Learn Music Production Online
You want to produce and release fantastic sounding music from your home studio with all the bells and whistles of your favourite releases, ami right?
The focus of this article is to get you from point A to point B as efficiently as possible and to help you avoid wasting endless hours down the YouTube rabbit hole; spinning your wheel with fragmented, poorly articulated information. Where videos that are 15 minutes long could be summed up in 1.5 minutes from a video with horrible sound quality teaching you how to get a good sound. Gimme a break!
Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic music production YouTube channels out there and I’ll mention some of my favourites in this article. But to cut off the extra fat, I’ve compiled a robust list of some of the absolute best online music production schools that will provide you with a comprehensive, front-to-back education for insanely affordable prices for the value they offer.
You may be getting started or you may be looking to refine your skills to the level of a professional. Whatever the case, all of these programs offer beginner to advanced courses that are well-produced, articulate, and thorough all around.
There are a few basic questions you’ll want to ask yourself before getting started:
Defining your needs will put you in a better position to fulfill them faster. If you’re still in the process of doing so, then no sweat. Just start in bite-sized chunks, avoid being overwhelmed by the information overload, and take responsibility for the energy that you bring to your new discipline.
The quality of information in these online music production courses is astounding. Take a look at their prices, look at the value, consider what a formal education would cost you anywhere else and remain aware that these offerings are an absolute steal.
DAWs: Ableton, Logic Pro, NI Maschine, Reason
Genres: Electronic (all styles)
Loopsmasters is a UK-based music company that has been producing a vast catalog of sample libraries since 2003.
This is a massive treasure trove for electronic artists and DJs. Producertech, their educational branch, offers in-depth training in electronic fundamentals such as synthesis, sound design, and all the various tools that bring it together.
All courses are taught by experienced producers, artists, and engineers offering complete guidance for beginners and professionals like.
Courses include the entire session project files to follow along with the instructor move-by-move. What makes this so great for home studio producers is that by following the exact steps of the instructor, you will often discover that despite doing so, your work turns out sounding quite a bit different. This will present you with acoustical issues in your home studio set up that you can address as your grow.
Not only are there DAW-specific courses, but also courses on industry-standard, 3rd-party plugins such as Omnisphere, Maschine, Kontakt, Massive, Sylenth 1, and the iZotope collection.
Loopmasters is constantly running sales on their courses, bundles, synth presets and loop packages so consider creating an account to stay abreast of all of their deals.
What You Get:
24/7 access and fully downloadable course material, forum support, constant bonus audio samples.
Courses and products are sold individually and as bundles and range anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred.
Genres: Tons of styles, production and theory, and business.
If you’re a Windows user, don’t let the name scare you away. MacProVideo creates stellar online tutorials using all essential DAWs as well as the most popular 3rd part synth plugins and drum programmers.
What makes MacProVideo such a creative powerhouse is it offers in-depth education on a wide range of subjects including video and photography. Content creators of all sorts can find valuable tutorials and in 2018 this is truly essential. Thinking of growing a YouTube channel and vlogging your story? Here you can develop all the skills necessary to be your own media platform.
Though you’ll immediately find a wealth of electronic music production tutorials, MacProVideo goes deep into musical knowledge such as live orchestral recording, jazz improvisation and theory, mastering, music business and tons more.
With plenty of course bundles available, you are also given the option of building your own custom bundles with a variety of pricing tiers dependant on the amount of courses within them. The higher the course number, the better discount you’ll receive.
All of the tutorials on MacProVideo are well produced and comprehensive, offering an A-Z run through of all subjects. This really helps fill the gaps in your knowledge giving you tips to enhance your workflow and really get a hold of your overall production process.
Note: Hollagully readers will receive a 20% discount off courses below via our links.
What You Get:
24/7 access and fully downloadable course material, mobile apps that let you learn on-the-go, forum support.
Courses may be purchased individually or you can take a subscription-based membership for all courses at $25USD per month, $120USD per year (60% current discount price)
Genres: Electronic, Hip Hop
Noiselab offers brilliant courses in Ableton taught by Ableton-Certified trainers and renowned electronic producers Thavius Beck and Paul Laski who have worked with high-profile artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Skylar Grey, The Mars Volta, and countless others.
Apart from audio fundamentals in Ableton, Noiselab deconstructs world-class productions of today’s top hit-makers like Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris, and Skrillex to give you an inside look at how the sausage is made.
Deconstruction videos are a goldmine for young producers. Seeing a session from behind the curtain helps eliminate over-producing and cluttering up the song as our amateur instincts almost always suspect that more is better. Though hit songs are stock-full of bells and whistles, a behind the scenes snapshot of a production will show you that a lot is being accomplished with actually very little.
New high-quality courses are added monthly for their 5,000+ student base to consume and discuss.
What You Get:
New courses added monthly streamable on all devices, unlimited access to all courses, project templates, producer community.
