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Old 14-08-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
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Want to be an electronic music producer

For the past month, I have been looking at random tutorials on creating basslines and kick drums. I’ve even started reading a book on dance music. However, I am still lost. I have no idea how to create a song. What instruments do I have to use? How do you create a melody? How do I create electronic sounds of my own? How do you structure a average electronic record? Basically, I want to know the steps it takes to be an electronic producer.

P.S. I am starting out using Ableton 9

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Old 14-08-2013, 08:15 PM   #2
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

Start critically listening to the songs that you like and treat them as a model for the music you are going to be working towards.

Observe and emulate. Eventually you'll begin to "hear" what you need for your own tunes.

This stuff takes time.

There really is no cut and dry "way to make a melody" that can be explained in a post on a forum. Just start experimenting. Do you already play an instrument?

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Old 14-08-2013, 09:03 PM   #3
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

Take piano lessons.

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Old 14-08-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

^ And practice, practice, practice. Seriously, try to set at least 2 hours a day to mess around with your DAW and fine tuning your chops.

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Old 14-08-2013, 09:26 PM   #5
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

The best way I started was copying a song as best I could. I did this with Doin' It Right by Daft Punk, a good one because all the individual parts are easily heard.

Get through a song. Don't obsess over creating the perfect bass drum sound for 3 hours and be burned out. Pick one and go. Next time, spend a little longer on the kick.

People think their first song, or even their 20th song needs to be a top hit. No, your first song is a learning opportunity.

Continue watching and reading tutorials. You say you have watched tons of bassline tutorials but don't know how to make a melody. There are tons of melody tutorials, go find them.

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Old 14-08-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

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Originally Posted by chasedestroy View Post
Start critically listening to the songs that you like and treat them as a model for the music you are going to be working towards.

Observe and emulate. Eventually you'll begin to "hear" what you need for your own tunes.

This stuff takes time.

There really is no cut and dry "way to make a melody" that can be explained in a post on a forum. Just start experimenting. Do you already play an instrument?
Yes. I am teaching myself how to play the piano.
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Old 14-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

Most of all it is important that you find a good learn- and later workflow that is still musical.
And besides from that you should try to get into the theory of synthesis and mixing.

But its realy important to get a conciousness for your musicality and how it can also be inhibited by the computer. On the other hand sometimes it can also be good to just not do music but fully try to understand what is going on with the sound.

Its a dual thing

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Old 14-08-2013, 11:28 PM   #8
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

Read ableton help files!
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Old 15-08-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

you have to remember you are writing music, all music theory is pretty much universal

study composition, melody, hooks, learn keys and scales, chord progressions, arpeggios

for sound design, dont get lost in it! dont make the mistake of spending hours trying to program a bass sound when you dont even know how to compose a tune!

also, remember music is about tension, excitement, expectation, learn to create these feelings with buildups and breakdowns and making coherent call/response phrases for your instruments

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Old 15-08-2013, 04:42 PM   #10
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

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Originally Posted by D_Davis View Post
Take piano lessons.
Or if you can't - it's quite possible to teach yourself. You might not be playing classical music, but the piano is like any other instrument: spend enough time with it and you'll know enough to get ideas out & be creative. But yeah - it is really cool to be able to jam and come up with new ideas & spend time relaxing playing.

Here's a basic beginners guide to some hardware and software: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


Go through the ableton tutorials. Don't worry about how long a song / album should be . Create a drum loop, add some bass, some cowbell, record yourself making funny noises into a microphone. Maybe check out mr bill or tom cosm production series on youtube if you want to see someone build a track.

This is gonna take time. Welcome - and good luck on your adventure.
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Old 15-08-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

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Originally Posted by scyn View Post
some cowbell
This is essential.



But seriously, all great advice. DCA has a really good point though, learn how to actually write music first. All the technical mixing/sound design knowledge and ability doesn't mean shit if you can't write music. I wish I would have gone this route, but I spent years on the other stuff first. Now that I'm older I have way less time for music and trying to work in learning theory and practicing the keys is pretty difficult...

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Old 15-08-2013, 05:42 PM   #12
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

Quote:
Originally Posted by relic View Post
This is essential.



