Music Production for Beginners
4.5 (3 ratings)
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Music Production for Beginners

Got a computer and a love for music? Make your songs sound professional with this easy course!
4.5 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
46 students enrolled
Created by Ben Thornburg
Last updated 9/2015
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Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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.
View Curriculum
  • 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.

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.

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.
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Curriculum For This Course
40 Lectures
Introducing Reason
7 Lectures 49:35

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.

Preview 13:40

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

Opening Reason for the first time

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

The Interface

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

Keyboard Shortcuts and Conventions in Reason

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

My First Drum Machine

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.

Exploring the Reason Sound Bank

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

Basic Audio Concepts

Test your understanding of basic audio measurement terms.

Basic Audio Concepts Quiz
7 questions
3 Lectures 21:57

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.

Intro to Synths

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

Intro to Synths II

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

Recognizing Synth Components
The Sequencer
4 Lectures 18:58

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

Recording Instrument Tracks

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

Edit mode and Tools

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.

3 Lectures 30:03

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

My First Sampler

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

Kong Drum Designer

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

Dr. OctoRex
Audio Recording
4 Lectures 21:41

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

Audio Interface Setup

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.

Preview 06:07

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

Audio Track Recording

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

Audio Track Editing
FX + Routing
4 Lectures 19:45

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

Device Routing

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.

Distortion (the good kind)
The Mixer
6 Lectures 32:23

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

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!

Inserts + Sends

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

The Faders
4 Lectures 14:35

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.

Mastering Overview

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

Master Section

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.

Exporting and Sharing

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.

Next Steps
Bonus Videos
5 Lectures 13:06

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

The Matrix

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

The Combinator

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

The Alligator

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

The Vocoder

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

Rack Extensions
About the Instructor
Ben Thornburg
4.5 Average rating
3 Reviews
46 Students
1 Course

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.