Key Discipline : Collaboration
Another thing thats beneficial to focus on during this stage is collaboration. This could be working with another producer, vocalist or musician. There are many reasons why collaboration helps:
- You pick up tricks and tips from other artists and producers
- You learn to work well with other people and communicate ideas
- You learn how to make compromises
- You build relationships with like-minded people
- You build your brand by leveraging others audiences/fanbases
Theres really no excuse for not collaborating. If you live in an area where no one makes music, you can either collaborate with someone over the internet or move.
If you dont know anyone on the internet who makes music, stop being lazy and join the EDMProd Artist Community, post a question asking if anyone wants to collaborate with you, and get busy.
Music Mastering: The Definitive Version Of Your Song
Mastering is the final step in your music production process.
Its the phase where your mix gets the final polish and presentation for how your listeners will actually experience it.
The purpose of mastering is to balance the sonic elements in a stereo mix and optimize playback across all systems and media formats.
Music has never been available in more formats and devices than today.
It doesnt matter if youre mixing in a million dollar studio or tracking in less than ideal conditions, you still need the final quality check of mastering.
This step ensures that your sound will be heard the way you intended it to be.
It also provides the glue that gives an album consistent sound across all tracks. Without mastering, individual songs can sound disjointed in relation to each other.
Mastering is a crucial part of the music production process, but it doesnt have to be scary.
Check out our suite of resources to learn everything you need to know about mastering.
How To Start Making Music On Your Computer
You must have at least one song, to begin with. It could be a cover if youve bought the rights to record it. Or your own composition. Once youve practised it to perfection and worked out the arrangement , youre ready to record.
You record the tracks sounds in your home studio, that is the live acoustic instruments and vocals, along with any electronic sounds. You can plug your instruments and microphones into interfaces to record them. Mic preamps may be needed to make sure that the signal youre recording is good enough. Although many audio interfaces have mic preamps built-in.
This audio information is then carried into the computer via the computer USB port. Once on the computer, they become digital files, ready to be arranged. Any digital and virtual instruments or beats can then be added in. Your software will allow you to cut, drag and copy sections, crafting it however you choose, much like a photo or video editing programme.
If you have any separate sample tracks, these can be incorporated too. As you can imagine, this can quickly get messy or complicated. And a multitude of choice in terms of digital sounds and plugins can quickly become overwhelming.
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How To Make Music With Daw Software
The only real hurdle is getting a free DAW. If you’re willing to pay for one at the beginning, then I recommend starting with FL Studio for ease of use on Windows or use the free Garage Band on Mac.
Turns out Avid put out Pro Tools First which is a free but limited version. It’s good enough to get started for sure. It limits you to 16 tracks which is way more than enough if you’re clever and not wasteful.
If you learn either of those, you’ll know how to use them all and can upgrade later once you know you’re committed and not wasting money .
All you need to do is figure out how to:
- Create a MIDI with a piano roll, or
- Create an audio track enabled to record, and
- Set the input source to your webcam if recording
If you can play the keyboard and have one you can even enter MIDI data if you get a MIDI-to-USB cable. Otherwise you’ll click it in with your mouse. It’s extremely simple and often faster to use the mouse.
As a singer-songwriter, you can create an entire song out of two tracks: one for vocals and one for your guitar track. You should be skeptical of anyone that tells you it’s more complicated than this.
What Is A Daw
Another term used for a sequencer is a Digital Audio Workstation. The major DAW brands are Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, Reason, FLStudio and Ableton Live. These all come with a good selection of virtual instruments, meaning you can mix your own backing without recording a single live instrument. Many DAWs come with tutorials to help you get started, on what can be a very complex and nuanced art form.
The DAW, or sequencer, will enable you to alter frequencies in the editing and mixing process. If you find theres a clash, the EQ will level it out. It will also contain a range of effects like reverb and echo. You then use your monitors to playback, so you can hear how its sounding. If youre brand new to music production, it may be better to keep your mixes simple at first.
Next, youll move onto mastering where you can add in fades and noise reduction. Its at this stage tracks tack on codes and time stamps. The mastering process looks at the track as a whole, whereas mixing hones in on the details found in individual parts.
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Create Your First Song
The final step in the initiation stage is to make a song, from start to finish. Dont worry about how you think a song should be made, whether there are any rules or not, simply make something thats 2 or more minutes long, and call it done.
