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Music production is more technical than ever, but it’s also more necessary than ever. Whether you’re a budding hip-hop beatmaker or electronic producer (or just 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 go to a fancy school or even leave home to get into business. Now you can enroll in some of the best online music production courses right from home.
Online courses for almost every discipline (including music production) have exploded recently. e-learning websites such as master class, Courseraand Udemy now offer enthusiastic students high-quality courses that involve lectures from professionals (sometimes celebrities), challenging lessons and peer-to-peer collaboration. And now that we’re all stuck at home, these classes 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 allows.
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 Berklee College of Music, and comprehensive guides to popular software like Logic Pro X.
We’ve collected 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 lectures, you will often have homework (don’t worry, you are not graded). In some cases, you will also have the chance 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 Are Making Online Classes Accessible to Everyone
As mentioned, you really only need a smart device to start these classes. 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 improve 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 production and beatmaking
Now that hip-hop is one of the biggest genres in the world, many musicians use their talents to produce beats. But contrary to what some acoustic die-hards 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 compose hits from a legend of beatmaking: Timbaland.
The Timbaland Masterclass consists of 15 small 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 motivation and stories from the groundbreaking producer: for example, in one 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 craft overwhelming. Fortunately, Joel Zimmerman – better known as deadmau5 – is here to help unbox the burgeoning art of electronic music. The Grammy-winning house producer took off his mouse head and donned his professor cap to teach this Masterclass course 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 Electronic Music Production Specialization (via Berklee College)
Coursera offers online courses that are essentially the same as distance learning college courses. This major (along with the one below) is offered by Berklee College of Music, one of the most prestigious music schools in the world. This specialization hones your skills as an electronic producer with four courses: Music Production Technology, Introduction to Ableton Live, Creating Sounds for Electronic Music, and Techniques for Performing Electronic Music. These are taught by Berklee College staff and include real lessons to deepen your learning.
4. Coursera Music Production Specialization (via Berklee College)
Another major on Coursera through Berklee College is music production. This one is a bit broader than the Electronics Production specialization above. The instructors are, again, real Berklee teachers, and the four included courses provide serious material for studying and practicing. You’ll learn how to create a vision for a project, effectively manage a recording session, edit tracks to get the sound you want, and 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 turntable production pros alike. But, if you’re just getting started, you’ll need guidance. This in-depth Udemy course details all the features 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 have time and come back to the course when needed.
Related: Five Courses You Need to Take to Succeed in the Music Business