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Where do you start? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Where do you start?

Hello everyone,

I'm not sure it's the right place to look for an answer to this; but I have failed to find one in the other places that I have looked at.

Basically, I know completely nothing about music or electronics in that matter, nada. Zeeero.

And I have all the dedication/time in my hands to start progressing my way up there, basically, where does one start with electronic music producing, in case he knows absolutely nothing?

I've chosen a genre at least, and a DAW that I like the most (Ableton Live), but where to go from here, I've been in total maze.

So far I've done a lot of googling, youtube tutorials for Ableton, built-in Ableton tutorials.. but it just seems like.. I'm clueless, and don't know where to start :/

So TL;DR, how do you start as an electronic music producer, if you know absolutely nothing about music/electronics?

Very sorry if the question is too dumb for these forums. Appreciate any help!
Old 12th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

learn to program synths, and do not start learning anything else until your comfy with that.
Old 12th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Could you elaborate please? How does one learn to program synths, and how come you offer to learn doing that before anything else?
Old 12th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Your answer lies in the question grasshopper.

You just said you know nothing about music or electronics. Learn those things.

You need to learn at the very least, basic music theory. Things such as time, rhythm, keys, melody and harmony. There are tons of music theory resources on the internet or at your local library or book stores. Get a keyboard. If you don't know anything about how music works, what are your odds of making music?? Expand on this by researching music composition.

Learn your tools. Tutorials are a good start. Learn your DAW in and out. Experiment.

Patience and hard work are key as well

For learning synthesis, start here: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...n-patches.html

check the sticky thread at the top of the Electronic Music forum
Old 12th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 

You'll have to do some experimenting and search online for guides on programming subtractive synths. Get a decent but easy to use starter synth. Plenty of good freeware synth plugins you can run inside your DAW. The reason its so important is because you can't make music without knowing how to create the sounds you are after.

Some good free plugins would be: U-he Tyrell, Synth1, anything from TAL audio.

this TAL noisemaker plugin would be a great free synth to learn on. Very simple and logically layed out.

TAL - Togu Audio Line: Products
Old 12th September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankthefunky1 View Post

You need to learn at the very least, basic music theory.
Here's my problem, there are so many different resources, and all of them state different truths, saying 'HEY, BASIC MUSIC THEORY IS THIS!', then a different website is yelling at you saying 'NO, THAT GUY IS COMPLETELY WRONG, THIS IS THE BASIC MUSIC THEORY YOU SHOULD KNOW!'.

It's very easy to get lost, and for me learning something would be the easy part, but the question is, what exactly to learn, so I don't waste my time inputting useless information into my brain :/

Anyway so far I guess I have to learn: rhythm, keys, melody and harmony / programming synths & synthesis in general.

Anything else someone may suggest?
Old 12th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

If your learning to program synths you will also be learning to play a little at the same time. You'll start making new "melodies" or patterns on your own to hear the sounds you've just created. They go hand in hand!
Old 12th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

read this: Amazon.com: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory (9780028643779): Michael Miller: Books

then this: Complete Idiots Guide To Music Composition: Amazon.ca: Michael Miller: Books

That should be a great start. They helped me out a whole lot and still do. Once you've got some basics under your belt you'll be able to differentiate between useful and useless information. Build it like a house. Start with the foundation.

oh, there's also a book in that series for songwriting. Big help also.
Old 12th September 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
If your learning to program synths you will also be learning to play a little at the same time. You'll start making new "melodies" or patterns on your own to hear the sounds you've just created. They go hand in hand!
Okay, that's cool then. Never did I even realise VST's is my start, always thought that's where it gets advanced, lol.

Can you tell me whats your opinion on Ableton Live DAW? Would you suggest something other than it for someone with the experience of mine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankthefunky1 View Post
Oh, thank you a lot, it was also a part of my plan to find some e-books, just didn't know which were the good ones!
Old 12th September 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
soundmagus's Avatar
 

The best way to learn is the following:

Read the Ableton Manual and follow all their tutorials. There is no point learning how to program synths or make bass lines or learn theory until you know where everything is in the app of your choice, this is a step loads of people i teach over look, then they get all frustrated because they don't know hot to do the most basic tasks.

Next start to learn how to create the basics of all dance music, the drums. Learn to figure out patterns etc,
Then learn to create basic bass patterns that go with your chosen genre.
Dont worry about synthesising your own to start with, just use presets.
Then learn how to create lead patterns etc.

