Over the last twenty years we’ve witnessed a global swift in terms of music production. By entering the digital age, music production subsequently changed as well, from the classical analogue style of recording to digital production. Therefore, we decided to make an article on how to make electronic music at home. We hope to provide a few tips to electronic music aficionados out there.
Before we begin there are a few clarifications we need to make. First of all, the music industry is at war. Why is that? Well, simply because everyone can make music nowadays. In the past you were required a studio, a sound engineer, being pressured by both time and money to complete projects. Nowadays, one can simply make electronic music straight out of his or hers own bedroom.
Monster Rally, Sweet Valley, Joey Badass are artists who rose to fame by simply doing music and recording at home, from their rooms. Of course, sooner or later some of them get picked up and signed by a record label, but the sheer fact that they began their music careers by recording from home was a big slap on the face of the music industry.
By surpassing traditional ways of recording it’s no wonder that electronic music became such a hit to both music-makers and fans alike. But how did this style of music began? To put it simple, it was through the invention of synthesizers and other instruments such as electronic organs or electro-violins which gave this style of music the push. However, both in those days as in our times, these sort of instruments are quite pricey.
But coming back to these days, electronic music requires nothing more than a laptop or PC to get you started and well-going. So with no further a due let’s begin our tips on how to make electronic music.
1. PC or OS
The beauty and wide popularity of this music genre comes with its easy set-up. Although not necessarily cheaper than buying instruments out of a store and start jamming, these can help you save a lot of space.
It is generally recommended to begin with a set-up which you are already familiar with. In other words, if you have a PC continue with it and, vice-versa, if you have a Mac it works fine as well. This helps you save time if you are already familiar with one of the operating systems, not having to learn all over again the computer systems. Instead, you can focus on learning music software programs.
This leads us to the music programs, most of them being available to both operating systems, except for FL Studio. I would like to mention that they main-key here is to upgrade you CPU and RAM power. Now comes personal preference and capital of course, because hey let’s face it who has $2000 to spare immediately, right?
While most PCs come packed with an audio card, it’s probably a good idea to upgrade it. At the same time, ASIO4All driver provides a quick solution for those who are at the beginning and aren’t yet capable of investing into a high-quality audio card.
But as stated above, later on, when your music production skills start improving and you are looking to upgrade your workstation, you could choose from a wide range of products. Some of the brands to consider are Alesis, Avid, Focussrite, Motu, PreSonus, RME, Roland. However, be prepared to pay somewhere between $200 and $400.
3. Speakers and Headphones
I guess this is a no-brainer as well. Near field monitors are highly recommended for studio production, for the purpose of providing high-quality tones, not amplifying them with bass tones and so on, letting you know how the tracks blend.
The same applies to headphones. In terms of speakers, however, make sure you position them accordingly in your studio.
4. VST Synthesizers
You can easily find them on the internet, although be careful when it comes to quality. They let you include a vast-array of sounds into your songs, making them one of the most popular tools for both home and recording studios.
Some of the best VST synthesizers you can find online are:
- Datsounds’ OBXD (PC/Mac)
It provides brilliant thick and beefy analogue tones.
- Green Oak Software Crystal (PC/Mac)
A classic since its debut a decade ago, the software underwent different upgrades, having included a sample support and wave sequencing.
- Tone2 Firebird 2 (PC)
Unfortunately, this software is only a PC release, combining subtractive synthesis and built-in effects, which makes a most fun tool.
- Digital Suburban Dexed (PC/Mac)
Upon the release of Yamaha DX7 in 1983, FM synthesis made a really big hit. It has been emulated many years ago and still remains loyal to the features of the original.
What can I say about samples? Pretty much a standard in today’s home or studio music making, samples are used for drums and cymbals effects.
Sample packs vary in price and can be easily bought online. Some famous online shops for samples are: Big Fish Audio, Loopmasters, Drum Broker. However, here’s a little tip: you could go on Youtube and skim through classic records and convert them to mp3 and chop out the parts you’ll like to sample.
6. How to Make Best Electronic Music? Learn from Others!
Ask any musician you want, everyone had an idol who inspired them, and from whom they took something. Whether it’s 60’s rock bands being inspired by classical blues records ( ex: The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin), or later groups, everyone got inspired in some way or another by somebody else.
That is why it is good to stay open, listen to what others are doing and to what people are interested in (if you really want to hear yourself on the radio). I’m not saying copy everything you listen, but keep an open-mind, because who knows where you can draw inspiration from.
There you have it, our short list of tips on how to make electronic music. For more useful tips on this vast array of topics make sure to check our website. Also feel free to leave us a comment with your feedback.
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