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MasterClass is one of the best online learning platforms in the world. You learn from the best, and from people who represent an authority in their respective fields.
One such person is Timbaland. He is an American musician, producer, and DJ, and you’ll learn about his secrets to success in this review. So if you’re looking to get this course, we’ll give you our honest opinion about it here. Read on to find out more!
What is MasterClass?
MasterClass is an online learning platform with dozens of courses on almost any topic – from tennis to cooking, writing, and producing.
It’s like a Rolls Royce of e-learning – it feels premium, but you know you’re getting only the best. There’s a 7-day free trial when you first sign up with MasterClass, but when that expires, you have to buy the subscription to access all the courses.
For just $180, you can access all the courses in full on the platform for a full year. That’s affordable, and even more so when you can pay it off monthly. However, you can also buy individual courses, although this can cost up to $90.
You’ll be learning from celebrities like Serena Williams for tennis, Malcolm Gladwell for writing, or you can learn how to score those three-pointers with Steph Curry – no kidding!
Most of the courses are constructed from video content. Courses can take anywhere between a few hours and up to 5 hours (Timbaland’s course clocks in at just over 3 hours altogether). The lessons are split into bite-sized videos which makes the content more easily digestible.
In addition to videos, most courses also have additional content, such as eBooks or PDF workbooks, lesson notes, and exercises.
Who is Timbaland?
If you’re looking at this course, then you probably need no introduction to the teacher of the course. Still, we’ll tell you more about Timbaland since there might be some people who’ve never heard of him but want to learn more about song production.
Timothy Zachary Mosley, or Timbaland for short, is an American song producer, DJ, rapper, and musician. He’s been a song producer since 1996. In these 24 years, he has amassed a respectable collection of songs and hits.
He started producing R&B and hip-hop songs but later moved into the pop world when his career started taking off. This happened in the early 2000s when he gained recognition for his many new songs and albums, including collaborations with Tweet and Lil’ Kim.
Since then, he’s worked with big names in all of those categories, including One Republic, Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, and many others. Here’s one of his more famous hits, Apologize which he produced in collaboration with One Republic.
Timbaland is especially known for his unique producing style where he mixes his own voice to create strong and memorable beats – this style is also seen in the song above. This unique style led him to become one of the most sought-after producers.
And if you’re interested in creating beats just like that, then this course is just the right course for you. It offers you the chance to peek over Timbaland’s shoulders and get a taster of how he creates beats like that. Who knows, maybe you’re the next Timbaland yourself?
In 2019, Timbaland agreed to become a MasterClass instructor. Initially, didn’t get a lot of recognition but after a few weeks, it became one of the more popular courses about music on the platform. And that means it’s a good one, considering it has competition from courses like Armin van Buuren, deadmau5, and Usher (although those are all slightly different).
Timbaland MasterClass Review
Timbaland’s MasterClass course is all about using your creativity and imagination to create awesome beats. Don’t expect to learn anything too technical in the course, like how to use a piece of software to create music, though.
But above all, you’ll get a good understanding of what it takes to create a solid song overall, and you’ll also be able to listen to Timbaland’s co-producers: Federico Vindever and Angel Lopez.
You’ll learn how to get into the creative mindset that’s needed to produce a beat. Tim tells you to keep the beats simple, which he demonstrates by showing you how “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” was made, a hit which he co-produced with Jay-Z. All it needs is two or three sounds – you just need to know how to combine them.
Timbaland also shows you how you can use your own voice and manipulate it in order to create amazing sounds. That’s his specialty, too. You’ll also learn about some key concepts of song production, such as tweaking and layering drums, creating a breakdown, and adding a topline.
Just like every course on MasterClass, this one also offers you a nice and friendly community of course takers who are willing to either show off the skills they’ve learned with this course or ask questions. It’s not the liveliest of forums, but it does its job.
Overall, this is a nice course for those who want to learn more about beatboxing and who already have some technical skills, but want to take them to the next level. It’s not necessarily for complete beginners, although everyone can benefit from the course.
Who is it For?
Timbaland’s MasterClass Course is for everyone who wants to get into producing songs and wants to get a sneak peek at what happens behind the scenes of some of the best hits.
The course does have an inclination to follow beatboxing more closely, though. So if you’re a fan of beatboxing, then you will probably enjoy this course far more than somebody who isn’t a fan.
Fans of Timbaland absolutely need to see the course. You’ll get to see how Timbaland works, how he produces music, what goes through his mind, and his work processes behind some of the biggest hits.
The course is also great for advanced song producers who already have a bit (or a lot) of knowledge about the technical stuff, but just need some inspiration to take their game to the next level. I think this course is perfect for that because it also teaches some mindset tricks to help you achieve that level.
In short, this is who the course is for:
- Aspiring song producers who have little to no experience and want to learn how things are done behind the scenes
- Advanced song producers with some existing knowledge and skills who want to take it to the next level
- Fans of Timbaland and fans of hip-hop, R&B, and beatboxing
- Anyone interested to learn about the processes that go on behind the scenes when major hits are being produced
- People looking for inspiration to start their own producing business willing to learn new tips and mindset tricks from the world’s best
What We Like
There’s a lot to like about this course, so let’s get into things we liked about it when we tried it out for ourselves. This is what you can expect from the course.
- You get to see what happens behind the scenes and have a look over Timbaland’s shoulder to see how he produces his music. We feel this is a great approach to learn about producing because you learn by doing and also by watching.
- Timbaland encourages you to change your mindset and find the workflow that suits you. He shows us his workflow and tells us how to not get stuck in our tracks. His flow is somewhat messy when you look at it, but everyone has their own style.
- You will also learn how to use your own voice to come up with unique beats. The beats can quickly seem generic, but if you add your own twist and use your imagination, they can become unique and you can even develop your own style.
- The course is full of small tips and tricks for anyone who wants to learn more about song production.
- There’s also a relatively active community (daily discussions), and a nice archive of additional course files.
Overall, this is a very neat course if you’re after a course that teaches you more about workflows and mentality rather than technical stuff. You won’t learn about super technical stuff, and you also won’t learn about any software. Instead, you’ll learn how to work and think like a top producer – and that’s pretty valuable.
What Could be Improved
On the flip side, let’s look at the things you should not expect with this course, and where there is room for improvement.
Firstly, if you’re looking to learn about the technical side of things (like software, for example), then forget about this course. It will not teach you any of that stuff. But still, the course can be beneficial to anyone in the world of producing.
The lessons don’t feel personal. It feels like you’re not being addressed as an individual, but rather, the course seems to be all over the place. There is no real structure or a clear learning path with the course. It’s a bit of a generalistic course in that sense.
There is a forum, but it’s not the liveliest of forums on MasterClass (at least when compared to other courses on the platform, that is).
Despite these shortcomings, we feel that the course is worth the money. It’s not for everyone, though – read more in the final paragraph.
Final Verdict on Timbaland’s MasterClass Course
So, what’s the final verdict?
Honestly, we felt like this course is absolutely worth your time and money. That’s especially the case if you’re an aspiring music producer or just a massive Timberland fan, and you want to learn more about what happens behind the scenes.
But this course is not for everyone. If you don’t like beatboxing or hip-hop or R&B, then this course is probably not for you. However, there are still some valuable lessons inside the course for anyone who’s working in music on a daily basis and want to improve their workflow.
That being said, if you have the full subscription, it’s definitely worth checking out this course, as it goes well along with other courses on music on the platform. If you’re looking to buy this course individually, we’d only recommend it if you’re really into beatboxing and music production and if you aspire to be more like Timbaland.