- A rundown of 9 of the best Drum & Bass courses available in 2020
- Subscription, single purchase & free content models included!
- Lessons from some of the heaviest hitters in the D&B community
Hone Your Skills Online
In the year 2020, we find ourselves surrounded by all kinds of learning options both online and offline. Given the current state of the global pandemic and the fact that a lot of us are finding ourselves holed-up at home with little or nothing to do, we can take this time to skill-up and/or pick up something completely new.
Is there any other better way to do this than from the comfort of your home office or studio? Probably not.
Check out this hearty list of online courses you can take from some of the Drum and Bass scene’s biggest and brightest names.
1. Audio Science Online
A VAST RESOURCE OF SAMPLES, TUTORIALS, INTERVIEWS, AND MASTERCLASSES.
Audio Science Online (ASO) is a brilliant learning portal that has a massive variety of masterclasses, walkthroughs and interviews with some of the biggest names in the bass music scene with artists like J:Kenzo, Kryptic Minds, Mad Professor and Mike Warbo (GoT sound designer).
Right now, ASO has a ‘free stuff’ section accessible via their homepage which includes a whole host of free content including dub siren sample packs, breakbeats samples, a tutorial on jungle snares and an interview with the man himself; Mad Professor (Lee Scratch Perry, Massive Attack, Sade) which, if you haven’t seen it already – will shed some interesting light on the recording and production processes, with a few chuckles along the way.
Subscriptions to Audio Science Online are available starting at £7.99/month and can be paid for easily using Paypal or Stripe.
2. Education and Bass
A GINORMOUS LIBRARY OF TUTORIALS FOCUSING ON THE GENRES OF BASS MUSIC, RUN BY INDUSTRY LEGENDS.
Education & Bass (E&B) is more of a one-stop-shop in terms of services. These guys have been in the game for a while and (like the others on this list) have a significant amount of clout in terms of the calibre of engineers and producers who are offering classes and services.
Becoming a member of this site is free, with a significant amount of access to tutorials and more ‘classified’ information.
The paid options start ar £9.99/mo and will not only give you access to thousands more high-quality tutorial videos, but will also provide you (the user) with a track feedback service and various discounts on mixing and mastering services from some of the site’s top engineers, and the potential to forge connections to and potentially work with partners like SAE Institute, Grid Recordings UK, Hospital Records and Waves Audio to name just a few.
E&B is also known for their ‘free sample Fridays’ – the name pretty much speaks for itself; every Friday at 5pm, a new sample pack is released. These samples are 100% royalty-free and can be used in any of your compositions without stress or worry, there’s just one catch. If you miss it, you miss it.
3. ProducerTech: Reso’s Logic X Drum and Bass Beats Masterclass
COVERING THE SPECTRUM OF MODERN DNB BEAT PRODUCTION, FROM PROGRAMMING THROUGH TO POST-PROCESSING.
Reso has been a staple in the bass music community for close to a decade, making his debut in 2012 with his LP titled ‘Tangram’ and a huge list of releases and collaborations since then.
One of the main things to note when looking at this course is that Reso is not only a renowned producer but also a Brit School graduate making him accomplished in both technicality and musicality.
Reso’s Logic X Masterclass will show you how to create a Drum and Bass track with a heavy jungle influence, using only what logic X has to offer in terms of its stock plugins. It features a detailed walk-through of these plugins and subsequent processing techniques such as parallel processing, bussing your mix, EQ’ing and more.
This will help you achieve a much more refined and unique sound in your drum programming and beat progressions.
The course also comes with a selection of downloadable content including a pack of loops, some of Reso’s PERSONAL drum templates and the complete Logic X Project file from the course.
It is worth noting that Apple currently has a free 90 day trial of logic pro running, which means you will have 3 months to work on your creations using the full Logic X suite with zero limitations before you decide on whether you would like to continue.
