Yes, we all started somewhere. Anyone who wants the basics of electronic music production must consider the vast amount of options to choose from.
Want to make your own music?
First, producers today arrange their music in a program called a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW for short.) FL Studio, Ableton, Pro Tools, Reason, and even Garageband are examples. Making music can be done with any software.
Which DAW is the best?
That, my friend, is the age-old question. Similar to “Which paintbrush is better for painting like Picasso?” The truth is, that while some DAW may have features that better suite your agenda, each tool can accomplish most of what you need, and many similarities exist between these programs.
Take, for instance, Pro Tools. The Industry standard DAW for recording LIVE instruments (In a studio or recording setting,) Pro Tools is great for tracking bands, recording your 12 piece flute arrangement, even recording your midi instruments directly in. When you want to produce and mix music including lots of LIVE instruments, choose PT. Amazon offers Pro Tools online:
On the other hand, Ableton is gaining popularity in the electronic music scene as a great tool to craft electronic music in a series of workflows that enable EASY live performance.
With all that to consider, If you want to learn electronic music production, and how to make and sell your music online, download FL Studio. This is by far the easiest workflow in town, features great plugins with huge VST versatility (more on that later,) and features a full length mixer with 99 channels, great for adding many different tracks and getting that nice punchy mix on your drum channels.
FL Studio has an easy learning curve, with your main focus on the Rack (where you add instruments and arrange them in the Piano Roll,) and the Playlist. The Playlist serves as the map of your song, in which you place patterns created in the Rack directly onto the playlist in chronological formation for the creation of your tune (if that’s how you want it.) Let’s say that you just heard a Porter Robinson tune (from 5 years ago) and wanted to filter your wobble bass while adjusting the tempo to create a progressively slowed down “YOI.” FL Studio lets you create Automation Clips that tweak knobs on any parameter you’d like. Just put that bass in a mixer channel, add your favorite lowpass filter, right click it’s cutoff knob, and “Create An Automation Clip” from the menu.
From there, you can change the LFO speed controlling your filter on the bass the same way. It’s as easy as clicking points on your clip to create movement of the knob however you’d like.
Fl Studio has some great plugins available in its Producer level program and up. You get your hands on Sytrus, the mighty Maximus, and the GrooveMachineSynth. These are loaded with presets (dear lord) and have many parameters to tweak sounds to create something ultimately new to your production while still matching up to the mixes of your favorite producers (in time, of course.)
Speaking of your mix, FL Studio gives you a MASSIVE 99 channels to work with to really give you space to work on your mixes. Linking your instruments to these channels allows you to see their dB level separately, adjust volume independently, add plugins and effects, and route your channels to sends if you so choose.
FL comes with a nice variety of effects to add to your channel slots, so if you were looking to take your trance chords and add an increasingly larger reverb on ’em to increase a build into your sick gnarly drop, you can do that and much more.
FL Studio can be found from Amazon:
And I would highly recommend the Producer level, with access to all those nice plugins and effects. (Also you can record with a mic that you may have, and use audio clips!)
Now that we’ve figured out which paintbrush suits us best, we must commence painting.
The art of producing music starts with the artist. Whichever type of art you like, get to it. That being said, using other producers work to inspire you, or to help you with a template is never wrong. I wont tell you to copy any work, deliberately steal another’s idea, their work of art, but merely saying that listening to your favorite tune and emulating the emotion, style, genre, and feel of the track is a good place to start. The best way to start learning is by reading, or watching videos! YouTube is your friend. Watch some videos to learn all about how your instruments work, how to arrange patterns in the playlist, and how to have good style when creating your arrangements Check out our YouTube channel here. Above all, have fun! You’ll be making your own music in no time.