Making your own music is a skill that requires a lot of work. Music in general is a truly competitive industry and electronic music production follows the same path, demanding more experience and networking abilities from the new producers.
When someone decides to enter the world of electronic music production, there are some things he might want to take into serious consideration. These are competitiveness, hard work, dedication, time and money investment.
Although it may sound difficult to begin with, being able to produce your own music is a very satisfying feeling. The rewards of music creation are endless and with a lot of practice great results can be achieved in the long term.
Below we have combined a list of things every beginner should consider.
How to start with electronic music
First of all, music producer have to be able to identify the music genre they love and want to work on. Although there are no specific rules about which and how many genres a music producer should focus on, in the beginning he should decide to work on one or two main genres.
Those genres will be there for learning the basics of music production, and as the producer gains experience over time he can expand to other ones too, combine two or more genres or experiment in depth with his music and create something completely new.
Electronic music offers to the artists the freedom to create new sounds and styles that where never heard before, simply by experimenting with older methods of producing music and taking them to the next level.
As for the beatmakers and music producers that are just starting out, it is better to stick with their favorite music genres at least when they start, and take the next step when they feel ready.
What equipment do I need to make electronic music
To start practicing on your own music, you need to be ready to invest some money to buy your first equipment. The cost of the equipment depends solely on your available budget, so you have to plan your purchases carefully.
In the beginning, you do not need to buy the most expensive ones, as there are a lot of equipment available in affordable prices that will be just fine for you to start working on your projects.
Our suggestion is that when you start you should buy only the absolute essential equipment, so that you keep your expenses to the minimum. You can later upgrade your equipment and obtain machines and instruments that will help you take your music to the next level.
Here is a list of the most essential equipment for the beginner music producer:
- Personal computer / Laptop
- Studio monitors
- Audio interface
- Midi keyboard
- Drum pad controller
- Later on, more equipment can be added such as:
- Dj controller
After many hours of practice and as the music producer gains experience and feels that his music becomes more satisfying over time, he should consider studying a musical instrument.
Being able to play an instrument is an extremely useful tool for every artist, and this way every music producer can make his project sound more professional and natural.
Some of the most common musical instrument someone should consider to learn are:
- Electric guitar
- Acoustic guitar
Starting with the basic and most essential equipment is the right way to go if you are on a tight budget, and you can then purchase one at a time until you have all the equipment you need to produce your own music the way you prefer.
It has to be noted, that learning how to play a musical instrument of your preference along the way will be a valuable skill, which will become a true asset to making your music project sound great.
DAWs and VSTs
One of the main steps you have to take when starting to produce music is to acquire the right DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). DAW is the software that will help you create, structure and mix your projects.
Fortunately, there are many great DAWs available in affordable prices such as:
- Ableton Live
- FL Studio
These are all extremely powerful and become very easy to use after some practice. There is really no right or wrong DAW for a music producer to use. The best way to find out which one suits you best is to download a demo version of each one and test them.
In addition to the DAW you choose, you need to search and add some VST plugins to your plugin libraries. VSTs (Virtual Studio Technology) are software interfaces that integrate software synthesizers and effect plugins with your DAW.
VSTs are extremely important as they provide you with essential tools such as compressors, equalizers, dynamics processors, limiters etc.
Some of the most useful bundle VSTs are:
- Izotope Ozone
In addition to VSTs, VST instruments are used to generate audio. There are tons of VST instruments available in the market, providing you with sound libraries containing thousands of sound and instruments.
You can search and find a VSTi for every instrument you want to use:
- Synthesizer VSTi
- Bass VSTi
- Piano VSTi
- Guitar VSTi
- Horn VSTi
- Orchestral VSTi
- Ambient VSTi
- Drum VSTi
- Sound effects VSTi
Music producers apply the VST instruments to their projects usually using midi keyboards or drum pads.
Sampling is one of the main features of modern electronic productions. Every producer has his own unique technique when it comes to sampling. For example, some beatmakers chop their samples into littles pieces and rearrange them, whereas others like to use large parts of the sample as a whole.
No matter which method you choose the principles of sampling are the same:
You search and find a song of your preference, most times something old, and listen to it carefully to spot the parts you want to use. Then you cut those parts and rearrange them in your own project. This way, you take something old and you bring it back to life using your own techniques and aesthetics.
Sampling an old song and creating a loop with the chopped parts is often the way music producers start to build their beats. It is usually the basis that will help you experiment, add your own synthesis and build the rest of the beat.
The best way to keep improving your music productions and gain experience as a beatmaker is to keep practicing, ideally in a daily basis.
Most producers sacrifice countless hours of making new music, testing their creativity limits and trying to experiment with new techniques and styles. Music production is an occupation that requires dedication and patience in order to become experienced.
It is a good idea for a music producer to keep studying and learning new things, such as new methods of making music, tutorials about audio mixing and mastering or study other successful and established artists with a great reputation and portfolio in the music production field.
We strongly advice every producer to learn how to play at least one musical instrument such as the piano or the guitar that are two of the most functional instruments in the world of electronic music production.
To sup, being a producer is a long-term process and a game of constant learning and experimenting. Aesthetics and personal perspective go a long way as far as creativity and uniqueness are concerned, along with network and maintaining good relationships with other artists.
The quality of music production depends heavily on consistency and observation. The beatmaker has to be able to apply and test what he learns on his own creations, being also able to understand his imperfections and improve them.
The best day to start making your own music is today.
Create, learn, correct and repeat!