4. SUB BASS Academy of Electronic Music – Mixing and Mastering DnB
AN ‘OVER-THE-SHOULDER’ LOOK INTO MIXING AND MASTERING A DNB TRACK FROM START TO FINISH.
SUB BASS Academy’s Mixing and Mastering course from instructor Fabio Lendrum details the entire audio mixing and mastering process from start to finish.
The course is a covers the complete process beginning with organizing and assessing the vibe, then shaping transients, selecting and curating the elements of your track choosing your synths and sounds, all the way through to vocal selection and finishing with filtering and transitions, bus processing and mastering.
All-up, the course is comprised of 14 in-depth and necessary lessons that will help you isolate and perfectly control each and every element of your track. This course will leave you armed with industry-level skills that are transferable to many other genres and industry audio jobs.
Sub Bass Academy is currently offering a rolling 6-month subscription for £14.99/mo which gives you access to all areas of their website, including all current and future courses with 24/7 access via their online portal. With a normal single month price being £24.99, the 6-month subscription saves you a significant £60 which could be better spent on a new plugin or put towards a new bit of gear.
5. Producertech: Icicle teaches Drum & Bass Production and Sound Design
LEARN HOW TO FORMULATE THE ELEMENTS OF A HEAVY DNB TRACK, PLUS MIXING AND ARRANGEMENT.
Most people in the electronic music scene will have heard or at least heard of Icicle (real name Jeroen Snik).
Icicle has had releases on Hospital Records, Critical Music and Shogun Audio. He began releasing music in 2011 with his debut album aptly named ‘Under the Ice’.
Icicle is a meticulous producer and has toured internationally for his ‘Entropy’ album release in 2015.
Icicle’s Course on Drum & Bass from Producertech is full of little tips, tricks and techniques for you to experiment with that could be considered extremely valuable for anyone from beginner to expert level.
This course does use some third party plugins such as FabFilter, Native Instruments’ ‘FM8’, and ‘Massive’ VST’s. If you don’t have these plugins, a lot of the information is transferable and translatable across multiple DAW’s and other plugins including most native plugins found in whatever software you are using.
You will be taught skills like how to make modulated and evolving bass-lines, synth your drums from scratch, and create strong, unique and intense sounds.
The final product is a slamming Drum and Bass track which you will then learn to properly arrange and mix your song – a skill that you can apply to many other types of music production. The course can also further your own productions in a way that you may not have realized was possible.
6. 1-on-1 Lesson with Commix
PERSONALISED TUITION WITH ONE OF HOSPITAL RECORDS’ BAD BOYS
George Levings a.k.a. Commix has been producing Techno and D&B since 2002, with singles on Hospital Records, Aquasonic, Tangent Recordings and Good Looking Records amongst other notable labels.
Commix has remained a powerhouse of a producer and been on a steady stream of releases and ventures since then, having produced and released 30+ successful singles and being featured in a wide array of compilations and remixes.
He has also started his teaching career at London’s famous Point Blank Music School and has recently set up Bear Music Online Music School where he is offering 1 on 1 lessons starting June 2020.
Commix offers 2 main course types being; introduction to production for complete beginners, and advanced techniques for more experienced producers.
As this is a 1 on 1 course, you will be instructed personally by Commix in real-time and so there is not ‘set’ amount of lessons or requirements. You are free to book and schedule lessons at a time that works for you and still get the experience of being taught personally and face to face by someone who can answer your questions and help you overcome obstacles as you encounter them, which is something not a lot of online courses are able to do.
Commix offers his lessons at £30/h which given his heavyweight industry experience could only be considered as a bargain. Further discounts are also available if you would like to pre-book a batch of lessons (a great gift idea).
Another additional motivation is your first lesson free, enabling you to connect with him on a personal level and get to know him before diving into the course.
The introduction course comes highly recommended and covers pre-production, beat programming, basic music theory, recording, sampling, mixing/arrangement and final mix-down and everything in-between.
The advantage of this type of tuition over other types of pre-recorded lessons is that you can focus on specific areas and ultimately wind up with a course that is tailored to your needs and goals.
