The 10 Best Free Online Courses for Music Production (2023)
Getting an education in music used to be a lengthy and costly process. Nowadays, you can get access to all the music-production information you need without leaving the house. There’s a lot of amazing content online, and the best free online courses for music production are surely worth your time.
Below, you can find 10 of the best online courses for music production you can get for the price of nothing. Knowledge is power, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your music production skills to the next level!
If you’re looking for a place to start learning about music production, you’ve just found it. Udemy offers an extensive selection of free online courses on the topic, and they’re generally aimed at beginners.
For the price of nothing, you can learn the fundamentals of working with DAWs such as Ableton Live, Studio One, and BandLab, using audio effects like compressors and equalization, and even improving your laptop‘s performance.
The best part is that most of Udemy’s content is very short and accessible. With courses ranging from 30 minutes to four hours, Udemy isn’t about wasting your time: It’s about setting the mood as fast and as efficiently as possible.
2. Music Production Specialization
Available via Coursera, the Music Production Specialization course contains some of the best free music-production lessons you’ll ever find on the Internet. What is it that makes it great? The fact that it was developed by Berklee College of Music, one of the world’s most renowned music academies.
With Music Production Specialization, you get access to all the information you need to go from music noob to professional producer. The entire course takes approximately five months, which sounds like a lot. However, it’s nothing if you take into account everything it encompasses.
In addition to the fundamentals, the Music Production Specialization course will teach you more advanced techniques, such as using reference tracks for mixing and mastering, composing emotional dynamic structures, and organizing your work sessions.
3. Vocal Recording Technology
On the topic of free Berklee College of Music courses, why not also give Vocal Recording Technology a try? As the name implies, this edX-provided course focuses mainly on vocal recording and mixing but also tackles broader subjects on the topic of audio engineering.
Vocals are the fundamental instrument in pop music, and no music producer will ever make it into the big league without mastering them. There’s a lot to learn here, from using pitch correction technology to enhancing the performance of the musicians you’re working with.
The best part? You can get a certificate of achievement after completing the six-week lessons. In a way, this means that you can obtain a Berklee College of Music “diploma” without leaving the house. The certificate isn’t free, but it’s very affordable.
4. Point Blank
Point Blank is a world-renowned music production school that’s been active since the mid-’90s. Even though they have physical schools in places such as London, China, and Mumbai, they’re perhaps best known for their online courses. And some of them are available for free!
On its official website, Point Blank offers a series of Logic Pro and Ableton Live courses to anyone who takes five minutes to create an account. The courses feature expert lectures from many industry pros and are perfect for anyone who’s into electronic music.
Another big plus is that Point Blank also offers courses on the often-ignored business side of music. I’d recommend their music industry lessons to everybody, even to established music producers who’ve been in the game for years.
In addition to their comprehensive courses and programs, they also have an impressive collection of free video content on their YouTube channel. One of the standout features of Point Blank Music School’s YouTube channel is their deconstruction video series. In these videos, expert instructors break down some of the most popular and iconic tracks in electronic music, analyzing the various elements of the production and offering insights into the sound design techniques used by the artist. This can be an incredibly valuable resource for music producers who want to improve their own skills and learn from the best in the business.
5. Music Producer Masterclass: Making Electronic Music
If you’re looking for an everything-in-one music production course that you can complete in one day, you should give this one a go. Even though it takes a mere four to five hours to finish, the Music Producer Masterclass: Making Electronic Music course (hosted by Alison) is the fountain of knowledge you need to quench your thirst.
In the end, you get access to a free certificate, which is a big plus. But the standout is the amount of information per minute; the guys at Music Producer Masterclass: Making Electronic Music tackle everything you need to know, from mastering a DAW (in this case, FL Studio) to creating full songs.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of advanced modules too, including stuff like sidechain compression, vocal chopping effects, creating glitch effects, and even selling music and distributing music online.
6. Electronic Music Production Level I
As the name implies, Noiselab’s Electronic Music Production Level I is a free online music production course aimed at beginners. It’s based around using Ableton Live, one of the world’s most popular DAWs. If you’ve just bought Ableton Live and you’re looking to learn how to use it, this is the right course for you.
But hey, there are plenty of beginner-level music production courses for Ableton Live users, so why is this any special? Anyone can easily learn how to navigate any DAW using YouTube tutorials, right?
