definitely a great start to the day and the lack of stress increases productivity much more than you would imagine.


This is also a time where I’m spending a lot of time in the studios, especially due to the MTI minor classes I am pursuing. Recording Skills for Music Production and Mixing for Musicians are two classes from this minor, which is only offered in the Valencia campus, that I have been taking this semester. We have been assigned to do a Singer Songwriter Project and a Sound Alike project through out the semester, where we create multi-track demos using the state of art studios and amazing facilities here at Valencia.


The sound alike project is basically taking a song of our choice and recording and mixing by trying to get close to the original recording. The aim is to copy all instruments and effects being used in the track. Through this process you actually start to learn to pay attention to the various details in the song you might not hear as a normal listener, but crucial effects that might contribute to the final outcome of the song to a great extent. Sound alike project is definitely a harder process than the singer songwriter project, because you are trying to do a song that is other than yours and consequently you are much less flexible. For this project, I have been spending a lot of time in the studios lately, but it seems that the final result will be worth it.


For this week, this is more or less what is going on at Valencia. Next week will be our last week here and it is not going to be easy to leave here, what is home for all of us at this point.