Music Production and Promotion Tips

How to Start Making Electronic Music

Posted on | June 20, 2012 | No Comments

We all love electronic music, right? And all of the brilliant genres that have sprung from the ability to make music in the world of digital. Making music in every genre is more accessible than ever, and perhaps more exciting than ever because of this.You can start making electronic music too! Exciting, huh? Here’s Zedara’s guide to getting started making dubstep, dance, or anything you might be able to bunch under the ‘electronic’ tag.

Firstly, you’ll need some software, and no it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Personally, as an iMac user, I love Logic Pro for all of my music production needs, and I’d recommend it to anybody, but you might not be a mac user, and you might not have the cash laying around. I only managed to get it myself as I got a huge student discount at the time. The Mac Vs PC debate isn’t one I want to get into here, but for a cross-platform solution, you should look into software such as Reaper. Reaper even has a free version, which makes it amazing for getting started, thought it can be a little clunky at first and takes some getting the hang of. Sequencing and putting multiple tracks into a song may be one of the biggest challenges you face at first, and you need to throw yourself into software to learn how to add these tracks to your music.

Other software I would recommend includes Cubase and Fruity Loops.

My next big tip for getting started with making electronic music is to get your hands on a MIDI keyboard. You can pick them up really cheap these days, and they’ll help when it comes to composing melodies, and even recording drums (you can assign the keys to drum sounds and compose this way).

Learn how to make sounds on a synthesizer or instrument plugin. Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release are the key areas to making an instrument sound. Virtual instrument ‘plugins’ can be applied (and may already come with) your software, and will probably have some ‘presets’ you can use, but if you want to create some awesome synth sounds then try and get your head around how synths work.

Make sure you know plenty about the type of music you’re creating. Hey, I’m all for originality, but you’ll have to draw your inspiration from somewhere. Dont try making dubstep at 200 bpm, it probably wont sound good, try and grow familiar with the way the genre of music in question is made.

Get your hands on some good loops and samples. I’m not saying to make your compositions out of other peoples loops, as this is never going to really get you anywhere, but they can be a great starting point and inspire the rest of a song, usually when I use a loop, by the end of the song I can delete it and replace it with my own sounds, it’s just a foundation to build from. I recommend Looperman.com for samples (you’ll just need to make an account).

My final tip in terms of getting started with making electronic music is more of a psychological one; don’t force it! You can’t force inspiration, so if it’s not working out for you, go do something else and return to your masterpiece later.

Happy music making folks!


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