How Much are Musicians Making from their Deals? Introducing the Record Deal Simulator

The music production twitter world woke up with a bang, as createsafe‘s latest app took the social media platform by storm.

If you’re not familiar with the app yet, the name should tell you everything you need to know: The record deal simulator allows you to input all the usual terms that go into a record deal (split, deal type, advance amount, etc) and returns total profit for the artist and label given a certain number of streams.

Pretty cool right?

Although record deals are on a downwards trends with more and more artists going independent, this is a pretty cool tool, mostly because there is lots of public information on record deals that can tell us exactly how much an artist and their label is making.

Take for example Kanye West. According to music journalist Cherie Hu, Ye would need to generate 3.2 billion (yes, with a B!) streams to generate 1$ in profit!

If the future of recording deals was already bleak, then surely this tool won’t help it recover.

If you’re considering signing a deal, we highly recommend checking out this tool.

Got any more cool simulations? Share them in the comment box below!

What are the Easiest Instruments to Learn?

Learning a new instrument can be an intuitive way to become a better artist, improve muscle memory, and occupy your creative side while you’re trapped at home during the coronavirus quarantine.

For both adults and children, instruments are hallmarks of the learner’s individuality. However, some are easier (and more fun) to learn than others.

Anyone can excel at learning to play a musical instrument, but comparing them more carefully reveals that some are more accessible than others, particularly for certain kinds of people.

Whether you’re an adult worried you’re too far up the creek to learn a new art or the parent of a child worried that they won’t be able to devote the time and energy to learning an entirely new skill, this guide to the easiest instruments to learn should help sort through the pile for you.

In this article, we go over some of the qualities that make instruments harder or easier to learn, as well as some of the resources to keep in mind that can make you or your child’s learning experience smoother.

Simple Expectations – Simple Instruments

The first step to finding the instrument that will be easiest for you to learn is to assess what your expectations are for this musical journey.

Depending on how far you hope to take your craft, you may prefer an instrument with fewer keys and a less complex playing format.

For instance, a harmonica is an ideal instrument for adults that don’t need to become concertos but just want to learn something simple, either to show off at parties, play accompaniment in a band, or just amuse themselves creatively on their off days.

Harmonicas are portable and don’t require any setup. Even toddlers can have fun with them.

Even better, harmonicas are always in key and most people don’t feel pressured to learn the notes down to an exact science.

For those that just want something easy to noodle around on, harmonicas make accessible hobbies and are probably the easiest instrument overall.

Percussion Instruments: Don’t Go Too Simple

This may seem counter-intuitive to the title of this article, but it’s an important point: when managing your expectations for your journey to becoming a musician in your off-time, you need to realize that there is such a thing as too simple.

This is because the absolute easiest instruments to pick up and play are probably maracas, triangles, shakers, bells, tambourines, castanets, and other extremely simple pieces of equipment, most of which can’t change pitch.

Note that any instrument, even the simplest shaker, is difficult to master and all of them have a place in a professional orchestra.

But if you only expect to learn an instrument as a hobby or side gig, you may need something more complex than the simplest shaker.

At the level you want to learn, those likely won’t hold your attention for long or give you a satisfying sense of accomplishment once you’ve mastered … the maraca.

For a similar “pick up and play” concept that offers a more complex and satisfying experience in the long-term, simple drums are a great pick.

Bongos make great alternatives to the full drum kits that not every adult learner wants to buy, store, and learn.

Bongos provide an affordable, amusing instrument for budding little percussionists or adults that want stress relief the simple way.

Another option is a simple xylophone, or glockenspiel, which requires no specific guided education like embouchure training to get started playing.

Playing simple songs on a wooden or metal percussion instrument like these might seem childlike at first.

But they’re not only perfect for children if that’s not what you’re looking for – they also offer the ability to advance and grow.

People play them professionally, after all.

They offer enough complexity for you to keep learning and becoming impressive, achieving that sense of accomplishment that is so essential to the learning experience.

Even though we’re looking for easy instruments, the easiest to learn may not always be the easiest to feel good about.

The String Family

For those that want a little more excitement and complexity, they may have gone into the instrument buying experience with strings already on their mind. Guitars and ukuleles offer probably the biggest reward for your time of all the instruments that are relatively easy to learn.

That’s because it’s easy to set your own pace with them and they’re instantly recognizable by anyone.

