Hello people, I’m really interested in making my own tracks, but I have no idea where to start! I don’t have the funds for equipment, so maybe you could recommend some software? Literally all I have is a laptop and a pair of headphones xD Your advice would be much appreciated.
Demo all the Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)…FL Studio, Ableton, Cubase, Bitwig, Reaper et al. and choose which ever one makes the most sense to you at the time. Don’t worry about not having money for hardware…you have 2/3 of what you need already: laptop, headphones. I use hardware for a lot of what I do and honestly you don’t need it.
Then I would start with some really basic tutorials for each DAW. Perhaps a book or two wouldn’t hurt. I’d also start familiarizing myself with some music theory (you don’t have to go nuts, I’d start with learning how chords work).
If the DAW you choose doesn’t come with a decent synthesizer VST there are lots of good free ones. Synth 1 is a good, basic one to start with.
Remember at this stage you should really be doing this for fun. It will get frustrating at times. There is so much to learn and starting from absolute scratch is a tough road–when I started all I had was my taste in music.
Don’t worry about sounding like your favorite artists, that path will just lead to frustration.
You sum it up in a nutshell. I feel like in comparison my advice would sound like yoda.
what others have said, pick a daw that you like the look and feel of the most, try it out. Use your ears, if you don’t think something sounds good, it probably doesn’t. Also listen to your favorite artists of the genre that you’re trying to produce and actually understand what parts of the track (sounds, drum patterns, mix down, leads, chords) you like and why you like those. Listen to all the different sounds that are going on in the track and try and figure out which is what. At this stage though you should really be learning about how to work your DAW which can be a long but extremely rewarding process. PICK HIGH QUALITY SAMPLES from the start, your drum samples and whatnot are kinda like the base and you don’t want to build anything on a flimsy base. You also don’t want to try and make shitty samples sound better because it’s just still sound like shit. Good luck on your journey mane!
when searching for samples have the genre in mind before you search. so your google search should look like “hip hop drum samples” or “dubstep drum pack” don’t use vengeance essential samples primeloops is cool if you’ve got the coin
also youtube tutorials will be your best friend for this stage
Maybe it would be good to have an official, pinned Start Making Beats thread?
You could try the old Guide to Production.
I don’t want to be discouraging, but I don’t entirely agree. You can use any samples, really (but Vengeance really are over-processed). Goldbaby is a good start for free drum-machine samples. You could always just rip samples out of tunes yourself, like the kick out of the start of a techno or house tune, or a dub snare, etc.
What does Mozart do when he’s not composing?
you can use any type of samples for anything but its easier to find samples when you put restrictions on your search. but yeah you can totally sample drums out of old tracks. There’s basically an infinite amount of ways to go about making anything, there’s no right or wrong, there’s only what sounds good and what doesn’t. I can’t keep stressing that last point enough though. just experiment. Learn what different audio effects do, how to work different syths, your daws sampler.
yeah good advice overall.
Problem is with the sample search, everyone gonna go google: deep haus, skrillex snare, barely alive kick drum, or whatever people are hyped on. And then everyone ends up making the same tune over and over,
sampling is critical, and it involves searching out your own samples to take. If you download some sample pack, that means 800 other dummies got the same pack as you, doing the same thing.
Reaper <- unlimited, unrestricted trial. You basically get the daw for free for ever.
Bedroom Producer’s Blog <- Everything else.
What people have said about sample collection is valid. Don’t get shit samples. It’ll take you a while to develop an ear for what’s shit and what isn’t though. The samples listed on BPB and the promo sample packs a few well established sample outlets release are generally really good quality.
As for production? Sheesh. Practice, learn about song structure, motife, the psychoacoustics of groove and flow. Get into mixing as an art form. Practice, deal with your skill not being on par with your tastes for a long time. Develop patience, practice, have fun, you’ll improve over time.
Don’t worry too much about building full on tracks when you begin. Obviously it’s something you will need to pick up, but really you’re probably better off making short loops and just experimenting
While I tend to agree with this, at a fairly early stage getting one self in the habit of finishing tracks is essential. I feel like there are tons of people on forums who spend lots of hours in the studio and working on music, but never finish anything.
I’d say, at some point, you want to finish most of what you start if the idea is good. The basic arrangement of a song should only take 2 hours, maximum, in my mind to come up with. That was a massive game changer for me. Learning to try and leave sound design, mixing and all that until I had the full bare bones down.
I don’t always go this extreme, but somtimes I write arrangements with the default drum samples and a bunch 3xOSC instances in FL Studio. I don’t do anything until else until the song is written front to end etc. etc.
Yeah definitely getting into the habit of finishing tracks is essential, but it shouldn’t be the first thing to concern yourself with if you’re literally just starting out, imo anyway
I’ve got to finally learn this haha
But it’s so difficult, I just can’t stop EQing, mixing etc. as soon as I add a new sound to a track
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Yea. yea. Absolutely. I’ll never forget the two weeks of winter break in grad school I spent with my new shiney DAW installed getting blunted and just making shitty beats.
2 weeks?? that ‘phase’ was like 2.5 years for me
yeah man, i feel like i didn’t even start making music until a couple years in
It was longer than two weeks. I just specifically remember that little chunk. It was a few years for me as well. Basically fucked about making crap until I found DSF.
why not link the dubstep bible in every thread like this
I don’t get why people don’t do that