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What Are The Best Online Courses For Music Production In 2019?
If you’re looking for the best online music production courses, have an interest in music theory for electronic music producers, or quite simply need to know how to learn music production at home – then you have happened upon the right page. This article should serve to provide everything you need to get started in the world of music production.
1. Noiselab Review
Noiselab is a relative newcomer as a provider of online music production courses, but one that caught my attention as their mission is to be the very best Ableton Live music production course out there.
What makes them unique is that instead of focusing on a variety of digital audio workstations (DAWs), they have set out to create the most comprehensive online tutorial platform specifically for Ableton Live users.
This does mean you get a fewer number of tutorials compared to other online courses, but it also means that all 300+ Noiselab tutorials you gain access to are lazer-focused on equipping you with the practical and theoretical skills in order to truly master Ableton Live.
Highlights of the course content for me included:
- Ableton Live ‘Hacks’ — a lot of ‘out of the box’ techniques like using multiband compression to open up space to a track. Had never thought to try this upwards compression technique!
- ‘Deconstructing Hit Songs’ — an insightful category of lessons where tutors would break down drum techniques and concepts used in popular songs by Skrillex, Kendrick Lamar, Carl Cox and a few others. These are goldmines of info!
- Learning how to actually finish songs — arguably the hardest part of music production for many!
Read our full review of Noiselab’s course here.
Use code PRODUCERHIVE at checkout and receive 20% off your membership!
Education & Bass Online’s content is best-suited for the modern bass music producer, as a large portion of the course content is geared towards bass music principles. The lecturers are also delivered by some of the most prominent figures in the scene, such as Nomine/Outrage, Leon Switch, Nurve (Macabre Unit), Occult, LSN and DubApe to name a few.
The course content is a good balance of exploring native plugins (geared mostly towards Ableton, Logic & Cubase), but there are also a handful of courses that explore some popular, paid VSTs such as Omnisphere, Massive and Serum.
Spending only just a week digesting the content of the course, I uncovered little nuggets of wisdom that made me go from “how did I never discover that feature before?” to “I have to try this right now”. There were moments where I had to pause the videos, just to open up Ableton and try out the techniques myself.
Highlights of the course content for me included:
- Learning how Leon Switch creates beautifully textured synth-leads in Ableton’s Analog
- Learning how to program Nurve’s signature mid-bass growls in Serum
- Being blown away by Cocktail Party Effect’s ‘no-input mixer hardware technique’
Read our full review of E&B Online’s course here.
Claim your free 24-hour pass to the paid members area by clicking here.
Throughout his career, Young Guru has earned his reputation as one of the most renowned recording and mixing engineers in music today. Having worked with artists such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Drake, and Kanye West, Young Guru has received several Grammy nominations for his works and collaborations.
Fast forward to now with the ever-growing world of online education outlets, Guru has decided offer his skills, secrets and vast amounts of industry knowledge in the form of several Skillshare courses.
Skillshare’s usually $10 a month, but because you’re a Producer Hive reader, you can get two months free, completely on us! That’s unlimited access to any of the 1000+ music production Skillshare classes.
This online Skillshare class is made up of four sections, which include exclusive videos and materials broken up into the following lessons:
- Organizing a Mix – working with the basic components to a DIY mix, which include the Digital Audio Workstation [DAW], the tracks, and the controls, and how to optimally organize all of the audio information and tools for the task at hand
- Determining Levels – how to arrange levels in accordance with the artist’s vision for the song
- Adding Effects – how to work with basic effects like phasers, enhancers, reverb and delays, as well as create negative space or blend/fade where appropriate
- Tonal Balance – how to recognize when perfect tonal balance has been achieved
Learn How To Mix Music With Young Guru is the highest ranking and most popular course for music production on Skillshare, and for good reason.
Having also done this course myself some time ago, I can say that it is definitely worth checking out and absorbing the wealth of knowledge that Guru offers up.
The indelible Deadmau5. In terms of electronic music producers, this guy has pretty much solidified himself as a household name. It comes as little surprise that the team over at Masterclass have therefore commissioned him to do a 101 course on how to boss it at electronic music production.
