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Electronic Composition 101 - Where should I begin DAW Software
Old 7th August 2015
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Electronic Composition 101 - Where should I begin

This is a woefully broad question, so please forgive me on that.
Electronic music composition: where do I even begin?

Most of my musical background comes from live playing, primarily guitar, synths/piano, and a little residual woodwind knowledge I occasionally employ. I've done some recording work before, and I've had plenty of experience with using computers, but now I'm more interested in jumping into the deeper waters of less-than conventional composition. While I've managed to get incredibly proficient as a guitarist, it was always works like Fennesz's "Endless Summer" and Jim O'Rourke's "I'm Happy and I'm Singing and a 1, 2, 3, 4" that made me most excited about exploring laptop music. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to approach any of it.

Currently, I have Ableton, which I use for the recordings I've done with guitars and synths in the past. I have a semi-functional knowledge of Ableton and Max/MSP that I've been able to tool around with. I tried using PPOOLL (The Max/MSP runtime tool thing) because of the Fennesz connection, but I'm absolutely stumbling around in the dark with that one. I feel like I'd almost have better luck just running my Axe FX into a bunch of plug-ins and crossing my fingers; PPOOLL is a cruel mistress. Other than that, I don't know what else to use or how other people even approach setting an electronic music environment.

What is, generally speaking, the best way to approach being able to make a setup that can at least be used for semi-live improvisation? Any good YouTube content to point me in the right direction?
Given that my background and general inclinations lean toward more of a performance approach to music, what's the best approach for creating an environment that can be actively modulated to suit a somewhat spontaneous performance?

Again, I apologize for the completely basic question, but hopefully this will be a more productive approach than aimless tinkering. I'm a novice to electronic music, but I have a lot of practical knowledge for the rest of music and music theory.
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