7. Digital LABZ D&B Courses
FULL COURSES AND RESOURCES FOR GENRE-SPECIFIC TECHNIQUES WITH DIFFERENT PRODUCERS
Digital LABZ has been publishing videos and tutorials relating to electronic bass music production for quite some time now.
Digital LABZ DnB Courses offer seminars and lessons from some of the worlds leading producers in the field including the likes of Joe Ford, Rockwell, Delta Heavy, LSB, Culprate, Mind Vortex, Octane & DLR (and for all you halftime steppers out there) – there’s even a tutorial from the almighty Compa, one of the deepest and most meticulous dubstep producers in recent years.
The vast majority of the lessons on this site are purchasable via a one-time payment which gives you (the user) access to download the file, with the option for both smartphone versions and desktop versions to keep everyone happy.
Digital LABZ also has a its own blog and podcast which updates regularly and hosts a free monthly track giveaway, including a collection of various different sounds and samples available for free download.
Videos can be added to the site’s cart and be bought and downloaded in batches, as opposed to the subscription services offered by most sites which admittedly aren’t for everybody. Meaning you could head over there now and drop a 30 or so, bob on a handful of classes containing roughly 250 to 300 minutes of tips, tricks and techniques that you won’t learn anywhere else and not have to pay anything else while maintaining ownership of that video for you to watch at your convenience as many times as you like.
For producers interested in learning or developing a particular artist’s style, this is a great place to pick up a couple of well-priced videos that won’t break the bank.
8. Producertech: Proxima’s ‘Neuro Tech’ DnB Production Masterclass
LEARN TO CONSTRUCT AN ARRANGEMENT FROM THE GROUND-UP AS WELL AS MIXING AND ARRANGEMENT TECHNIQUES
We all know the ripping tearing sonic landscape that is Neurofunk and Techstep, and we all know the vibe it brings to the dance floor and we all know we wish we could make it.
Wish no more. Proxima is here to ail your woes.
This course is more Ableton based and will make good use of Ableton’s native plugins like Operator, Analog, Wavetable and Collision.
This is good for owners of Live because they won’t need to translate any language between non-native plugins or rush out and buy any other software in order to be able to participate in the course, and it is also good because Ableton’s native plugins are excellent and in most cases are more than sufficient when it comes to FX processing or any sort of sampling or creative synthesis.
Proxima’s Neuro Tech course will teach you to sculpt basses and leads, nail complex drum programming and create an overall interesting and intelligent track that is sure to impress and simultaneously level you up as a musician.
The course includes over three hours of lesson content and also comes with 100MB of free samples created by Proxima himself and the project file that the lesson is being taught from. This course is made up of 42 parts and covers everything from setting up your DAW to begin working on a track, to sound and sample selection, mixing/arrangement and mastering.
9. DBS Mudigitalsic: Free DnB Youtube Tutorials
A FREE ONLINE RESOURCE OFFERING A VARIETY OF COURSES AND TEACHING TECHNICAL TO INDUSTRY SKILLS IN MUSIC PRODUCTION
DBS Music (also known as the Sound & Music Institute) is a physical audio school offering bachelors and masters degrees in varying disciplines throughout the spectrum of the audio industry.
They offer a variety of courses and are the only dedicated music production and music technology institute in the UK. The key difference between DBS music and the other sources mentioned on this list is that these guys run a physical bricks and mortar facility.
The reason we have included DBS in this list is because of their epic and totally free masterclass videos, currently available on YouYube. The three classes are from Danny Byrd, ELPHNT, and Emperor. All three of which have carved a name for themselves in their respective careers and have what can only be described as a wealth of knowledge between them.
Once again, these videos are ENTIRELY FREE and well worth looking at, you will be guided by three successful artists on a journey from concept to creation as you are taken on a deep dive into what each of the artists consider to be the essential steps in their own recording and production workflows. Out of all the items on this list, this is one of the best free resources available online at the moment.