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The Basics of Electronic Music Production

Posted on September 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

In its simplest form, music production is the process by which music is created. Usually this process is broken down into recording, mixing and mastering, which are completed in that order. Each one of these tasks is crucial to the listenability of a song, and each should be done with the utmost care.

Since electronic music originated from the small time artist fiddling with various synthesizers and hardware equipment, most electronic music producers today do all or most of the processes described above themselves. This is in part due to the historic ties of the practices, but also since many producers own all the equipment and software necessary to do all three parts, they are willing to save the money on production costs and not outsource the job to a designated professional. This is unlike a traditional band or artist who only possess their talent, and cannot do all three parts, thus requiring them to hire a studio.

In the world of electronic music, virtually every artist uses a DAW, or digital audio workspace. A list of several popular DAWs can be found here. There are very few artists remaining who do all aspects of production exclusively with hardware. Typically inside your DAW, there will several stock synthesizers, effects, and production tools, but virtually every DAW these days allows plugins to be added.

The first step in the journey into electronic music production is to purchase a digital audio workspace. Most DAWs on the market will supply you with ample tools to complete all stages of production.

YouTube is an excellent resource for electronic music production basics. I cannot stress enough how import it is to understand at the very least the fundamentals of your software before attempting large scale song composition. I have seen far too many aspiring producers quit just days after purchasing their Digital Audio Workspace simply because they did not understand its various kinks, or could not quickly find the tools they found to be necessary. YouTube is an excellent place to learn your DAW quickly, as there exist a wealth of tutorials. It may be helpful to set up a second screen while you learn your software so you can complete the tasks side by side the Youtuber.

You may ask why learn a basic analog synthesizer as opposed to a digital one. Well the vast majority of synthesizers on the market now are based almost entirely off of the original analog concept of a synthesizer. This article here explains the basic way in which an analog synthesizer functions. Understanding this will put you light years ahead on understanding more complicated software synthesizers such as Camel Audio’s Alchemy (Which has tragically been liquidated).

While learning your plugins is not as important as understanding the functionality of a basic synthesizer or your DAW, it is very important to be able to achieve passable results from a small number of plugins before purchasing other, more complicated ones. Understand the basics of a compressor is vital before moving onto more niche plugins, like Native Instruments Supercharger, since if you do not understand what you are doing with a plugin, it is very likely that you will not be able to fix subtle problems in your mix or master when they arise. These problems can come from electronic music production mistakes such as a too short of attack time on a compressor, or over limiting a mix. These are some of the basics that go into understanding the fundementals and basics of electronic music production today.

Ever Wonder About Your Favorite Electronic Music Genre?

Posted on August 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

Hello all readers of this article! I bid you welcome into the fascinating world of electronic music! Have you ever heard a genre of electronic music and thought “wow, I really like this and want to know more!”?

I feel the same way. Many times I’ve heard songs and wanted to know more about the origin or history, it’s roots and technical info.

There are most likely more genres of electronic music than you can imagine! House Music, Techno, Trance, D&B, Electronica, Hardcore, Disco and several others. And I’m just listing the major genres, which typically have several smaller genres, also called sub-genres.

In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the neat and interesting facts about some of the most popular genres out there. How about we start off with my favorite genre: Trance!

Trance is one of the most melodic and upbeat genres out there. It can make you feel euphoric and just plain happy. But depending on the artist’s desire, it can also make you sad, and perhaps even turn the philosopher’s side of your mind on! Trance is a very powerful genre and can have many effects on the mind.

Did you know, when Trance first came out, it was actually used to put people into a state of trance? Music like this however is no longer being produced. It originated out of Germany during the early 1990s. That’s where the first trance sounds could be heard.

Another one of my favorite genres is House music! Now, you’ve all heard of disco, right? Well, house derived from that, or in another way, it evolved from it. House music has many of the same qualities as disco music, keeping the 4/4 pattern, many of the same basslines and its danceable groove.

House came into being during the early 1980s; right after disco went under due to the “Disco Demolition Night” in the United States at the end of the 1970s. The mayor of Chicago name August 10th 2005 “House Unity Day” in memorization of the first house record label created 21 years before this date.

Do you know a genre that can really kick your socks off? That’s right, Hardcore! Hardcore music can come in several different shape and sounds, but one thing they all have in common in the fast, energetic feel to them. Most genres of hardcore music have a tempo of 160-180 beats per minute, making this the fastest major genre around.

One of the more interesting aspects of this music is that, with the amount of sub-genres hardcore has; it can really take on a lot of different forms. Happy Hardcore for example is fast and heavy, but gives a feeling of happiness and warmth. Darkcore on the other hand is the complete opposite, when it comes to the feeling of the music, giving off an angry, dark atmosphere.

Okay, I’m going to very gently kick this article to a finish with the genre, Ambient. Ambient is like no other genre of electronic music. It’s one that is quite interesting, to say the least. In this genre, the producers seek atmosphere, not dance-quality. For this reason, most forms of Ambient will have nearly no form or structure, no steady pattern or percussion.

Field recordings are also an interesting and usually necessary part of Ambient. It’s where producers go outside to a place they want to capture the essence of, and record the nature, and all of its sounds. This is one of the earliest genres of electronic music, having been created during the early parts of the 1970s in the United Kingdom.

Well, there you have it, just a few genres of electronic music. Have you learned anything new? Perhaps your favorite genre wasn’t in this small article? Well, make sure to check the resource box for all of this information and more! In closing, I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read this post. Have a beautiful, music-filled day!

All the best,

Tyler

How to Make Electronic Music – Part 2

Posted on August 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

The bass line is considered by many many electronic music producers the most important element of an electronic song other than the drums. Some people even think its MORE important! You can easily have an awesome song with just drums and bass, but its kinda hard to make an awesome song without any bass or without any drums. There is even a genre of electronic music called Drum and Bass!

It is that low, deep sound you hear in any song. Be it hip hop, trance, house music, or any style at all, the bass is the underlying vibration of the song. Sometimes it is so low it more of a vibration and are actually felt throughout the body as well as heard through the ears.

A killer bass line is an integral part of a great electronic song. There are many different ways to make a fat bass riff. It all depends on the software you use. A lot of people hear the bass and think it was created using a bass guitar. Believe it or not, more often the bass line in an electronic song is actually written on a keyboard rather than a bass guitar. So you don’t need to go out and buy a bass guitar! Let alone learn how to play it! Learning how to play a bass guitar is a whole new league of its own!

Believe it or not, trying to learn how to make electronic tunes, using real instruments like a bass guitar, would require vast amounts of musical knowledge. Where as, if you were just using software on your computer, like the software program on How To Make Electronic Music (see links below), you would just need a love for great electronic music, and a willingness to HAVE FUN while learning!

Stay tuned for part 3 of my article series on How To Make Electronic Music. Until then, Be safe and be creative!

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