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Photo: Class Overview, Studio
Charlie Puth has paired with Studio to create a 30-day online course that outlines the entire songwriting and production process for $279 USD. This hands-on learning experience has been marketed for all skill levels from beginners to advanced. Using pre-recorded video modules, students can follow Puth as he writes and produces two new original songs from scratch. He essentially shares his thought processes, techniques, and hacks to help the students create their own songs that have the same polished quality as a professional studio.
This course has gained popularity within the music community due to Puth’s talent and reputation. However, YouTube reviews and Reddit comments display polarizing opinions regarding the usefulness of the course.
Photo: Class Overview, Studio
The course is well structured and Puth does a great job of conceptualizing the abstract and non-linear process of songwriting. A step-by-step procedure is outlined that guides students from the initial stages of finding inspiration to ultimately producing a polished product. Most students found that the structured content and weekly assignments helped keep them on track and motivated to complete their songs. Additionally, the course was described as “practical” where students were required to watch the modules, learn the content, and then implement it into their assignments.
The most unique component of the class was that students were able to watch Puth create one song within his comfort zone and then create a second song outside his comfort zone. Course-takers recounted that it was extremely valuable to see the different approaches for both songs and proved to be a valuable lesson in not limiting yourself as a creator.
Additionally, Puth shares many tips and tricks that he has learned throughout his career which many students found to be helpful. Lifetime access to the modules is also available, allowing students to go back and review the content at their leisure.
However, this course is not perfect. Many students found that Puth fails to explain the technicalities of mixing. He walks you through his creative process and students are just virtually shadowing as Puth plays around with harmonies, vocals, and plug-ins. This may be advantageous if you are only attempting to get into the mind of Charlie Puth, but will be dissatisfied if you are searching for guided learning.
Although this course is advertised for all skill levels, it is not designed for beginners. Many students noticed that they needed some basic experience and familiarity with their DAW to obtain the full benefits of the course. On the other hand, most advanced producers will also be disappointed as this course is not ideal for those who are solely trying to learn mixing and mastering. Puth tends to incorporate sophisticated presets created by his mixing engineers and does not attempt to explain the underlying concepts or justify his process. Puth also uses many third-party plug-ins which can become expensive for beginners who want to follow along.
Moreover, the virtual nature of the course makes it impossible to ask questions and get customized direction or professional feedback. However, feedback from peers is available but the quality will depend on the skill level of your assigned peer group. Hence, those looking to form a mentor-mentee connection will not benefit from these classes.
Like all online songwriting and production courses, Charlie Puth’s 30-day course has many advantages and disadvantages. The usefulness of the course will depend on the needs and learning style of the student. From past reviews, it is apparent that this course will be most beneficial for intermediate music creators who have the basic skills but lack the final touches of a professional studio. Overall, this course was most enjoyed by those who specifically wanted to study Puth’s creative thought process and workflow as the technicalities can be easily learned from YouTube.