Getting Started With Electronic Dance Music Using Your Computer
What You'll Learn From This Guide
This will walk you through on how to start with Electronic Dance Music (although some of the following tips may apply to other musical genres as well, not just electronic dance music), which kind of software you need to start with, the hardware required (this depends on the type of aim you want to achieve), understand different genre style and many more.
Note: Ensure you read carefully and thoroughly if you don't get any point, do ensure to start learning from the top, thanks
Choose a computer system you are familiar with
To start producing electronic music or whatsoever genre, you are doing. You will need a computer system (Desktop or Laptop) if you want to create an electronic music.
Should I go for a desktop or laptop?
If you are going to be producing in a fixed location, you will probably want to try a desktop, and if you are the type that loves moving around, then you will probably need a Laptop.
Choosing the right kind of CPU makes a difference as well. You might even think about getting a solid-state drive (known as SSD), the higher your processor, CPU power and ram the smoother your programs run.
What kind of computer should I get?
I will recommend you some new ones, check below
Amazon for the spec above
After getting your computer ready, the next thing you need is sound equipment e.g. studio monitors, studio optimized headphone and sound card(not necessary depending on your computer system)
As I said earlier, you do not really need this, gone are the days when you need to do everything using a hardware, these days every modern computer has some onboard sound chip so basically, you can start off making electronic music or your preferred genre without spending money on an external sound card or audio interface.
If you would like to have the ability to use low latency with your sound chip/audio card and it does not have native ASIO support, you can use an ASIO4ALL driver. It was developed by Steinberg to correct latency buffering in real mode.
Well, you can plan on getting an external soundcard, if you want to do a lot of external recording e.g. plugging in your instruments(studio guitar, studio piano, etc.), microphone and more.
check the Image-Line’s knowledge-base Help choosing a soundcard.
A studio monitor is highly recommended, they are specifically made for audio production.
Studio monitors reveal the mysteries in your audio sounds concerning frequency, and they tell you what is wrong and right in your mix.
It will also help you create a high-quality sound, and I do not see any reason you shouldn't have this, check out my recommendation for the lowest one in the price you can always afford.
KRK Systems, M-audio, KRK Rokit
Studio headphones are useful concerning concentrating on a specific part. You can get better frequency result, it also helps track rhythm and audio levels.
I recommend using Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser if you want a good result.
if you can't afford to buy studio monitors then studio headphone should work. Also, I practically switch my sound to mono when using studio headphone, I recommend comparing high-quality tracks with yours, to get the best out of a studio headphones.
Daw stands for a digital audio workstation, they are computer software, and this is where you create and compose the music. It is an essential part of making music or let's say they are the visual environment part of arranging, mixing and master a song.
Choosing your DAW?
There are hundreds of daw in the market, and the problem is which one to choose, I recommend using Fl studio, it has a neat UI, I practically use this.
Check this post for a list of other Daws in the market.
This is not necessary. You can make your melodies and chords from your computer, if you are the type that is addicted to midi keyboards, then this post should show you some.
Learn Music Theory
You need to learn a little bit of music theory to start composing your tone, and you do not need to learn a bunch of methods to compose your tone.
All you need is to learn some chords and intervals, and the common ones are major and minor chord, I will start releasing tutorials on how to do this, don't panic :)
This is a simple case, all you need is to get a Vst ( Virtual Studio Technology ), they produce a different kind of sounds, you just need to install them to start working unlike the hardware synth you buy, the only difference is that they are software and you just have to install them.
I will also recommend you to familiarize yourself with your synth, to know how they can be tweaked and how they produce their different sounds.
This post should show some VSTs
You need high-quality samples to make a professional music, samples like kick, hi-hats, snare, clap.
check this post for high-quality audio samples
Get to know your genre
Every musical genre has certain elements it is connected with. The Simplest way to learn these aspects would be to listen to some of the songs in each style you are interested in to see how they make use of these components:
Hip-hop and rap are noted for thick, driving rhythms and beats, syncopated rhythms and country music often offers a shuffle rhythm, while big band jazz is emphasized for bouncy.
Instrumentation, Jazz is noted for its use of brass (trumpet, trombone) and woodwind instruments (clarinet, saxophone), while heavy metal is emphasized for loud electric guitars.
Song arrangement: Many tunes with vocals played on the radio start with an introduction > verse > chorus > another verse > repeat the chorus > a bridge > the chorus, and a> outro.
Well, it depends on the kind of genre you are making, you have to listen to the structure.
Producing your Genre
Lay down the beats first
This is the point where you start using your drum samples, lay it down correctly or listen to a song you like to get how the drums are laid.
Add a low-pitched instrumental sound
The low-pitched instrumental sound is your bass rhythm, make sure the bass and drum work together before introducing any other instrument or samples.
Layer in your chords and melody
This is the part you use your Vst, create a melody in the key of the bass, when a melody or chord is created in the key of the drum sample or bass, everything tends to tie together. Do not panic. I will be writing tons of video tutorial on how to do all of this.
Mix your sounds
This is the technical part. It is where you separate frequency A from frequency B, and it is the point you mix your track to a balanced level. In some cases, you’ll be looking for a “fatter” (richer) sound instead of a louder sound. To do this, you can use multiple instruments like eq, compressor, reverb on a given part or use the same instrument numerous times. I will be explaining all of this in a more productive content.
Have a nice day :)