Genres: Electronic, Hip Hop, Film Score
Masterclass is a wildly successful online education platform where elite industry moguls teach regular folks about a wide range of subjects. Though very broad in subject matter, Masterclass courses go in great detail and provide students with plenty of resources and files to follow along with.
Likely the most popular among their music production courses is Producing and Beat Making with Timbaland. Masterclass takes you in the studio with his team of producers where they develop ideas from scratch and bring them to the finish line, breaking down all the decision making processes that allow Timbaland to create his signature sound.
What You Get:
Access to about 15 high-quality videos, a class workbook with downloadable tracks and stems, student forum.
Courses can be purchased individually for $90 or you can get an annual subscription for $180.
DAWs: Ableton, Cubase, FL Studio, Logic Pro, ProTools
Genres: Rock, Metal, Electronic, other
Not only is CreativeLive a fantastic platform for levelling up your music production skills, it’s a great platform to help you level up your career and life in general. It’s no wonder they’ve received a total funding of $58.3M by backers such as Richard Branson and Jared Leto.
I’ve personally taken a few handfuls of their courses in audio, video, personal development, marketing, freelancing, and am constantly browsing their new releases.
We often refer our podcasting clients to their collection of podcasting courses and have only received raving commentary that has helped them truly up their production and marketing.
All CreativeLive teachers are accomplished professionals with robust careers taking you through their entire processes, filmed in a shnazzy classroom environment.
I highly recommend creating an account and staying in the loop as CreativeLive are constantly putting on sales for their courses and often stream live courses for free.
Some courses DAW-specific while others teaching audio fundamentals and mixing are relevant to all DAWs.
If you’re looking to transcend beyond a hobbyist and run a professional career as a freelancer or home studio owner, I highly suggest their courses in personal branding, entrepreneurship, marketing, and productivity.
I’d also recommend checking out CreativeLive founder Chase Jarvis’ 30 video series interviewing some of the worlds leading entrepreneurs and creatives titled 30 Days of Genius. This series will pour gas in the tank of your ambitions and give you the gusto to drive ‘er home.
What You Get:
24/7 access and fully downloadable course material and forum support.
Courses are sold individually and typically range between $29 and up.
Best YouTube Music Production Channels
One of the most annoying things about learning on YouTube (and the main reason I’ve created this article) is that the information is very scattered. YouTube is great if you’re looking to solve a single problem or learn a particular technique, but if you start off with a thorough education offered in the courses listed above, you’ll less likely even need to troll through YouTube at all. Accumulate the hours spent sifting through the riff-raff and you’ll find the courses save you much more time in the long run. You’ll grow much faster.
As I mentioned in the top of this article, what’s annoying about YouTube is that you’ll often find yourself watching a 15 minute video from some bedroom hopeful that could be summarized in 2 minutes tops.
Every YouTube music production channel below produce quality videos with great sound and provide tons of value.
I’ve placed these channels into general categories but many of them overlap as they belong in many. Feel free to click through all of them and do some solid poking around. You will undoubtedly find many gems that cover your genre, DAW, and hit whatever targets you’re after.
If there are any channels that have provided you with great information that aren’t listed below, be sure to drop them in the comments section for other readers to benefit. (Thanks.)
In no particular order:
Orchestral & Film Score
Dancehall & Afrobeat
Electronic & Hip Hop
I think its worth mentioning here that the term “music producer” is thrown around willy nilly these days and it’s worth examining its evolution. Doing so will help you develop the scope in which you see your future roll in music production and will then help you decide which courses are best suited for your vision.
Today it seems anybody with a laptop claims “music producer” status. I’m not particularly against this as they very well may be responsible for the entire production from start to finish. It’s worth noting however, that before electronic music, and still as with acoustic and hybrid music productions, a music producer would have the responsibility of executing (and not limited to) the following according to budget:
- Finding the musicians (band, string ensemble, horn section, choir, etc.)
- Finding and booking the studio and engineers
- Finding an arranger
- Booking the dates and execution of the project to meet deadlines
- Dealing with record labels demands
- Monitoring performers contributions and royalty distributions…
…the list really goes on. Look at the roll of a music producer as the general manager-meets-artistic director of a recording. There is a hybrid sense of art and business along with a unique intuition for cultural relevance and taste-making that creates music that is noteworthy and capable of breaking into the cultural zietgeist.
Music producers typically get where they are because they have a strong sense of the craft of songwriting, audio engineering, project management—all with refined processes in getting to the finish line with efficient and competent key players, so on and so forth.
If you’re starting as a bedroom producer and want to sink your teeth into electronic music production, I recommend starting “in-the-box” as they say, meaning solely on your computer with courses with MacProVideo, Loopmasters’ Producertech, and Noiselab.
If you want to wrap your head around all aspects of the production of various genres of music and elevate yourself to a more industry-ready, on-the-ground music producer I’d highly recommend the courses on Lynda, CreativeLive, Produce Like A Pro, Puremix, and The Pro Audio Files.
Are there any remarkable online music production courses you’ve personally taken that you would like to praise for new readers? Any that you found useless? Help other readers out and give them and your reasons in the comments below.