The Basics of Electronic Music Production

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.

How to Make Electronic Music – Part 2

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!

Rise of Electronic Music

Electronic music was born in the discos and nightclubs nationwide in the early eighties. Today, this genre of music, also known as Electronic Dance Music or EDM is a music largely created by disk jockeys with a purpose of creating environment for dance-based entertainment.

EDM soon became one of the most popular music genres all around the world and some of the forms of electronic music are Breakbeat, Dance-punk, Eurodance, Freestyle, House, Techno and Trance. Though the roots of electronic music are based in the disco music which was very popular in the 1970s it was only in 1990s, that this type music was widely accepted and it became one of the contemporary music styles in following years. Electronic music is generally created by means of electronic equipments and instruments like synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers and it mimics the unique sounds of the traditional acoustic instrumentation.

Apart from electro music genres like trance, techno, house and breakbeat which are primarily intended for dancing. Some genres of electronic music like IDM and trip hop are more associated with listening rather than body movements. Trance, which is also one of the forms of electronic genre of music, is a combination of techno, house and industrial music. The name is undoubtedly linked to perceive the ability of music to induce an altered state of consciousness.

With the growth of computers and music technologies, and reduction in the cost of music equipments, a number of upcoming artists and disk jockeys have emerged, showcasing their talent and taking electronic music to the next level. Also, with the advent of hard disk recording system, it is possible for any computer user to become a musician, hence we see a rising trend of bedroom bands where often only single player is the band himself.