New! Live Workshops
How to Produce a Hit Song: Analysis, Recording, and Mixing
What makes a song a hit? And how do we capture the essence of what makes a hit in our own recordings? Taught by Grammy-winning producer, Prince Charles Alexander, this workshop will explore how to produce a hit song, starting with song analysis through recording and mixing a record. You’ll work on concepts that will transform your subjective listening into objective listening as you prepare to create an original song. You will use your Digital Audio Workstation to quickly build the foundation to an original song with characteristics of a hit. Each session culminates with you making another giant step in the process of recording, editing, and mixing a finished and presentable song, using your own objective analysis skills and DAW competency.
- Weekly on Wednesdays, Starting July 20
- Includes 3 sessions
- 7 - 9 PM ET
$249.00 for all 3 sessions
3 sessions | 1 per week | 6 hours total
Session 1: Song Analysis
Wednesday, 7 - 9 PM ET
Learning how to analyze a song and really understand what’s happening in a recording is the first step to becoming a great producer. In this session, we’ll practice active listening while we unpack a few popular recordings, identifying the key elements of each, including arrangement, song form, instrumentation, effects, and more. Our goal in this session is to change the way you listen to music. We will give you ideas of how subjective listening can quickly become objective listening, which will help your ability to produce, record, edit, and mix your own work.
- Practice objective listening to analyze the various elements of a recording
- Create a vision for how you may utilize some of the techniques in your own recordings
Session 2: Recording
Wednesday, 7 - 9 PM ET
In the second session, we’ll get our hands dirty and start recording some music. We’ll draw on the knowledge we gained from last week to establish our overall vision for our project. Next, we’ll discuss various recording techniques to create a high-quality recording that we can mix in the final session. We’ll focus on listening to reference tracks to inform instrumental choices and vocal production techniques.
- Utilize basic recording techniques to create high-quality audio recordings
- Use listening references to inspire creative recording choices in your own work
- Use basic vocal recording techniques to create a composition that connects to your target audience and/or genre
Session 3: Mixing
Wednesday, 7 - 9 PM ET
Now that we have our audio recorded from last week, we’ll learn how to create a clear, well-balanced mix. We’ll discuss how to set levels and pan, creating space in your mix. We’ll also discuss how to properly set parameters for reverb, compression, and EQ.
- Create a well-balanced mix
- Identify and maintain a focal point in your mix
- Use reverb, compression, and EQ in your mixes
What You’ll Learn
- How to analyze hit songs and identify the key elements that made them successful
- How to use basic recording techniques to create a professional sounding multi-instrument and vocal recording
- How to create a well-balanced mix, using metering, levels, panning, compression, EQ, and time-based effects
Meet Your Instructor
Prince Charles Alexander
Prince Charles Alexander is a sought-after music producer and audio engineer whose clients include Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, Faith Evans, P. Diddy, the Notorious B.I.G., Usher, Boyz II Men, Brandy, Babyface, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Brian McKnight, Donnie McClurkin, and others.
Alexander has garnered more than 40 Platinum and Gold certifications from the RIAA and has multiple Grammy Awards and nominations. He teaches Advanced Production and Mixing at Berklee, and created the Commercial Record Production minor in that department, for which he received the Don Wilkins Excellence in Curriculum Development Award from Berklee's Professional Writing and Music Technology Division in 2013. Alexander also teaches production and engineering for Berklee Online, is co-creator of the Vocal Production course for Berklee Online, and for ten concurrent years, was also an adjunct instructor at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
He has taught audio technology at the Institute of Audio Research in NYC, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities around the world. From the early to mid 80s, he produced, wrote, and recorded on Virgin Records with his group, Prince Charles and the City Beat Band. Alexander was an early innovator of wind synthesis and a part of the "punk-funk" generation that incorporated many of the devices that would propel rap music to the forefront of the American music scene. Prince Charles Alexander is one of the proud founders of the annual Berklee in Atlanta Spring Break Trip.
Recommended Materials and Prerequisite Knowledge
- Access to a DAW (Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, Cubase, FL Studio, Garageband, etc.)