But seriously, all great advice. DCA has a really good point though, learn how to actually write music first. All the technical mixing/sound design knowledge and ability doesn't mean shit if you can't write music. I wish I would have gone this route, but I spent years on the other stuff first. Now that I'm older I have way less time for music and trying to work in learning theory and practicing the keys is pretty difficult...
^
What they said. Seriously! a lot of people will just say don't bother, just do what sounds good, you don't need theory, these people are probably still using music theory, in an unconscious way, because what sounds good usually does so for a reason, and that reason is usually explainable by some aspect of music theory. So largely it's a question of two camps achieving approximately the same thing, with only one of those two knowing *why*
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Old 15-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #13
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

I'd suggest finding music you like and just trying to copy it as best you can until

A) You understand how its made/arranged/mixed/ blah blah blah
B) Are comfortable enough knowing how to use the plug-ins etc
C) Are ready to move off and develop your own style

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Old 15-08-2013, 06:54 PM   #14
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

youtube all those questions bro... that's your best bet...

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Old 16-08-2013, 12:02 PM   #15
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

I would google / youtube / forum search the living shit out of these terms

Dance music arrangement
Music production basics
[Your chosen DAW] beginners tutorial
Synthesis for absolute beginners

That should get you started...

Spend hours and hours using your DAW like Ableton or Logic etc. Don't know what something does? Youtube it. Not sure what a DAW is? Youtube it right now!

Best advice I can give you - feel your way around it for a few weeks, but then focus on very specific elements and learn it inside out before moving on.

For example, 'I want to learn how to make cool synth sounds'
Load up a basic substractive synth - the first section is usually the oscillators.
Read up on what an oscillator does, how it works, the common parameters you can change
Youtube the living crap out of the search term 'oscillator'
Play with the synth's oscillators and make sure you're making deliberate actions. Plenty of time for experimentation, but trust me here. Understand what moving dial X will do, or what slider Y will change.

Only then move onto the next section of the synth, which could be Filters or alike.

In essence, asking yourself why it does what it does rather than just blindly moving dials. That will just get your agitated that it seems so complicated.
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Old 17-08-2013, 04:04 PM   #16
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

Quote:
People think their first song, or even their 20th song needs to be a top hit. No, your first song is a learning opportunity.
this. this is the no. 1 tip. unfortunately a lot of people think like that.
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Old 18-08-2013, 05:07 PM   #17
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

Everything that's been posted here so far is spot on to helping you produce EDM, especially trying to emulate the same sounds as the EDM songs you like. Personally, I got a lot of help from various youtube tutorials, especially this guy's tutorials...

SEARCH: "Ryan Enzed Dance Music (nzmusic101)" on YouTube. (I can't post links yet since I'm a new member).

He has a ton of them and they range from sound design to full on EDM song creation and arrangement. He also presents the info in a straight forward manner.

Another BIG tip that really helped me is to listen to as much EDM as possible. Just listen to your favorite big name artists and everytime you listen to a new song analyze it. Pay attention to the arrangement, sound design, and composition (EDM tends to be in a minor key in my experiences).

By listening to a ton of EDM you will basically rewire your brain to produce EDM more naturally.

But the bottom line to all of the advice you will ever get when it come to producing any type of genre.... Make sure you love doing what you do, cause if there's no love behind it then you'll lose interest.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
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Old 18-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #18
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

All of the ideas here are bullshit. The main thing?

Not giving up.

Once you're not going to give up, you will learn. There is no painless lesson. Don't wuss out.

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Old 18-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #19
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

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Originally Posted by Blingley View Post
All of the ideas here are bullshit.
Yeah. Because taking music lessons and learning to make music, to make music, is bullshit.

There is a lot more to making music than "not giving up."

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Old 18-08-2013, 06:50 PM   #20
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Re: Want to be an electronic music producer

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Originally Posted by Blingley View Post
All of the ideas here are bullshit. The main thing?

Not giving up.

Once you're not going to give up, you will learn. There is no painless lesson. Don't wuss out.
100% this.

Everything I made for the first two years was god awful, but I was learning the ropes, as well as the work ethic to never quit on it. If you're making music because you genuinely love it, you'll keep with it.

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