Best Prime Day 2020 Music Promotion Deals

It’s (kind of) finally here- The shopping season is upon us and as always, retailers are starting off with a bang with amazon’s prime day.

Although pioneered by Amazon, several brands have joined in on the fun and have started offering up to 90% off their products.

And, as always, we’re here to guide you through the best deals and freebies

VST Plugins Prime Day Deals

Waves

As usual, Waves is running a series of crazy discounts. They are marketed as black Friday deals, though we’ll include them here are they are still on time for prime day.

We still consider their subscription to be one of the best deals out there, especially because it includes a free trial period of 1 month– more than enough to produce several award-winning tracks.

Scheps Omni Channel- 74% off (38.99$)

The Scheps Omni Channel gets its name from the brilliant Andrew Scheps- engineer to jay z, Adele, Metallica, and many others.

This channel strip is a staple of any modern producer, and it’s now 74% off!

Vocal Rider- 86% off (35.99$)

Vocal rider is known for its simplicity and effectiveness. It will adjust your vocals automatically with great results.

It’s at 86% off for a limited time.

Waves Tune Real Time- 82% off (35.99$)

If you run a studio or record vocals frequently, this is a must have VST. It allows singers to stay in tune in real time. It’s basically a magic box that makes anybody a great singer.

At this price, this is a great tool to just play around if you ever wondered how your voice would sound if recorded professionally.

There are a bunch more waves plugins heavily discounted at the waves website, these are only the ones that caught our attention, for a full list, click on the link below:

WAVES DEALS

Plugin Boutique

W.A Productions Back to School Bundle- 95% off (9.99$)

For the price of an expensive coffee, you’ll get WA Babylon, instascale and instachord.

It’s a no-brainer.

Soundspot Union & Expansions sale 90% off (16$)

IK Multimedia

Total Studio Max 2- 75% off (249.99$)

17 synths with over 2000 presets, 2 400 instruments, 34 effects, 39 high end audio processors, guitar amps, samples, and much more.

All this for 249.99$ (Down from 999$). What more can we say?

Sample Tank 4- 50% off (149.99$)

Included in Total Studio Max 2.

This is a huge sound library of over 260GB with a beautifully designed interface.

IK Multimedia is running a couple of other promotions, which you can check in the link below:

IK MULTIMEDIA

Musical Instruments

Amazon U.S Prime Day Music Deals

Amazon’s prime music deals are too many to list in one single post.

So feel free to browse headphones, musical instruments, and home audio using the link below:

AMAZON DEALS

Best Musical Instruments for a Toddler

It’s never too early to get into music. In fact, there have been countless studies proving the benefits of encouraging your child to play an instrument.

Getting engaged in music will help them learn how to listen and pay attention, and it even helps with overall motor skills and communication abilities.

Also, music is like a language on its own – an expressive tool that can eventually help you “say” what you weren’t able to when using only words.

So it’s always a good idea to get someone interested in music earlier in life.

Of course, it’s not that strange to see even the youngest ones showing interest in music.

If this is the case with your children, you should always consider helping them pursue their potential talents, even if they’re toddlers.

Singing may be the best way to start and see whether your child shows further signs of interest.

But, on the other hand, playing an actual instrument might be a bit complicated at this age as the conventional stuff is usually not exactly toddler-friendly.

However, some manufacturers specialize in making instruments for the youngest ones. And in case you also play an instrument, engaging in this activity with your child will definitely be a special kind of bonding experience.

With all this in mind, we would like to take some time to explore some of the best instruments for toddlers that you might find useful and interesting.

Kalimba for Toddlers

Kalimba is a pretty simple contraption developed from an old traditional African instrument called mbira. This simplified version became somewhat popular around the world since the 1950s. Also called a “thumb piano,” it’s often a simple resonator box with metal tines added on top of it. The sound is produced by plucking the tines which are arranged in the same way piano keys are.

There are some simplified versions for kids, like the one made by Nimba Percussions which features only five metal tines.

Although pretty rudimentary, this can be a fun way to help toddlers develop their talents and imagination early on.

Metallophone for Toddlers

Pretty much an expected choice, Metallophones are part of almost everyone’s childhood. This way, the kids can get introduced to individual notes, simple melodies, and even musical intervals at their earliest age.

And the instrument is pretty simple to use and all you have to do is swing the stick and hit the metal bar to get a twinkly sustained note.

Pretty engaging for a toddler and can help develop some motor functions as well.

Metallophones designed for children are all diatonic and usually only feature one octave in the key of C major, compared to the standard chromatic ones. And they are usually pretty cheap as well, like the A-Star MET08STD.

