Introduction to Music Production

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8/10 stars
based on  7 reviews
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Cost FREE
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Course Details

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FREE

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Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4767 reviews

Course Description

With the recent introduction of high-quality-low-cost software and hardware, the tools of music production are now available to the masses. Albums are made in bedrooms as well as studios. On the surface this is liberating. Anyone can make an album for the low cost of a couple pieces of gear and a software package. But, if you dig deeper, you will find that it is not so easy. Producing music requires knowledge, dedication, and creativity.
    
Knowledge is where this course comes in. No matter what kind of music you are making, there is a large set of tools that you will need to use.  Each lesson of this course will demonstrate a different set of music production tools, loosely following along the music production process of recording, editing, and mixing.

We will start with some background on the nature of sound and how we perceive it. We will then examine the components necessary to record audio into a computer, so...
With the recent introduction of high-quality-low-cost software and hardware, the tools of music production are now available to the masses. Albums are made in bedrooms as well as studios. On the surface this is liberating. Anyone can make an album for the low cost of a couple pieces of gear and a software package. But, if you dig deeper, you will find that it is not so easy. Producing music requires knowledge, dedication, and creativity.
    
Knowledge is where this course comes in. No matter what kind of music you are making, there is a large set of tools that you will need to use.  Each lesson of this course will demonstrate a different set of music production tools, loosely following along the music production process of recording, editing, and mixing.

We will start with some background on the nature of sound and how we perceive it. We will then examine the components necessary to record audio into a computer, so that you understand the devices that sound must travel through in a music production process.
    
Once recorded, sound must be organized along a timeline, a process known as editing. It allows us to give the impression of perfect performances and create many of the sounds we hear in contemporary music. The contemporary editing tool is the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW),  a piece of software that stores and organizes all the assets of a musical project. We will focus on the editing tools that are essential in contemporary music production and that all DAWs provide.

After editing, sounds must be combined or mixed together, so we look to the mixing board—a very creative place if you know how to use it. We will explore the basic functionality of both hardware and software mixing boards, including volume, pan, mute, solo, busses, inserts, sends, and submixes. The mixing process, however, includes more tools than the mixing board provides on its own. Sound must also be processed, modified from its recorded state to fit the context of the music. We will look at compression, equalization, and delay, and examine the many audio effects that are offshoots of these devices and how they are used in a musical context.
    
We will then explore the synthesizer, a major tool within the production of contemporary music. Yes, great music can and will be created without the synthesizer, but learning how a synthesizer works will give you a language to describe sound. Music is a collaborative art form, so there is nothing more powerful than effective communication.
   
In the end, the music production process relies on your creativity. Creativity is a product of the mind and will stay there, unexpressed, until the right tools are used in the right way to share it with the world. If you have an idea in your head, it will take numerous steps, each with an important tool, to reach your audience. You bring the dedication and creativity, and this course will bring you the knowledge to make that happen.
Reviews 8/10 stars
7 Reviews for Introduction to Music Production

