Enhance your Drums for FREE – Diablo lite VST

If you always compared your own drum works to the professional sound and felt a little off, Diablo lite is for you. This VST is pretty nice, as our test shown, and really works especially on electronic drums.

So what is Diablo lite?

Diablo lite is a FREE VST offering by Cymatics. You know them mostly for their (paid) sample packs but they actually have a lot of free products too. And not just sample packs but plugins and also presets for popular plugins.

And if FREE VSTs are your thing, we actually are maintaining a very extensive list of more than 400 freebies here, where we actually added Diablo lite.

Now, about Diablo lite, this VST is part compressor and part transient shaper. The compressor is actually a clipper, so the compression ratio is very high, close to the well-known “brick wall” style of compression. Because of this dual nature of this sound treatment device, it is excellent for drums.

How do you use it?

So basically every producer uses some form or compression on the drums, either on the whole drum bus or individually. This is because most source material, be it sample-based, synth or live recorded is kind of in the middle in terms of dynamics. It can cut through your whole song but in it’s dry form doesn’t. It has the neutral drum sound, is not in your face but is also not absent. What you want to do is actually fit the drums in your sound.

Let’s take the 808 for example, it is ubiquitous and used in a lot, i mean A LOT of music genres. Some genres use it in a more aggressive flavour, some prefer it more mellow. So you basically do this with either a compressor, a transient shaper or both. Transient shapers basically dictate the initial snap and also the remaining tail of the sound.

This is the Punch control knob and dictates the presence. For dynamics, you have the Clip setting, which actually enganges the limiter and makes the sound more compact as you crank it. If you used too much Punch and the drum just jumps out of the mix and commands too much of the user’s attention, try to not use Clip and just turn it down in the mix instead.

But if the Punch knob does not actually do the trick for you because it makes the drum loose it’s initial character, then Clip can save you and achieve the strength that you are looking for in that particular sound.

Actually the website has a lot of samples for this product, and you can actually hear it in action. But why not download it yourself from this download link?

Ezdrummer 2 Review

Just what kind of advantages modern technology has given us can be seen in music production.

What was usually done with large robust machines and racks is now literally summed up in one small computer program.

For instance, just take any of the old tape delays and you’ll see that same exact warm and “swirly” saturated tones of these effects can be replicated digitally.

But one thing that was always excruciatingly complicated was recording actual drum sets in the studio. Just imagine – every single component needs to be miked up and then processed and mixed individually.

Luckily for all the music producing enthusiasts and professionals these days, there are some great virtual drums worth checking out.

EZdrummer is one of the most popular drum plugins out there.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to look more into the EZdrummer 2, do a brief review of it, and see if it’s good enough of a plugin for your needs.

Features

Made by Toontrack a while ago, it was designed to be a convincing replication of an actual drum set and a drum player, with no obstacles to your creative ideas.

It was basically a more affordable (and maybe even more reliable) replacement of your drummer.

First off, the plugin itself requires around 4 GB of space on your drive. Compared to the original EZdrumer, released back in 2006, it features an obviously improved library with samples recorded over at British Grove Studios by producer and engineer Chuck Ainlay, known for working with Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits.

And the so-called Groove Library is very well organized. You can easily access any particular groove at any time, with all of them being sorted into very precise categories.

They’re all grouped according to the genre, playing style, and different intended tempos. What’s more, you can even tap the desired tempo and EZdrummer 2 will provide you with all the possible grooves in that particular bpm territory.

For those who were used to the first EZdrummer, there’s the original browser included onboard for easier drum beat search.

The plugin also allows you to create your own groove presets. This is especially made easy if you have a MIDI controller or a standard electronic drum kit.

However, compared to EZdrummer 1, the EZdrummer 2 comes with a completely new engine. At the same, it keeps somewhat of a similar recognizable layout so anyone used to the original software won’t have a hard time figuring it out.