Overall, this is one of the simplest and the most cost-friendly ways to introduce someone to music.

Keyboards for Toddlers

Generally speaking, the keyboards and piano-like instruments are one of the easiest and most fun ways for toddlers to develop their musical interests and motor skills.

Besides, electronic keyboards have an abundance of sounds and presets and the whole playing experience can be both fun, educational, and thoroughly engaging.

And there’s so much stuff to pick from, anything like one simple keyboard up to a whole set with a stool, a stand, and built-in lessons. However, we would argue that something simpler, like the BIGFUN 37 would definitely work better for toddlers than something more complex.

Mini-sized guitars for Toddlers

Generally speaking, string instruments might be a bit tricky for the youngest of ages. Compared to keyboards or metallophones, instruments like guitar require a bit more physical effort to produce one note. However, there are some companies out there that specialized in making guitars for toddlers.

One of those is called Loog and they have been making kid-size and kid-friendly guitars for some time now. They have a few models available, like the Loog Mini Acoustic. What’s more, the company also offers electric guitars with one single-coil pickup. All of these have three strings, extra-short scale length, small bodies, and are super easy to play. Just imagine what kind of a fun experience will it be for a toddler to play an actual electric guitar.

While many other brands create smaller guitars, Loog is currently the most famous guitar builder for kids.

Drums and percussion for Toddlers

Well, the easiest thing to do is to bang on the drums, right? But all the jokes aside, getting a toy drum set or a percussion is a pretty great way for toddlers to get more interested in music. You just hit it and it makes a sound ñ it’s that simple.

What’s more, imitating simple rhythms is significantly easier than imitating melodies, especially at a young age. And, overall, it’s a super fun way to practice coordination. Among the countless different drums and percussion products for kids, there’s anything from simple stuff up to entire drum kits for children.

Handbells

Handbells, in their different forms, are often praised as the best musical instruments for toddlers and older children. While some might argue that they’re too loud, they seem to be pretty attractive to kids in the age group between one and four. Things like bell sets can help develop rhythmic feel, sense for pitch and individual notes, as well as a sense for melodies.

Just like with metallophones, these sets are diatonic and feature one octave in the key of C major.

Aside from the classic swinging bell sets, there are some desk bell diatonic products, like the set of Rhythm Band Handbells. Easily the simplest way to get a toddler more interested in music and help them develop their music talents early on.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations on taking the first step towards your child’s musical education.

Music takes a lot of patience, but can be a great outlet that encourages children to share their emotions, an all too important skill in todays crazy world.

We hope this article helped you choose an instrument for your toddler. If you’ve got any questions, leave them in the comment box below!

Best Distortion Plugins

We’ll cut to the chase, if you’re looking for the best distortion vst plugins, here’s a table that summarizes our tests and reviews:

Plugin Name
Price
Distortion Type
Our Rating
Temper Distortion by Creative Intent FREE Digital Distortion 4/5CHECK PLUGIN
Radiator by SoundToys 157$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals) Tube Distortion 4.8/5CHECK PLUGIN
Guitar Rig 5 by Native Instruments 199$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals) Digital Distortion 4.8/5CHECK PLUGIN
Scheps 73 by Waves 199$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals) Harmonic Distortion 4.9/5CHECK PLUGIN
Fabfilter Saturn 145$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals) Tube and Tape Distortion 4.7/5CHECK PLUGIN

The electric guitar has come a long way since its inception. The effects that were difficult to achieve are now available in the form of affordable compact stomp-boxes for any instruments.

We might even take it for granted these days, knowing that some guitar players back in the 1950s and the 1960s even resorted to damaging their amps to achieve distortion.

Fortunately for all of us, there’s no need for such nasty practices these days as you can get all that either in an amp, pedal, multi-effects unit or a digital plugin.

In case you’re recording at home and want to take things one step further, there are a lot of advantages in using the distortion VST plugins for your digital audio workstation.

Instead of re-amping your guitar, or even re-recording it because you used certain pedals, it’s always more practical to have the clean signal processed using different software.

All of the plugins below are designed to work with any standard digital audio workstation, including Ableton Live, Cubase, and others.

Types of saturation

All of the distortion plugins are made with the same intention to completely replicate the good old analog pedals and other signal processing units.

No matter the instrument, all the distortion that you hear happens due to the so-called “clipping.”

When the signal is too strong, it reaches the limitations of the amp or any other device that you’re playing through.

When this happens, the signal gets clipped and you end up with that recognizable “scorched” or “growling” sound.