This is an essential step. You must get into the habit of finishing music as early on as you can.
Otherwise, you run the risk of not being able to finish music later on down the track.
You may feel the urge to show everybody your creation. You might feel its time to create a Soundcloud account or post your track on YouTube. Though theres no intrinsic harm in doing this, I dont recommend it. Its a distraction, especially in the initiation stage.
If you want to speed up the learning process and follow a proven framework, check out EDM Foundations. Weve had over 3800 beginner producers go through the course with great results.
New to music production?
Watch our free masterclass on how to learn electronic music production the smart way
Have Goals And A Plan
Do you have a good idea of where you want to go with your career?
You really need to understand what you want to do and have a good idea of how to get there. If you dont, you need to research and ask people. Set goals and have a plan so youre not wasting time.
Some people may want to just make music to get sync licensing deals for commercials or movies. Others want to be a performing artist who tours the world as an independent. Maybe you just want to produce tracks for other artists. Maybe you want to be signed to a major label. Or do you want to create your own label, band or collective?
Not everyone will have the same goals or aspirations. It may take some time to realize what your long term goal is, and it may even change as you gain more experience. But once you have your end goal, you gotta reverse engineer it.
Keep in mind, the purpose of this blog is to broadly outline the different elements you need to think about to be an independent, performing artist and songwriter, but of course, most of the points still apply.
We live in a massive, globalized world where we can communicate and interact with just about anyone anywhere on the planet through the internet. This means you no longer need to make a name for yourself in your local area first or move closer to a certain city or music scene to make it. However, I still think it helps to do those things if you can to optimize your chances of success.
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Learn About Orchestration & Arrangement
Your next step in the journey is to learn about orchestration and song arrangement. Orchestration is about knowing which instruments come together to form a band. Each plays a specific role in the frequency spectrum and are chosen to not clash with each other sonically.
Those that do risk clashing play different roles, like lead guitar versus rhythm guitar, or kick drum and bass. Understanding these roles is also important which leads into the next topic you’ll study, which is arrangement.
Arrangement refers to when each of the instruments in your orchestration actually are playing or not. Knowing when to drop them out and bring them back in can add a level of excitement and life to your songs, upping the energy levels during certain parts like the chorus.
Learn How To Promote Your Music
If you want help getting started with your burgeoning music career, we have an online webinar for you to check out.
This free online webinar is available for indie musicians and music producers that are interested in making money from their work. You will discover effective methods and strategies for gaining more control over your music career.
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Producing Your Own Dj Beats Using Beatbox
If you don’t want to stick to pre-made songs & samples, there are other ways to create your own remix.
Beatbox provides you with a particularly easy-to-use module for your own DJ music production. It lets you create your own drum beats and play them in sync with different loops.
- You can load new sound settings from the drop-down menu.
The matrix represents one entire bar and sounds can be assigned to each 16th note within the bar.
- To add the current beat pattern into an arrangement, drag the waveform icon into the project’s Beatbox track.
This will convert the Beatbox pattern into a standard audio object that can be looped or cut like any other object.
Buying A Midi Keyboard Controller
From simple MPC drum pads to large, all-encompassing MIDI keyboards, having a piece of hardware to program or perform MIDI sequences in real time is absolutely essential.
What is a MIDI controller?
To put it simply, MIDI is basically the language that allows computers, music instruments and other hardware to communicate. By playing a sequence on a MIDI keyboard for example, you are sending information to your DAW on what notes where played, how long the notes lasted, how hard you played the notes and other signals. It does NOT send an audio signal. It is only sending data, which is exactly what makes MIDI so powerful. This data can be manipulated with ease, and allows you to edit the performance independently of the actual sound.
So, if you were to record a perfect piano sequence to AUDIO, and missed a single note, you would most likely need to record the entire sequence again until the performance is perfect.
Whereas with MIDI, the note could be simply corrected in a second, along with any other changes to the melody, volume, pitch and automation.
Which MIDI controller should I buy?
For beginners, we recommend a MIDI keyboard as opposed to a drum pad or other MIDI device. There are many cheap options for MIDI keyboards, and many of them have integrated drum pads anyway. Most MIDI keyboards are USB powered, and require little to no software setup.
