Lately, I've been studying the art of psytrance production and had the time to go over many online tutorials. Here I'll mention those who I've checked most excluding those who were that bad that I couldn't even watch 5 minutes. I'll make a short review followed by pros and cons about what I've saw.

Lynda - Ableton Live 10 Essential Training

This one is a general Ableton Live 10 training by Rick Schmunk, which I've watched first just to learn Ableton. It turned out to be a great tutorial and I did all of the exercises and learned a lot!

+ it's really well thought and consequential
+ you can actually start making psytrance after watching this!
+ very well post processed

- this one is marked to be for beginners, but it actually requires musical knowledge! I had to check regularly what is the meaning of the musical terms he is telling.
- explains things, which he already explained in previous chapters and while doing so you forgot what he was actually trying to tell in this particular chapter. This is pretty unnecessary in a structured tutorial. 

SlamAcademy - Ultimate Ableton Live 10

This one is so bad that it actually shouldn't have been here, because I usually don't watch such a stupid tutorials. But for this one I really tried hard, because it was my second tutorial after the Rick from Lynda. It is for Ableton in general yet totally unstructured and chaotic. You'll listen to brief information about a lot of instruments and effects, yet I doubt the author himself really understands these...

Collective Intelligence

This is a great channel in youtube offering tons of great tutorials ranging from short tips to complete track production! hosted by Mind Mirror from Australia. I am proud I've checked all of his videos and am subscribed to check the newest on time! If you are about to produce something on ableton ranging from 120 to 150 you should definitely start with this channel. I recommend you to watch the Lynda tutorial first to get a grasp of ableton if you have none.

+ posts regularly new stuff and revisits old one with fresher look and new techniques
+ offers lot of different ways to do one and the same thing like kick bass
+ seems to have natural teaching skills

- lack post processing in the videos, which I can totally understand since it is too much time consuming to do it if you have a regular job


This is maybe one of the most popular youtube tutorial bloggers offering free instructionals ranging from small tips to complete track creations.

+ Seems to have the widest experience and knowledge among all with most experiments in all styles of electronic music.

- his videos are not post processed, which I understand by looking at how much he is posting, yet there are a lot of unnecessary moments in there.
- uses non native effects where native are available

Dash Glitch

Dash is one of the most prominent free tutorial guys and a Serum god.

+ awesome in depth information not only for the stuff he is interested, but know how on the most popular producers.
+ has post processing on his videos!

- he is doing a lot of things in over-complicated manner


This psytrance producer offers free short tutorials to some of the effects he does on his tracks.

+ on his tutorials you can actually see how he is having fun producing tracks and I like this too.

- pretty weird and deceiving explanations to the stuff he is doing, so you have to concentrate on his actual actions and avoid trying to understand what he is telling sometimes.


Those are series of classes aiming to bring out the secrets of the high end psytrance producers.

The Futurephonic - Complete Edition Masterclass - Part One

This one has to be one of the worst tutorials I've seen in my life. I have to be clear that this is not concerning the djs and their producing quality, just the masterclass as a finished product. It reminded me of the time when I was a student and saw all of the great professors with their high level research, yet only few of them could actually teach someone something and got the right platform to do so. So yeah, in this edition psytrance producers are being asked to show different techniques over screen share and as you might suspect nothing works well. Furthermore, this is a payed production which makes things even worse! It is absolutely safe to skip this one and it was so terrible that despite my multiple attempts I simply could finish viewing it.

+ informing interviews

- terrible glitchy, echo infused, unsynced, bad video quality screen share recording
- the producers explaining stuff have zero experience in explaining something to someone

The Futurephonic - Complete Edition Masterclass - Part Two

This one consists of techniques shown by Brainiac, Headroom and Sonic Species.

1. Brainiac
Brainiac attempts to explain different elements of a ready made track.

+ cool interview

- has pretty bad teaching skills, trying to tell something in so unsuitable ways that even if I know the thing I hardly understand what is he saying
- bad kick2 tutorial essentially telling nothing and dealing with the kick in a minimized view (e.g. having the full envelope, which is essentially 2/3 empty)

2. Headroom
Headroom attempts to explain different elements of a ready made track as well on a screen sharing...

+ cool interview

- very brief and short
- video and sound have terrible echo and low quality, which reminded me of the first futurephonic part

3. Sonic Species
This is definitely the edition of the futurephonic masterclass you should watch. It is the pinnacle of the futurephonic classes so far and is made by its creators. Here Sonic Species construct-deconstruct a track from scratch and explain tons of useful information and techniques along the way.

+ a lot of great techniques with detailed explanation.
+ gives great insight of doing tracks. Sometimes you just redo all of the stuff. Creating a track is not an immediate straightforward process unlike to using templates. It is an art process, which takes time and perfection on all levels.
+ awesome Q and A section right on spot

- They use cubase with a lot of plugins, some of which they don't actually explain.