Saturation effect comes from the days of magnetic tape-based effects and has softer clipping, creating an effect somewhat resembling a mild overdrive that adds more warmth to the tone rather than completely smashing it.

Tube Saturation

Tube saturation is done using vacuum tubes, the ones that we can find in instrument amplifiers or any other distortion or saturation devices.

The vacuum tubes have been praised for their warm tone and dynamic response.

The present-day vintage-oriented tube saturation plugins are designed to imitate that particular sound.

Transistor Saturation

Transistors found their use in guitar effects back in the 1960s, ultimately making it possible to create compact pedals.

The overall tone might be a bit harsher, but this is usually something that rock and metal musicians are looking for. Many fuzz pedals implement transistors which bring the clipping to a whole new level and create that “broken amplifier” tone.

Best free distortion VST

Interestingly enough, there are some pretty decent distortion VST plugins you can use and get some solid tones.

For instance, there’s one called Temper, made by Creative Intent. It might take some time to get used to it and it might seem a bit complicated at first. But once you get a hang of it, you’ll be able to make some pretty diverse sounds. The color of distortion is controlled via Drive, Saturation, and Curve controls. There’s also an additional spectrum analyzer to get the visual representation of what’s going on.

Temper Distortion VST
Maker: Creative Intent
Cost: Free
Plugin Type: Digital Distortion
User Rating: 4/5 (202 votes)
MORE INFO

Then there’s a plugin called Greed Smasher, made by a company called Mercuriall Audio, known for its great pedal replica plugins. The plugin replicates Mesa Boogie Grid Slammer overdrive and features three simple controls ñ level, tone, and gain. Pretty straightforward but works well.

Greed Smasher VST
Maker: Mercuriall Audio
Cost: Free
Plugin Type: Digital Distortion
User Rating: 4/5 (202 votes)
MORE INFO

Made by Wave Arts, Tube Saturator Vintage is a pretty exciting one as it replicates preamps packed with 12AX7 tubes. It’s pretty weird how you can get such a great distortion plugin for free. Featuring volume, drive, 3-band EQ, and the “Fat” mode, there’s a lot of stuff that you can do with it.

Tube Saturator Vintage VST
Maker: Wave Arts
Cost: Free
Plugin Type: Tube Distortion
MORE INFO

Best bass distortion VST

Although it’s kind of hard to get that solid and tight bass distortion that doesn’t sound too muddy, some distortion plugins will help you achieve some more controlled tones.

One of those plugins is Radiator, made by Soundtoys.

This vintage-styled tube-inspired software is a replica of an old rack-mounted tube mixer Altec 1567A. You’ll get some tight natural overdrives for bass with it.

Radiator VST
Maker: Soundtoys
Cost: 157$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals)
Plugin Type: Tube Distortion
User Rating: 5/5 (22 votes)
MORE INFO

Although not a single distortion VST, IK Multimedia Amplitube 4 has an abundance of options for both guitars and basses. Aside from different amps and cabinets, you’ll be able to get so many different replicas of overdrive, fuzz, and distortion pedals with it.

The same could be said about Guitar Rig 5 by Native Instruments.

Although mostly guitar-centric, there are some bass amp and bass distortion options on there that can make turn your bass into a real beast for basically any genre.

Guitar and bass players are usually divided when it comes to Amplitube and Guitar Rig and are inclined to side with one of these two.

However, both of these plugins are pretty solid and deserve all the praise they can get.

Guitar Rig 5
Maker: Native Instruments
Cost: 199$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals)
Plugin Type: Digital Distortion
MORE INFO

Another one that’s worth mentioning is Softube’s Bass Amp Room. It was modeled originally for guitars, but has proven to be a great fit for bass too.

This is perhaps the most popular plugin for rock type bass distortion, and for good reason.

Bass Amp Room
Maker: Softube
Cost: 160$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals)
Plugin Type: Bass Amp
MORE INFO

Best vocal distortion VST

Of course, depending on the style of music that you’re into, there would be some requirements for the distortion in vocals.

For that purpose, you can use the Decapitator by Soundtoys, which would also come in handy for instrument distortions. It’s not that noisy and can bring in just the right amount of drive for lead vocals.

This is another classic plugin that has been used in a wide variety of styles including pop and rock. Fabian “Fab” Dupont, producer of many pop hits from jennifer lopez, and others, calls it “instavibe-in-a-box“.

Soundtoys Decapitator Analog Saturator
Maker: Soundtoys
Cost: 239$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals)
Plugin Type: Analog Saturation Modeler
MORE INFO

FabFilter Saturn provides plenty of options for vocal distortions, including anything vintage or modern based.

