Have you ever just listened to your favorite track and felt like “I wish that I could make my own music!”. But never went any further in the process? Then this article is for YOU.
Roughly a year ago, I was exactly at the same point as you are and I had no musical background, I had no idea about how and where to start.
In 21st century it’s so easy to have access information, you just need to know what you are searching for. Like in most cases, the Internet will be your dearest friend in this journey. Thanks to the modern technology, there are lots of options that will be serving you and it is possible to compose a track from start to finish just within your computer (and of course a bundle of music production softwares and other essential studio equipments, which i will be covering soon).
In this post, I will be sharing with you some important tips and information to get you started. Since I am producing Electronic Music, we will be focusing more on Electronic Music Production.
Your equipments are the tools that enable you to translate your ideas into products. So they are quite essential but don’t stress out about what to get, or which one is better. You’ll explore your needs and see which one would be the best choice for you as you keep going on yet there are some essential pieces.
- Computer / Laptop
It will be the center of your workstation. So be sure to have a nice piece with decent storage and operating system.
2. Headphones & Studio Monitors
You’ll be working with your ears most of the time, so it’s crucial to have a high-quality pair of headphones in order to make good decisions while producing and studio monitors to control the stereo field.
3. MIDI Keyboard
A MIDI Keyboard is not essential since you can write MIDI notes in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). But we can’t ignore that it adds more natural feeling and a human touch into your production, it also encourages you to be more creative. So I highly suggest adding your set-up a MIDI Keyboard and just go experiment with it even if you don’t know what to do!
This video explains further in detail with various options for each equipment.
4. Digital Audio Workstation
What is DAW?? It’s actually pretty self-explanatory. DAW is an electronic device or a software program, used for recording, editing and producing audio files. You’ll be creating, adjusting your sound in this environment from start to finish. There are different options and each comes with its own pros & cons.
I personally prefer to use Ableton Live 10 Suite and I am pretty happy with it. There are lots of producers who work with Ableton and it’s extremely convenient for Electronic Music. It allows you to work in “Arrangement View” and “Session View”. Session View is a unique feature that comes with Ableton and it lets you jam in a production session or you can even play live sets! It has a clear interface with customizable themes and it has lots of useful built-in instruments, audio effects and samples. It sure does take a while to get used to the features no matter which DAW you are using, but don’t let this process discourage you to continue.
Here you can find a list of DAW’s and see which one fits best for you.
If you decided to go with Ableton, I would highly suggest you to watch these tutorials to get to know the interface and learn the fundamentals. You can think of DAW as a vehicle. Let’s say you own a race car but if you don’t know how to drive a car, you cannot benefit from it. Same with DAW’s, in order to unlock its full potential, first you need to learn how to use it.
- Music Theory
So far we have mentioned the tools that you will be working with. It’s also important to have a musical knowledge in order to produce rich sounds, unique melodies, percussions and harmonize all the elements. For instance your tracks must be in “key”, otherwise the elements in your tracks will sound disconnected and it won’t be a pleasing experience. You may not understand what I’m talking about so I’m dropping another video, which will be teaching you the basics and entertaining you simultaneously.
I tried to point out important topics and lay out essential components of a home studio and what else you need in order to translate your ideas into music. Like I said in the beginning, I started my journey with zero knowledge, just my laptop and there I was unconsciously jumping from one tutorial to another tutorial.
Now I recently released my first track Red Sunshine and it is my pleasure to share it with you.
Another advice that I can give you (maybe the most important one) is try to implement what you learn. Don’t be afraid to try. Just open your DAW and start messing around. Use the tutorials as an inspiration, don’t try to do the exact same thing they demonstrate in the videos. To improve yourself and to develop your own sound, you should explore new boundaries.