- Textbook: Hip-Hop Production: Inside the Beats by Prince Charles Alexander
- Textbook: The Art of Mixing by David Gibson
General Workshop Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements for enrolled students to access the learning environment and participate in Live Sessions. If you opt to use any recommended software for your workshop, please check that your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for those as well.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software
- External or internal microphone
- Broadband Internet connection
Higher Learning with Lower Stakes
Live Workshops are ideal for you, if you’re looking for a shorter, more free-form learning experience from Berklee Online—no deadlines, and no grades—just three live weekly sessions with a Berklee instructor, and an award-winning curriculum to explore at your own pace.
- Live Classes Every Week
- No Deadlines or Grades
- Study at Your Own Pace
Discover More Live Workshops
Academic Calendar, Policies, and FAQs
Students may request to transfer their enrollment/payment to an alternate Live Workshop (provided there is room in the alternate workshop) through Monday of the first week of the semester. After this time, a student cannot change into an alternate workshop. To request a course change, students should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All withdrawal requests must be sent to the Berklee Online Registrar’s Office in writing and must include the following information:
- Your full name
- The workshop you are enrolled in
- Reason for withdrawing
Requests to withdraw will not be accepted over the phone. Requests to withdraw must be emailed to email@example.com.
All withdrawals from workshops need to be received prior to 5 PM ET the Friday before the workshops are opened. No withdrawals will be accepted after this date.
If a student is requesting an exception to the withdrawal policy for medical reasons, please see the Medical Withdrawal/Transfer section below for information on this process. If a student feels they have extenuating circumstances other than medical reasons and wish to request an exception to our policy, please see the appeal policy.
Please note students are expected to have reviewed the computer requirements for each workshop in advance of the workshop beginning. Computer or software issues are not cause for an exception to the withdrawal/refund policies. If a student is experiencing issues with their hardware or software, they can contact Berklee Online’s Student Support via telephone at 1-617-747-2146 option 3 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students enrolled in a live workshop cannot request to transfer their workshop to a future semester. Students can opt to move their funds from a Live Workshop to another Berklee Online course or program. Requests to transfer must be in writing to email@example.com and received by Friday prior to the opening of the Live Workshops.
Medical Withdrawal and Transfers
Students who need to withdraw for medical reasons may be eligible for a refund. A medical withdrawal will be considered only if accompanied by a written verification from a medical doctor on letterhead stating the student cannot complete the workshop due to an illness or disability. Please note the doctor’s note must be in English to be considered. The withdrawal will not be allowed if a student fails to submit medical documentation to the Berklee Online Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the first week of the workshops. See above for the exact due date for a medical withdrawal.
The request for a medical withdrawal must be sent in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- By 5 PM ET Friday prior to the opening of the Live Workshops: 100% refund of tuition paid.
Refunds will be based on when the withdrawal is received in writing. No additional refunds on courses in progress will be given once the Live Workshops are opened. Students can find the withdrawal and refund dates above. Please note that all refunds will be provided in United States dollars (USD). Berklee Online cannot be held responsible for any currency rate fluctuations between the date of purchase and the date of the refund.
Students should be aware of the following details:
- If a student’s payment was made by check, the refund will be issued in the form of a check.
- If payment was made by credit card, every attempt will be made to process the refund back to the card used within 30 days. In the event we are unable to do so, the refund will be issued in the form of a check.
- If payment was made using a Berklee Online eGift card, a refund will be issued back to the eGift card. eGift Cards are not redeemable or refundable for cash. Please refer to our eGift Card Terms and Conditions as well as our eGift Card FAQs for more information.
For questions regarding the payment methods we accept, please contact email@example.com or call 1-866-BERKLEE or 1-617-747-2146 if outside the US, Monday through Friday 9 AM – 5 PM ET.
Credit Card Payments
Berklee Online accepts the following credit cards:
- American Express
- JCB Card
If you do not wish to use the online process, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Finance Department at email@example.com or call 1-866-BERKLEE or 1-617-747-2146 if outside the US, Monday through Friday 9 AM – 5 PM ET.
Berklee Online accepts payment via PayPal. Students can choose PayPal as an option during the checkout process.