What’s great about it is that you can push it over the limits and still get surprisingly clear and recognizable vocal parts.

Franceso Cameli, the Italian producer, has talked at length about how he used this plugin in the latest korn record to get clean sounding vocal quickly and easily.

Fabfilter Saturn Distortion Unit
Maker: Fabfilter
Cost: 145$ (Price may vary depending on existing deals)
Plugin Type: Tube and Tape Distortion
MORE INFO

Finally, another plugin that can distort vocals without turning them into a senseless mush is Avid SansAmp PSA-1. This one is especially handy if you want to make those thin megaphone-like vocal parts that can be often be heard in some sections of rock and metal songs.

Final Thoughts

And that’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed our brief guide of the best distortion plugins. Feedback is always welcome, feel free to share our content through your social channels. Stay safe, folks.

The BEST Online Music Production Masterclass Course [2021]

Investing in an online music production “masterclass” course is one of the best decisions you will make this year.

This might seem like a bold statement, specially for those of you who have previously tried free courses or dabble around some youtube videos on production, but it’s the truth: Knowledge is more important than any piece of gear in your studio. Furthermore, enrolling in one of the below courses is nothing like doing a free course or watching youtube videos.

These online music production masterclass courses allow you to follow a tried and tested structure devised by top producers and engineers, plus incentivises you to follow through, as you have money invested.

Anyways, if you’re looking for a summarized version of this article, check out the below table with our favorite online music production courses, including our very own choice for the best online music production course. And if you are also looking for a music production laptop, we have a comparrison and test article with the top models here.

Note: if you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to see all the entries, and up and down in the cells to see all the content.

Summarizing Table

Course Name Cost Duration Main Focus Our Rating
Editor’s Choice – Best Value
Groove3
Starts at under 50$
– Over 20 000 hours of video,
– Over 20 books.
– Workflow,
– Plug-Ins + DAWs,
– Recording,
– Production,
– Mixing + Mastering.
9.5/10
Deadmau5 Masterclass
Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total
– 6 hours of video,
– Assignments
– Electronic Music Production,
– Synths,
– Music Business,
– Mixing and Mastering,
– Workflow.
9.3/10
Hans Zimmer Masterclass
Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total$
– 4.5 hours of video – Film Scoring,
– Soundscapes,
– Composing,
– Industry, and More.
8.7/10
Timbaland Masterclass
Starts at under 20$ / month or under 100$ total$
– 3 hours of video – Hip-hop Production,
– Beat Making,
– Inspiration and Workflow,
– Industry and Motivation.
8.5/10
Point Blank Music School Online
Under 150$
CHECK PRICE
– Huge subject diversity
– Mixing/Mastering
– Dj
– Music Business
9.6/10
Udemy Music Production Courses
Under 150$
CHECK PRICE
– 38 hours of video
– each DAW has it’s own course
– other specific topics have dedicated courses
9/10
EQ Fundamentals
Under 50$
CHECK PRICE
– 2.5 hours of video,
– PDRs,
– Assignments
– EQ,
– Mixing + Mastering,
– All Musical Genres
9.2/10
Berklee Online- Electronic Music Production
Under 150$
CHECK PRICE
– 16 weeks – Electronic Music Production,
– Vocal Recording,
– Ableton Live.
9.3/10

Groove3 Online Music Production Course Review – Editor’s Choice

  • Music style: All
  • Financial Investment: Low
  • Duration: Over 20 000 hours of video + over 20 books. 1 077 Courses 17 979 Individual Tutorials.
  • Main DAW used: All DAWs available.
  • Our Rating: 9.5/10
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced
  • Certificate upon completion: No

PROS:

  1. High quality of content
  2. Content available on all formats and platforms: Video, books, Desktop, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku.
  3. Very affordable on a month-to-month basis
  4. High quality instructors
  5. Most comprehensive library of learning resources

CONS:

  1. Lack of focus
  2. Can be overwhelming

We’ll start with our favorite online music production course: Groove3. What an absolute gold mine of music production knowledge.

If you watched all of groove3’s videos back-to-back you’d take over 2 years to finish, probably much more, given that they update the content regularly.

There’s tutorials on all topics you can image, including all DAWs, Plugins, and musical styles. If you search around the forums, it’s often mentioned as a student favorite, along with some of the masterclass courses we’ll review below.

When it comes to price, an all-access pass costs only 89$, with b&hphoto. This represents without a doubt the best value of all courses.

We’ve found this to be a great way to stay focused for idle studio time. Simply browse around their website, find an interesting video, watch it, then apply it to your current project.

MORE INFO

Deadmau5 Masterclass Review

The first course we’ve had a chance to review is Deadmau5’s Masterclass Course.