Well, the Electronic Music Production Level I course makes the list for two reasons. First, it’s specifically aimed at electronic music producers. Second, and most importantly, it’s taught by Thavius Beck, an experienced producer who’s worked with artists as established as Nine Inch Nails and The Mars Volta.
Pretty much like Udemy, EnvatoTuts+ has a wide variety of free music production courses to choose from. They have free lessons on pretty much everything, going from basic tutorials (such as learning how to use Logic Pro) to highly-specific subjects (such as creating a woodwinds sample library).
If you love to learn about music, EnvatoTuts+ is the kind of place where you’ll lose yourself. Most courses take less than two hours to complete, and some even explore video-related topics (which can be hard to find). To make it more accessible, all EnvatoTuts+ courses are conveniently divided into short clips.
8. Music Technology Foundations
Provided by the University of Adelaide and hosted by edX, the Music Technology Foundations course is yet another free online music production course that comes from a reputable source and includes a certificate (which you need to pay to get).
The whole course takes six weeks to complete and is aimed at music producers looking to learn the fundamentals of the craft. The Music Technology Foundations course takes an interesting approach by focusing on the history of music technology and production techniques.
The goal of the course is to teach you how to make your own music, rather than mixing and mastering the works of others. MIDI is a big part of it, and there’s an included hands-on practice module near the end.
9. Learn How To Mix Music With Young Guru
Skillshare is an education platform that often employs the talents of legendary artists, thinkers, and entrepreneurs. Young Guru is surely among them. A Grammy award-winning audio engineer, he’s worked with some of the best rappers in the world, from Jay-Z to Kanye West.
The focus of Learn How To Mix Music With Young Guru, however, isn’t hip-hop per se. It’s rather a masterclass on the art of mixing, where you get to learn the secrets of the craft from Young Guru himself.
Despite being a “celebrity guest,” Young Guru goes deep into his mixing strategies and techniques, meaning this is the kind of online course that should appeal even to highly-experienced music producers.
Some of the most interesting modules include the chapter on organizing your DAW session before starting a mix, adding compression, and finding the right tonal balance for the entire track.
10. Pro Tools Basics
If there’s one DAW you should learn before deciding to make a living as an audio engineer, that’s probably Pro Tools. And what better place to learn about the industry-standard DAW than yet another free online course provided by the renowned Berklee College of Music?
Hosted by Coursera, this online course has already attracted the attention of over 30,000 students and has everything you need to start using Pro Tools… like a pro.
There’s more to music production than knowing your way around a DAW. But understanding your fundamental working platform as well as possible is not only recommended, it’s almost mandatory.
In the end, you also get access to a three-hour module on mixing and mastering.
Are free online courses for music production any good?
If you choose wisely, you can learn a lot with free online courses for music production. Not all free online courses have the same level of quality, but you can find real gems if you look hard enough. Every source of knowledge is worth trying, especially if it costs nothing.
Can I teach myself music production?
You can. The vast majority of music producers working in pop, rock, and hip-hop are self-taught. However, it’s always advisable to find some guidance during the learning process, even if it’s from free online courses, YouTube tutorials, or more experienced producers. Formal education isn’t required.
Are free courses for music production good enough?
Free courses for music production are a great learning tool, but you should consider other options as well. YouTube tutorials are great and straight-to-the-point, and nothing replaces some hands-on practice. Spend as much time producing and learning about music as you can.
There are countless YouTube channels where you can learn about music production. Some of my favorites include Reid Stefan (for all things music-production), Andrew Huang (for quick tips and hacks), Ned Rush (for auto-generative music), Mr. Bill (for advanced music-production techniques), Pensado’s Place (for mixing), Signals Music Studio (for music theory), and You Suck at Producing (for learning music production in a fun way).
Do you need to take a course to learn music production?
There’s a lot of technical knowledge involved in music production, but you don’t need to attend college or pay for a professional course to make a living as a music producer. Learning everything you need in a structured way is great, but it’s not the ultimate indicator of a music producer’s success.
It’s tempting to think that music isn’t about what you know, but about how creative and expressive you are. While creativity is a big plus for any artist, it’s not the defining characteristic of a successful music producer. Transpiration beats inspiration, and nothing can replace hard work.
Learning as much as you can about music production is something you should do to take your skills to the next level and make the most of the time you spend producing. With so many great free courses, YouTube videos, and blog articles online, there’s no excuse to ignore the things you still don’t know about music production.