About the course
This 12-week course is designed to provide you with a platform to take your first steps into Music Production, allowing you to fully express yourself as a music producer. In short, we take you through the basics of making beats with the best. Our expert tutors will guide you on your journey using Soundtrap, Spotify’s music production studio, helping to get you started in the world of music production.
Got a question about this course? Give our course team a call on +44 (0)1565 228 266.
Over the course of 12 weeks, learners will study:
- Building simple songs from loops
- Drum programming
- Note values
- Major and Minor Scales
- Scale Degrees
- Creative FX — reverbs and delays
- Stereo field
- Synthesis — waveforms
- Envelopes and LFOs
- Arrangement and variation
- Microphones and audio interfaces
Two ways to learn
Observer Seat i
- 4 camera views
- HQ audio
- Watch live
- Download materials
- Re-watch later
Full Access i
- Same as observer plus:
- Own perspective camera view
- Interact live with the teacher
- Take part in polls
- Join in session groups
- Collaborate with other users
We offer a 100% money back guarantee, if you change your mind and cancel 2 weeks before the course is due to begin.
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Simple song from loops
This lesson will introduce learners to Soundtrap’s interface, where everything can be found in the software and how to navigate the extensive loop library. Learners will be shown how to select appropriate sounds from the loop library and arrange them into a musical project with consideration to track structure on Soundtrap. This project will be built upon throughout this course, with new elements and concepts being introduced with each lesson. Once the students have successfully created a simple song from loops during the task at the end of the lesson, they will be shown how to export the track so that they can begin working with the software in their own time to fulfill their own musical ideas.
This lesson will introduce learners to the history of drum machines, the different forms that drum sequencing can take, and how this has translated into the digital era today. Learners will be talked through a control interface for a drum machine, so that they are able to interact with various forms of analogue and digital drum sequencers with a sturdy foundation of understanding.
The learners will be shown Soundtraps’ pattern editor and how it should be used to create simple and effective drum beats for their projects. The main task will have the students compose two drum beats for two sections of music, to get them used to the pattern editor, and introduce them to two different styles of drum groove.
This lesson will introduce learners to the basic rhythmic concepts needed for composition, including tempo, time signatures, and note lengths. Values will be explored in both fractional form and technical musical terminology, to provide a broader understanding of the note values and how they interact in different settings. This will then be explained in the context of MIDI notes and the piano roll so that the learners can apply these ideas effectively using Soundtrap. The main task will get students to use these rhythmic concepts covered to create a musically informed melody for their project on a MIDI instrument in Soundtrap, to enforce these ideas.
Major and minor scales
This lesson will introduce learners to the basics of music theory, centring around simple major and minor scale patterns. These patterns will be explained and explored in full to ensure a solid understanding of the theory taking place and the potential uses for this in music production. There is lots of focus on constructing scales in this lesson so that learners can work out the notes in a scale efficiently in the future, a skill essential when it comes to composing melodies or chord progressions in projects. The task will challenge learners to input multiple scales into Soundtrap, simultaneously testing their harmonic knowledge and proficiency within the platform.
The learners will be shown the pattern editor within Soundtrap and how it should be used to create simple and effective drum beats for their projects. The main task will have the students compose two drum beats for two sections of music, to get them used to the pattern editor, and introduce them to two different styles of drum groove.
This lesson will introduce learners to the role that each note plays in the context of a set tonality or key. Learners will be shown which notes lie where, what the technical names are, and the positions of each note in each of the major and minor scale patterns. The lesson will also cover the functions of the most important notes (dominant and subdominant) and the intervals at play between each of the notes. The task here asks learners to input a set chord progression into Soundtrap, using only the chords’ roman numerals to generate the progression. This is designed to test the learners’ aptitude in Soundtrap, as well as their understanding of the harmonic content.
This lesson will introduce the learners to the three basic types of triads (three-note chords), how they sound, and where we can expect to find them in major/minor tonalities. Learners will be shown how to construct these chords from intervals and a starting note, as well as when it is appropriate to use which type of triad in their music.