Berklee Online accepts eGift cards purchased online via GiftUp. eGift cards can only be applied towards eligible course and certificate program offerings. Further information regarding the use of eGift cards can be found within our Terms and Conditions.
Berklee Online has partnered with Flywire to streamline the tuition payment process for our students. You will be able to log in to your Flywire account, at any time, to track the progress of your payment and you will also be notified via email or text when your payment is received by Berklee Online.
Before initiating your transfer, please take note of your Student ID or Order Number in order to help ensure your payment is posted to the correct account. Your Student ID can be found on your My Home page, and your Order Number is located in your Order History.https://payment.flywire.com/pay/payment
How much is a Live Workshop?
Live Workshops are Berklee Online’s most budget-friendly offering at $249. There are no registration fees.
Can I reach out to the instructors for extra help or for additional questions?
No, instructors will be available to students during the 2 hour live sessions held each week. In our 12-week courses, instructors are available to answer questions outside of live class sessions.
Will I be able to access my course after it has finished?
You will be able to access the workshops for 30 days after the end of the workshop. After that 30-day period, we are unable to allow students further access to the workshops. If you have any questions, please contact Student Support via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there coursework and assignments that will be graded?
While there is the course material to review and instructors may provide optional assignments, none of your work will be graded.
How long will I have access to course material after the three sessions are over?
You will have access to course material for up to 30 days after the workshop has ended.
What happens if I miss a class?
Each class is recorded, so you can always play back any sessions that you have missed. We do recommend joining during the scheduled class time if you can so that you can interact with your instructor and peers.
Will I receive course credit for a Live Workshop?
The Live Workshops are a non-credit offering.
Who are the instructors?
Our instructors are Berklee faculty and widely-recognized experts in their field. All instructors are Berklee Faculty or professionals in the industry
How long are the Live Workshops?
Each Live Workshop will be 3 weeks in length with a 2 hour live session held each week.
Are textbooks, software, and hardware included in tuition costs?
No. The required/recommended materials for Live Workshops are not included in tuition.
How many workshops can I take at a time?
You can choose to enroll in as many live workshops as you would like. You should keep in mind that some of the scheduled live sessions for the different workshops could overlap. We recommend reviewing the days/times for each workshop before enrolling.
What happens if my Live Workshop is canceled?
While we will make every effort to run all of our live workshops, sometimes it is necessary to cancel a workshop. If this happens, you will be sent an email letting you know your workshop has been canceled. You will be given the option to transfer into a different workshop, move your funds to another Berklee Online program, or request a refund of tuition.
Where do I go to find the workshop I enrolled in?
How do I participate in the Live Workshop?
Live workshops consist primarily of live, synchronous sessions hosted via Zoom on the Berklee Online platform. These sessions will be interactive and will include instruction, breakout group discussions, question and answer portions, and more. In addition to the live sessions, you will have access to discussions where you can interact with your peers, as well as the ability to upload projects you’re working on for feedback from your peers.
Who do I contact if I am having technical trouble with the course?
You may contact Student Support by email at email@example.com or telephone at 1.866.BERKLEE (or 1-617-747-2146 if outside the U.S.), Monday through Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM ET. Student Support will assist you with any problems you have and will do their best to provide a response to your question or inquiry within one business day.
Are there assignments that need to be completed? Will I receive feedback on assignments?
Each workshop will include material for students to go through as well as suggested projects for students to complete. These are not required and will not be graded or receive feedback from an instructor. Students are encouraged to provide feedback to their classmates.
Will I receive a grade and/or credit at the conclusion of the Live Workshop?
No, Live Workshops are non-credit workshops. Students enrolled in these workshops will not receive college credit and will not be graded on their participation.
Do I get a certificate or letter of completion when I finish each workshop?
No, you will not be issued a certificate or letter of completion upon completion of the Live Workshops.
Can I request a transcript or proof of completion?
The Live Workshops are not part of a student’s academic record. For this reason they will not be represented on a transcript. In addition, we cannot provide proof of completion of the workshop. We can, however, provide proof of enrollment in the workshop if that is needed. Requests of this nature can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.