70+ free resources that help you learn music production

Basic Concepts of Music Production.

Free pdf ebooks, tutorials, short courses good for all beginners, who want to produce music, but don’t know how to start. Just to get your feet wet; they will explain you everything you need to know in very easy-to-understand way.

  1. The Basics of Music Production – Basic concepts of music production. This book will help you to get start.
  2. Music Production 101 – Everything from how to setup your home studio to art of using compressor, reverb and EQ.
  3. Music Production Handbook Vol 1 – Music production TIPS from Berklee.
  4. Music Production Made Simple – How do you take your great idea for a song and create an awesome music production out of it
  5. How to become a music producer – Putting together you first home recording studio, learning and gaining music producers skills
  6. Music Production and Recording Handbook – The Songwriters Essential Fast Start Guide to Computer Recording
  7. 31 days to better recordings – This eBook is divided up into 31 sections. In each section, you will learn a specific aspect of the recording process.
  8. How to make Electronic Music – A great intro to electronic music production.
  9.   EDITOR CHOICE  Kim Lajoie Blog dump –  PDF archive of Kim Lajoie’s music production tips
  10. 30 Lessons for Aspiring Musicians – 27GB music lessons from Berklee college. Mostly propaganda, anyhow you can find there lot of nice information and advices that can help you with your decision to find the focus of your music career
  11. Ten ways to keep the creative juices flowing – A very nice guide for electronic music producers

Free courses and tutorials

Music production & Sound engineering

  1.   EDITOR CHOICE  Introduction to Music Production – Music production course by Berklee. Learn about the music production process—including recording, editing, and mixing — and the tools available to you to create contemporary music on your computer. Great insight for everyone who are taking  music production seriously.
  2. Introduction to digital sound design – This course will provide an overview of the fundamental principles of sound and the factors that determine our audio perception. It will also explore techniques of recording, mixing, processing, synthesis, sampling, analysis, and editing of digital audio that express your ideas and emotions, including a range of tools that revolve around the concept of prosody—the matching of lyrics and music to support your underlying message.
  3. Fundamental of Audio and Music Engineering – In this course students learn the basic concepts of acoustics and electronics and how they can applied to understand musical sound and make music with electronic instruments. Topics include: sound waves, musical sound, basic electronics, and applications of these basic principles in amplifiers and speaker design.
  4. Survey of Music TechnologyLearn to make music with digital audio workstation software, understand the theory and history behind music production tools. Through the exploration of topics such as acoustics, psychoacoustics, digital signal processing, audio synthesis, spectral analysis, algorithmic composition we will explore the deep relationships between art and science, between theory and practice, and between experimental and popular electronic music.

Songwriting & Music Theory

  1. Songwritting – Learn an efficient, effective process for writing songs that express your ideas and emotions, including a range of tools that revolve around the concept of prosody—the matching of lyrics and music to support your underlying message.
  2. Develop your musicianship – Learn the basic concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music. If you have a passion for music and are curious about how it works, this course will provide you with an engaging introduction to key concepts and approaches needed to understand, create, and perform contemporary music.
  3. Fundamentals of Music Theory – This course will introduce students to the theory of music, providing them with the skills needed to read and write Western music notation, as well as to understand, analyse, and listen informedly. It will cover material such as pitches and scales, intervals, clefs, rhythm, form, meter, phrases and cadences, and basic harmony.
  4. Introduction to Classical Composition – This course aims to give students a set of approaches for composition in the style of Classical and Romantic era European art music. The issues of harmonic progression, voice leading, and texture are addressed in addition to relevant compositional concepts like repetition, variation, and elaboration. Learn classical composition.
  5. Ravenspiral Guide to Music Theory – One of the finest free music theory books
  6. Music Theory: The TL;DR Version – Music theory guide for EDM producers with short attention spans.
  7. Music Theory for Songwriters – A comprehensive guide to music theory for songwriters
  8. Music theory for computer musicians – For all who makes music on computer. Very nice introduction to music theory
  9. Understanding basic music theory – Everything you need to know about music
  10. EDITOR CHOICE  Music theory fundamentals – Fundamentals principles of music theory

Ear training

  1. Critical listening for studio production – This course is a technical ear training programme designed to improve critical listening in a music studio context.​
  2. EQ your ears – Identify specific frequencies with this online tool.
  3. EDITOR CHOICE  PitchImprover – Absolute pitch training.
  4. Music Interval Tutor – Recognize music intervals by ear.
  5.  PAID  QuizTones – Very handy application for your iPhone and also Mac workstation, you can get it cheaply at App Store. Cons of this App is, that if you use it regularly and too often, it will get easy for you to guess the correct answers.
  6.  PAID  Train Your Ears EQ Edition – Similar App to QuizTones. However, it is more robust. Level of difficulty is freely customizable and so program itself can focus on your weakest spots.
  7.  PAID   EDITOR CHOICE  Audio Production and Critical Listening – This is my favorite one. It comes with book and software. If you want to learn how to hear eq, compression, reverb and delay, distortion and more, get this one.