Its all about becoming familiar with the building blocks of your chosen genre.

The best way to do that is learn the generics first, and learn them well.

Obviously you also need to learn the difference between things like Midi and Audio there is loads of stuff really.

But as with everything make it as easy as possible for yourself, read the manual, learn the app of your choice inside out, then learn to use it as efficiently as possible to make your chosen genre and to do that you need to learn the basic fundamentals.

You will off-course need to understand music theory, its a staple so i would advise when learning the above get yourself a decent book covering this and read it at the same time as learning your app, the best book around for this, imo, is this - http://www.amazon.com/Music-Theory-C.../dp/1598635034

Dont try to run before you can walk or you will fall flat on your face.

Mark
Old 12th September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 

haha i love how everyone gives such different advice. All we can do is tell you what we did or what worked for us. You'll just have to pick something and dive in.
Old 12th September 2011
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundmagus View Post
The best way to learn is the following:

There is no point learning how to program synths or make bass lines or learn theory until you know where everything is in the app of your choice, this is a step loads of people i teach over look, then they get all frustrated because they don't know hot to do the most basic tasks.
See that's the tricky part about this, everyone is suggesting different things to do for a starter, and eventually there is so many 'do this firsts' that you really get lost.

For example in this thread; I've been suggested to learn how to program synths first, and then the complete opposite

I assume that; learning music theory/basics via e-books, etc-> learning the DAW inside and out as much as possible -> learning synthesis/programming synths, would be a good route?
Old 12th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
skyshooter's Avatar
Try this as an excellent jumping in point, a great book that will step you through everything you need to know.

Amazon.com: Dance Music Manual, Second Edition: Tools. toys and techniques (9780240521077): Rick Snoman: Books
Old 12th September 2011
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyshooter View Post
Try this as an excellent jumping in point, a great book that will step you through everything you need to know.

Amazon.com: Dance Music Manual, Second Edition: Tools. toys and techniques (9780240521077): Rick Snoman: Books
Thank you I guess I'll just read all of them e-books suggested here, lol. (Awfully lot of spare time on my hands!)
Old 12th September 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Schwarzwald's Avatar
Step 1.
Download FL Studio and all of Image-Lines VSTi

Step 2.
Fool around for 2 years

Step 3.
#1 On Beatport.
Old 12th September 2011
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
soundmagus's Avatar
 

Well i guess if you really think about it the first thing to learn is very easy to figure out.

If you dont know how to use the APP of your choice, no matter what else you learn you wont be able to make music, pretty simple.

Mark
Old 12th September 2011
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwarzwald View Post
Step 1.
Download FL Studio and all of Image-Lines VSTi

Step 2.
Fool around for 2 years

Step 3.
#1 On Beatport.
My intentions are not to become 1# on Beatport :p Just want to make music that is fairly pleasurable to listen.
And anyway FL Studio is not for me, did not like it at all, so I guess no 1# on Beatport for me in next two years eh :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundmagus View Post
Well i guess if you really think about it the first thing to learn is very easy to figure out.

If you dont know how to use the APP of your choice, no matter what else you learn you wont be able to make music, pretty simple.

Mark
Okay well, I'll work on that I guess. What's your personal opinion on Ableton Live as for a DAW, for a beginner?


? Also, am I normal if I do not want to use loops/samples that other people have made, for example I want to make my own drum sound, etc.
Old 12th September 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 

I think a combination of what has been said is in your best interests.

In my opinion, in order of importance, I think your best bet is to

1. Learn absolute basic music theory, and continue to study this, familiarizing yourself with new concepts and more advanced aspects of theory itself as time goes by and you progress. This should be an ONGOING thing. There is a lot to learn, but in my opinion it is crucial that you learn the absolute basics. Time, note lengths, rhythm, keys. Melody and harmony are more complicated, and there's a lot more to music theory than the things I've mentioned. But, I emphasize, time, note lengths, rhythm, keys.

2. At the same time, as soundmagus said, learn your DAW. Ableton is great. It's got everything you need to start. Learn how to do all basic functions (route audio/midi, record, add intruments, effects, etc). This will be crucial. If you wanna build a house, you need to know how to use your tools.

3. Sound design. Once you've got your DAW under your command, you will then be physically able to dive into the crazy world of synthesis. Start reading up on synthesis RIGHT NOW!!

