Explained: Music Production for Beginners

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music production for beginners

Regardless of if you want to get into music production to produce your own music or for someone else, we’re here to help you learn how to produce music.

Maybe you want a sound with more virtual instruments that has a synth-y feel to it, maybe you want a sound with a grating bass guitar and ear-splitting drums, or maybe you love reverb-heavy songs. As a producer, you get to control these things. Production is your way to determine now only how the song sounds, but how it feels.

Whether you are starting off with plenty of knowledge on music theory or are just playing around GarageBand on your Mac, here is a beginner’s guide on how to produce music.

Necessary Tools:

A Good Pair of Headphones

Apple’s AirPods, no matter how convenient they may be, won’t cut it when it comes to producing music. A high-quality and comfortable pair of headphones is necessary for any home studio.

Some key things to look for when purchasing headphones are the headphones’ clarity, portability, power handling, durability, isolation, power consumption, or the low frequency range.

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

A DAW is a computer music production for beginners software application for editing, recording, and producing audio. Every producer needs at least one that they are extremely familiar and comfortable with.

Some of the best DAW software is Ableton Live, FL Studio, Cubase, or Logic Pro.

MIDI Keyboard and Pad Controllers

A MIDI keyboard or controller keyboard is typically a piano-style electronic music keyboard. It allows you to create without the construction of your laptop’s keyboard, and they encourage experimentation.

Plug-Ins

An audio plug-in can add or enhance audio-related functionality in a computer program; for example, a music producer could find a digital piano or a place to test their synth sound in the form of a plug-in.

Virtual Studio Technology (VST)

A VST is an audio plug-in software interface that integrates software synthesizers and effects units into DAWs. You need a DAW in order to use a VST. A VST helps you mix, and hosts everything from equalizers to compressors to reverb.

A Solid Audio Interface

An audio interface is what you need to get high quality sound in and out of your computer, and are fairly easy to use. Many already have a MIDI controller.

There are a myriad of terms that are parts of the production process:

A sidechain is the pumping effect you often hear in records. It is a technique where an effect is triggered by an alternate audio track: you are using the output of one track, such as a kick drum, to alter the compression on another track, such as a bassline. In short, it quiets one sound when another one comes in.

A limiter is essential to use before releasing or playing your track. Essential for mastering engineers, it increases both the actual and perceived volumes of the track. This enables the song to sound more interactive and exciting.

A mixdown of audio is the compilation of the individual tracks you have created, so that the full song can be played, with all its parts.

What Now?

Okay, so you have all the equipment you need to get started. If you’re like many people, then you’re more overwhelmed than when you started.

But fear not! YouTube will be your greatest friend as you navigate the dynamics of music production. DAWs also have plenty of online communities and forums where you can ask or answer questions, and learn both basic and advanced tips and tricks.

When you’re first starting off, pick a style of music and stick with it. Whether that be EDM, hip-hop, remixes, or songs that feature a lot of synthesizers, take note on what you feel most Terms to know drawn to.

Whether you are at a home recording studio, a professional recording studio, or a DIY studio, making it in the music industry can be a challenging feat. However, hard work pays off, and after enough practice, you could be producing music at the same level as your favorite producers.

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