There are also Song Track and Song Creator features integrated into the plugin. When you drop the desired groove in your project’s timeline, Song Creator immediately shows all the related grooves and fills that you can use to complete an entire song. And by using EZdrummer’s Song Track feature, you re-arrange all of these MIDI blocks more easily.

Then there’s also the Power Hand control which allows you to immediately change individual components on one drum set preset.

But probably the most exciting part comes with the so-called Multiple Hits Emulation. We all know how annoying can those repetitive hits be, especially coming from some simpler and cheaper software.

You can leave the hi-hat or a snare or any other component many times in a row, and the feature will try and make it more realistic and convincing.

Combined with Velocity and Amount controls for each of the individual components, it allows a whole new world of tweaking and drum making possibilities that will help you create some pretty realistic beats.

Overall sound and performance

Generally speaking, EZdrummer 2 is designed to be as simple as possible if you want to create an entire drum track to your project by simply dragging and dropping them in your DAW’s timeline.

It is also possible to map out all the individual components and then add effects to them. However, the plugin itself has its effects which are more than decent.

But if you want more control and detailed control over components with your own plugins, it’s a better idea to map it out and use specialized VSTs that you already have in your DAW.

The library of samples or different drum sets and components is pretty vast. The same could be said about the groove library. It can be pretty convincing if you’re not doing anything that’s extremely complex.

Going over to the aforementioned Song Track and Song Creator features, these can be extremely practical if you just want to add a finished drum track to your song.

However, a more experienced ear would be able to differentiate and even recognize what software is in question.

Don’t get us wrong – the samples, presets, and all of the effects are pretty great. But if you’re trying to do something more complex, they just might not be enough to fool more experienced listeners.

But, in the end, EZdrummer 2 provides you with an abundance of solidly convincing samples to choose from.

Conclusion

Look, it’s generally a great VST and it’s well worth the money. In fact, it can even be used for professional recordings.

If you’re doing any kind of a commercial pop/rock song, it will be more than enough, even with its pre-made drum patterns.

The Multiple Hits Emulation is most certainly a great addition and turns even your self-made grooves into pretty convincing drum tracks and drum parts.

To conclude – for its price, it’s definitely a great piece of software.

But if you’re planning to do some extremely high-level production kind of stuff, then you might want to check out some other software.

For instance, Superior Drummer 2 will most certainly provide more detailed and nuanced control compared to the EZdrummer 2. Then again, Superior 2 has a 60 GB library.

At the end of the day, if you’re making a drum-centric song you’ll probably want to have an actual drummer instead. Not even Superior 2 will be able to help you there.

Principle Pleasure Studios Releases 1GB of Analogue Synth and Drums

No point in adding much fluff to this one. Here’s a link to the 1GB treasure trove of samples released for free by Principle Pleasure Studios.

DOWNLOAD LINK

DOWNLOAD LINK 2

In another selfless act designed to help bored stuck-at-home producers, Sharooz Raoofi of Sample Magic, has made this 1GB sample pack available for free.

These are the result of sampling over 100 analogue synths and drums located in the LA based principle pleasure studio.

How can you use them?

Simply import them to your favourite DAW, assign them to your favourite MIDI, etc.

If you’re not sure what this all means, we strongly recommend taking an online music production course.

But if you’re reading this, chances are you are already familiar with all this.

Anyway, happy producing, feel free to share your coronavirus freebies in the comment section below!

Best Online Beat Maker- Reviewed and Compared

It’s really mindblowing when you think of all the things that we have at disposal today.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or a full-blown pro, there are so many resources and different tools that you can use in creating your own original music.

In fact, we kind of take it for granted in some way, not always realising how great we have it now compared to musicians from a few decades ago.

👉 CHECK OUT THE LATEST DEALS AND DISCOUNTS ON VST PLUGINS AND DAWS

Whether you want to record your instruments and vocals, or whether you want to make electronic music – it’s all possible even with a decent home studio setting.

But the topic of todays article is online beat makers.

It turns out that you don’t even need to bother too much with combining a bunch of random plugins in your DAW in order to do stuff.

