Music Production for DJs

Every DJ has a tune in them. This practical course helps you to make your first track quickly and painlessly. Play something truly original in your next DJ set...

Course introduction

If you’re a DJ who desperately wants to make your own tunes to play in your DJ sets, or you dream of becoming the next big DJ/producer… then this course is for you. You follow along with the tutor as he makes a real track using Ableton Live software, getting you 100% ready to take these skills and start making your own productions. You could have your first finished track within just a matter of days! It comes with a professional sample pack from Beatport Sounds, exclusive to this course, and free professional mastering of your first three finished productions with a leading online mastering service.

Music Production For DJs is a complete video course of 50 professionally produced videos, delivered online in full HD, viewable on your computer, tablet or smartphone, so you can learn anywhere. With “over the shoulder” screen recordings, detailed follow-alongs, plus downloadable supporting documents, it’s everything you need in one place. What’s more, pay once and it’s yours for life, so you can take it at your own speed and refer back to it whenever you want.

What you'll learn

  • Exactly how to make dance music from the very start, quickly and painlessly.
  • How to create a “song map”,  showing you where to put your intros, verses, choruses…
  • How to write your own melodies, basslines, breakdowns, drops and fills
  • How to build your own drum and percussion patterns quickly and easily
  • How to use professional loops, samples and sounds to speed up the production process
  • Everything you need to know about musical keys, scales, note values, chords, time signatures, bars and beats
  • How to create your own drum patterns, riffs and melodies with confidence
  • How to use drum racks, Midi instruments, automation, plugins, effects, mixers, EQ, limiters…
  • How to professionally mix your finished track, making all your elements sound great together
  • A super-fast way to “master” any track, making it sound good enough to test in your DJ sets

Full Course Details


Digital DJ Tips founder Phil Morse welcomes you and hands you over to your course tutor, Joey Santos, sharing tips on how to get the most from the course, explaining exactly how the course works, and outlining what to expect.

What’s covered:

  • You’ll get a crash course on the history of production, and learn what being a producer actually means nowadays
  • We’ll show you how to get Ableton Live and the Digital DJ Tips sample pack installed on your machine
  • You’ll discover Session View, where producers often play with ideas before moving them across into…
  • Arrangement View, where you’ll spend the vast majority of your time when producing in Ableton Live.

From “just enough” music theory, to deconstructing a song you love, to building your first arrangement, this section gives you all the tricks you need to get your first basic song nailed.

What’s covered:

  • You’ll get all you’ll ever need to know about “time signatures”, “note values”, “bars”, “beats”, “measures”
  • You’ll gain confidence in the language producers use when discussing arrangements, before we start on our own…
  • We’ll take an existing song and show you exactly how to extract its “Song Map”, for quick and easy arrangement planning
  • You’ll start to build a song using sample packs to add elements to “replace” the sections in the original we built the map from

Once you’ve got a Song Map and arrangement fixed, you’ll work more on the sounds themselves, concentrating first on the drums, so you’ll be able to make your track sound original.

What’s covered:

  • You’ll get your first look at Ableton Live’s Drum Rack, as well as learn some essential rhythm theory
  • You’ll learn how to programme a simple house beat from scratch, including adding “groove” to it.
  • Using both the Drum Rack and audio sample you’ll learn how to build out a rhythm by adding extras elements
  • You’ll discover how to layer and shape your kick and snare sounds to give your tracks a more unique and powerful feel

Here you’ll learn “just enough” musical theory around major and minor scales, and discover how easy it is to add melodic elements that work well together in your tunes… no keyboard required.

What’s covered:

  • By discovering major and minor scales, you’ll get the toolkit you need to “pick the right notes” when adding melodic elements
  • You’ll get a “piano keyboard” diagram to download and print that’ll bring to life the concepts explained here
  • You’ll discover how to compose, record, and tidy up a melody, and how to pick a cool sound for it
  • You’ll learn how to create exciting and dynamic “build ups” to bring excitement as your tunes approach the “big drop”
  • You’ll get the low down on combining tracks in Ableton Live into one, in order to free up tracks should you ever run out
Reverb & Delay

Reverb and delay add a more realistic feel to productions, making them sound less sterile and more “live”. Here you’ll be developing an ear for these effects.