  • Music style: EDM / Electronic
  • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
  • Duration: 6 hours of video + assignments
  • Main DAW used: Ableton, though teachings can be applied to any DAW.
  • Our Rating: 9.3/10
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Certificate upon completion: No

Pros:

  1. Very entertaining, huge production value. Very easy to follow through with the teachings.
  2. Very well-rounded. All major topics are discussed (mastering, mixing, synths, drums, music business, live performance, and more).
  3. Composed of videos, assignments, and discussions.
  4. Great community if you’re willing to engage.

Cons:

  1. This 6 hour course will set you back 90$. It’s not a cheap course by any means, but we found the cost/quality relation to be quite good.
  2. It’s a short course. It could benefit from going more in-depth into certain topics.

Course Structure

The course has 23 lessons, all delivered through video classes. It also has assignments and discussions.

The classes touch upon the following topics:

  • The Deadmau5 Production Process
  • Building Your Home Studio
  • Melodic Structures
  • Arrangements
  • Synthesized Sounds
  • Modular Synths
  • Digital Vs. Analog Synths
  • Sound Design with Effects And Processing
  • Drums / Beats
  • Song Structure
  • Remixed
  • Mixing
  • Mastering (includes case study)
  • Starting a Career
  • Music Business
  • On Stage Performance

Our Thoughts

Overall, this is a solid and very well rounded online music production masterclass course. It won’t hold your hand and automatically offer you a career in audio engineering or music production, but if you follow through with all the tips shared, your chances of making it will increase exponentially.

Furthermore, if you take your time to network and reach out to the community, you’ll likely make some useful connections out of this online music production masterclass course.

This is a great course for anyone looking for a well-balanced course on electronic / pop / hip-hop / digital music production, with no specific focus on any are of the music production process, but rather a wholistic approach. It gives you a framework, the one used by deadmau5, to produce a song. It is not a case study, i.e- it won’t show you how deadmau5 produces a song from scratch, but it will show you every single step of the process. We recommend deadmau5’s online music production masterclass course to people that are starting out and want something a bit lighter (shorter) and more fun.

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Hans Zimmer Masterclass Review

Up next is Hans Zimmer’s online music production masterclass course.

  • Music style: Film Scoring / Soundtrack / Sound Design
  • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
  • Duration: 4.5 hours of video + assignments
  • Main DAW used: N/A.
  • Our Rating: 8.5/10
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Course Structure

  • Themes
  • Story
  • Directors
  • Sound Palettes
  • Creating with Synths
  • Scoring to Picture
  • Scoring Under Dialogue
  • Tempo
  • Music Diary
  • Character
  • Case Study: Frost/Nixon
  • Working With Musicians
  • Feedback & Revisions
  • Audience Feedback
  • Writing Tips
  • Hans’ Journey
  • Learning by Listening
  • Life of a Composer
  • Closing

Our Thoughts

This is a very interesting course. The simple fact that you get to hear Hans Zimmer talk on the first person about stuff that he has never revealed on interviews is worth the cost of the program.

However, we found the structure a bit random.

Unlike deadmau5’s course, this program kind of jumped around topics, with one class being solely about Hans’ career and progression in the industry. To be honest, if we wanted to learn about that, we could just check one of the hundreds of interviews that he’s given.

Having said that, there are loads of golden nuggets there about his process, inspiration, and process. It is packed loads of synthesiser tips as well as general aesthetic in sound design.

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Timbaland Masterclass Review

To finish off our selection of Masterclass courses, we’ll have a look at Timbaland’s online music production course.

  • Music style: Hip-Hop / Pop
  • Financial Investment: Low / Moderate
  • Duration: 3.5 hours of video + assignments
  • Main DAW used: Ableton
  • Our Rating: 8.5/10
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Course Structure:

  • Studio Session: Making a Beatbox Beat
  • Building Beats: Tim’s Process
  • Making a Beat: Getting Warmed Up
  • Song Origins: “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
  • Making a Beat: Starting With a Chord Progression
  • Making a Beat: Tweaking and Layering Drums
  • Song Origins: “Pony”
  • Making a Beat: Manipulating Vocal Samples
  • Making a Beat: Creating a Breakdown
  • Song Origins: “Gossip Folks”
  • Making a Beat: Adding a Topline
  • Song Origins: “Are You That Somebody?”
  • Tim’s Influences
  • How to Persevere

Our Thoughts

We found this masterclass to be the least technical of all online muic production masterclass courses reviewed. Perhaps on purpose, as Timbaland’s production process seems to be based a lot around feeling, leaning on his team to fill in the more technical gaps.

