iZotope has launched Pro Audio Essentials, a completely free online music production course and educational tool for beginner music producers and audio engineers.
Pro Audio Essentials is (at least to my knowledge) a unique offering at the moment, because it provides both the educational content and practicing tools, completely free of charge. There are definitely more than a few excellent music production tutorials and guides out there, however iZotope’s new PAE platform lets you learn and practice your new skills in one place. It provides the means to learn the basics of digital audio by watching a series of informative video tutorials and then put your knowledge to test in the exercise section of the website.
Granted, Pro Audio Essentials is not an advanced music production course by any means. However, for an absolute beginner, or for someone who would like to improve their knowledge about the fundamental techniques of music production and audio engineering, it’s definitely a great place to be. In addition, it seems like the platform will be further developed in the future, so it’s quite possible that it will also cover some more advanced mixing and mastering techniques later on.
At the moment, the course is organized into three sections: EQ, Compression and Digital Audio Basics. The EQ section is currently the most feature-packed, containing a series of excellent video tutorials, along with an EQ testing module, practice mode and challenge mode which puts your EQ skills to test (you’ll need to sign up via email or Facebook in order to access challenge mode, though). Both the video tutorials and the available practice tools are great. The only drawback here is the fact that the practice tools use low bitrate MP3 files as the source, which sort of defeats the purpose of training your ears to detect subtle differences in frequencies. But even so, the available tools are more than useful for understanding the basics of equalization, as well as for learning how to train your ears.
The Compression and Digital Audio Basics sections are still in development. Both come with a series of video tutorials, however the practice tools and the challenges are yet to be added. Even so, both sections are quite informative and will definitely answer some of the most common questions that beginner music producers may have. I highly recommend this resource if you’d like to learn the basics of audio mixing, especially the fundamental tools such as equalizers and compressors, and the methods of using them to process digital audio.
More info: Pro Audio Essentials