People are far more likely to be impressed by a song on a guitar or ukulele than bongos, so if you’re looking for easy instruments to learn to show off a little, you may need to put in the effort.

Playing around a college campus or just at home while you’re working there or relaxing on your day off can give you a boost in confidence and make you feel like you’re learning something.

Thankfully, there are a ton of online resources for teaching guitar and ukulele, including charts, fingering guides, online lessons, and other text and video content to get you started.

If you’re going to go ahead and try guitar, which many readers probably will, you should also make sure you pick up the right guitar for your needs.

Make sure you buy a guitar with nylon strings so it’s easier on your beginner’s fingers. Steel-string, 12-string, and other classical styles are available too but tend to be less forgiving.

Ukuleles are by far the easiest string instruments to learn, with fewer strings and far more forgiving chord arrangements.

For those that want the highest returns on their investment, ukuleles are a great choice. They impress friends and girlfriends, and make great pick up and play hobbies.

Upping Your Game with Wind Instruments

We already mentioned harmonicas and yes – that’s technically a wind instrument.

Typically, however, when you’re buying a new instrument, wind instruments refer to those that require some kind of embouchure, tuning, or other meticulous learning.

Of all the wind instruments that require these things, the easiest for children and adults to learn is the recorder.

Recorders not only make fantastic instruments for older first-time musicians but also provide an ideal stepping stone for a child that you want to encourage to be passionate about music.

A recorder can lead to a flute or clarinet for a young student and provides an easy introduction to the basics in practicing, reading notes, and learning songs.

There are simple online tutorials to get you started on how to play the recorder.

For your efforts in learning something a little more complex in terms of the muscles and coordination you have to use to get your fingers and breath working in sync, recorders have a high ceiling on your potential to learn and grow with them.

They may seem like child’s play but people play them professionally as well.

The Staple: Learning the Piano

The piano used to be the go-to staple for people that wanted to learn an instrument. There are two great things about learning the piano to this day, and a couple of drawbacks that put it lower on this list.

The first great thing about the piano or keyboard is the wealth of resources you have available to learn from.

People have been teaching and composing for piano for centuries and you’ll have no trouble at all finding skills exercises, scales, chords, charts, and songs that suit your needs and your expectations for your new skill.

The second great thing is that the piano can take you as far or as short as you want to go with learning a new instrument.

You can stop at the basic songs or learn up to a professional level if you want, which is a less rewarding ambition on something like the tambourine.

Those that want something easy to pick up but difficult to master may find their new artistic calling on the piano.

The drawback of the piano is that they’re big and expensive. Even keyboards will set you back quite a bit if you want something of decent quality (people make their living on them, remember).

Not everyone has room in their life for a piano, and it’s certainly not the easiest instrument on this list to begin with. You may need lessons to take it to the next level.

But for those that want a challenge, the right keyboard offers a lot of learning opportunities.

How do I choose? A Beginner’s Buying Guide to Instruments

Now that we’ve bombarded you with information about a bunch of instruments, you may be wondering how to choose between them.

We created this 3-step buying guide so that you can figure out, not just which instrument is the easiest to learn for everyone, but which is the easiest way to fulfill your needs as a new learner.

Before you buy an instrument, ask yourself these questions:

1.      Why do I want to learn a new instrument?

This is the single most important question you should ask before you decide the type of instrument that you want to learn.

The instruments in this article that are technically the easiest, like the harmonica and tambourine, can only take you so far. Depending on your expectations, they may be easy without being worth it.

Do you want to learn a new instrument to challenge yourself? To impress someone? To play your favorite songs? You may need to expand your limits a little and choose from the more difficult, but still relatively easy instruments on this list like the ukulele.

Most of you probably aren’t looking for the literal easiest thing to play, especially if you’re motivated to learn a new instrument because of boredom brought on by quarantine or the desire to be creative and improve yourself.

You’re probably looking for the easiest thing to enjoy playing. Knowing what that is, requires knowing your expectations.

2.      Do I have any experience?

Different instruments might be easier to learn based on your experience.

For instance, a trumpet player might be able to take up a trombone more easily than a recorder, even though to the general population, the recorder is an easier instrument.

We know you’re probably not a trumpet player. The point is that this reasoning carries over to other aspects of learning. If you already know how to read music, for instance, you may prefer to pick up a recorder rather than a harmonica. If you just want to play it by ear and never learn academic music, the harmonica might be the better option (different models even have different fixed pitches to make things easier).