The course offers Deadmau5′ entire process from start to finish and covers topics such as:
- Beat creation
- Mixing and mastering
- Sound design
- Experimentation with modular synths.
Watching a leading artist do a step by step walk through on their creative process is just one of the many luxuries that the 21st century and the Internet has allowed us. Deadmau5 is not really my preferred style of music, but credit is due where credit is due.
This course may deter some people with its $90.00 price tag, but in reality, you are getting a guest seat inside the mind of someone who has developed their life to perfecting the craft. While $90.00 for one lesson may feel steep to some, Masterclass offers a 1 year, unlimited access pass to ALL of their classes. I know most of you are here because you want to learn about electronic music production, but for those of you that also have other hobbies such as cooking, creative writing, photography, stand-up comedy (to name a few) – this deal feels a little sweeter.
Length: 3h 15m
Jason Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Instructor. He has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance.
Another offering for Skillshare, Jason has used his extensive knowledge and repertoire to develop a “class designed for the electronic musician that wants to take their tracks to the next level.”
In this course, students will focus on learning how to organize pitches and rhythms to make dynamic and interesting melodies and harmonies.
It is stated that no experience with music theory is necessary, nor is playing an instrument and reading music. Your computer and DAW is all that’s required to get started right away!
If you sign up with this link, you’ll get two months completely free. This gives you complete access to this course + 18,000 others for free! Thank us later!
Length: 1h 24m
Mixing isn’t about inserting a bunch of fancy and expensive plugins hoping to get a radio ready sound. Rather it’s all about strategic use of a few key effects that you already own.
Graham Cochrane, Teacher and founder of The Recording Revolution goes over the ins and outs of getting a professional sounding mix with only the stock, onboard plug-ins that come with your DAW. I found this course quite insightful as I was one of those people that swore stock plugs were for amateurs and always thought I needed the best and latest releases (oh, how mistaken I was).
Through strategic use of EQ, compression, reverb, delay and distortion, students will take tracks recorded in a home studio and polish them up to commercial standards.
You’ll learn how to:
- Process your master fader
- Harness parallel compression in multiple ways to fatten up your mix
- Get clarity through a few simple EQ moves.
This class is ideal for the bedroom or project studio musician who has a basic working knowledge of their DAW but wants to learn how to take their mixes to the next level.
7. Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program – Dubspot
Dubspot’s flagship course. This course is a complete and comprehensive collection of every Ableton Live training course offered at their academy. I’m not going to say this one is cheap, but at 132 goddam hours of solid content, it is up there with the Holy Grail of electronic musician courses. Being one of the most respected training facilities in the world for electronic music production has to hold some weight, no?
“After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.”
- Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
- Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
- Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
- Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
- Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
- Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music
“This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio” – Dubspot
Length: Unknown (31 video lessons)
Hans Zimmer, arguably the greatest composer for film in history. He has been nominated for 9 Grammy Awards during his illustrious career and has scored some of the biggest blockbuster films of our generation. It should come as no surprise that this course caused quite a stir when it was released. As was with Deadmau5, having an insight into the creative process of one of the greats is an amazing opportunity for any producer of almost any skill set.
In terms of content, Hans goes over every facet of how he works on a movie from start to finish. This comprehensive walk-through spans 31 featured packed and content-rich lessons, such as:
- Scoring for film
- A 3 part series on working with directors
- How to “write a story”
- Creating themes
- Understanding tempo
- Working with orchestras
- Creating with synths & much more
Each course comes with a downloadable PDF workbook that includes a 6-week lesson plan with assignments, various resources, & recommended films to view. Students are encouraged to follow along and utilize many of the chapter specific sections that run alongside the video course.
Once again, Masterclass offers a 1 year, unlimited access pass to ALL of their classes which I really do feel is a great deal, especially after going through a bunch of their courses (the Game Design and Theory by Will Wright, and Photography by Annie Leibovitz courses were superb) and realizing the sheer wealth of knowledge that they offer for what I now consider a small price tag comparatively — I know I’m going to be spending my summer holidays learning as much as I can!
Are you struggling with any areas in the realm of music production? I’d love to read about them in the comments, particularly if you’re a newbie just starting out and have found this website useful. Let me know!