From Hitting Record to Hit Record: Start Producing Music!

Got a computer and a love for music? Make your songs sound professional with this easy course!
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43 students enrolled
Instructed by Ben Thornburg Music / Production
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  • Lectures 40
  • Length 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2015 English

Course Description

Be the music producer you've always wanted to be. Create commercial-quality songs with any popular music production software.

Produce Music You Love and Share it With the World

• Learn popular audio engineering techniques used in recording studios everywhere

• Recognize synthesizer components and design your own sounds

• Master loop-based drum patterns

• Record and manipulate your own recorded sounds

• Design complex, multi-sampled instruments

• Utilize popular effect devices, including reverb, delay and distortion

• Create a professional mix of your song, with EQ, compression, gating, insert FX, sends and automation

• Share your final mix after mastering it with Reason's built-in professional grade devices

Produce Hit Music in Your Studio

Not long ago, music production required hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, studio time and skilled engineers. Now, anyone with a passion for music and a computer can produce music for radio, TV, movies, iTunes, and Spotify.

There are a lot of options for music software, but Reason is powerful, comprehensive and fun. It's the only software you need to start producing incredible music from start to finish. In this course, songwriters, singers, artists and musicians of all types will learn how to use Reason to turn their computer into a recording studio.

Course Overview

Start from the very beginning, including equipment setup, software installation and basic audio concepts. From there, you'll dive right into the fun stuff – creating drum loops with drum machines.

Study the components of synthesizers and learn how to identify oscillator, filter and envelope sections in any software or device. You'll learn how to add more advanced characteristics with modulation, low frequency oscillators and polyphony parameters.

Turn mediocre performances into killer tracks with the advanced sequencer and quantization capabilities in Reason. Use blocks and automation to arrange an organic, original mix.

You'll learn best practices for recording great audio with basic equipment and how to get started with sampling and recording vocal tracks. Utilize the power of Rex loops, creating your own variations on one of the many built-in drum, percussion or music loops – or, create a new sliced loop from scratch!

Get started with common effect devices, including reverb, delay and distortion. After completing this course, you'll be confident finding your way around any mixing console. Apply compression, gating and EQ for a true professional sound.

Finally, you'll also learn mastering techniques to help your songs hold their own next to any commercial track out there. Students who complete this course will be able to share a final, mixed, mastered original song with anyone in the world.

What are the requirements?

  • Students will need to use a valid copy of Reason (version 8.0 or later). The lectures will cover installation, authorization and first time setup.
  • Professional headphones or studio monitors are highly recommended.
  • An external audio interface is highly recommended.
  • A professional microphone is highly recommended.
  • Some basic musical knowledge is helpful, but not required.
  • An external MIDI keyboard or controller is helpful, but not required.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Install and setup Reason.
  • Understand basic audio concepts.
  • Identify and understand the components of a synthesizer.
  • Record and program multisample-based patches, using note and velocity layers.
  • Record, edit and arrange music using a digital audio workstation sequencer.
  • Route and understand a wide variety of audio effects.
  • Mix multitrack recordings using EQ, compression, gating and automation.
  • Master and export your music for distribution.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is intended for anyone wishing to have a general understanding of digital music production.
  • This course is intended for anyone wishing to have a general understanding of the music production capabilities of Propellerheads' Reason.
  • Some basic musical knowledge is helpful, but not required.
  • This course is not recommended for highly experienced audio engineers or producers, unless intentionally looking for an overview of Reason-specific workflow.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introducing Reason

Our first journey into Reason! Just watch this overview of the amazing things we can do with Reason. Don't panic! All of this will be covered in detail soon.


Understand how to install, authorize and setup your audio and MIDI devices with Reason.


Learn about the different parts of Reason and how they work together: the browser, rack, transport, sequencer and mixer.


Here are some shortcuts and conventions you'll be using constantly in Reason. Memorize them now!


