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Music production is more technical than ever, but it is also more necessary than ever. Whether you’re an aspiring hip-hop beatmaker or electronic producer (or just looking to polish up acoustic recordings), being able to make music digitally and use production software can seriously advance your career. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to a fancy school or even leave home to get into the business. Now you can sign up for some of the best online courses for music production from your home.
Online courses for almost all disciplines (including music production) have exploded recently. Online learning sites such as Masterclasses, Coursera, and Udemy Now offers enthusiastic students high-quality courses that include lectures from professionals (sometimes celebrities), engaging lessons and peer-to-peer collaboration. And now that we’re all stuck at home, these classes are even more enticing, because all it takes is a laptop or even a smartphone to get started. Plus, you can study as often as your schedule allows.
How do online music production courses work?
So what do the best online courses for music production look like? Our favorites include beatmaking with Timberland, electronic music production through Berklee College of Music, and comprehensive guides to popular software like Logic Pro X.
We’ve rounded up the courses from a few different websites (namely, Masterclass, Udemy, and Coursera), so each may work a little differently. But, in general, you will have a library of lectures from professionals in the field of music production. To complete these courses, you will often have homework (don’t worry, you are not graded). In some cases, you will also have the opportunity to collaborate with peers on projects, ask questions and discuss. Overall, these websites provide a very comprehensive learning experience.
Related: The World’s Best Music Schools Make Online Lessons Accessible For Everyone
As mentioned, you really only need a smart device to start these lessons. Of course, you will also need music production software, which may differ depending on the course.
The best online courses for music production
Ready to learn a new skill or boost your CV? 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 production and beatmaking
Now that hip-hop is one of the most popular genres in the world, many musicians are using their talents to produce beats. But, contrary to what some fans of acoustics think, beatmaking is incredibly difficult and requires a special set of skills – as well as a good ear. With this Masterclass, you can learn how to make hits from a beatmaking legend: Timbaland.
The Timbaland Masterclass consists of 15 bite-sized lessons (approximately five to 30 minutes each). You’ll learn to loop, mix, layer drums, add vocals, and collaborate with other producers. But you also get motivation and stories from the groundbreaking producer: for example, in a lesson Tim tells you how he produced “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” for Jay-Z.
2.Deadmau5 teaches electronic music production
The overwhelming details of electronic music production can make learning the trade overwhelming. Luckily, Joel Zimmerman – better known as deadmau5 – is here to help unbox the rapidly growing art of electronic music. The Grammy-winning house producer took off his mouse head and donned his teacher’s cap to teach this masterclass in 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 specialization in electronic music production (via Berklee College)
Coursera offers online courses which are essentially the same as the actual distance university courses. This specialization (along with the one below) is offered by Berklee College of Music, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world. This specialization sharpens your skills as an electronic producer with four courses: Music Production Technology, Introduction to Ableton Live, Sound Creation for Electronic Music, and Electronic Music Performance Techniques. These are taught by the staff at Berklee College and include real classes to deepen your learning.
4. Specialization in Music Production Coursera (via Berklee College)
Another specialization on Coursera via Berklee College is music production. This is a bit broader than the electronics production specialization above. The instructors are, again, true Berklee teachers and the four included courses provide serious material for study and practice. You will learn how to create a vision for a project, how to effectively manage a recording session, how to edit tracks to get the sound you want, and how to evaluate your final product.
5. Udemy music and audio production in Logic Pro X
Apple’s Logic Pro X is one of the most accessible music production software out there, and it’s ideal for beginners and pro platinum producers alike. But, if you are just getting started, you will need some advice. This comprehensive Udemy course details all of Logic Pro X’s features so you can comfortably use the software to create, record, edit, and mix music. The course includes 40 hours of video on demand, allowing you to jump in when you have time and come back to the course when needed.
Related: Five Courses You Need To Take To Succeed In The Music World