When choosing which keyboard is best for you, the three main factors to consider are:
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You Need A Recording Studio
You cant really start a music production business without a recording studio.
A recording studio is necessary because youll use it to record and monitor your artists whilst nurturing their growth in the process.
Furthermore, to save on costs, having an in house recording studio can be a good way to start to your music production business.
Some capital will help you build a good recording studio that is of good size to accommodate the people you intend to sign.
You can start your music production business with a home studio if you want to because what really matters is not the location or look of the studio but the actual work that is being created in the studio.
The quality of the music should be your primary focus, you dont need to go all out and rent a $10,000 space if you dont have the funds.
Start small, make a reasonable studio and do your best to have it ready for music work.
How To Produce Music For Artists And Producers On A Budget
Caleb J. Murphy is a Songwriter/Producer based in Austin, TX. He is the founder of Musician With A Day Job, a blog to help part-time musicians succeed. He is also a contributor to CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog, Sonicbids, and Bandzoogle. His work has been shared by ASCAP, Hypebot, and Music Think Tank.
You may think you need the most expensive equipment or fanciest studio or that you need to drop a ton of money on nice plug-ins.
Stop. Dont believe the lies.
You can produce good music when you dont have a ton of money. And heres how.
Learn how to produce music by:
- Choosing a computer for music production
- Getting the right DAW for you
- Finding an audio interface
- Getting your microphone setup right
- Finding the right headphones or monitors
- Setting up your home recording studio
- Finding free plug-ins
- Discovering affordable services to check out
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Learn Your Business And Develop Your Skills
First, you need to know what you are doing. If you dont have a musical background, a musical education, or musical experience, you should focus on your skills. Learn more about the business. Read articles, browse music insider websites, and soak up as much information as you can.
Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider getting a degree in music production, sound engineering, or recording. Another option is to seek an internship at a professional recording studio. This provides hands on learning.
Drum Sounds For Producing Dj Beats
Finally, we will show you a feature that is not included in the free version Music Maker Free, but would considerably enhance your DJ music production. The “Drum Engine” delivers legendary drum machine sounds and can be purchased from the in-app Store.
- In the upper right, click on the “Store” tab in the Media Pool.
- Select “Instruments” from the dropdown menu.
- Enter “Drum” in the search field.
- Now, you will see a list of all the instruments that have “Drum” in their title.
- Move the mouse over the Drum Engine and click the large arrow.
- This will trigger the preview feature. This allows you to check out the basic sound of each instrument. Click the mouse again to stop the preview function.
This will take you to an informational page where the specific item is described in more detail. You may also buy it here. After purchase, a download occurs and then the Drum Engine is available in Music Maker.
Tip:If you are interested in several instruments and Soundpools, consider purchasing a complete edition instead of individual add-ons. There are editions for content from specific genres or general editions like Music Maker Plus. Every edition unlocks a bundle of additional features, Soundpools or instruments, and allows you to better use your multicore processor. Be sure to check the Store regularly to see which special offers are currently available.
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The Basic And Essential Set Up
To get into computer music production, the first thing youll need is not surprisingly, a computer. Even cheap desktop and laptop computers should be able to handle a recording project from recording through to mix and mastering. However, three things will determine the maximum workload capacity of your system.
The next thing youll need to decide when getting into computer recording is what Digital Audio Workstation or DAW to use. If youre confused, dont worry. DAW is just the technical term for recording software. If you have a Mac then youve already got a powerful piece of recording software on board with Garageband. However, dont fret if youre on PC. There are great free options like Ardour or Podium Free that come with all of the basic tools youll need to get started. If you want something with a bit more than just the basics, most DAWs have a free trial period in which to try them out.
Monitors and Headphones
All set to go
Producing Music In A Daw
Your DAW is the digital home for your music production.
In a traditional recording studio, the DAW would be the tape machinebut its so much more that.
Your DAW is the perfect environment for every step of your music production workflow.
Many producers prefer to write in their DAW by creating loops and clips of their ideas on the fly.
Structuring isolated fragments into full arrangements is one of the biggest strengths of a DAW-based songwriting workflow.
And mixing has never been easier than with a DAW and plugins.
However you use it, the DAW is where your inspiration and workflow collide, and the production process takes place.
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