Top 12 All Time Most Influential Music Production Videos
These are the music production videos that changed my life as a producer. Not the hundreds, if not thousands of little tutorials and production techniques I’ve consumed over the years. I’m talking about game changers.
These are the videos that I would almost feel required to credit for the music I’ve made and the production work I’ve completed for major labels like Sony, Universal, Island Def Jam, Virgin EMI Records, and Ultra Music.
I’m talking about the videos that, upon watching them for the first time, immediately transformed my music, my workflow, and most importantly, my mindset as a producer.
Since all these videos are 100% free to watch out there in the depths of the World Wide Web, I thought it would be really cool to compile them and share why I loved them so much. Some of these videos are huge. Again, we’re talking serious game changers here. So don’t be intimidated by the sheer depth of knowledge that these videos share.
Compare this list to the content you might find in a 4-week course and you’ll be amazed to find out how much quality stuff you’re getting for free here. Don’t try to consume it all at once. Take your time, and get ready to have your mind-blown.
1. ill.Methodology Workshop – Chapter 1 (42 Minutes)
We all hit roadblocks as producers. We get stuck. We lack motivation. We get overwhelmed. And when that happens, we start buying new gear, downloading new plugins, sound treating our room, watching YouTube tutorials for days – the list of potential “solutions” is never ending.
But, according to this workshop, the answer to our production woes is actually fairly simple. It’s grounded in our psyche, organization, and workflow. I won’t give out too many spoilers because this is a MUST WATCH video. One spoiler alert, however, is this: learning to make music in the mornings will have a significant impact on your productivity.
This tiny adjustment to my music making habits has affected my musical output indefinitely and played a huge role in helping me finish 42 original tracks and remixes in roughly a year and a half between 2014 and 2015. Coming from someone who made 12 tracks in all of 2013, I thought this was pretty groundbreaking.
2. UKF Meets Kill The Noise (4 Minutes)
In just under four minutes, Kill the Noise blew my mind with his vulnerability and sincere approach to life and making music in what feels like a very over-saturated market. That said, I just want to preface my next point with the fact that I truly believe that sometimes the most important production advice I come across revolves around mindset.
Around the 1 minute mark, Kill the Noise speaks about how he created a race in his own mind that essentially doesn’t exist, and how sometimes it’s important to just remove yourself and say “Hey, I’m making music and I’m having fun – and there doesn’t need to be much more than that”.
My takeaway? Just relax. Have fun. Making music is awesome, but you’ll have ups and downs just like in any other life pursuit, and that’s perfectly OK.
3. Elite Session with Steve Duda at Pyramind (2.5 Hours)
All I have to say is wow.
Producer and engineer Steve Duda visited Pyramind in San Francisco to conduct a 3-hour workshop detailing his production techniques and his approach to electronic music production. Duda, the creator of Xfer Records and the legendary Serum synthesizer, offered up top tier information on all aspects of the music business, sound design, and marketing.
Only in this video can you understand a musical path so obscure, starting in a cubicle for a technology help line in San Francisco, to helping out the Nine Inch Nails in New Orleans, to becoming a proficient engineer in Hollywood, to building the first realistic drum sampler, and eventually, to starting his own company Xfer Records. This video is equally inspiring as it is chalk full of technical wisdom, and really informative for anyone who thinks that becoming a touring artist is the way to make a substantial career in music.
4. NGHTMRE Ableton Demo + Q&A @ The Loft UCSD (2 Hours)
The upcoming electronic production prodigy NGHTMRE talks on creative inventiveness, coming up in the scene, his personal Ableton tricks, and much, MUCH more.
NGHTMRE goes inside Ableton to demonstrate exactly what his project files look like. It’s this type of rare transparency that is beyond informative.
And, as a short bonus, check out this ridiculously awesome 70-minute video where NGHTMRE records some pots and pans and implements it into his music:
5. Budi Voogt – Music Marketing Academy (1 Hour)
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The Music Marketing Academy is an online school that teaches you how to grow your audience and get more exposure through leveraging the online marketing. There is a set of four free videos you can watch if you sign up for Budi’s email list.
His free video series will show you what it takes to succeed in music, deconstructing the release that kick-started San Holo’s growth to over 180,000 followers in a year. Budi’s videos gave me an almost foolproof example towards gaining traction in the industry, utilizing the importance of a strategic EP launch.
