Our Instructor Spotlight series is where we highlight current members of the MI faculty and ask them about their programs, their inspirations, advice and beyond.


Name: Marc David Barrite aka Dave Aju

Genres: Primarily electronic dance music combining influences ranging from Jazz, Soul, Funk, Disco, House, Techno, Electro, New Wave, Dub, and and Hip-Hop.

Expertise: Proficiency in mixing both in the studio and DJ booth, and all production aspects using hardware, as well as industry standard software such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, and a variety of third-party plug-ins.

Programs Taught at Musicians Institute: Electronic Music Production, DJ Performance, and IAP,` in the form of Music Production Workshops and Project Advising.

Where To Find Him:  https://soundcloud.com/dave-aju & https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/daveaju


Get To Know

Dave Aju started out as a wordplayful alias for a San Francisco experimental techno night in the early oughts. It has since become a name synonymous with a distinctive voice and unique blend of dance music styles with a sound truly all its own. Born Marc David Barrite and raised by a Bay Area jazz-head father, an early peer of Pharaoh Sanders, he then became an avid young B-boy and MC in the local electro and hip-hop scene before eventually finding his niche in the deeper left-field corners of the global house music movement, channeling all of these influences and a natural passion for dance music roots.
With a long history of DJ and live performances at renown international venues from Fabric and Panorama Bar to the Sonar and MUTEK festivals, as well as regular contributions to tastemaker programs like Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide BBC show, Dave Aju now finds himself in an accomplished and satisfied creative zone at home in Los Angeles. Forever in the lab developing new material, while also working behind the scenes on a variety of projects in the mighty Machine Limited studios (formerly the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal/G-son studio), teaching production courses to future generations at Hollywood’s Musician Institute, running his Greasy Listening mix series that promotes like-minded artists’ upcoming works and preparing the anticipated new parent label Elbow Grease.

Biggest Musical Influences: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers, Marvin Gaye, WAR, Larry Levan, Tom Moulton, David Byrne, Brian Eno, Norman Whitfield, George Clinton, Theo Parrish, Drexciya, Moodymann, Pepe Bradock, Matthew Herbert, Robert Hood, Jeff Mills, Anthony Shakir, Madlib, DJ Premier, A Tribe Called Quest, Digital Underground, J Dilla, Freestyle Fellowship, The Pharcyde, Erykah Badu, Arthur Verocai, Prince, Lee Perry, Sly & Robbie, Basic Channel, DJ Harvey, Larry Heard, The Neptunes, Gary Numan, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and the Mizell Brothers.

What is most exciting to you in music/music technology currently? New Izotope and UAD plug-ins, UA and SSL portable interfaces, infinite sound design possibilities. 

What is your creative process? Much like Fight Club, the first and only rule is that there are no rules – it changes with mood and season, but always with equal attention to and love for the process and the finish line.

Favorite MI class taught? I enjoy most all classes I teach, but especially excel at the Music Production Workshops where I can offer students total hands-on focus to help them complete their productions.

Why should students choose MI to learn their craft? There is absolutely nothing like the first-hand interaction and attention to the students work and progress like they get here from still-active highly-trained and caring professionals at MI. There’s no Youtube tutorial that could ever even come close 😉

Interested in audio production, DJing, producing and more? Check out MI’s production programs to see what we offer and how we can help make your dreams come true!

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