Maybe you took piano lessons as a kid or know that you have natural good rhythm. The point is that your experiences could change the answer to the question of which instrument is easiest for you.

3.      Is cost an issue for me?

Not all the options here are cheap – a keyboard is more expensive than a harmonica.

People who go all out and get a professional keyboard may not need to worry about the cost.

For most of us, the instrument that’s easiest and cheapest is preferable.

The Takeaway

Learning a new instrument can be enjoyable or tedious, costly or cost-free (relatively). While everyone’s cooped up inside, it’s only natural to want to take on new hobbies and learn new skills.

A new instrument can be a daunting task, however, and that’s why we made this guide on how to choose one for your needs.

What’s the overall takeaway? The best answer is that everyone’s needs, experiences, and expectations are different.

So the easiest instrument for them to pick up and get the most out of learning may not be the same for everyone. However, there are some basic answers.

For a parent that wants a child to learn basic music and maybe transition to harder things later, a recorder could be ideal.

For any older adult, especially those that don’t want to worry about technique as much, a harmonica is the easiest instrument out there.

Whatever you choose, it’s essential to compare your needs with the instrument first.

Everyone is a little different.

Depending on how much (or how little) you want to devote to this new skill, you may surprise yourself with the instrument you end up choosing.

The 8 Best Online DJ Courses [2020]: Compared and Reviewed

DJing is a dying art form.

There, we said it.

Long gone are the days where manual beat matching, scratching, and djing with vinyl were normal DJ skillsets.

With the advent of DAWs with automatic syncing and beat matching, the DJ has become more of a curator and personality than a musician.

However, these same DAWs have opened the doors to a whole universe of possibilities.

Ableton Live, for example, has enable DJs to basically become whole bands and produce new sounds on the spot.

With that in mind, we set out to find what is the best online DJ course out there in 2020.

We purchased close to 10 online dj courses, here are the ones that made the final cut:

Course Name Teacher What’s Included? Musical Genre Focus Price / Our Rating
Editor’s Value Choice
DJ Courses Online Bundle
DJ TLM
Isaac Cotec
Nick Trikakis
14 video based dj courses on DJing techniques, Serato, Traktor, Ableton Live, and more.
– 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
– Close to 100 hours of content
All Genres
Editor’s Overall Choice
Point Blank- DJ Skills Online Course
Dozens of lecturers, including:
  • Mr Dex (DJ for Wu Tang, Estelle, and more)

  • Ben Bristow

  • DJ Davine

  • Rockwell
  • Diploma from a world class instituion,
    – Weekly online masterclasses,
    Personal, 1-on-1 tutorials every 2 weeks,
    -Recordings of all classes available on demand,
    – Student forum and alumni network, which includes leading DJs and Producers
    All Genres
    Armin Van Buuren Masterclass
    Armin Van Buuren
    – About 3 hours of video content
    – Downloadable class workbook
    – Access to other masterclasses, such as Deadmau5’s.
    EDM / Trance
    Learn how to DJ From The Wu-Tang Clan
    DJ Symphony
    – About 7 hours of video content
    Certificate Upon Completion
    Hip Hop
    ProducerTech: Ableton Live DJ’s Guide
    ProducerTech
    – About 3 hours of video content split into 18 modules
    – Live DJ template and 100MB Bonus FX samples
    All Genres

    Best Overal Online DJ Courses

    #1 DJ Courses Online Review: Overall Staff Pick

    It was a though decision, but due to its laser sharp focus on DJing only, and the quality of the content, as well as the price, the DJ Courses Online program takes the number 1 spot.

    DJ Courses Online Bundle- Key Facts

    Duration: Unlimited / On Demand
    Instructors:
    DJ TLM– DJ and producer with 25 years of experience
    Isaac Cotec– Certified Ableton teacher
    Nick Trikakis– Former employee at Native Instruments and AKAI, producer, and DJ.
    What’s Included?:
    – Over a hundred of hours of videos
    – 14 full courses for all skill levels
    – 30 day money back guarantee + email support
    Price:
    Starts at 19$
    CHECK CURRENT PRICE

    All in all, there are over 10 dj courses included for a monthly fee of only 19$.

    It covers all major DAWs as well going in-depth into some really interested and complex DJ theory.