We still found it very useful and inspiring, with some pretty straight forward but useful tips such as thinking about drums through beatbox.

His team of “co-producers” also share some gems on drums layering, chord progression and more.

If you’re a hip hop head, you’ll love this course. You’ll learn about how Timba produced hits for Missy Elliot, Jay-z, and others, as well as some inspiring tips on how to succeed in the industry. If you’re not a hip hop nerd, then you might find it not that inspiring. Though we still recommend purchasing it as part of the masterclass bundle of classes.

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Point Blank Music School Online

Point Blank is an well established English music school, which has opened it’s expertise to the online sector. The sheer diversity of courses that they offer, including Music Business courses, is practically unmatched. This Online Music Production Masterclass Course set is both formal and fun.

  • Music style: None in Specific
  • Financial Investment: Medium-high
  • Duration: Depends on the subject of choice.
  • Main DAW used: Ableton
  • Our Rating: 9.5/10.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate-High

The “Online” courses of Point Blank Music School are actual real-time/live lecture by teachers, customised to you as a student. You get to ask questions and interact with your teacher via webcam. Each course thus has it’s own structure.

Our thoughts:

So this is clearly something different. Theere are no pre-recorded sessions, like the others. This would also explain the high price point compared to the others. As a drawback, their online music production courses are not instant, you have to enroll like you would to a school. Only that the school location is your home, if you cannot access the offline schools Point Blank Music School has running in London, L.A., Mumbai, Ibiza and China.

We feel like this product is for the more advanced music production, since asking questions is key here.

If you feel like you have run out of material to study on your own and feel like it’s time to get 1:1 with a teacher who can guide you further then look no further and click the button below to access the Point Blank Music School website.

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Producertech EQ Fundamentals Review

Producertech is a well established music course provider. It was founded in 2009 by Rob Jones. Of all their online music production courses, EQ fundamentals is one of our favourites. Here’s why:

  • Music style: None in Specific
  • Financial Investment: Low
  • Duration: 2.5 hours of video + assignments +
  • Main DAW used: Ableton
  • Our Rating: 9/10.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Course Structure:

  • Introduction to Frequencies
  • EQ Controls 
  • EQ in Isolation
  • Frequency Demo #3 – Combining the Piano and Sine Wave 
  • The Frequency Spectrum Explained
  • EQ with respect to other parts
  • EQ’ing Drums 
  • Common EQ Practices
  • EQ’ing Kick and Bass
  • EQ on the Master Channel
  • EQ In The Mix

Our thoughts:

This course is, in our opinion, a must do for all aspiring producers. Having a solid grasp of EQ can be the difference between an amateur sounding song and a commercial grade end product.

Producertech’s EQ Fundamentals online music production masterclass course will give you the foundation you need to make clean sounding mixed, at a very accessible cost (25$).

It doesn’t have a rock star teacher or cover 10 different topics, but that is, in our opinion, a strength. There is no magic pill that will make you a successful musician. Instead, the path to success is continued investment in small courses on different topics. This laser focused course will give you a very complete foundation on one of the most important skills in the game: EQing.

It also comes with the EXPOSE software, which allows you to “test” your final mix for any potential issues. We were positively surprised by the production quality of the course. Here’s a sample video from the course:

There is a special focus on bass and kick mixing, thus making it slightly more relevant to electronic, hip-hop, and pop producers, though it really suits any kind of music style.

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Berklee Online Review- Electronic Music Production

Berklee is one of the most famous music schools in the world. This institution is a pioneer in online music production courses, having started in 2002! They still are an industry leader and offer the most formal type of education you’ll find in this list.

  • Music style: Electronic
  • Financial Investment: Moderate
  • Duration: Around 6 months (4 hours / week recommended)
  • Main DAW used: Ableton, though teachings can be applied to any DAW.
  • Our Rating: 9.5/10.
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
  • Certificate upon completion: Yes

Course Structure:

  • The Technology of Music Production
  • Introduction to Ableton Live
  • Creating Sounds for Electronic Music
  • The Art of Vocal Production

Our Thoughts:

This is a solid course for students looking for a serious commitment and some degree of credibility. It teaches all the theoretic background + gives you a solid foundation in ableton production and recording / mastering vocals.

If you’re looking for some credibility in the industry, the Beerklee is something to stick in your CV that can also teach you some good theory.

However, there are more advanced and complete courses in this list in terms of knowledge.

Finally, one of the main advantages is that coursera offers financial aid to certain students.