You can just use one of the online beat makers and create anything for electronic music, hip-hop, or anything that your heart desires.

So let’s get into it – what are the best online beatmakers?

We’ve done some digging and have come up with this list. Any of these beat makers work well for most of the electronic or hip-hop music settings you need.

#1- LoopLabs

While it’s mostly hip-hop oriented, LoopLabs provides a great platform for basically any type of music.

But the best part about it is that it’s beginner-friendly, while also retaining some of the really important and very complex features which make it useful for full-blown professionals.

This online music studio has an abundance of different royalty-free sounds. There’s anything for electronic, hip-hop, and music, and even genres like jazz, funk, and many others.

It features tens of thousands of samples, and the sound library is constantly growing.

In case you’re a vocalist, this is pretty much like a dream come true.

You can easily record your voice over any beat in an instant.

It’s also possible to remix already added tracks, or even record any of your parts over them. LoopLabs is a very useful online music-making collaborative tool.

#2- Splice Beat Maker

Splice is essentially like a large GitHub for musicians.

It’s based on collaborative projects and a vast library of DAWs and different plugins.

However, one of its greatest features is the Splice Beat Maker.

The great thing about this one is that it’s really easy to use. The interface is very intuitive and really easy to figure out.

Once again, we have collaborative projects and a whole bunch of different options for any music genre you need.

Just add your tracks, instruments, and start laying out beats.

Note: you can check out our review of splice sounds here.

When you’re done, you can download your track either as MIDI or Toraiz SP-16 files.

#3- Mixxx

Although it can come in handy for various different settings, Mixxx is mostly intended for DJs.

In fact, it’s pretty much a collection of tools that a DJ would need for their live sets.

Once again, like with many of the great online beat-making software, it’s easy to use and can come in handy for both pros and beginners.

It features the classic key and BPM detection with the possibility to sync different tracks when they’re played together.

There’s also an integrated DJ control support with already mapped out controls.

Aside from these and an abundance of effects, there’s also integrated vinyl record control.

The whole thing is rounded up with their community and great support that you can get for any problems that might occur along the way.

#4- Dumb.com

According to their own words, Dumb.com is a “source for dumb stuff.” Anything from fun harmless activities and jokes, up to a few different types of beatmakers.

It’s pretty obvious that with a website like this one you won’t really get a professional beatmaker.

But this is still a fun little addition to their website and there are seven different types that you can use on your computer, as well as an additional one for iPhone.

It’s available through a browser and works as a flash plugin.

#5- Drumbot

Drumbot is a service with multiple tools for musicians.

You can find some great effects, sequencers, a tuner, and, of course, a virtual drummer.

This beatmaker is also a flash plugin that you can use to create drum beats for any type of music you need. It comes as a perfect solution for those who want to jam out without a drummer.

It’s really straightforward, making it very simple to use. The controls for it are also laid out on the keyboard.

But you can’t expect much of it. Similar to the one on Dumb.com, it’s more of a helpful addition for any jam session rather than a serious software.

#6- Soundtrap

While not that flashy or designed for pros, Soundtrap provides a very simple interface for multi-track projects.

It’s designed for a wide variety of genres and even features guitar amp simulations and AutoTune.

Among these features, we can also find their Patterns Beatmaker.

It also comes with a great deal of pre-made beats and presets that you can use or further edit.

#7- CreateRaps

Here we have a very useful piece of software that you can use without any downloading.

As the name CreateRaps suggests, it’s mostly intended for rap music and rap beats.

How it works is that you choose any of the royalty-free premade beats, record your rapping over it, and download the file. That’s basically it!

Obviously, this is not something a professional would use, but it’s rather a beginner’s tool for making any rap and hip-hop tracks on the go. It’s fairly simple and all you need is a simple microphone and near-zero latency operation.

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!

Best Free Kontakt Libraries for 2021

Surely everyone that uses Native Instruments’ industry standard Kontakt sampler has at least 1 favorite free library or instrument.

