Best Online Music Production SchoolsMay 03, 2023
In today’s digital era, learning how to produce music requires a dynamic fusion of creativity and technology. The best part is, anyone can do it from the comfort of your home and you don't need a multi million dollar studio. You need great ideas, hard work, and the right teacher!
Thanks to online courses, aspiring music producers, songwriters, and enthusiasts can have access to an endless library of lessons on whatever they wish to learn; be it mixing songs in DAWs, or recording vocals professionally.
The abundance of online schools and sources that claim to be the best in class can create a new problem; you might feel overwhelmed when choosing the material that suits your needs accurately. After all, no one wants to invest their time and money in something unfruitful.
I have tried various online outlets offering courses on music production and songwriting. For example, Monthly, is an online course I took a while ago. I took all of their songwriting and music production courses. Their teachers include Blanks, Charlie Puth, and Ryan Tedder. You can watch my review of Monthly lessons on YouTube.
If you have trouble finding an online music production school that suits your needs, don’t worry, that's what this post is all about. I will go through some of the courses for different levels, intentions, and budgets. At the end, you'll have a much clearer picture of what online music production courses you should dive in to.
Coursera Music Production Specialization (Berklee College)
Berklee College of Music offers one of the most popular online music production courses on Coursera. The Music Production Specialization course is designed to provide a solid foundation for both newbies and intermediate-level music producers.
Through four main parts, this program covers different aspects of music production, including music theory, recording, mixing, and mastering. The course would take about 3-5 months to finish if you keep a consistent pace and go through all the lessons.
Coursera is a subscription-based platform and offers a one month of free trial. Subsequent months would cost you $39 per month.
At the end of the course, you can get a certificate of completion and add it to your resume. Although certificates and accreditations don't mean too much in today's world, they are still very helpful if you are applying for work at professional music studios, universities, or colleges.
Berklee’s choice of DAW for teaching music production is Pro Tools. So, if you want to work with GarageBand or Logic Pro, this might not be the right course for you. You can still take the course and work within your own DAW of choice but what I've found from experience is you should strive to use the same DAW as your instructor. It removes any unnecessary blockers and allows you to focus on the lesson without being distracted any a foreign interface.
Mix With The Masters
If you’re a music producer looking for lessons from world-class sound engineers, music producers, and mixers, Mix with the Masters should definitely be under your radar.
The platform offers masterclasses, video tutorials, and behind-the-scenes studio sessions from some of the most experienced mixing and mastering engineers. To name a few, Chris Lord Alge, for example, has multiple videos talking about working with successful bands like Muse, My Chemical Romance, and Green Day.
I would recommend Mix with the Masters courses to those who already have some experience in mixing and mastering, and are looking for pathways that get them closer to their favourite artists. If you’re a newbie to the world of music production, most of these courses won’t be of much use to you. They're more on the advanced side of the coin. Without saying it up front, Mix With The Masters assumes you already have a selection of paid plugins and intermediate level knowledge of music production. On top of that, these courses provide for of a 'fly on the wall' approach to teaching vs 'actually teaching'. This approach can really work well for people who want less hand holding.
Although Mix with the Masters offers a free plan, if you want access to all the materials on the website, it will charge you $27.99 a month. Don't forget to cancel if you don't like it! No one likes a continuous charge on our credit cards.
GarageBand For Beginners (My Course)
Full transparency, this is my online course. I fully stand by this course and so do hundreds of my students, which is why I'm putting this on the list.
One thing I’ve learned from watching different online courses is that, although they offer a lot of useful information, they often neglect to ‘teach’ in a way that beginners can build a foundation. The teachers merely ‘show’ how they create music.
In my GarageBand for Beginners course, I’ve tried to teach everything about the foundations of GarageBand step by step. I will show you how you can create a song and make it sound professional.
The course offers over 50 lessons that include music production, mixing, and mastering. You’ll also have access to the song I create during the process.
GarageBand for Beginners comes as a $179.00 one-time purchase that includes 9 sections; starting with the introduction, fundamentals, and GarageBand’s interface and moving up to mixing, mastering, and tips on how to keep getting better as a music producer.
I would love to see you in the course and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Udemy Courses (Free)
Udemy offers courses on many different subjects, both free and paid. Skimming through free courses, you can find many useful tutorials on how to use Ableton Live. Some courses offer general lessons for beginners, while others focus on specific segments in music production, like compression in Ableton.
Udemy’s free programs are excellent if you want to dip your toes in the world of music production, but you’re still not sure which DAW you want to use mainly. Once you get comfortable using the primary tools in a DAW, I suggest moving on to more advanced courses.
You might consider Udemy as your speed ramp courses. For instance, they are sometimes great to pair with an existing online course if you want to level up your knowledge in a specific area. For example, you really want to dive deep into how to use reverb properly or how to do compression the right way. Get a cheap Udemy course and dive deep into those areas.
Logic Pro Music Production Course Bundles (My Courses)
I know what you're thinking, "Charles, why did you put another one of your own courses here?" It's because I fully believe in them! I've put years of hard building this course and I've helped hundreds of students create the music they've always wanted to, directly from home. If I didn't believe in it as much as I do, I wouldn't have listed it here.
I’ve used Logic Pro to create my music for years. As someone who wanted to write songs, play different instruments, and produce entire songs from start to finish, I found it overwhelming at first to learn everything.
To make that road easier for other musicians and enthusiasts, I’ve created a top to bottom course that covers everything you need to know about the foundations of Logic Pro, songwriting, production, mixing, and mastering. If you're curious right away, you can learn more about my course here.
Starting at $129, the ‘Starter’ bundle is excellent for beginners and intermediates who want to get comfortable with Logic Pro and learn the fundamentals of home recording. This course mainly focuses on tools for creating music rather than songwriting. But I will show you how to use these tools in a practical way, using one of my songs as an example.
If you go for the ‘Up and Running’ bundle, you’ll have everything in the previous bundle, plus in-depth lessons on songwriting and production. We’ll write a song from scratch together and, once the songwriting process is complete, we’ll move forward to producing it on Logic Pro and making it sound professional by adding different instruments and effects. This bundle costs $179.
Lastly, if you want to learn everything, from how to use Logic Pro to mixing, mastering, and distributing your songs, the ‘Professional’ bundle for $299 is the one I suggest you go for. With over 100 lessons and 30+ hours of video tutorials, you’ll feel comfortable creating the music you’ve always wanted by the end of this course.
Final Thoughts On Learning Music Production Online
Compared to attending schools and colleges, learning music production online requires much more discipline and determination. Learning things at your own pace can work both for you and against you. It's important you take the time to learn about an online course before diving in. Can you meet the instructor? Or at least talk to them? Perhaps you can watch some videos of them online to see what their teaching style, tone, and character are like. This is all really important information that will help you learn faster.
If you’re not ready to spend money on online schools and courses to learn music production, you can still go the free route. Although, a bit more chaotic and unstructured, a lot of the information you need to know is already out there on the internet for free. Go find it! That's the hard part, everything is up to you. I have some where that you can start, if you want to learn more about using Logic Pro, songwriting, production, mixing, and mastering, I suggest downloading my free 6 pillars to learn Logic Pro fast.