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Music production is more technical than ever — but it’s also more necessary than ever. Whether you’re an aspiring hip-hop beatmaker or electronic producer (or you’re simply looking to polish acoustic recordings), being able to make music digitally and use production software can seriously advance your career. Luckily, you don’t have to attend a fancy school or even leave the house to break into the biz. You can now enroll in some of the best online courses for music production right from your home.
Online courses for almost all disciplines (including music production) have blown-up recently. E-learning websites such as Masterclass, Coursera, and Udemy are now providing eager students with high-quality courses that involve lectures from professionals (sometimes celebrities), stimulating coursework and peer collaboration. And now that we’re all stuck at home, these courses are even more enticing, because you just need a laptop or even just a smartphone to get started. Plus, you can study as often as your schedule permits.
How Do Online Music Production Courses Work?
So what do the best online courses for music production actually look like? Our favorites include beatmaking with Timberland, electronic music production through the Berklee College of Music, and complete guides to popular software like Logic Pro X.
We’ve rounded up courses from a few different websites (namely, Masterclass, Udemy and Coursera), so each might function a bit differently. But, in general, you’ll have a library of lectures from professionals in the field of music production. To supplement these lectures you’ll often have assignments (don’t worry, you’re not graded). In some cases, you’ll also get the chance to collaborate with peers on projects, ask questions and discuss. Overall, these websites offer a very comprehensive learning experience.
As mentioned, you really only need a smart device to start these courses. Of course, you’ll also want a music production software, which might differ depending on the course.
The Best Online Courses for Music Production
Ready to pick up a new skill or bump up your resume? Whether you’re looking to break into the music industry or need a refresher, here are the best online courses for music production.
1. Timbaland Teaches Producing and Beatmaking
Now that hip-hop is one of the biggest genres in the world, many musicians are using their talents to produce beats. But, contrary to what some acoustic diehards think, beatmaking is incredibly difficult and requires a special set of skills – as well as a good ear. With this Masterclass, you can learn to make hits from a beatmaking legend: Timbaland.
Timbaland’s Masterclass includes 15 bite-sized lessons (about five to 30 minutes each). You’ll learn how to loop, mix, layer drums, add vocals and collaborate with other producers. But you also get some motivation and stories from the ground-breaking producer: For example, in one lesson Tim leads you through how he made produced “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” for Jay-Z.
2. Deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production
The overwhelming detail in electronic music production can make learning the craft seem, well, overwhelming. Luckily, Joel Zimmerman – better known as deadmau5 – is here to help unpack fast-growing art of electronic music. The Grammy-winning house producer has removed his mouse head and donned his professor’s cap to teach this Masterclass course on electronic music production. Zimmerman’s course is very comprehensive, covering everything from theory to experimenting with synths to performing your music as a house DJ.
3. Coursera Electronic Music Production Specialization (via Berklee College)
Coursera offers online courses that are essentially the same as actual remote college courses. This specialization (as well as the one below) are offered through Berklee College of Music, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world. This specialization hones your talents as an electronic producer with four courses: The Technology of Music Production, Introduction to Ableton Live, Creating Sounds for Electronic Music and Electronic Music Performance Techniques. These are taught by actual Berklee College staff, and include real coursework to further your learning.
4. Coursera Music Production Specialization (via Berklee College)
Another specialization on Coursera through Berklee College is Music Production. This one is a little bit more broad than the Electronic Production specialization above. The instructors are, again, real Berklee faculty and the four included courses provide some serious material for studying and practicing. You’ll learn to create a vision for a project, efficiently manage a recording session, edit tracks to get the sound you want, and evaluate your end product.
5. Udemy Music & Audio Production in Logic Pro X
Apple’s Logic Pro X is one of the more attainable music production softwares, and it’s great for beginners to platinum-producing pros. But, if you’re just getting started, you will need some guidance. This extensive Udemy course details every function of Logic Pro X so you can comfortably use the software to create, record edit and mix music. The course includes 40 hours of on-demand videos, allowing you to jump in when you’ve got the time and return to the course when needed.