    Of all the dj courses we tested, this was by far the most in-depth one we found.

    Unlike some of the other dj courses in this list, the instructors don’t have big names in the industry, however, they more than make up for this with their knowledge of DJ techniques.

    Some of the techniques included are:

    • Beat counting
    • Beat matching
    • Syncing
    • Song Structure
    • Song selection
    • DJ equipment
    • EQing
    • Effects
    • Cue Points
    • Looping
    • Transitions
    • Sampling
    • Backspinning 
    • Organising your library
    • Scratching- in-depth techniques
    • Recording mixes
    • Branding
    • Serato
    • Ableton Live
    • Tracktor
    • Career DJ Tips

    And much more.

    And this is where the course shines.

    For 19.99$/month (the price of a cheap lunch), you’ll have access to all information you could ever want on the topic of DJing.

    Anything that you could possibly think of has been covered by these guys, including DJ tips for anything from career to branding and organizing your library- loads of gems to be found.

    And what’s more, the course is delivered in a straightforward and easy manner. The platform works great on both mobile and desktop and the classes are to the point and effective.

    If you end up not using the course, you can always ask for a refund, as they have a great 30 days money back guarantee.

    CLASS PREVIEW

    #2- Point Blank DJ Skills Review: The Credible Choice

    This school shouldn’t need an introduction.

    It’s been chosen as the ‘Best Music Production School’ by the readers of DJ Mag.

    Point Blank DJ Skills – Key Facts

    Duration: 3 months live course (Not on demand)
    Instructors:
    Ben Bristow aka Mr Bristow– DJ, producer, beatboxer. Has played in Space (Ibiza), as well as ministry of sound, scala, and cargo.
    Darren Henry aka Quest– Dubstep pioneer DJ
    Nigel Hosten aka Mr. Dex– DJ for the Wu-Tang Clan, Sway, Scratch Perverts and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
    David Clarke aka DJ Davine– Has played Ministry of Sound, The Garage and the Mother Live 333.
    What’s Included?:
    – Weekly online classes, bi-weekly 1-on-1 online classes
    – Access to student forum
    – Diploma upon completion
    Price:
    Starts at around 450$
    CHECK CURRENT PRICE

    It’s the school that Goldie turned to when he wanted to learn ableton live, it’s where Patrick Topping honed his skills as a producer, and its where countless many other leading artists went to hone their skills before making it big.

    And that’s where Point Blank really shines- It’s student network is simply unrivalled.

    And this extends to their online DJ courses too.

    By enrolling in the DJ Skills course, for example, you’ll have access to the student forum, whatsapp groups, and weekly masterclasses with your peers, many of whom will undoubtedly make a name for themselves in their craft.

    Even if you’re not looking to network, Point Blank is well worth its price.

    It’s one of the most practical dj courses in this list, teaching you not only the skills needed, but the whole logistics and operations behind managing your music library and gigs.

    Here’s a quick look at the topics covered:

    • Equipment Overview
    • Cueing
    • Drop Mixing
    • Beat Matching
    • Equalisation
    • Transforming
    • Rekordbox (Export Mode)
    • Programming Mixes
    • Recording a Mix

    Here’s a sample of a class:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOJyrCFBnRs

    COURSE INFO PAGE

    #3- Armin Van Buuren Masterclass Review: The Production Value Choice

    For those of you who don’t know, Armin Van Buuren is an iconic DJ and producer from the Netherlands. He’s the 4 time consecutive best DJ in the world according to DJ Mag and one of the four “trance” artists nominated to a grammy.

    Armin Van Buuren Masterclass – Key Facts

    Duration: On demand
    Instructors:
    Armin Van Buuren– Legendary house/trance producer and DJ
    What’s Included?:
    – 3+ hours of video
    – PDF workbooks
    – Student support forum
    Price:
    Starts at around 50$
    CHECK CURRENT PRICE

    Now masterclasses tend to have the reputation of being sometimes light on the technical side, though we didn’t find that to be the case for this program.

    There is one caveat though: The course focuses a lot on the production side of things with Logic.

    However, there is still a solid amount of content regarding playing live sets, including the following lessons:

    •  Approaching Your DJ Set
    • Building a Set: Edits and Mashups
    •  Using the Decks: Basics
    • Using the Decks: Armin’s Techniques
    • Performance DJ Tips

    The good thing about masterclass is that you can pay monthly, starting at about 20$, so once you get done with the DJing classes, you can cancel your subscription without doing the rest of the course. Though we do recommend the rest of the course if you’re interested in trance / EDM music production.