6. Mike Monday’s Loopitis Cure (PDF)
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We’ve all had trouble with Loopitis. You know how it goes… you write a musical idea and find yourself thinking that you’re onto something special – but two hours later you are still looping the same damn 16-bar idea, and it doesn’t seem to be progressing at all.
Luckily, Mike Monday – a really smart music production coach living in Australia, made a beautiful little PDF that shows you exactly how to break this never ending loop. His method is simple, fast, and insanely effective.
7. Nick Thayer - Do You Want to Know How Much I Make? (15-Min-Read)
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A few years back, Nick Thayer, an OWSLA producer, released some very depressing numbers about how much money his album made. He also shared some equally frustrating numbers about making money from touring.
The Internet went nuts over this – and rightfully so.
His argument – although I am paraphrasing here – seemed to suggest that all the money in electronic music was concentrated in large amounts, for very few, select people. Thayer also said that in order to pursue music full-time, you really have to LOVE making music, and not expect much money.
At this point – I would have to disagree with Nick Thayer. And let this be a strong lesson to every single person reading this sentence: generalizations are dangerous.
Sure, Nick experienced some difficulties, but don’t think that because he made so little money that this would happen to you as well. And Nick Thayer never implied that other producers would experience the same thing – but maybe that was peoples assumptions.
If anything, let this be a lesson in that there are plenty of other ways to make money in music, from writing music for TV & film, to creating online courses, to sound-designing for sample packs and Soundbanks, to engineering for artists, writing music for video games – the list is literally endless.
Moral of the story: someone’s story is just that – it’s their story – not yours.
#8. The Making of "Here Comes The Sun" by WILL K - Studio Walkthrough (1 Hour)
Will K – a producer signed to labels like Armada Trice & Protocol Recordings, spent an hour going through his track ‘Here Comes the Sun’.
Look, there are tons of ‘studio walk through’ videos – but this one resonated with me for some strange reason.
This video was the perfect blend of specific technical advice and inspiration. Will K admits that sound selection is by far the most important element in making electronic music – and then from there, the way he goes about achieving a clean mix-down – simply awesome stuff.
If you are making groovy progressive house – this is a must watch, and even for everyone else – grab some coffee or tea and enjoy the ride.
#9. Avicii in the Studio - The Making of Dancing In My Head (1 Hour)
In 2011, Future Music headed to Stockholm to spend the day in the studio with, at the time, rapidly rising house star Tim Bergling.
Now look, this video isn’t revolutionary in any technical sense, but watch Avicii make music, and you can start to see how straightforward many aspects of music production can be when you’re not obsessed with little issues.
Avicii’s workflow taught me how important it is to get through structure and arrangement, and not be bogged down by technical production aspects. This formula can drastically increase your creative output, and help you move past those dreaded early stages of a song.
#10. Serum Tutorials w/ Steve Duda (2.5 Hours)
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Serum programmer Steve Duda joins David Alexander, Co-Founder of Icon Collective in Los Angeles, to discuss the wavetable synthesizer Serum.
This is truly a one of a kind tutorial, because the actual creator of the plug-in sits and discusses in detail the full range of capabilities the synth provides.
This video demonstrates how easy it can be to create a sound in your head, once you have the basic knowledge of how a synth works.
#11. Inspiring Piano Harmony, Chord and Voicing Tips and Tricks (1.5 Hours)
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This video demonstrates some amazing tips and tricks for piano players and musicians about harmony, chords, voicings and general ideas that will enrich your piano playing and composition.
You'll learn about cool piano tricks such as super octaves, modulating between keys, reharmonizing, voicing chords, and pumping up your piano harmony and melody.
So what does this mean? Your music will immediately sound more professional at its absolute core because you are addressing the music itself. Another MUST-watch.
#12. The Art of Flow (20 Minutes)
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Again, this isn’t exactly a tutorial, so much as a quick series of interviews where artists discuss the ‘Art of Flow’ – essentially that flow state where music comes naturally, easily, and inspiration seems endless.
We’ve all been in that state – but staying there, AND tapping into it as often as possible takes a bit more effort.
Luckily, these interviews can help you learn more about yourself as an artist and what it takes to really achieve that flow state.