What I’ve compiled here is a list of my personal favorites.

These are among what I find to be some of the most usable high quality libraries available.

This is not a complete list of free kontakt libraries or kontakt instruments, its simply a curated list of my favorites.

There are hundreds and hundreds of free kontakt libraries, but to be honest, a lot of them simply aren’t that good.

They get plenty of burn in my production projects at least, some may even be slept on. So here they are, in table form for your viewing pleasure:

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Library
Instruments
Website
Ivy Audio Pianos, Vocals, Drums, Trombones DOWNLOAD
AURORROR by Fluffy Audio More than 25 sound sources DOWNLOAD
The Free Orchestra Cinematic, Orchestra DOWNLOAD
Sketching Chamber Orchestra Orchestra DOWNLOAD
Jerry’s Pianos Piano DOWNLOAD
Precisionsound Amore Grand Piano Piano DOWNLOAD
16PAD by HelloSample Drums DOWNLOAD
Cinematique Instruments Chimes Percussion DOWNLOAD
Free HD Orchestra Chords & Sustained String Chords by Sonuscore Strings DOWNLOAD
Free Fall by Soundethers Synth DOWNLOAD
NS Drums J13 Drums DOWNLOAD
Alpine Project Strings, Woodwind, Brass DOWNLOAD
Ivy Audio Pianos, trombones, vocals and drums DOWNLOAD
Bicat Instruments Guitar, Bass, Organ, Pianos, and much more DOWNLOAD
Impact Soundworks Shreddage 3 Stratus Guitar DOWNLOAD
Waves Factory Whispers Creepy Voices DOWNLOAD
Cinematique Instruments Landscape Drone Generator DOWNLOAD
Cinematique Instruments Esemblia Chamber Orchestra DOWNLOAD
Producer’s Store- Angel’s Harp Harp DOWNLOAD
Retrosampling- Electric Piano, Breaks and Beats, and More Piano, Drums, and More DOWNLOAD
Sonic Bloom- Mellotron Samples Woodwinds, Strings, Brass, Flute and Choir DOWNLOAD
Cymatics Free Kontakt Libraries Strings, Guitar, Keys, and Much More DOWNLOAD
Red Room Audio- Pallette Primary Colors Orchestral DOWNLOAD
Detuned Upright Upright Piano DOWNLOAD


Also, don’t forget to check our updated MEGA-LIST of 400+ FREE VST here.

AURORROR by Fluffy Audio free Kontakt library

This excellent free Kontakt library is definitely the one I use the most.

Although it is a limited version of their fantastic AURORA library in terms of NKI presets, it still delivers on usability and sound quality.

AURORROR is advertised as a “horror cinematic and hybrid library” on Fluffy Audio’s website, but it’s a surprisingly versatile and flexible synth. 

With more than 25 unique sound sources, 13 different modulators, an arpeggiator and polystep modes, there’s a lot to work with.

The idea is to layer up to 3 sounds and adjust the plethora of parameters to create your own sound. Your new custom preset can then be saved. Check out this review by Saint Joe of Sounds And Gear.

16PAD by HelloSamples free Kontakt library

This developer has been around for quite some time and continues to offer a generous amount of extraordinary free and premium kontakt libraries.

Recently they stepped their game up even further by designing their own Kontakt instrument, 16PAD. Here’s a word about it courtesy of the included pdf manual:

To put it simply, it’s a 16 Pad instrument, each Pad has Volume, Panorama, Tune, ADSR, Filter + LFO, Distortion (Lo-Fi, Distortion, Skreamer, Tube) and Modulation (Chorus & Flanger) controls, plus 4

Send controls for 2 global Delay, Reverb and a Convolution Reverb (IR) effects.

There is also a simple on board step sequencer with controls for Volume, Tune and an Assignable Parameter per pad.

The pads can be selected via MIDI and can be colorized individually. The 16-channel mixer can be viewed by clicking the MIXER button to the bottom left of the step sequencer. 