All in all, it is pretty inexpensive, at 39$/month, and if you’re feeling motivated, you can knock it off in a couple of months, getting a “mini” degree for a very affordable price.

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Udemy Music Production Courses review

Next up, we have a couple of udemy courses. We’ll start with probably the most popular music course in the platform, “Music Production in Logic Pro X”.

Udemy has a lot of online music production course programs on it’s website, they mostly have a similar structure to the Logic X one which is our reference.

This course was developed by Digital Music Masters, a well established music school.

  • Music style: None in Specific
  • Financial Investment: Low
  • Duration: 38 hours of video + articles and resources
  • Main DAW used: Logic Pro X
  • Our Rating: 9/10.
  • Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate

Our Thoughts

This is mostly for those more advanced. What we like is that you can just pay for one “topic” and not buy the whole online music production masterclass course package like with the others. You just get to Udemy, shop for what you want to know and that’s it.

These courses are mostly focused on daw workflows, with some specific items covering hardware gear like the Maschine and others focusing on specific sub-genres like music for games. All in all we think it is good product if you just want to fill some specific empty spaces in your skill arsenal.

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Final Thoughts

We hope that the above suggestions help you kickstart your music production career/hobby.

This article is in constant update as we try new courses, so if you have any recommendations, please post them below in the comments section!

United Plugins Front DAW is FREE for a limited time

For the next week you can get free Front DAW VST/AU plugin by United Plugins.

Front DAW plugin emulates three types of vintage console sounds.

Description from plugin developer:

“The digital world with its clarity and accuracy lacks some vibe from the old times. This is why English producer and remixer Greg Brimson, also United Plugins powered artist, approached us with his idea for a dream plugin. ‘Create a front door for every recording, and call it Front DAW, guys,’ said he, ‘so that every track would have a true analogue input.’ Thanks to him you can turn your DAW Mixer into a real Analogue Console.”

Get Free Front DAW plugin from United Plugins website

Native Instruments Kontakt 6 Review

On the surface it seems like the to Kontakt upgrade, Kontakt 6 isn’t much different from its predecessor, Kontakt 5. However, a closer look will reveal some very welcome additions for library builders/creators and users.

Here’s a summarised table of our findings:

Kontakt 6- New Features

– 3 New Instruments: Ethereal Earth (combines digital synthesis with traditional instruments), Analog Dreams (vintage, classic synth sounds), and Hybrid Keys (a new twist on classic keyboards)
6 New Effects: Replika Delay, Room Reverb: Hall Reverb, Plate Reverb, Cry Wah, Mod Pack.
New Standalone App: Creator Tools- For optimizing workflows and libraries using Kontakt scripts.
Over 40 wavetables that can be used in any other audio application plus the new wavetable module
New Drag and Drop UI– samples, MIDI files, and arrays can be dropped into an instrument’s user interface.


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And if you are interested in a music production laptop aswell, we have an updated comparison and review here

Kontakt 6 Upgrade: New Sounds

The most noticeable addition is the first 3 instrument libraries from the Kontakt Play Series:

  • Ethereal Earth (combines digital synthesis with traditional instruments)
  • Analog Dreams (vintage, classic synth sounds), and
  • Hybrid Keys (a new twist on classic keyboards) showcase Kontakt’s new effects, which we will go into more detail later, as well as the new wavetable module.

Each instrument has 8 easily accessible macro knobs right on the face of the GUI that correspond to the 8 hardware knobs on all Komplete Kontrol Series keyboards and Maschine hardware except for the Maschine Micro models. There are also 2 sound sources for each instrument, one of the macro knobs is used to blend these together to your particular taste. The other 7 macro knobs are tied to parameters and effects under the hood so even more dramatic changes can be made to any sound just by adjusting the other macro knobs.

Of course you can go beneath the surface and access the effects by clicking the wrench tool on the top left of the instrument panel if you wish to fine tune your sound.

You still get the 43GB Kontakt Factory Library and Retro Machines MK2 with the new Kontakt 6 upgrade.

But besides that there’s not much else for those of us that use Kontakt for triggering library sounds in our productions. With that being said, there are a myriad of presets in each new instrument to experiment with for a very long time.

Kontakt 6 Upgrade: New Effects

Kontakt 6 now includes Replika Delay which is based on the NI plug-in REPLIKA XT, 3 algorithmic reverbs (Room Reverb, Hall Reverb andPlate Reverb) and Cry Wah, a classic wah-wah effect normally used on guitars. You’ll have to go under the hood to access them, but it will be worth the time as these are really high quality effects.

In particular, Replika Delay has additional distortion, filters and chorus effects that can be applied to the delay’s feedback allowing you to create some very interesting textures.