Let's make a beat! Get to know your first new best friend, the Redrum Drum Computer.


Reason comes with a ton of preset patches and samples, but the sound bank can be overwhelming at first glance. In this video, we'll walk through how these are organized.


What is sound? How do we describe it? Let's discuss amplitude and frequency!

7 questions

Test your understanding of basic audio measurement terms.

Section 2: Synthesizers

Cover the basic components of every synthesizer, from oscillators to filters to envelopes. Program your own patches with the power of ADSR. Distinguish between the basic waveform shapes.


There's more to most synths than the basics. Mod envelopes, filter envelopes, LFOs and polyphony!


Use your newfound knowledge to break down the components of more complex synthesizers, including Malström and Thor.

Section 3: The Sequencer

You've got a great hook, and now you want to record it. It's time to learn multitrack recording basics in Reason.


Edit your tracks with the selection, pencil, erase, razor, mute, magnify and hand tools. Switch between them fast with QWERTYU.


The building blocks of your song in Reason are... Blocks. Understand how to arrange your song with them in this lecture.


Add automation for any knob, fader or button in Reason and learn how to fine-tune it.

Section 4: Samplers

Discover the NN-XT, a powerful multisampling device. Set root notes, note ranges, velocity layers and more!


Drum Machines can be samplers too! Let's begin to understand the inner workings of the Kong.


The Dr. is in! Rex loops are a powerful tool. Learn how to load, alter and switch between them on the fly!

Section 5: Audio Recording

Got an audio interface and a microphone? Good! We'll set them up in this video.


A tiny button with a lot of power. Learn how to instantly turn anything into a sample and use Reason's built-in sample editor.


Let's add some audio waveforms to our lonely note lanes.


Are you a 12-take wonder? Artificially create the best combined performance with ease.

Section 6: FX + Routing

Reason handles most routing automatically, but sometimes you want to handle it yourself. Also, we discuss common features in effect devices.


Put your music in a room, hall, or bounce it off a plate.


Learn the art of delay (delay, delay, delay...).


Crunch, warm, resonate and auto-wah with the Scream 4 Sound Destruction Unit.

Section 7: The Mixer

You have to start somewhere. On the mixer, it's the input section.


Squish dynamic ranges into manageable signals with compression.


Get rid of unwanted background noise with gates.


Learn about Reason's 4-band EQ, low pass filter, high pass filter and how to change it with the visualizer.


You always need more effects! Add an insert effect combinator and learn about auxiliary sends for even more mixing options!


Everybody loves a good fader. In this section, we can pan, solo, mute and group channels together!

Section 8: Mastering

While some professionals won't master things themselves, the tools are built in to Reason to make final touches. We'll talk about what mastering is, and how to use the mastering combinator.


Another compressor, FX sends, FX returns and a handy control room output make up the master section in Reason.


You're done and want to share your song with the world? Let's export to a high quality format that can be sent off to a separate mastering facility or crammed into a tiny MP3 file.


Our time has come to a close, but we're just getting started. Here are a few resources and next steps to continue your journey as a music producer.

Section 9: Bonus Videos

It's a mini-sequencer for everything! Take the red pill and discover a rabbit hole of loopiness.


Want to combine a bunch of devices? Ask the combinator to do it for you.


Triple filtered. Always smooth. The alligator adds rhythm excitement to even the most drab sounds.


Ever wanted to combine your voice with a synthesizer? Now you can!


Tired of the built-in devices yet? Need some aural inspiration? Browse, try and buy a wide variety of other devices.

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Instructor Biography

Ben Thornburg, Songwriter/Composer/Producer

With training from Berklee College of Music's online extension programs and the Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio, Ben Thornburg has been an adjunct professor in music + technology fields at Cincinnati Christian University for over a decade. He currently runs Okeedoke Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio, developing games, apps and websites, including VCVCBC Songwriting Studio, What Note is This?, and Beat Brite.

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