How To Create Electronic Music

In the middle of the last century, well-known musicologists of the time John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen prophesied a great future for electronic music, which caused surprise and perplexity among music critics. And how could you believe it, if then even personal computers were used only in military laboratories, and electronic musical instruments were considered a luxury, which is accessible only to super-popular advanced musicians with stable high income. But over the past few decades, the music industry has changed a lot.

 

 

The emergence of all kinds of electronic equipment, the mastery of which does not make it very difficult for modern youth (it's enough to spend a little free time on it), entailed the flow of a large number of electronic musicians who want to become popular. Their number is growing year by year, but, unfortunately, all places are not enough.

This article is devoted to all musical neophytes who want to go through this difficult thorny path. They are full of hopes and creative aspirations, they are driven by a dream that they hope to bring into reality. In order for all the plans to be realized, the beginning musician will need to go through five "control points", which will be described below.

Control point number 1 - "Motivation"

Before embarking on this path, it is necessary to understand for yourself that you are one of the millions of applicants, and the struggle will be difficult and ruthless. Even well-known music critics believe that one talent is not enough for success in this sphere, we need qualities such as perseverance, diligence, assertiveness. If you are sure that you are such a person, then the road is open: stubbornly go to the goal and get your place under the sun.

Control point number 2 - "Cradle as an artist"

There is a wonderful book by Austin Cleon , which is called "Cradle as an Artist" . In it, the writer narrates how musicians, without hesitation, copy the popular genre that they like and work in this direction. The thing is that the newcomer, who only came to the music business, is not known to anyone. In this situation, he has no choice, he should present to the public the genre that she likes, and not the one that is close to the musician himself.

At the beginning of a career it is necessary to be a comprehensive performer capable of catering to any whims of potential fans. Do not be afraid to try yourself in different genres, the public likes it. Therefore, when choosing a style, follow the one that is most popular today and the success will come to you.

steal like an artist

The first thing you have to do is choose who you will copy. But do not copy everything from one person, copy each of their idols a little. Choose those who, with their creativity, bring you inspiration, which you like with your appearance, voice, character. Do not copy the whole image from one person.

The writer Wilson Mizner said that when copying from one author you can be accused of plagiarism, and if copied from many, this can already be called a study. The more difficult question facing you is what you will copy. You can not just see the style, but feel all its inner depth, read the image of the author's thoughts. You must learn to see the way your heroes do, try to understand their inner world, and the appearance may be different. From how you will learn to do this, the fate of your future creativity will depend.

Control point number 3 - "Wednesday"

Having coped with the tasks of the first two "control points", it is necessary to address the technical issue. Based on your budget, you must choose the means: computer, DAW (English Digital Audio Workstation), or unconditionally "hardware". Of course, if you want, you can use all this equipment at once. Many musicians often argue about what is better to use: "digit or analog." In fact, these disputes are groundless, the choice is only for you.

A further very important step is the choice of the program that you will process the sound. It does not matter what it will be: FL Studio or Ableton Live . Find a professional who will teach you, or if you are confident in yourself, use a self-instruction manual, and after a while you will reproduce a quality sound regardless of which program you use. At the initial stage, electronic compositions are better to learn on the computer.

So, choose the software environment. There are many varieties, but you, as a beginner, are better off giving priority to those mentioned above by FL Studio or Ableton Live , as well as to the new Bitwig Studio package. If you know a little about this area and want to choose a program more complicated, then pay attention to more professional versions of Logic , Cubase , Pro Tools or Propellerhead Reason . Please note that the latest software environment is a closed platform and does not support VST plug-ins . Well, for experienced professionals, there are such complex programs as Max / MSP and Reaktor.

Control point number 4 - "Equipment"

When you have become more familiar with the software environment that you have chosen, it's finally time to choose "hardware". Remember the golden rule: the successful career of a musician depends on a good quality sound. Therefore, before buying the equipment, clearly determine for yourself what you really need, so that later unnecessary technology will not dust off without a deal somewhere in the corner. Well think about what you want from the equipment, what functions it will perform and only after that get the necessary things.

Audio mixing console

When buying equipment, remember that good sound can be achieved only if there is a good audio card and monitors (they can be replaced by monitor headphones). Without them, you probably will not be able to get a quality sound. Of course, there are exceptions and there are masters of their business who can even create a wonderful sound reproduced by the music center's speakers with the help of a standard laptop, in which a card is built, but this is more an exception to the rules than a persistent tendency.

We choose good musical equipment

When choosing a musical instrument, you should first of all think about what you will write down and already start from this decision. When recording vocals, accompanied by external instruments, such as a synthesizer and a guitar, the sound card must contain preamps (preamps). Currently, the Russian market presents a large selection of cards with good preamps, which are produced by various companies.

Popular are Focusrite (Scarlett series) and Native Instruments , Lexicon , Tascam , Akai and Mackie produce good quality goods . If you are allowed a budget, you can choose the sound cards Motu and RME , which will be a level higher. When making this purchase, be sure to focus your attention on the following features:

Think about how much you will need audio and video outputs and inputs. If you work for the future, you can buy equipment with a large number of nests. Pay attention to the connector for connection to the computer: Firewire, USB or something else. Of no small importance are the dimensions of your equipment: if you plan to make frequent trips, do not buy a too heavy card.

Now let's look at the devices that play the sound. Their choice is also extremely rich, but you should not buy too cheap a product. The lowest budget class of Behringer type can hardly justify itself. When purchasing such devices, do not expect a high-quality sound from them. Therefore, if you buy a monitor, it should not cost less than eight thousand rubles ( KRK , Yamaha , Pioneer , ADAM ). If you want to buy headphones, take from six thousand and more (models for DJing -  Sennheiser , Pioneer , NOCS , Technics and models for the studio - Shure , Focal and etc.). Otherwise, you will find great disappointment and an unpleasant residue from wasted money spent.

It is better to buy all other devices for later, since they simply might not be necessary for you. For example, a MIDI controller is only needed for live performances and if you do not plan on them in the near future, then you should not spend money, after which it will collect dust in the corner.

When choosing a synthesizer, first of all, consider your skills. After all, if you purchase an analog Moog and do not use all its features, it will be unreasonably spent money. Therefore, better buy a software synthesizer, learn to handle it and master the mechanics of sound. After that, you can think about a more complex device.

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