Should You Take an Online Music Production Course? — An Expert’s Guide to Making the Big Decision

Futch
8 min readDec 27, 2022

Anyone who’s spent time around music has probably listened to a song or two that made them think, “I want to learn how to make sounds like that.” And with the growing accessibility of technology and the rise of the Internet in particular, we have more opportunities than ever before to learn about how to create music. Not only can you learn about music production from YouTube or other video platforms, but there are also plenty of online courses available for anyone who wants to take their understanding of this art one step further. However, it’s important to understand whether an online course is right for you before signing up. Read on for some expert tips on whether now is the right time to enrol in an online music production course…

What is Music Production?

Music production is the process of creating songs, beats and music. It includes everything from writing a song to recording it, mixing it, and releasing it to the world. Music production can be done by a musician, electronic musician, beatmaker, or audio engineer. If you’re an engineer, you’ll most likely use DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software that will allow you to create beats and new sounds for your songs. If you’re a musician, you’ll use the DAW software to write songs without having to actually write anything down manually. Music production is the balance between writing and arranging a great song while making sure it also sounds great.

Evaluating Your Needs and Goals

Before you enrol in an online course, it’s important to evaluate your needs and goals. If you know exactly what you want to learn and how long the course should last, then that’s the best time to take an online course. Consider what type of goals you have for learning music production: — Do you have a specific project in mind? — Do you want to learn how to make music on a computer or do you want to go to a traditional recording school where you learn with analog gear like tape machines and analog recording consoles? — Do you want to learn electronic music production and beatmaking? — Does the language used in the class fit with your level of proficiency? This will help determine whether or not an online course is right for you. Do you already have some knowledge about music production? If so, are there any specific techniques that interest you that might be covered by an online course? Online courses tend to cover many different topics and techniques at once.

Learning form Free Music Production Courses

There are a lot of free, online courses available that are great for beginners. Some are even designed specifically for beginners who have no previous knowledge of any musical instruments. However, it’s important to understand that these courses aren’t nearly as in-depth as the more expensive ones you’ll find on platforms like Udemy or Coursera, or from an independent music production coach’s website. If you want a crash course on some music production basics and want to try out your skills before committing to a more extensive course, these types of free online music production courses are definitely worth considering. Try to find a free course that focuses on one aspect of music production like recording, editing or mixing, or one that focuses on a specific DAW software or plugins that you are interested in.

Try my FREE Ableton Live course or find out more about choosing the right DAW for your needs.

Learning from Music Production Masterclasses and Workshops

A music production workshop or masterclass will usually provide an overview of a huge general topic or focus on one specific topic and learning outcome. Usually, the workshop will be free or inexpensive and lead to an offer of a larger more complete learning opportunity like live online music production classes or a full music production and audio engineering course. Starting with a workshop like this will give you a better idea of what it would be like to learn music production without investing too much time or money. Music production workshops are usually held via a videoconferencing app like Zoom and may be live or pre-recorded.

Learning from On-Demand Videos Like YouTube and Online Video Courses

Learning from on-demand videos found on YouTube channels and through online video courses will allow you to develop your own understanding of the world of music production in a way that’s convenient for you. You can choose the content that interests you and learn at your own pace. Not only can these videos provide theoretical knowledge, but they can also provide hands-on instructional videos that can show users exactly how to create a great-sounding track. Additionally, many of these courses come with additional resources, such as sample packs, so users can create their own music. On-demand video resources can provide a comprehensive introduction to the world of music production and can be a great entryway into the industry. The downside of learning in this way is it’s all self-directed, usually doesn’t have a defined learning path, and offers no accountability or feedback — it’s basically a one-way street.

Learning From Live Online Music Production Classes

Many people find that learning from a teacher in real time is the best way for them to get focused and take in the information. Live online courses provide a fun and engaging way to learn while also making sure you don’t fall too far behind on your coursework with daily or weekly accountability check-ins. Online classes are also convenient because they can be done at any time and in virtually any place with an Internet connection. If you have to miss any classes they are recorded and you can watch them later. Live online music production courses are offered by music production coaches and are usually held via a videoconferencing app like Zoom. Taking an online course might just be the perfect solution for busy professionals who can only dedicate a set number of hours per week to studying but still want to learn how to make music.

Learning Music Production with a Community of Users

One of the biggest reasons to take an online course is that you can learn with a community of peers. In online courses, you’ll often find discussion forums where students share their knowledge and experiences with each other. This helps make the class more interactive. And some courses even provide access to a private Facebook-like group where students can interact with one another outside of the classroom setting. Learning from others who are taking the course with you, or previous students who have gone before you is an invaluable part of any music production class. It’s also helpful for understanding your mistakes and recognizing what worked well for others, so you can incorporate those aspects into your own projects. Giving and receiving peer feedback occurs naturally within this community setting so you can get a better feel for what you need to focus on to improve your own music.

Learning From a Music Production Coach

Learning music production from a music production coach can be a great way to take your music production skills to the next level. With the guidance of a professional, you can learn fundamental songwriting, sound design, recording and mixing techniques that music producers, songwriters and beatmakers have been using for decades. From training on setting up a studio to helping you understand the basics of sound engineering, audio effects, mixing and mastering, and audio production, there is a lot to learn from a music production coach. They can also provide valuable insights into the music industry, including how to market yourself and how to find success in the industry. With the help of a music production coach, you can refine your production skills quickly and get the most out of your music production learning experience. You can find a music production coach that works directly with you either one on one or as a group class cohort of peers. Working with someone who can teach music production directly to you as a student means you can ask more questions and have a more customized learning experience.

Conclusion

A course in music production can be a good option for anyone who enjoys music and wants to learn more about it. It can also be a good option if you want to learn more about music production but don’t have the time to take a few classes in a traditional school setting. Live music production classes with a music production community are a great way to learn with a group of peers. A music production teacher or coach can help to customize your experience and help you learn the whole music production process. It’s important to evaluate your needs and goals before deciding whether or not an online course or music production coach is right for you.

By the way, I’m a music production coach who not only offers free content and a free Ableton Live online course but also a complete 24-class Live Online Intro to Music Production course, complete with coaching and a community of users. You can find out more and sign up for discounted early access here.

Futch — Music Production Coachand Ableton Certified Trainer

Learn Music Production with my 24 week live online classes and on-demand video training:

* Music Production Fundamentals * Writing Exciting Songs * Designing Your Artistic Vision

Make You-Type Beats

Originally published at https://www.levelsmusicproduction.com.

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Futch

I help music makers write, record, edit & mix better songs at home by teaching them the fundamentals of music production. https://levelsmusicproduction.com