Making Music In A Digital Age

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Digital music production has been around for a long time in commercial studios. But now, the tools once only available to the richest and most privileged are rivalled, if not beat entirely, by the tools available to the masses. The rising number of hit digital debuts can only attest to that. Given the salaries of the world’s top DJs, it should be clear that for some there’s a bright light at the end of the tunnel. But how do you get started?

Learn to play for real

No “real” instruments are required to make electronic music nowadays. However, for composing, for testing certain sounds, and tinkering with rhythms while being able to directly interface with your computer, keyboards are an invaluable tool. Even some of the best keyboard for beginners have features that allow you to record what work on. You can save them in a format a digital production tool could read and make use of.

Get the right tools

Choosing a great digital audio workstation comes next. This is the software that will be your best friend for years to come. If you are in touch with a group of producers or looking to learn from one or two, in particular, it’s a good idea to choose the same one so you can work in the same frame of reference. For a long time, you’ll be learning things as simple as creating a drum loop or creating one short track, all the while exploring and experimenting with all the different options that any one choice has to offer. Most modern digital audio workstations can produce the same high-quality of music, so it’s all about choosing one and getting comfortable with it.

Go deeper

Working with what “sounds good” will only return positive results for so long. If you don’t want to stagnate, you have to keep learning. That starts with learning music theory. Do it independently, ask questions, sign up for a course. However, you do it is up to you but if you want to really play with the limitations of your toolset mindfully, not just by accident, you have to learn.

Start grinding

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master in any craft. If you’re not willing to spend a significant amount of time creating music, you will never go beyond what you’re achieving now. Find your productivity, set a schedule, and be ready to treat it like work once in awhile.

Keep bringing in the influences

Electronic music is one of the fastest growing scenes in the music world right now. This does mean there’s a glut of amateurs who aren’t willing to learn to get better, but it also means there’s an absolute treasure trove of talented artists more than happy to find collaboration opportunities. Learn from them, be influenced by them, and let them inform your style. Don’t work on your own. If you’re not going to collab, at least share it.

Regardless of the work and talent you put into it, there’s no guarantee you’ll reach the heights you want to. So, remember to stay in it for the passion and the love of the music, not for the perceived benefits.

Editor

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