Your experience of online music production courses

I was a bit skeptical about online learning before I did a course (for work) online during lockdown and it turned out to be loads of fun. A specific aspect of that I liked was the ability to take a core course in a subject for a general overview of it in a structured way, (given the sheer amount of info there is out there about any topic at any given moment online.) Youtube is cool and all, but that overview of a topic can be very useful to get you up and running, or just to check that you know it.

Since I’ve been getting back into making tunes, I have considered the idea of doing some sort of course, but I am on the fence. When I learned guitar back in the day I had a tutor and it was a heck of a timesaver and gave me the basic skills to go out and find my own style. I guess as I have a bit less time on my hands these days, that made me want to see what’s out there for electronic music.

Before we get to whether courses are any good or not - I noticed that they tend to be in a few categories. There’s the “learn how to make house/dnb/insert-genre-here” type stuff. Then there’s the “learn this hardware/software” type stuff too. Lastly there’s the more general “learn electronic music/masterclass” type courses, which aim to provide an overview of electronic music and the general principles, rather than a specific genre or software.

That got me wondering if any Elektronauts had taken any of these online classes. Did you have a particular use case for the course you took and did you get what you wanted out of it?

Le dot!

Sadly none responded to your request. :relaxed:
Actually did you choose something?
I was looking for some online courses, Virtuoso has a quite big catalog at an affordable price ( do you know it?

Other options are:


I’ve done a few, with varying results.

The Kadenze courses can be really good. I took one on field recording & sound design, and it was awesome. I’ve taken a few others from Kadenze, but don’t recall them offhand — but the quality was good and I enjoyed them, and at least when I did it, they had a free tier. Even paid, they’re pretty good value for the money.

I don’t want to badmouth them, but the EDMProd courses aren’t really sticking with me. Some of it may be the music genre they’re doing, and some of it is that they stretch my knowledge of Ableton too much. If you’re especially interested in getting a survey of styles or working on one particular style, it may be worth it. Subscribers to courses get access to an EDMProd-only Discord chat, which is pretty high-quality with Q&As and clinics & feedback threads. I think I need to work harder at the EDMProd classes before I can really say if they’re good or not.

Given my poor Ableton chops, I did end up purchasing the Teachable Mary Spender / Rachel K Collier Ableton course. Some of it is a little basic — stuff I’d figured out by blundering around and watching tutorials — but it’s got a lot of good ideas and is generally good if you’re as bad at Ableton as I am.

I was also a subscriber to Masterclass for a while. Some of the courses there are quite good, but you don’t get much by way of feedback in their forums. I enjoyed the Annie Leibowitz photography class and got a lot out of it. The David Lynch class was a hoot, and good to see his process (I love his films). The Deadmaus and Armin Van Buuren courses were fun to see how they worked, but not quite as useful.

In other words, I think quality is mixed. You should ask yourself the degree of feedback you want from the course and the work you do, too.

Get a tutor. Online courses, imo from experience, are too basic. I am yet to find anything that actually teaches anything beyond the beginner level. Yes you may pick a useful tip here and there if you’re lucky… Is that worth the time and money? I don’t think so :man_shrugging:

Hi! Yes, happily I found a good way forward. I think what I was looking to understand beforehand was what kind of courses worked for people. I know we have a range of experience levels here and styles of production on 'Nauts, so I think it was worth asking. But in the end I found something really good for me via a bit of searching; here’s a bit more in case it’s useful to someone.

My issue coming over from guitar was I felt like have (I’d hope) a reasonable intuitive feel for music - but as soon as I’d sit in front of Ableton or a keyboard, it feels like that musical feel just vanished into thin air. Last year I took the Foundations of Electronic Music by Oscar at Underdog.

It’s a course aimed at beginners, but it’s actually got a lot of use for someone who does understand the basics of music, but who isn’t as experienced with electronic music specifically (for example if you started in another genre like I did.) What FoEM did for me is to bring confidence in how to apply my existing knowledge to a new genre. And it’s loads of fun!

The course is so well judged - it’s not overwhelming, but it is nicely stretching in that you can feel your skills improve as you follow along. The track you make as part of the course is fairly “standard” in sound and structure, but again this all helps you focus on learning the key skills. The course is very clever in that it’s all about the music and creativity; not the software which I really like. I especially like this “learn by trying” approach.

The clever part is that even though it’s not an Ableton course, I was able to pick up more than enough of the fundamental Ableton skills; and I felt like I knew all the important ways to get around by the end of it. The best compliment I could give it is that the track I made was a lot better than anything I’d already tried before with no tuition. As part of the course Oscar gives you a structure to follow so that once you try making your own productions, you can look back and use the structure of the course to bring your own tracks together. I really can’t speak highly enough of it.

I would now potentially like to look at an in-depth course on mixing in Ableton. I’m considering the Seed to Stage mixing course for the future as they focus on using built in tools of Ableton to their limit. But for now I’m up and running and I’m really pleased I took this course :slightly_smiling_face:

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Toolroom has courses. Some nice tracks coming out of people who visited them. They might have been good before the course already though. But Ben remember is in charge of courses and he is really good

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Oooh, will give this a look for the mixing/mastering side of things - the Toolroom samples on Splice are some of my favourite core sample packs, so I imagine they know their onions.

The courses cost. But it seems you get some 1 on 1 with it which I think is valuable. And as far as I know you create tracks with topics. Seem like good courses imo

…when i started, there were no resources to learn from at all…it was all learning by doing or study composition…
…when i got serious with it, a few years later, next to study composition the first audio engineering schools showed up…but at that point i already learned many essentials by just doing and stated out loud, it’s always better to invest money into gear and get it started, than into schooling that takes ur money to teach u how to…

a decade later, the utube tutorial age started…with many just for free and more and more onlines classes u had to pay for…

and by then, the oldest rule in all this came clear again…there are always good teachers and bad teachers…and if ur lucky and smart, u’ll end up with a good one and can really learn something that get’s u going full on…

bottomline remains…it’s always best, to know what ur doing, knowing ur tools, ur sonic handcraft inside out…but it will never help u on creativity, inspiration, will and ideas…

so, if u wanna learn about basic rules and know how in audio engineering or music theory, u can go, invest some money, find a good teacher and take it from there…it can be a huuge short cut to really come to conclusions and results…

…“learning” how to do this or that style/genre is pretty much worthless…only another way into conformity…


This basically sums it up for me.

Take a good course that gives you a good foundation, then take it from there.

That’s how I would do it if I were starting up. You need to practice alot anyway. Mixing music needs an ear that hears certain things. Knowing things is one thing. Being able to use it is another.

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Never done any music courses either, never needed them starting out in pre-internet days, learned by doing as @reeloy, no interest in them personally at this point either.

However I think that some courses probably definitely do have value and are worthwhile for people who need them, although I’d say that technical rather than philosophical/artistic courses have more value. For example “Advanced course in Ableton” or “a foundation course in synthesis” are much more likely to be worthwhile in the long term than something like “secrets of techno production” etc.

I’d also recommend seeing the credentials of the course provider, who are they and what have they done.