My favourite YouTube music learning resources
YouTube is a fantastic source of both entertainment and education. Though its origins are related to the home video philosophy, the quality of its content today in many cases surpasses that of a TV. Today I’ll be talking about learning resources pertaining the topic I’ve interested the most - music - specifically music composition, production and virtual orchestration. You can find a ton of videos on YouTube related to these subjects, but I’ll be focusing only on those YouTube channels which had actually help me learn and understand the skills that I could immediately put into practice. Many of these skills I’m now using on a daily basis.
This YouTube channel is run by a renowned music producer Kenny Gioia, who is also a fantastic educator. He has published a lot of music production tutorials for professional repositories such as Groove3. Mr. Gioia is perhaps the most known as the Pro Tools guru, but in this particular channel, he endorses REAPER as his working platform and shows the true possibilities and benefits of this DAW over the competition. Even if you are not a REAPER user, you can learn timeless everyday skills here. Every single video is so well conceived that you’ll not only feel inspired after watching it but also enlightened. You won't find any usual, often boring ramblings here, just the pure knowledge delivered in a humble fashion from a true master.
This channel is led by the well-known developer of cinematic sample libraries. A few years ago, they’ve begun releasing incredibly entertaining and educational videos in which they’re reconstructing the composition process of the short cinematic piece in various styles and moods. Here you’ll see the actual process of composition and orchestration in real time, but also in a compressed manner which will ensure your complete attention. This is perhaps the best showcase of their libraries, but everyone watching these will prosper, if nothing else then in an instant inspiration and gratification. I wish there were more tutorials following such concept out there.
Evenant is the home of one of the most comprehensive online courses on the subject of composing and producing orchestral and cinematic music using virtual instruments you can enroll in. Although the cost of this is quite high by my standards, judging from the course outline, you can really benefit from taking one of these. The company also maintains a YouTube channel on which you can find a number of useful tutorials and practical advices, however the content is somewhat limited in quantity for the time being. At the moment, a brand new Evenant website is expecting soon. I hope this also mean more new and free content on their YouTube channel.
Like Evenant, ThinkSpace Education is also a publisher of commercial courses you can enroll in and even earn a degree in composing music for media. They also have a YouTube channel where you can find lots of free content and tutorials hosted by one of ThinkSpace educators, Guy Michelmore, a professional film composer with a lot of experience, especially in the field of animated films for major labels such as Disney and Marvel. Mr. Michelmore presents his knowledge and experience in an easygoing and often witty manner which often eases the understanding and adoption of the complex subjects of composition, orchestration and virtual orchestration.
The author of this channel, media composer Ashton Gleckman, regularly reconstructs and analyzes well-known film scores from celebrated composers such as Hans Zimmer, James Horner, James Newton Howard etc. using his vast collection of premium sample libraries and virtual instruments. Although he presents these videos through commenting rather than working in real time, you can get a lot of useful insights on musical devices film composers use and also some practical examples on how to use today’s tools and resources to create cinematic music and sounds.