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Old 09-22-2014, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1
Default Looking for a program...

Hey, everybody. My name's Tristan, I'm an 18 year old from the middle-of-nowhere, Iowa looking to begin making some basic music and hopefully working my way into the more complex stuff as I continue to learn.

Unfortunately, I don't play a single instrument. I would like to learn something like the guitar so I could begin recording myself; which may be yet to happen.

Anyway, I was wondering if there was a way to produce music with something like a keyboard (a buddy of mine recommended a Midi keyboard?) and a program to 'play' and record the instruments in.

I'm relatively new to the scene, so excuse me if this is way too broad of a question. If I need to specify at all, please let me know and I'll do my best to further explain.

Thanks everybody.
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Old 10-08-2014, 03:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 2

Hey Tristan, this is a deceivingly complex question that leads to a serious rabbit hole. Yes, your buddy is right, a program and a midi keyboard would be a good start. There's a couple things you need to know.

First of all these "programs" are generally referred to as DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and the truth of the matter is that any commercial DAW can pretty much do the same thing as any other commercial DAW. No DAW is better than another inherently. They have their strengths and weakness, but at the end of the day, they can all do the same thing. Depending on the type of music you want to start to work with will start to point you in the right direction of a DAW. We'll come back to this later.

A midi keyboard is fantastic if you know how to play piano. If you don't then, this whole music production thing can be pretty tricky. A midi keyboard is generally used, so you can "perform" a part on the keyboard in time with your tracks, instead of programming the part into the DAW yourself with a mouse. If you can't play piano, this functionality really doesn't help you much. Granted, having a midi keyboard can help you get started on playing "piano" and more importantly understanding how music works, because you start to listen to how sounds work with each other.

If you want to record yourself playing some chords on the guitar and singing, you'll want a mic and an interface instead of a midi keyboard.

If you want to "produce" dance tracks, a midi keyboard might be helpful.

It all comes down to what you want to do, and what you have money for.

My suggestion, would be to learn to play a musical instrument first, because if you can't do that there is not really a point in having all this recording equipment, because what would you even record? I probably wrote solo piano songs for three years before I even decided I was writing anything worth recording.

So take this a step at a time. Learn to play an instrument (and sing if you want), then learn to song write, then learn to record. If you're going to pick up an instrument, I highly recommend you learn classical piano. It may seem like a step in the wrong direction, but I can't tell you how helpful my classical background has helped me. Without I would literally be nothing but amateur hour playing two chords with no thumbs and singing out of tune for 5 minutes. You'll learn classical theory, which you then can take to any other instrument and know how to fit it into your songwriting. You'll learn the concept of parts and multiple voices (i.e. in a popular musical context, how a guitar, bass, vocal, and drum tracks will fit together)

If you still have your heart set on playing with a program, I would highly suggest the free version of studio one. (I would post a link, but I can't) It works, it's the best DAW *I've* used, and most importantly it's *free*. I would not suggest purchasing a midi keyboard if you're not going to learn piano. I would hate for you to buy it, realize that music sadly takes a lot of work, and then regret your purchase. If this is something you want to do, you need to learn about music, and the best way I can think of is to learn piano. Especially if you want to live recording of tracks, and not just computer production.

If you want to make EDM tracks and club music then I suggest giving it a shot without a Midi keyboard. It's completely do-able, Hell, I did it for 2 years before I got my crap together.

Jumping into electronic music production is a whole 'nother ball game, which I could detail in a later post if you wanted. (I don't know a whole bunch, but enough to send you in the right direction)

Anyway, I really hope this helps. I really don't mean to scare you off, but it important that you know you won't just become a recording artist overnight. I've been working on this for five years and I'm not even close. People have been working 10 - 15 years and are barely any further than me. It's also important you want to go into music for the music, and not the "money" because trust me when I say this, You have to be extremely lucky, talented, and generally have a lot of initial capital to become successful financially in music. This is not the way to make money or popularity.

If you've got any more questions feel free to let me know. I wish you the best on your pending journey.

- Eddy Walda
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 16

If you have some cash to spend and you're seriously looking to get into making music with a midi keyboard, some M-Audio equipment comes with a decent elementary-level DAW called Ignite. It came with my M-Audio MTrack (which is an audio interface, if you're looking to get into audio in the future, do your homework on all that jazz) and I've played around on it for fun a bunch of times. It seems like it would be really intuitive for the beginner, and it's still pretty good fun for me even though I've been at the engineering thing for a bit. That's my 2 cents.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Beauharnois, Qc, Canada
Posts: 29

There is also a DAW called Reaper which is really affordable. Some of my friends use it in their studio.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
RufLzrd's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Miami
Posts: 4
Thumbs up Free Music making website

Hey this is a good place to make new music

It is not a software it is an easy to use website and is really good to make original tracks and it is free and you get all the perks on the spot

the site is called audiotool

It should be the first result on google


I hope you enjoy the site or even decide to use it
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