While there are many famous artists, there always are new ones among them. If you always wanted to become a DJ or music producer, now is a good time for you. To be honest, now have always been the time to start making music!
I thought it might be a good idea to start the blog with an article about starting. So firstly I will introduce myself. My name is Steve and i am a musician. I play various drum instruments and record them. Out of these recordings i make tunes which are enhanced later with loops, samples and effects found on several webpages.
You can also visit www.lucidsamples.com for loops and samples. Yes, it is a shop, but they have several gigabytes of free stuff. This free stuff is selected from paid content so it has actually really good sound quality.
Maybe someday I will share my works here but this blog idea is to help solving the problems which I have met when I started making music.
To start making music with no problems you need to score 3/3 in the following test.
Welcome to the simple 3-step tutorial on preparing your place to work with music. If you are serious, buy a comfortable chair.
Topic 1. Hardware.
A computer with a decent quad-core processor, 4gb of RAM memory, a big hard drive. Antivirus, Anti Malware and Cleaning software is a standard. If you do not support standards, you can lose much data quickly. An Internet connection required for getting invloved in Reddit (or other) communities and receive (and give) instant help for most of your technical problems 🙂
YES, the real requirements are lower, but if you really wish to concentrate on your work and not on solving problems with your computer which does not work. Again.
Topic 2. Software:
I will not write, if you need Windows or Mac OS. The name doesn’t matter – check both and choose the best. There are even some people who make music in Linux. Just be sure that your system is working well. You will need some additional programs like encoders and sound drivers to play the music as it was recorded and exporting your ready projects to mp3 format. It is all written in DAW manuals. I know we all pretend to read manuals, but this is the time when it is worthy to actually read them. 90% of problems are due to codec and/or driver errors.
Music making software or Digital Audio Workspace. There are several different DAW programs. I will also write an article about choosing them and post it here. Right now I will only mention some names and you can google them: FL Studio, Ableton, Logic, Reason, Garageband. The names order is random. You really should buy a license. Or find a soundcard bundled with light version of one of these programs.
In the beginning especially you should practice with sound samples. When you are good with samples, start making your own ones. Most DAW software is equipped with some default sound samples, but they not always are enough even to start with. Consider buying a sample pack or even better, ready loops. I can guarantee you that you can spend more on Friday Pub or Sunday Shopping ceremonies.
Topic 3. Sound making equipment.
The first comes the soundcard. If you have a laptop, you mostly need an external card. External soundcards are mostly attached to the computer by USB or HDMI cables. Sometimes there are other standards like Firewire. You can read a lot about them at Wikipedia. If you buy a soundcard you often get a DAW program for free.
Monitors and/or headphones. The difference between studio monitors and normal loudspeaker is that monitors play the sound as it has been recorded. They don’t have a bass booster. They help you see what is wrong in the sound you produce. Headphones should cover your ears and be comfortable. They should also be more like studio monitors than normal speakers. Sennheiser, AKG, or even Denon are the common names to look for. I use Sennheiser HD201. They are cheap yet they produce really decent sound.
A midi controller. It is a simple keybord or pad. Strike different keys and you will get different sounds instantly. You can assign any sample to any key. It is a better option than mouse clicking on a screen keyboard. You can also use external synthesizer (like keybord or an electronic drum) with preloaded sounds and record what you play directly. You can use both. They can be connected to the soundcard or directly to your computer
What is your score?
If you do not pass the test thin again what is important. If you think it makes sense, please continue reading:
To sum up here is a quick checklist for a good start:
You will need
A clean computer that is 2-4 year old
A DAW program
A Soundcard and studio monitors and/or good headphones
You might need
Decent Internet connection
Loops, samples, effects, synths
A Midi controller or synthesizer
After checking all required fields you can proceed to the next article which is about:
How to choose music making software