The Ultimate List of Music Production Resources

From plugins to podcasts, we’ve researched the most powerful resources in the music producers’ sonic armoury…

Music producers can now access a dizzying variety of resources to help you on your journey to musical success.  

From plugins to podcasts, we’ve researched the most powerful resources in the music producers’ sonic armoury… 

From free plugins to blogs and courses such as those offered by ICMP including our short programmes on Ableton to Songwriting introductory courses, there’s a huge amount of information available.  

With this in mind, we’ve done our own research and picked out some of the best resources to help you take your career to the next level. From podcasts to plugins, there’s plenty to dig into below… 

Best Ableton Plugins

Granulator II

Designed by Robert Henke of Monolake, one of the developers behind Ableton, his plugin uses granular synthesis to offer a stream of crossfading samples.  

ableton.com/en/packs/granulator-ii

Xfer Records Serum

If you’re looking for a synth, then this Xfer Records Serum plugin is a brilliant way of accessing a great selection of presets, effects and modulation choices.  

splice.com/plugins/15493-serum-vst-au-by-xfer-records

UAD Classic Limiter Collection 

Although Ableton Live already comes with a compressor, this UAD Classic Limiter Collection can really up the ante. You can pick up three (Rev A, Rev E and AE) here in one bundle which emulate the classic UAD sound effectively… 

https://www.uaudio.com/uad-plugins/compressors-limiters/1176-collection.html  

Best FL Studio Plugins  

FabFilter

FabFilter focuses on sound quality, usability and multi-disciplinary appeal. The Pro-Q EQ is clean, responsive and easy to use while the Pro-R is a reverb plugin capable of delivering a wide range of reverb responses. 

fabfilter.com/products/ 

Mixed in Key Studio

The Mixed In Key Studio Edition analyzes your sample collection in real-time. It then helps you expand your sonic capabilities by matching the perfect one-shot, loop, vocal or any other sample to your production or remix.

mixedinkey.com/studio-edition/  

Trackspacer

Trackspace is a very simple and intuitive dynamic EQ. It helps you separate sounds in your mix such as competing synths or guitars to give them enough space to stand apart in your track and elevate it.

wavesfactory.com/audio-plugins/trackspacer/

Best Music Production YouTube Channels

Andrew Huang

Andrew Huang is one of YouTube’s most loved production personalities taking in everything from music composition to challenges for producers. He’s an essential watch.  

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdcemy56JtVTrsFIOoqvV8g 

FACT Magazine

FACT has been championing the best in underground electronica since 2003 and is a constant source of influence and inspiration. Check out their ‘Beat the Clock’ selection of videos to watch producers creating on the fly.  

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiu2v3qCcbHI7sXsX4rPsXA

Rachel K Collier

Welsh electronic producer and performer Rachel K Collier crafts songs and performs using Ableton on her YouTube channel as well as discusses all things tech.   

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiHnYgtOn8u9YovYplMeXcw  

Best Music Production Websites and Blogs 

Sound on Sound

One of the longest running of all the music gear websites and magazines, Sound on Sound has been offering tips and advice for studio nerds since 1985.  

The SoS Forum is one of the best web communities to discuss all things music production.  

soundonsound.com

Tape Op

Edited by Larry Crane, a music production obsessive and producer behind the late, great singer songwriter Elliott Smith, this offers brilliant features and insight into gear and production. It’s US-based but you can sign up for the free digital version. Plus the Lee Scratch Perry interview is hilarious. 

tapeop.com 

MusicTech

MusicTech packs in a large amount of features, gear reviews and much more on its great website. Now totally digital, you’ll usually find the latest info on offers and free sounds and sample packs too.  

musictech.net

Landr

Landr offers a whole world of musical inspiration, tips and advice for aspiring producers to get their teeth into. It’s all here… 

blog.landr.com  

Best Music Production Podcasts 

Girls Twiddling Knobs

Hosted by ICMP tutor Isobel Anderson, this podcast is specifically aimed at supporting female producers and engineers.  

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/girls-twiddling-knobs/id1541838685 

Hanging Out with Audiophiles

Eclectic Warp Records artist Jamie Liddell is behind this podcast which sees him going deep with the likes of Four Tet and Imogen Heap on creative process and gear. 

jamielidellmusic.com 

App for Production

Hosted by music production journalists, Tim Cant and James Russell, this bi-weekly podcast explores all the latest music tech innovations to hit the market. 

app4ppodcast.com

Best Music Producer Inspiration

The Anchoress

“Make sure you’re self-reliant. So get a basic microphone, DAW and some really great quality plug-ins. Then just start to build up your library of things you can experiment with. You don’t need to start spending huge amounts of money. But invest in it and try to make as many tracks as you can. Nothing beats doing it.” 

The Anchoress is an artist and ICMP tutor Catherine Anne Davies. She’s recently released her new album, ‘The Art of Losing’.  

https://www.musictech.net/features/interviews/the-anchoress-on-the-art-of-losing

Mark Ralph

“You’ve got to be an extremely hard worker – I’ve seen others who don’t have to try too hard to make brilliant things happen but for me I just worked and worked and worked. You’ve got to have the conviction to keep going when it feels like it might have all gone wrong.”  

Mark Ralph is a BRIT Award nominated producer who has worked on huge hits for the likes of Years & Years and Clean Bandit (who feature ICMP alumnus Luke Patterson on drums).  

https://www.icmp.ac.uk/news/brit-nominated-producer-mark-ralph-visits-masterclass

Catherine Marks

“It’s okay to ask questions about how something works, whether it be the best mic for drums or best amp for guitar on a particular sounding track. You don’t have to pretend to know how everything works. That’s basically how I learned. You’re not expected to know everything about every single bit of gear. Just be well prepared, have an idea in your mind about what you want to achieve in the time that you’ve got the studio for.”  

Catherine Marks is an MPG Award winning producer, behind records for some of the UK’s biggest band guitar bands including Foals and Wolf Alice.  

https://www.icmp.ac.uk/blog/how-be-a-music-producer-catherine-marks

Dani Bennett Spragg

“If you’re doing work experience or you’ve got a job as a studio assistant or runner, the most important thing you can do is make the best first impression you can and make people remember you. Getting work in the music industry is often based on who you know more than what you know, so making a memorable impression on people is very important.” 

“As an assistant, you have to be constantly on the ball. Try to pre-empt what the artist/engineer/producer needs from you, whether that be a tea and coffee run or setting something up. Be attentive, but don’t overstep your mark.” 

Dani Bennett Spragg works out of London’s Hoxa and Toast HQ Studios and has credits for records from the likes of  

https://www.icmp.ac.uk/blog/essential-studio-advice-engineer-dani-bennett-spragg

Andrew Scheps

“When you are starting out as a producer, then work with artists who are starting out. Don’t try desperately to get a gig you are not yet ready for. Because when you fail in public, everyone knows. Having an organic, slow climb up the career ladder will help – the saying is the faster you run, the faster you fall but it is true. If you come up slowly, then you can handle anything that goes wrong more effectively.”  

Andrew Scheps is a Grammy Award winning US music producer who has worked on hit records from Adele and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  

https://www.icmp.ac.uk/blog/andrew-scheps-on-music-gear-and-new-technology 

James Rees

“Work with others! Collaborating is so important, I wish I’d done more of this when I was younger, but I was always of the mindset I wanted to do everything myself. This is a trap young producers can fall into, but working with others can improve the overall quality of a project.” 

James Rees is ICMP’s BA Creative Music Production Programme Leader.  

https://www.icmp.ac.uk/blog/icmp-selector-playlist-james-rees-stay-positive