How do I start producing?

(Photo credit: Kevin Dooley)

“What the hell is that noise?

“How do I make that?

“I want to do that…”

What do I need?

Well, first off you’re going to need a computer. The faster and stronger a computer the better but recent technology means that most new computer will serve your purpose getting started. So, we have a computer we need a program to work as a DAW which stands for Digital Audio Workstation. This will serve as your main application for the building and construction of  tunes.

Now there are a tons of different DAW’s out there, so which one is right for me?

Ultimately it’s going to come down to personal preference, which one works with your personal workflow. What I suggest you download trials of the 3 major systems. Ableton, Logic and Reason. These three will give you a feel for different programs layout and find what works for you. Ableton has a unique clip mode which translate well live performance, Logic is a more traditional linear sequencer and Reason gives you a more traditional style.

Play with each, find what works for you. If you prefer a logic style layout, try out Cubase and Fruity Loops as well.

All of these programs are capable of producing world class production and are used by international artists all over the world. So just find what’s right for you.

A set of headphones and/or speakers to listen.

And a couple of sample packs, there are plenty of free ones out there and will give things like snares, kick drums, fxs etc

If you’ve got the cash maybe a midi keyboard as well, around 100-150. 49 keys is pretty standard make sure it’s got a couple knob and/or fader that we can use later on.

So what the Damage?

  • DAW – 400 to 600
  • Sample Packs – free
  • Headphones – decent 100 -150
  • Midi keyboard – 100 – 150

Total cost of around $700 US. That about as much as an okay guitar and amp combo and less then a drum kit. Awesome news considering if you go back 15 years ago, you were looking at around $5000 to even get started.

That’s all for today stay tuned, over the next couple of weeks we’re going to break down the basic signal flow, creating a groove using loops (the best way to get started) and extracting drum hits from a drum loop.

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About Braydon Zirkler

Currently based out of Melbourne. I'm dividing my time up between this blog, teaching, a radio show that's in the works and working on a live performance project with physical theatre performers. Get in touch here:
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