As I list them in my order of personal importance, YMMV of course. I recommend getting started on reading about all three of these things. Start to physically implement what you learn at your own pace. I assure you, you will get excited, you will also at times get frustrated. It's a journey that takes time, patience and hard work.

Enjoy!!

Quote:
haha i love how everyone gives such different advice. All we can do is tell you what we did or what worked for us. You'll just have to pick something and dive in.
lol. i hear ya! That is absolutely correct, different strokes for different folks.
Old 12th September 2011
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

^
Thank you, this clears up a lot of things for me !
Old 12th September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

you're very welcome! now get studying!!heh
Old 12th September 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankthefunky1 View Post
you're very welcome! now get studying!!heh
Yep, will do. Just a few more questions though

1. What is the purpose of a small MIDI Keyboard, for example one just with a couple octaves, when you can just use the PC keyboard to do what it does?
2. Can you be competitive music-wise compared to other producers if you are only using your own loops/samples? Seeing as everyone nowadays just 'steals' that, and then they actually have much more time at hands on the actual track :P (maybe flawed logic, no idea)
Old 12th September 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BitseK View Post
See that's the tricky part about this, everyone is suggesting different things to do for a starter, and eventually there is so many 'do this firsts' that you really get lost.

For example in this thread; I've been suggested to learn how to program synths first, and then the complete opposite

I assume that; learning music theory/basics via e-books, etc-> learning the DAW inside and out as much as possible -> learning synthesis/programming synths, would be a good route?
Welcome to GS,
Music is a language. If you can speak that language then you have common ground with other musicians. No matter what your instrument is: synth, sampler, guitar, drums or kazoo. A great song played on a piano or a guitar is still a great song. Notes are notes: they never change. C is always C and always will be. Instruments are products and subject to changes and updates constantly. Further more there is no real common language among products. Focus on learning music. Maybe consider some piano lessons.
Old 12th September 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BitseK View Post
Yep, will do. Just a few more questions though

1. What is the purpose of a small MIDI Keyboard, for example one just with a couple octaves, when you can just use the PC keyboard to do what it does?
2. Can you be competitive music-wise compared to other producers if you are only using your own loops/samples? Seeing as everyone nowadays just 'steals' that, and then they actually have much more time at hands on the actual track :P (maybe flawed logic, no idea)
1. This is really up to you to decide. I personally could not use the computer keyboard to trigger notes, I love piano keys. To quote Chris Rock from 'Bigger and Blacker" :
Quote:
Quoted from Chris Rock Sh$#, you could drive a car with your feet if you want to. That don't make it a good f^&%ing idea.
lol. maybe not that extreme, but I can't imagine myself making music without a piano keyboard. That said, I am a piano player and I have a full size 88 key controller which I got a hard on for so....I'm a little biased

You will get added bells and whistles with a keyboard controller (velocity sensitive keys, optional knobs and faders to control various parameters on synths and within your DAW, etc)
I look at it like, computer keyboards are for typing. Piano's are for playing music.

It's really up to you. How hands on do you want to get?? At this stage, perhaps hold off on a keyboard until you get an understanding of the basics. Needed gear will present itself to you as time goes on and you learn more.

2. Absolutely make your own loops. I encourage it. Nothing like the feeling of creating something that is 100% yours. A ton of successful artists use premade loops or create their own. Some people don't use loops. It's really up to you. In the end, if it sounds good, it is good.
Old 12th September 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Okay, then I guess I got just enough information! Thanks a lot to everyone, surprised to find a forum board this helpful :p
Old 12th September 2011
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BitseK View Post
1. What is the purpose of a small MIDI Keyboard, for example one just with a couple octaves, when you can just use the PC keyboard to do what it does?
- all existing educational material will be aimed at the black and whites, not at the PC keyboard
- your PC keyboard sucks for big chords. Keyboards have x-key rollover which means that cheap ones fail to detect which and how many keys are pressed at the same time. It's a hack for when you do not have a keyboard, and provided as a courtesy.
- a MIDI keyboard is by far the fastest way to input chords if you learn them, which is not rocket science.
- a MIDI keyboard is going to offer you 25 notes (two octaves) at least - this is what a PC keyboard can do at most.

Quote:
2. Can you be competitive music-wise compared to other producers if you are only using your own loops/samples?
I don't exactly understand this question; are you talking about synthesizing your own drums and creating your own rhythms from scratch?