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6/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 4 months ago
I had no experience in music production and decided to take this course to learn more. The lessons were good and the instructor explained everything clearly. However, what I HATE about this course is the way we are evaluated (peer reviews). I felt that I was judged poorly by peers that did not understand the lessons very well or that had different opinions. Sometimes, people would take off points because I did NOT mention something that really wasn't necessary or related to the topic, and that they, for no good reason, wanted me to include. For example: how a musical equipment works with a specific instrument, etc. They did not take into the fact that I had only 5 minutes to explain everything. Other times, they took off points for things that they THOUGHT were wrong but, when I double-checked the material it was all correct and accurate. I felt like I had points taken away because some of MY PEERS MISUNDERSTOOD some parts of the les... I had no experience in music production and decided to take this course to learn more. The lessons were good and the instructor explained everything clearly. However, what I HATE about this course is the way we are evaluated (peer reviews). I felt that I was judged poorly by peers that did not understand the lessons very well or that had different opinions. Sometimes, people would take off points because I did NOT mention something that really wasn't necessary or related to the topic, and that they, for no good reason, wanted me to include. For example: how a musical equipment works with a specific instrument, etc. They did not take into the fact that I had only 5 minutes to explain everything. Other times, they took off points for things that they THOUGHT were wrong but, when I double-checked the material it was all correct and accurate. I felt like I had points taken away because some of MY PEERS MISUNDERSTOOD some parts of the lessons.
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Sam wright profile image
Sam wright profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 4 completed
1 year, 11 months ago
This course is a great starting point for those interested in any part of the music industry. It is a lot of work but completely worth it. You can pass this course with a high grade by just focusing on the basic requirements but it provides the resources to go as deep into the subjects as your could want. Don't ignore the discussion forums in this course they are a gold mine.
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Robert Davis profile image
Robert Davis profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 16 reviews
  • 16 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
The videos for this class are well produced. I have learned an amazing amount of things about music that I didn't know. The lectures give a great introduction into all the different components of music production and in particular the sound board. Because this topic is so complex, you will only get a brief glimpse into the different aspects (delays, effects, sound properties...). That does not mean you will not learn anything. You can start doing basic music production with just the knowledge from this class. I recommend this class to anyone who will be creating any kind of digital recordings or are just interested in how music is produced. You will need to have a DAW (digital audio workstation) installed on your computer. (there are free options available on the web)
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Pablo Fonseca profile image
Pablo Fonseca profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
6 years, 4 months ago
The course is very interesting and the lessons are well produced. The peer evaluations was fair, but as someone already pointed out, some of the peers opinion were lacking detailed feedback, allthough none of them was rude.
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James profile image
James profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
6 years, 5 months ago
Overall, I really liked the course. I had been independently learning music production for several years, but this course was a great way to really unify all my knowledge and fill in some of the gaps. Loudon is a very knowledgeable instructor and covers all the important topics. I would disagree with the other reviewers in that I really liked the peer reviewed assignments. I felt the reviews I got were quite fair, and while they were sometimes lacking in specific feedback, there were also some reviews that provided real expert insights. I also enjoyed reviewing other student's lessons, which helped me check my own knowledge, learn new things in the process, and see some pretty creative projects. I'd highly recommend this class to anyone interested in music production, and it's one of the more engaging MOOC's I've ever taken.
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Adam Durham profile image
Adam Durham profile image
8/10 starsTaking Now
  • 6 reviews
  • 2 completed
6 years, 5 months ago
I'm an experienced music producer who took several production courses at Berklee previously and wanted to take this just to brush up on some terms and see how Music Production is being taught online. This is one of the most extensive music courses I have taken online. There is a lot of great information if you watch the videos and take good notes. The quizzes are long but not difficult if you memorize the terms and know the material. I'm marking this down because I agree peer assignments are annoying.
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Klippel Trenaunay profile image
Klippel Trenaunay profile image
5/10 starsCompleted
  • 12 reviews
  • 11 completed
6 years, 11 months ago
The biggest problem I had was that over half the grade was based on peer review. I will never pay for a class that offers peer reviews, as long as they can affect my grade. Every class I have taken that has peer reviews, their are rude, useless comments made. Students who did their assignments wrong, turned around and graded papers down based on their faulty understanding of the assignment. Students have downgraded peer assignments because of another students nationality. Peer reviews should only count as pass if done and fail if not done, the points that peers give should not count against grade at all. Peer reviews are supposed to be done by people with the same level of knowledge and that can't happen in a learning environment. We are not all at the same level of understanding of the subject if we are learning it I had no prior experience in this area, I learned a lot, I have never done music production before so it was nice to be... The biggest problem I had was that over half the grade was based on peer review. I will never pay for a class that offers peer reviews, as long as they can affect my grade. Every class I have taken that has peer reviews, their are rude, useless comments made. Students who did their assignments wrong, turned around and graded papers down based on their faulty understanding of the assignment. Students have downgraded peer assignments because of another students nationality. Peer reviews should only count as pass if done and fail if not done, the points that peers give should not count against grade at all. Peer reviews are supposed to be done by people with the same level of knowledge and that can't happen in a learning environment. We are not all at the same level of understanding of the subject if we are learning it I had no prior experience in this area, I learned a lot, I have never done music production before so it was nice to be able to start as a beginner and jump right in and understand everything that was being taught. I started off the review with what I didn't like and that was peer reviews. If they didn't affect grade then they would be fine.
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