  • You’ll discover how reverb works in Ableton Live, and how to use it to add a feeling of space to your tracks
  • You’ll get a ton of tips on where you should and shouldn’t use reverb, so you get it right every time
  • You’ll learn how to lock your delay sounds to the beats, adding convincing, great sounding delays to your work
  • You’ll master using Live’s Simple Delay plugin to add extra polish and interest to your rapidly developing track
EQ & Compression

EQ in Ableton Live lets you shape and colour how things sound, and compression gives a powerful, driving quality to weak and weedy sounds, as you’ll learn here.

  • You’ll get all the charts, plugins and tuition needed to properly understand how EQ is used to properly showcase your sounds
  • As you add EQ, you’ll hear how much it can really improve the tonal qualities of our individual elements
  • You’ll learn what happens when you compress audio, to work out what parts of your songs you ought to compress
  • You’ll learn about compressor plugin, making big leaps towards getting confident enough to use compression on your own

You know when you see producers behind those huge recording studio mixing desks? They’re “mixing down” their tunes to get them ready for the world You’ll learn how to do this, too.

  • You’ll discover how to use  colours, track order and grouping to wrestle back control as your song moves into the mixing stage
  • You’ll discover how producers allow the star elements of their tracks to “shine”, and stop the bit players overplaying their parts
  • You’ll learn how to use EQ filters to tighten up any mix, ensuring rogue sounds don’t slip through the net and colour your results
  • You’ll learn how to use Panning to introduce a stereo feel to your productions, placing individual tracks left or right of centre
  • You’ll discover a little trick to use a single instance of an effect across multiple tracks to make mixing simpler
  • You’ll find out how to add automation to volume, pitch and filters so Ableton Live “remembers” dynamic changes

Often considered to be a “black art”, or something a bit scary, mastering is needed to get your productions sounding great. So we lay it all on the line for you..

  • You’ll learn the checks and steps needed to output your first actual stereo WAV mixdown of a track, ready for final mastering
  • We’ll show you how to get your track mastered with an online service – we’ve even got you four free mastering sessions
  • Using Live’s Limiter, you can output a “rough cut” of a production, for testing in your DJ sets, for example.

Meet your tutor

Joey Santos DDJT Team

Manila-based Joey Santos is the Managing Editor of Digital DJ Tips. A DJ since 1999, he ran a successful recording studio for many years, and is a music producer and sound engineer too. He is the tutor for our Dance Music Formula and Music Production For DJs courses.

Every course includes a live “remote classroom” element - spend a minimum of an hour each month with your tutors, where you can ask any questions.
We offer 12 month money-back guarantee on all of our courses ​-​​ All our training comes with our cast-iron, no questions, 12 month money-back guarantee - the risk is all ours.
Our courses are delivered in full HD on-demand videos, yours for life and are viewable on any device, so you can learn from anywhere.
Multiple camera angles, on-screen annotations, step-by-step explanations, make the training easy to follow and fun! Plus resources to further lock in your learning.
“I tried producing before – I got Ableton and began with internet lessons but after several days of struggling, I just got p***ed off, and lost faith! So I decided to take this course and within just one week after I had watched, repeated and practised it felt like I had been doing this for years! I just love the way such a complex process with such multiple possibilities is explained in a very easy way – straight to the point. I have finished three tracks, now working on a fourth. I am on the road, and the journey is once in a lifetime and thanks to this course!”
Nikolay Lodozov, Bulgaria
“I was so excited when I saw that this course was coming out, so I immediately jumped on the opportunity to take it. I have been DJing for about 15 years now and have always wanted to take that next step. You explained everything so well and made it very easy to follow. One of the big things that I was impressed with in your course was how easy you added depth and fullness to the tracks with layering, reverb and delay. I have been using those effects from time to time but never really understood how they worked and now I know!”
Bryan Konrad, Illinois, USA
“I am pursuing a degree in Electronic MIDI Music Production, and I will say that Joey’s instruction is on par with the level of instruction I receive from the PhD and Master of Music degree instructors. You have managed to extrapolate music theory, music production and DJing down to a level where a novice without any formal music training or education can just jump right in and try his or her hand at it. And unlike the classes taught in colleges and universities you can access these courses 24/7 and get feedback when you need. Thanks!”
Kevin aka DJ Nivekone, USA