Futurephonic - In the Studio with Tristan
Here Tristan shows his unique funky way of producing tracks and his signature techniques of doing so. What definitely got my attention is that he is doing those on a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels on an old apple laptop!!! I mean it was totally helpful for me as I watched those on my phone and could see the screen grab with no problem, but it is mind melting how he actually does his awesome tracks.

+ starts from scratch and builds up the track

- crew is obviously half baked, which is not suitable to show to other friends of mine, despite the great stuff there
- the sound and video are just a little bit out of sync
- bad sound post edit with a lot of noise in between

Sonic Freeak

Sonic Freeak a.k.a. Coiron creates an awesome tutorials about different elements of a psytrance music, like kick/bass, leads, effects. He is very experienced producer and you can see not only a lot of interesting techniques, but the way he is building and mixing them in a track.

+ you'll get to see widely used techniques for free, which you would usually need to pay to learn.

- videos are not post processed, which brings a lot of redundant moments.
- the tutorials are in Spanish so this is bad only if you don't understand it.

Beat Lab

Beat Lab Academy offers beginner to advanced music production courses using Ableton Live. In their youtube tutorials they dissect each Ableton device and effect to show its capabilities in a very exact and tidy way. It spared me a lot of misunderstanding after reading Ableton help and other tutorials. If you intend to use some Ableton effects or devices in a long term, the thumb rule is that you should have at least the knowledge provided by the Beat Lab short tutorial about it.

- it will spare you reading terrible user manuals and unclear, even misleading, tutorials about Ableton devices and VSTs.
- the short tutorials are very well done and mediate the information perfectly.

- Beat Lab attempts to cover the full device specifications and sometimes when presenting some feature not clear enough for themselves they sort of a "mumble it through". It happens pretty rare and mostly with knobs that have to do more with signal processing in terms of algorithmic details.


Jinus is another producer that recently posts short tutorials concentrating on concrete technique. He is using Ableton and mainly crafts in Serum. To use his stuff you should have basic understanding of both.

- very fast know-hows.

- videos are on a single screen grab, not post processed, so you can anticipate a lot of presentation mistakes.
- you won't hear reasoning about the taken actions.

Fab Filter

If you use the Fab Filter bundle, which you should, you might have missed that they have an youtube channel offering free tutorials about their products. The tutorials are very well done and also very comprehensive. Still they don't cover all of the magnificent capabilities of the filters, but represent an important base for you to work with them confidently.

- it is very good to have those awesome set of tutorials directly from the vendor. A strangely rare move nowadays...

- I would personally like to see some information about the presets. Each Fab Filter VST comes with tons of awesome presets, but I haven't seen someone in any of the above mentioned tutorials here use them at all. They seem like a good start point to adjust them for your sound, but their capability does not seem mediated to the masses.


The official Ableton channel is a place where besides all of the bullshit new age ads you can learn some useful features of Ableton.

- you get some brief information about how to actually use Ableton.

- all of the videos seem to be shot be a professional advertisement company, which seems to do the job of advertising them, yet their the actual information is tiny.
- a lot of hype garbage, which will rather mislead you as a beginner.

Production Music Live

Those guys sell professional production assets. If you want to be commercial jackass here is the way to do it. You can definitely see the difference here between composing versus creating.

+ you can actually learn some professional tricks and techniques, which can bring clarity into your tracks
+ if you can't do anything at all, having a template might be a good start

- if you do exactly as shown then you are wasting your time and those of the others...

Here below the line are some remarks, which I would like to address, but I don't want to be rude to anybody so they are anonymous:

1. Most of the producers know what the knobs of the effects are doing, yet have zero knowledge about their algorithmic background. For example, by eq-ing signal you I might not get rid all from the low band frequencies and they seem to appear magically! Furthermore, by any form of processing you introduce artifacts in the signal as a side effect to the filter you actually want to apply! While we are at the subject, don't stack same effects if you can avoid it. You are unnecessarily adding more artifacts and also don't let a possibly smart equalizer to optimize your parameterization and filter with less artifacts. So please learn the real nature the discrete filters, or at least those you apply most. Read at least about the concrete filter you are applying with the equalizer and the frequency response it has.

The further notes below this line do not apply to any of the reviewed channels. I bumped by chance at random videos, but didn't followed their channels:

1. For all those modular freaks telling hardware synths produce better quality than PCs please wake up already. It is 2019 and not 1969. Unless your electronics are not as precise as those used in spaceships you will be light years away from achieving even 48 kHz quality, let alone 192 kHz. In this sense if you create sample packs and have good equipment to record or produce in 192 kHz, do it. For an end track product it doesn't matter, yet for the samples and their processing it makes sense to be at highest possible rate so that the filters precision will be much higher.

2. There is also an overwhelming belief that discrete sounds are not natural and they are fragmented, because of their discrete representation. Yet I can't explain how wrong this idea is after each step starting from the digital to analog conversion to the actual sound transmission. Also the funny idea that digital filters are not unique...

3. There are guys hiding their midi melodies or even rhythms, who think they are unique, because they have synthesized them, while the "trivial" people using samples are not. There was even a guy I saw using the most trivial chant I've heard at soccer stadium on some synth preset, who was arguing the above!