I would have liked to have had the ability to load my own samples and have darker more pronounced colors on the pads, but this is a very nice instrument nonetheless. Big up to HS!

Amore Grand Piano free Kontakt library

This is a new addition to the list and honestly, we don’t have much to say about it.

It’s a great piano. And it sounds great. And it’s free.

Download it here.

Free HD Orchestra Chords & Sustained String Chords by Sonuscore free Kontakt library

Both of these Kontakt instruments have an awesome sound and are dead easy to control.

There is only 1 knob on each interface, low velocity triggers major chords, and high velocity triggers minor chords. On Sustained String Chords, you can control the dynamics with the mod wheel and mix sustain and tremolo chords.

On both libraries, you can play low, mid, and high strings separately or play huge chords altogether. The interface is simple and the design straight forward.

It’s a great library for generating or enhancing your compositions.

Check them out below:

Free Fall by Soundethers free Kontakt library

Free Fall is another library that has been out for a while, but I think it’s one of the most underrated free Kontakt libraries.

It’s dedicated to ambient textures and evolving type sounds which are useful in many musical genres.

It comes with 18 otherwordly patches and you are free to create and save your own custom patches.

This library just begs to be experimented with and you will have 4 pages of parameters to play with:  Main Engine, Effects Engine, Rhythm Engine and Output Engine.

There’s really a lot to go through with this library, once you download it, no doubt you’ll feel the same.

Also, remember to check our own list of best VST Synths here.

And now, for some honourable mentions:

NS Drums J-311 by NS Drums

Just released a few days ago, NS Drum kicks (pun intended) in with a well-crafted and high quality sounding acoustic kit.

Not only does the library sound great, but it offers the ability to really customize your drum sound with a nice set of sensible parameters: Pan, Tune, Room (mic), Attack, Hold and Decay.

There are a good number of presets for each of the 6 drum sounds represented in the intuitive interface: Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat, Tom, Ride and Crash.

NS Drums J-311 also boasts I very high level of detail as there are no less than 27 layers per instrument, so you will be able to dial in just about any acoustic kit sound you like. 

In addition, the FX page provides an EQ and Compressor for each instrument, while the MASTER page has an EQ and Compressor for the entire kit as well as a number of presets to choose from. Can’t wait to play around with this one.

It’s a great drum machine, and, you guessed it, it’s absolutely free.

The Alpine Project

If you’re looking for free orchestral kontakt instruments, look no further.

The alpine project is one of the most complete orchestral libraries we’ve seem- and it’s totally free!

There’s strings, woodwind, brass, and more.

Ivy Audio

Ivy Audio is a donation based sample/library producer known for its piano library.

It also offers trombones, vocals and drums, as well custom made libraries, which are of course, not for free.

If you’re looking for some classical piano, check out piano in 162.

If you’re on the hunt for some usable libraries, go check these 5 out. They are sure to inspire. Tell me what you think.

Also, if you’re looking for a cloud based solution to manage all these free libraries + search for buyable options, check out loopcloud.

*These libraries require the Full version of Kontakt

Stacker – Ultimate Drum Layering and Sound Design Tool

Update: It seems as though stacker has been discontinued 🙁

For a similar (and FREE!) alternative, check out Drum Boxx.

Got any other alternatives?

Let us know in the comment box!

Sample Magic – the company behind countless sample packs has released their new VST/AU plugin for Drum’s sound design.
It combines Drum sampler with layering capabilities, Drum synth, bunch of cool on-board effects and deep customization and modulation capabilities: multistep envelopes, mod matrix etc.

For a limited time it is on sale 38% off – download Stacker by Sample Magic.

Sampler window:

Drum synth:

Multi-stage Envelope:

Effects section:

Presets: 1208 presets covering Kicks, Snares, HiHats, Cymbals, Percussion, Sub Bass, FX, styles / genres created from over 750 audio files

Available at PluginBoutique – 38% off for a limited time.

Get more plugin deals here