Quantity is not a redeeming feature by itself, only when you're writing songs. 10 tracks of which 9 are crap but 1 is good are better than a song that's 90% crap which you spent just as much work on.
Old 12th September 2011
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
- your PC keyboard sucks for big chords. Keyboards have x-key rollover



I don't exactly understand this question; are you talking about synthesizing your own drums and creating your own rhythms from scratch?
I have full N-key rollover one :P Mechanical one! Anyway doesn't matter, I understand it now.

And yea, I meant just exactly that
Old 12th September 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BitseK View Post
Hello everyone,

I'm not sure it's the right place to look for an answer to this; but I have failed to find one in the other places that I have looked at.

Basically, I know completely nothing about music or electronics in that matter, nada. Zeeero.

And I have all the dedication/time in my hands to start progressing my way up there, basically, where does one start with electronic music producing, in case he knows absolutely nothing?

I've chosen a genre at least, and a DAW that I like the most (Ableton Live), but where to go from here, I've been in total maze.

So far I've done a lot of googling, youtube tutorials for Ableton, built-in Ableton tutorials.. but it just seems like.. I'm clueless, and don't know where to start :/

So TL;DR, how do you start as an electronic music producer, if you know absolutely nothing about music/electronics?

Very sorry if the question is too dumb for these forums. Appreciate any help!

Bro you have a DAW that you like...Ableton Live. Its Awesome!. Now check out all the Ableton videos on Youtube and get some ideas down.

DO NOT BUY ANYTHING UNTIL YOU NEED IT!.

Learn all you can even when you think your lost just keep on looking for new stuff to learn, things will get clearer down the line.

I'm working through Rick Snomans DVD's. He's great and knows his stuff for sure. (But learn all you can for free before paying for anything)

Dance Music Production
Old 12th September 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Beermaster's Avatar
 

Don't fall into the trap that 90% of wannabe music producers do and ignore the 'music' in favour of the 'technology' - If you don't have a clue about the music then the all of the production skills are worthless, you'll just be another 1 of the billions out there that nudging loops and dead end patterns wondering why your latest track isn't breaking into the top ten.

Anyone can make beans on toast, its not hard and its not original and it's not any different to anyone else's beans on toast. Not many learn to become a trained chef with original ideas and the knowledge to know how to make it happen


1. Get some piano lessons - this is the most important single way to learn what the keyboard means, how to use your hand, arms and fingers in the correct way, how to read dots, learn the relationships and magic of notes, chords, scales and harmony as well as giving your hands, arms a proper work out - playing well is just like training for a sport, you have to develop stamina and control at the same time that you gradually unlock the secrets of music.

2. Start with some basic patterns but make these yourself by playing in your own notes and lines. Avoid using pre-made musical phrases and riffs as you'll never fully learn the how and why's - ( using drum loops is fine tho )

3. The DAW you chose to use is probably the least important thing as long as it's not one of these restricted 'Reason' type Apps. Logic, Cubase, Sonar, Ableton - they're all much of a muchness

Have fun but avoid short cuts and easy options as all of these are pathways to dead ends and lies.

Beer.
Old 13th September 2011
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Praxisaxis's Avatar
 

In addition to all the above, if you have the chance go and sit with a friend and watch them work. Not exactly a linear pathway to knowledge but it will help you to pick up bits and pieces.
Old 13th September 2011
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
Anyone can make beans on toast, its not hard and its not original and it's not any different to anyone else's beans on toast.
Sooooo wrong!!!!!!

My beans on toast are absolutely unique.....

Try this - start with a good bread, preferably non-sliced, wholemeal or maybe even a sour dough rye! if you go for the rye slice it not too thick and get it under the grill first on a low setting.

Now - finely slice a medium size clove of garlic or use a garlic crusher, chuck the garlic in a pan (preferably a thick based one for slowish heating) with a small amount of quality olive oil, start heating. Now get your beans, pour em in to ur pan (beans should be standard beans, not sugar free and not 'smart price'!), let the heat build up gradually.

Check your toast! now get some dried oregano (a pinch of) and just powderise it in your palm a little first and add that to the beans. Now get yourself a bottle of Encona chilli sauce (you should have some of this in your kitchen cupboard before hand) and just put 2 to 3 drops in....you don't want to overpower the beans etc, there should just be a hint of chilli in the mix.

To finish off - just before taking the beans of the heat put a further 2 to 3 desert spoons of olive oil in a stir gently.

Pour over your well done (but not burnt!) buttered toast....and enjoy!
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