    This subscription also allows you to stream hundreds of other high quality courses, including courses by deadmau5, Hans Zimmer, Timbaland, and more.

    If you want to learn to DJ from the one of the best, look no further.

    COURSE INFO PAGE

    #4 Udemy: Learn to DJ From The Wu-Tang Clan Review: The Hip Hop Choice

    This course we simply couldn’t ignore. After all, most things are temporary but the Wu is forever.

    In this course, the legendary hip hop DJ Symphony goes through some classic hip hop DJing techniques as well as some overall DJ theory.

    It includes over 7 hours of video and entitles you to a certificate upon completion.

    The main highlight of the course for us was it’s production value.

    The camera is mostly set up from a bird’s eye view of the mixing table and decks, allowing you to follow along with your deck- It’s by far the most hands-on course we tested.

    All the content was high quality, with the video streaming seamlessly with great definition. This makes it super easy to follow.

    In addition, the teacher is a master at his craft. If you’re looking for a hip-hop specific course, this one is a no brainer.

    COURSE INFO PAGE

    #5 Skillshare: DJing Live: From Setup to Soundcheck (w/ Young Guru) Review

    In the same vein as #3, Young Guru’s DJ course on skillshare is a must have for any hip hop DJ.

    It’s a very solid course for beginner and intermediate DJs on how to setup your gear for a live performance, but we rank it after DJ Symphony’s course as we found that it wasn’t as in-depth and hands-on.

    It’s still a great course, coming from a legendary engineer and hip hop producer responsible for many hits from Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

    Its important to note that this course focuses solely on setting up your gear and software. No major techniques are discussed, though there are a couple of nuggets of information that are really interesting.

    COURSE INFO PAGE

    DAW Specific Online DJ Courses:

    #1- ProducerTech: Ableton Live DJ’s Guide Review

    Producertech is one of the leading online music course providers.

    They stand out from the crowd by producing really specific dj courses focused on one particular piece of software.

    Generally, the quality of content is very high. Their Ableton Live course is no different.

    Ableton Live is a whole other ball game when it comes to live DJing as it comes with a huge pad that allows you to program your live performance.

    Guys like daedelus have taken the definition of being a DJ to a different dimension, with sets featuring live production and sampling with the Ableton Live:

    We can’t promise that this course will make you an overnight daedelus, but if you’re interested in that world, it’s certainly a good introduction.

    Here a sample of a class:

    COURSE INFO PAGE

    #2- Point Blank Online School- Traktor Pro DJ Review

    As we previously mentioned, Point Blank is a leading school in the music industry. And as you would expect, their Traktor Pro DJ course does not disappoint.

    It will take you about 2 months to complete it and will require an investment of about 400£ or 500$, depending on deals and promotions.

    Topics covered:

    • Traktor Inferface: Importing Tracks
    • Skills: Beat Matching, Looping, Cueing, Quantizing, Beat Jumping.
    • Basic FX
    • Harmonic Mixing: Analysing keys, mixing acapellas.
    • Crate Digging, Idents, Broadcast
    • Hardware: Digital Vinyl, Midi Controllers

    Here’s a sneak peak of what a class looks like:

    As is the norm with Point Blank, you’ll get online masterclass with your colleagues, and also 1-on-1’s with the lecturers.

    COURSE INFO PAGE

    #3 Skillshare: The Basics of Serato DJ Review

    Hosted by Mister Gray, this skillshare is, like most skillshare courses, short and sweet.

    It will take you about an hour to complete, and in the end, you’ll have increased significantly your knowledge of how Serato DJ works and how to make the most of it. Particularly if you’re a beginner in the ways of Serato.

    The teacher is a somewhat successful DJ and producer from the United States who focuses on hip hop and EDM / dubstep.

    The production value of this course is insane, as is the case with most skillshare courses.

    The major downfall, however, is its lack of depth. This really is a course for beginners.

    COURSE INFO PAGE

    Final Thoughts

    We hope we’ve helped you find the very best online DJ course for your needs.

    If you’re looking for general music courses or music production related courses, please check out our guide on that subject.

    And as always, if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comment box below!

    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!