A clear path to making melodic house

Music production can be bewildering. There's so much to learn, and nobody offers you a system to go from your vision all the way through to execution and publication.

In this start-to-finish course I do just that: I show a clear and logical workflow that you can copy.

We start with the vision, before anything else, where we make a moodboard and musical analysis. Then we program drums, synthesisers, we learn music theory and mixing checkpoints, arrangement and climaxes, and finally the finishing and polishing before publication.

This is a follow-along course, meaning that I make a track from start to finish in 11 hours of video, explaining every step along the way. The crux is: I don't know what I'll be making until it's actually made! So you can see the thought process, the planning, the vision, the mistakes, the self-doubt, the existential crisis, everything! 

Have a quick listen to this track to see if the genre is generally in the right direction for your taste! Then, as soon as you can, forget what it sounds like, so you can follow along with the course with a blank mind, like mine :)

The course also includes: 

  • a workflow poster
  • a Goldbaby x Underdog sample pack with 100 drum sounds to get you started
  • a MIDI chord pack for melodic house

What is this course made of?

Planning & vision

Before even touching any software, we spend time making a playlist of references, a moodboard, an ingredients list, and a workflow plan. By analysing reference tracks we get a clear idea of the musical tropes we'll be implementing.

Drum programming for house music

We program drums for house music, including the core drums, additional drums, and various techniques. Goldbaby have kindly provided a refined selection of samples included in this course!

Mixing checkpoints

We'll mix the track as we go, with two important mix checkpoints: the rough mix balance, and the pre-arrangement mixdown. We'll consistently reference, ensuring that our mix evolves towards something clear and professional.

Music theory for house music

Melodic house makes use of a lot of harmony to tell its emotional story. As such, we need to refresh our basics, learn how to use chord progressions to give our track emotional glue, and analyse a bunch of reference tracks to learn how they do it! We also include a small MIDI chord pack to get you kickstarted here!

Basslines & lead synths

Once we have our emotional journey planned out, we'll start designing some basslines and lead synths. I'll explore several options for each, showing many different ways of approaching these elements. I use Ableton Live native plugins and some 3rd party VSTs to show the possibilities.

Additional synths

to give our composition depth and variety, we program several additional synths. We show how I would record an analog synth for this, and how we use orchestral samplers to create drama.

Automation & arrangement

With all these interesting musical elements in place, it's time to turn our loop into a full storyline. I'll do this through subtractive arrangement, and then automation to add movement and tension in the climaxes.

Feedback & polishing

It's rare to get things right the first time. I ask for several expert opinions on the track. That feedback then becomes a checklist of things to improve, and we do this together! Feedback is provided by Alice (Mercurial tones), STRANJAH, Stefan Brown (Lesser Of), Downside (Fuse), and Anton (Face the Sun).

Finalising & mastering

To prepare the track for mastering, I show how I would do a self-mastering, and then how to export a pre-master. Stefan Brown then masters my track, and gives a full PDF of all the changes they made. We compare the results and learn valuable lessons!

100 essential drum machine samples

Programming the drums, I realised it was a perfect chance to collaborate with Goldbaby to provide us with a toolkit of reliable classic drum machine sounds. These drum samples are a solid first step in building out your sample library.


  • What are the requirements for this course?

    You can apply the learning of this course in any DAW! I use Ableton Live 11 to demonstrate the concepts but they are universal. I also show how you can use native plugins, 3rd party VSTs and analog synths to get similar results, so no matter what your tools are, you can follow along!

  • Do I get to interact with Oscar?

    This is a pre-recorded video course, so there are no live interactive parts. If I could spend time with you all, I would, but time is limited! My focus is on delivering the free weekly videos. If you have questions, come tell us on the Discord channel (https://discord.gg/trDbVcDHB3)

  • Will I have lifetime access to the course?

    Absolutely :) Follow it, then take a break, then follow some more. Then forget about it, rediscover it, and take it several times. You do you <3.

  • Is this course appropriate for beginners?

    I try to explain everything from the basics, but as the track progresses I definitely go into intermediate/advanced territory. If you run up against things you don't understand you can see that as a learning challenge, or you might want to try the Foundations of Electronic Music course instead.

Which course is right for you?

I currently offer 3 courses.

The Foundations of Electronic Music is a comprehensive educational course aimed at total beginners and covers all the basics in a logical and accessible way. This is the best place to start if you're new to music production or have holes in your knowledge!

I also have two start-to-finish courses, where I begin with a blank slate, and make a track on camera. I explain my whole thought process, including the mistakes and dead ends, so it feels like you are in the studio with me as we make something. These courses include some advanced and nuanced concepts as the tracks develop, so they can be overwhelming for absolute beginners. The two courses are in different genres: industrial techno and melodic house

If you consider yourself a beginner, the Foundations course is the place to start. Then, choose the Start-to-Finish course in the genre you prefer!

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Full list of videos

  • 1


    • 1.0 Introduction

    • 1.1 Planning: moodboarding & vision

    • 1.2 Planning: track analysis (part 1)

    • 1.3 Planning: track analysis (part 2)

    • 1.4 Workflow planning

  • 2


    • 2.1 Percussion: kick & low groove

    • 2.2 Percussion: core drums & turnarounds

    • 2.3 Percussion: additional drums & modulation

  • 3

    Mixing Checkpoint 1

    • 3.1 Mixing as you go (part 1)

    • 3.2 Mixing as you go (part 2)

  • 4

    Music Theory Refresher

    • 4.1 Music theory refresher (part 1)

    • 4.2 Music theory refresher (part 2)

    • 4.3 Music theory: analysing reference tracks

  • 5

    Core Synths

    • 5.1 Core synths: bass programming (part 1)

    • 5.1 Core synths : bass programming (part 2)

    • 5.3 Core synths: lead programming (part 1)

    • 5.4 Core synths: lead programming (part 2)

    • 5.5 Core synths: lead programming (part 3)

    • From YouTube: Subtractive synthesis: the basics

    • From YouTube: How to learn any synth

  • 6

    Additional Synths

    • 6.1 Additional synths: morse code (w/ analog synth)

    • 6.2 Additional synths: strings

    • 6.3 Additional synths: strings (revisited)

    • 6.4 Additional synths: background arpeggios

    • 6.5 Additional synths: sampling

  • 7

    Mixing Checkpoint 2

    • 6.6 Mixing checkpoint 2 (part 1)

    • 6.7 Mixing checkpoint 2 (part 2)

  • 8

    Arrangement & Automation

    • 7.1 Subtractive arrangement (part 1)

    • 7.2 Subtractive arrangement (part 2)

    • 7.3 Automation (part 1)

    • 7.4 Automation (part 2)

    • 7.5 Automation (part 3)

  • 9

    Feedback & Polishing

    • 8.1 Gathering feedback (part 1)

    • 8.2 Gathering feedback (part 2)

    • 9.1 Polish 1: Muting, bass groove and high groove

    • 9.2 Polish 2: Bus processing & parallel processing

    • 9.3 Polish 3: Making magic with the lead melody

    • 9.4 Polish 4: Making the climax totally epic

    • 9.5 Polish 5: Showing breaks one and three some love

    • 9.6 Polish 6: Stereo decisions, referencing, fx resampling

    • 9.7 Polish 7: Filling up the intro & last playthrough

    • 9.8 Polish 8: Debrief: lessons learned

  • 10

    Final tweaks & mastering

    • 10.1 Final changes (for real this time)

    • 10.2 Exporting a pre-master

    • 11.1 Reviewing the mastered track

    • 11.2 Release plan

    • 11.3 Final thoughts