How to make great Mixes

If you struggling with your mixes for some reason (dullness, they lack clarity, or sound flat with no energy, made in garage, etc…)….and you want them to sound professional and competitive

  1.   EDITOR CHOICE  Mixing with IZOTOPE – If you don’t know anything about mixing or mixing software, this Guide is a great place to start.
  2. EQ masterclass – In-depth series of EQ tutorial videos by ADSR
  3. Thinking inside the box – Beginners guide to EQ
  4. EQ Cheating – various EQ tips and tricks that will help you with your mix.
  5. EQ Frequency Map – print this and put it on your desk
  6. How Reverb Makes Everything Falls Into Place – Reverb creates the stage in which you set your mix. Skipping the reverb will result in a cluttered and difficult mix unless you’ve carefully recorded everything with a specific room sound.  
  7. Highway to Great Mixes –  tips and tricks on how to make great sounding mix
  8.   EDITOR CHOICE  101 Music habits and production tips – Here are some production tips & personal habits that music producer have implemented over 24 year music making career.
  9. Compression 101 – Beginners guide to compression
  10. Compress to impress – Compression tutorial for the electronic musician.

Great YOUTUBE channels

  1.   EDITOR CHOICE  Into the Liar – Grammy Award winning mixing engineer Dave Pensado is not only great music producer, sound engineer and mixer responsible for countless hit songs played on the radio charts (Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Pink, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, etc…), but also with his weekly show PensadoPlace which is dedicated to mixing & engineering techniques he is a great tutor and teacher.  For those who haven’t seen his show so far, it is a MUST! You will love this guy.
  2. 5 min to better mixes – 5 min a day. Graham Cochrane from Recording Revolution is giving you short video tutorials that will help you with mixing
  3. Music production tutorials – One of Point Blanks’s tutors has created a channel with over 400 in-depth video’s covering Ableton, Cubase, Logic Pro, Maschine, Bitwig. From creating a FM like bassline to creating deep house keys and chords, if you are into underground House music and Techno look no further.
  4. Sonic Academy – Sonic Academy has been a qualitative source of tutorials for years. All electronic music genres are covered on their YouTube channel, they focus mostly Ableton and Logic although there are some Cubase and Reason tutorials as well.
  5. Dubspot – Dubspot is one of the world’s leading schools for electronic music production. Their YouTube channel has over 500 video’s covering production techniques for pretty much all electronic music genres as well as DJ’ing tutorials. DAW’s covered: Ableton Live, Logic Pro, BitWig, Maschine.
  6. PointBlank Online – PointBlank music production school based in London, UK is probably only one school with such a well organized Youtube channel where you can find tons of helpful tutorials for improving your mixing, mastering and producing skills.
  7. WinkSound – Music production and audio technology video channel

Learn your favorite DAW

  1. Logic Pro –great introduction into Logic you will find here and great tips and advices you will get from sfNinja here
  2. Fruity Loops – Offical Fruity Loops tutorial from Image-Line and also some great tuts and tips are here on WarBeats
  3. Ableton Live – Nick’s tutorials are comprehensive Ableton Live resource and also you can find nice and helpful Ableton Live community at EDITOR CHOICE  Tom Cosm place.
  4. Reason – Great source for learning Reason are Reason experts and here 
  5. Garageband – this a great place to start with Garageband
  6. Reaper An indispensable resource for the REAPER user community, providing news, reviews, tips & tricks, and detailed tutorials on music production using the REAPER software
  7. Native Instruments Machine – This site was started by Maschine users for everyone who want to learn Maschine, or wanting a place to improve their current skills and share their own tips and advice.

Synthesis

  1.   EDITOR CHOICE  How to bass – A series of tutorials for creating heavy bass sounds (by SeamlessR)
  2. How to make a noise – A legendary free eBook guide to synthesizer programming.
  3. Synthesis Fundamentals – Free tutorials for absolute beginners by the Bob Moog Foundation.
  4. Synth Student – Beginner’s guide to subtractive synthesis

Blogs to follow

  1. Gearslutz – Number one audio forum. Very helpful community.
  2. EDITOR CHOICE  Bedroom producers blog – tons of free resources – plugins, vst instruments, tools and utilities.
  3. Producer Spot – blog dedicated to all music producers, musicians, sound designers and DJs.
  4. ProAudioFIles – Creator of ear training app QuizTones and his blog
  5. Tweakheadz – The #1 site for learning about home and project studios

Sound Design samples

  1. 99Sounds – Free sound design label offering free sound effects and instrument samples.
  2. Freesound Project – Download thousands of royalty free sounds.