The learners will be tasked with designing a chord progression to accompany a melody and drum beat in a house music style, which will help the students to understand the relationship between melody lines and accompaniment parts with regard to both timbre and harmony.
Creative FX — reverbs & delays
This lesson will introduce the learners to the most important spatial effects (reverb and delay). Students will be taken through how these effects occur naturally, as well as the history of how we have come to include these effects in the production process. Learners will also be taken through common control interfaces for these effects and shown how to implement them using the effects rack on Soundtrap, to achieve different spaces and colours in their music. Learners will then be tasked with incorporating these effects into an ongoing project from previous lessons, with advice on which elements of a project tend to be most effective with spatial effects.
Learning about the stereo field and the concept of depth in music production. Learning how we effectively place our instruments using panning and reverb. This lesson will introduce the learners to the history of the stereo field and the concept of depth in production. Learners will be shown how to use panning and reverb effectively to place sounds into the stereo field in a successful manner, before being tasked with incorporating the stereo field into the project that they have been developing throughout this course. Upon completion of this task, the learners will be shown how to set the levels within the track, to finalise the project for mixing.
Synthesis — waveforms
This lesson will introduce learners to the basic waveform shapes that are used in the synthesis process, including noise, alongside the sonic qualities and common uses for each waveform. Learners will also be introduced to some of the other components of a synthesiser and how to use them to shape the sound being created by the oscillators.
The aim here is to familiarise the students with the oscillators and how they drive the synthesis process. For the task, students will be challenged with tweaking one of Soundtraps’ preset synthesiser sounds into a totally different timbre, by editing the waveforms used and filter settings.
Synthesis — Envelopes and LFOs
This lesson will introduce learners to the remaining parts of a synthesiser, including the use of ADSR envelopes and LFOs. Learners will also be shown the technical function of each of these components and how to use them to shape, texture, and colour sounds in their own projects.
The task for this lesson combines what has been learned over the last 2 lessons, asking students to tweak 3 preset synthesiser sounds to 3 different descriptive briefs, reinforcing good understanding of Soundtraps’ built-in synthesiser. Students will then be able to take this fundamental understanding of synthesis and use it in their own projects, which should lead to further independent experimentation.
Arrangement and variation
This lesson will develop the learners’ understanding of how to arrange sounds, instruments, and sections of a project to create a compelling narrative in their music. Learners will be shown how to arrange and layer sounds based upon their energy level, to create a rise and fall of tension throughout the track. The lesson will also cover how to bring sounds or instruments in and out at certain points to create development and variation in the music. The task will see students apply this new understanding of arrangement to the project they have been building upon throughout this course, to develop it further and allow the project to take on a proper structure and format.
Microphones and audio interfaces
Learning about the stereo field and the concept of depth in music production. Learning how we effectively place our instruments using panning and reverb. This lesson will introduce the learners to the history of the stereo field and the concept of depth in production.
Learners will be shown how to use panning and reverb effectively to place sounds into the stereo field in a successful manner, before being tasked with incorporating the stereo field into the project that they have been developing throughout this course. Upon completion of this task, the learners will be shown how to set the levels within the track, to finalise the project for mixing.
Our FutureDJs music production syllabus teaches a broad range of key skills and techniques to train the next generation of well-rounded and technically sound producers. It also develops a great ear and teaches key critical listening skills, developing broad musical understanding and music theory knowledge to those taking the course.
The syllabus has been developed in line with Music GCSE (AQA, OCR and Edexcel). Students learn all of the important skills using the incredibly powerful, intuitive and collaborative Soundtrap by Spotify to unleash their creativity. Following this course you will be confident to start creating music on your own. Accreditation coming in 2021.
Sacha is one of our teachers and content creators here at FutureDJs. Fluent on the piano and violin, she specialises in vocals, and spent time at The Royal Northern College of Music. She’s gigged in venues all over, from the local pub to The Deaf Institute and Royal Albert Hall. As an avid songwriter, she writes for a range of genres, whether it’s top-line vocals on a House track, a Classical film score or her own electric Alt-Pop style as a solo artist. Alongside this, Sacha has arranged music, directed bands and choirs, recorded podcasts and hosted local radio shows. And she is very funny.