The room and hall reverbs can also be modulated in real time.

Kontakt 6 upgrade: New Wavetable Module

Native Instruments have also included over 40 wavetables that can be used in any other audio application in addition to the new wavetable module. This allows you to combine wavetable synthesis with sampler parameters from within Kontakt 6.

Library builders might be pleased with the new UI windows for KSP that will enable them to get visual feedback from wavetables as they build instruments.

At present, these windows can only be seen on the 3 new instruments, but certainly will appear on new instruments by NI and 3 party developers in the future.

Kontakt 6 upgrade: New Creator Tools

This is actually a standalone application designed to help builders be more efficient during the building process. It has 2 elements: a Debugger and an Instrument Editor.

The Debugger is designed to find and fix any issues with builder’s code. It connects with all running instances of Kontakt in plug-in or standalone.

The Instrument Editor also connects with all running instances of Kontakt and automates repetitive tasks allowing the builder to focus on the more creative aspects of library building.

For example, the Instrument Editor takes information from the pitch and amplitude to automatically map them to the right key and velocity layer based only on audio information from the samples by the Instrument Editor.

With the new kontakt it’s much easier now to rearrange, add or remove groups and zones as well as edit some of their properties such as tune, volume and mapping.

Overall

As a long time user of Kontakt and other NI products, I think it’s more feasible to purchase one of the Komplete 13 Bundles that contain the full version of Kontakt 6 than it is to upgrade from the single Kontakt instrument from the user perspective.

Upgrading to a Komplete 13 bundle makes more sense in this case because you will get Kontakt 6 along with lots of other sounds and instruments. Maybe this is the way Native Instruments wanted it to be, who knows.

For sound developers and new users this is a solid purchase in my opinion as new and more interesting libraries will be created using the new features and new users won’t be overwhelmed with the vast selection of sounds that are included in Komplete Bundles.

Virus TI 3? No, it is Valkyrie

Last week Exodus Digital showed their Valkyrie synth that looks (and probably sounds) exactly how long-waited Virus TI 3 might sound.

Valkyrie has two groups of five 32x oversampled oscillators per voice (a total of 1280 actual oscillators) with hard sync, ring mod and FM, dual PCM wavetables with 4,096 (!) waves available, dual analog ladder modelling filters with 12 and 24dB/octave options, an advanced modulation matrix, a killer stereo hypersaw, an arpeggiator, 3 EGs and 3 stereo LFOs with 64 shapes and MIDI sync. It is 8 part multitimbral with a dedicated nine module FX unit per part including shelving EQ with sweepable mid and formant filter, dual (pre- and post-FX) tube response limiters, 5 algorithm distortion unit, chorus/flanger, DDL, a truly wonderful 6-stage phaser plus reverb. All of these run in stereo at 96kHz floating point. With the exception of dual filters/dual voice mode which uses two voices per note, Valkyrie ALWAYS delivers 128 notes of polyphony regardless of settings or effects. There are no compromises.

UPDATE: Exodus Digital partnered with Waldorf and Valkyrie will be released as Waldorf Kyra synth.

Fabfilter announced Pro-L 2

FabFilter has announced new version of Pro-L plugin – one of the best limiters available.
Pro-L 2 features new modes, much improved metering and more.
Watch the introductory video:

FabFilter Pro-L 2 will become available on December 5, 2017, for EUR 169, USD 199 or GBP 149

New version of Spire brings new Filter, Chorus, Vowel Osc and more

Reveal Sound continue improving Spire – one of the best sounding virtual synths available.
Today they announced new update with exciting new features:

  • Vowel Oscillator
  • J8 Chorus – Roland Juno chorus
  • Filter Mode/Shaper
  • Click Removal – a cool feature that removes clicks from your sounds

Watch the video to learn more:

Get Spire Today and be among the first ones to get updated version.

Check also: Vengeance Production Suite Avenger Synth

Using Serum Wavetables in Reaktor Blocks (FREE)

If you already have Reaktor Blocks you can start using Serum Wavetables (as well as other wav-files as a wavetables) in a Reaktor modular Blocks environment with a new free module called Serum Wavetable Block. You can download it free from the Reakror User Library

To start using it add this block to a new Reaktor ensemble or replace oscillator in one of the pre-built Reaktor Blocks ensembles.

Then just drag’n’drop wav file (wavetable) from your Serum library (on MacOS found at /Library/Audio/Presets/Xfer Records/Serum Presets/Tables/…)

Modulate WTP (Wavetable Position) with one of the LFOs or modulators – works great with recently added Kodiak Curve Sequencer modulator: