Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

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Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Arrovi » 05 Aug 2014 15:20

Hey everyone,

so I've always been really interested in music and I listen to it near constantly so after being in the MLP fandom and while and experiencing all these great musicians I thought I might give it a shot.

Now.. I'm a total noob. I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm willing to learn, make mistakes and ask questions. (Also have fun.)

My price range for stuff is pretty flexible. I'm looking for a list of components I will need in order to start out on this musical journey. I would prefer entry level devices that have good ratings by the community.

I picked up on and am reading through this post - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1369&
So after I find some hardware I will move onto software and all that jazz.

My computer options for music are the following :

Self-Built rig - GTX780, 16gb Ram, 3 tb HD + 256 SSD, i7 4770k
Surface Pro 128 gb
2006 Mac Mini that I can upgrade to Snow Leopard

Any and all advice would be appreciated!
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby CitricAcid » 05 Aug 2014 16:10

My recommendation is always to first learn how to play an instrument if you don't already know how to play one. That will be more valuable than any hardware or software to someone who is just starting out. Piano is always my first suggestion, followed by classical guitar and drums, but any instrument will do.

If you're bent on diving straight into electronic production, then you can rest assured that your PC is plenty good for the job. The only other hardware you might want would be a MIDI controller, an audio interface, and a microphone depending on what direction you want to go with music. For software, you'll find the most MLP community support if you're using FL or Ableton for your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). There are a bunch of others, too, but they all look the same until after you learn how to use one of them well and learn what you want and don't want out of a DAW. I wouldn't sweat the choice too much.

Still, learn an instrument. :wink:
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Arrovi » 05 Aug 2014 16:46

I've been a violinist for 15 years now but I'm rusty after a small hiatus. I want to learn piano but I haven't been too good at it overall.


Thanks for the advice. I want to start out remixing other work and then move on to creating more of my own stuff.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby itroitnyah » 05 Aug 2014 18:34

Getting software is the first big thing, with a decent audio solution second. It's also important that you learn about the software you decide to use. Learn how to use the step sequencer (if you software has one. Most do), piano roll, patterns, mixer and playlist. Since you've played violin for so long I'm assuming you know music theory so that's great. Master one synth at a time, when doing synthesis. Trying to master more than one is an overall confusing and slow experience. A good synth to start with would be Native Instruments Massive, since it's relatively simple compared to other synths and synth types, as well as being very versatile. Also be sure to read the manuals. Many synths come with manuals that you can read to get to know the synths better, and you can even find manuals for the DAW you pick out.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Before you go spending a ton of money on software and equipment for your own little home studio, I would strongly recommend that you try out a free DAW such as LMMS (and grab Synth1 to go with it!) so that you can decide whether or not this is something that you want to put a lot of time and effort into doing. It would suck if you bought all your equipment and software and decided you didn't want to make music anymore.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Arrovi » 06 Aug 2014 08:22

I am currently trying out the demo of FL Studio while watching some youtube videos about it.

Would you recommend Native Instruments Massive over FL Studio for general beginners?
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Mr. Bigglesworth » 06 Aug 2014 08:31

They're not really something you can compare. FL Studio is a sequencer and Massive is a synthesizer. FL Studio does come with some synths built in that vary from craptastic (sakura) to pretty amazing (Harmor, Sytrus), but they come in the signature bundle which costs a bit more, so you could actually get away with not getting Massive for a while, because FL has enough built in to get by. I'd recommend getting massive at some point, but if you're getting the signature pack you'd be pretty covered in terms of synthesis tools.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Freewave » 06 Aug 2014 17:27

Fl studio is a great place to get started and comes with some decent synths to begin with. As its a DAW you can add other vsts synths to get even better tracks. Definitely play around with sample projects to see what your final product should look like.

While MLR cannot assist or promote piracy it is a way that past musicians have obtained their initial set of tools. A good way to practice as a fledgling music producer before you become more seasoned and begin buying all your materials to perhaps make money yourself. :wink:
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Stuntddude » 08 Aug 2014 10:37

Mr. Bigglesworth wrote:FL Studio does come with some synths built in that vary from craptastic (sakura) to pretty amazing (Harmor, Sytrus), but they come in the signature bundle which costs a bit more, so you could actually get away with not getting Massive for a while, because FL has enough built in to get by.

Harmor isn't part of the FL signature bundle, though. Just thought I'd point that out.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Alycs » 26 Aug 2014 12:42

FL studio is, in my opinion, the best place to start if you want to make EDM and are completely new. The UI is - admittedly - the most cluttered and different from all other DAW's, so skills learned in it take a while to transfer to others, but as a whole it comes with the most powerful synths and effects in its default form.

If you are just starting out as you say, don't bother buying new synths yet. Massive is okay, but its not necessary. A ton of people use it, but there is very little you could make with it that you couldn't make with Harmor and Sytrus, and most of those sounds would be in-depth enough that you wouldn't have to worry about them right now.

My recommendation is:
Buy the Signature Bundle for FL Studio (at $300, its about as cheap as you can get for the amount that comes with it)
Buy the plugin Harmor ($149, it honestly should come with the signature edition, but it doesn't, which is really annoying)
If you are looking to record stuff, buy a condenser mic *coughAudioTechnicacough*, you can get one from as low as $15
With this set of things, you will honestly have pretty much everything you NEED to make EDM. PLEASE HOLD OFF BUYING NEW SYNTHS AND SAMPLE PACKS UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. Even if you torrent them, it just makes for a lot of space and time wasted trying to figure out the little ins and outs of each synth that you could spend getting better at one or two (and trust me, Harmor and Sytrus are two of THE BEST synthesizers on the market in their categories)

After you have all this, check out SeamlessR's Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/SeamlessR
He has a series called How to Bass that will teach you just about everything you could ever want to know about synthesis using Sytrus and Harmor, and he does requests and streams that show him making music in real time. Its super cool.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Mr. Bigglesworth » 26 Aug 2014 20:39

If you're serious about recording anything I don't think a $15 dollar mic is gonna do much good. I'll ellaborate, when you're buying a mic the price isn't the only factor, you need to look into it's SPL rating, polar patterning (directionality basically), frequency response and if it sounds any good, a cheap mic is fine if it works but for $15 you're probably not gonna get anything all that good.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby GCKrastin » 28 Aug 2014 10:41

Alycs wrote:After you have all this, check out SeamlessR's Youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/SeamlessR
He has a series called How to Bass that will teach you just about everything you could ever want to know about synthesis using Sytrus and Harmor, and he does requests and streams that show him making music in real time. Its super cool.


Adding to this, SeamlessR has another series called FL Studio Basic Tutorials which can be found here. If you end up going for FL, definitely watch those. Figuring it all out on your own can be a bit difficult at times, especially without any prior knowledge of music production. He talks a bit fast so you might have to rewatch certain segments to understand what he's saying but he's been using FL since 2004 or something, so he knows nearly everything there is to know about it.

As far as synths go, you can get remarkably far with the default synths inside of FL. I personally have never needed Massive for anything, nearly every sound I want to make can be done in Harmor or Sytrus, which both come with the FL signature bundle. However, for a complete beginner I would recommend that you stick to 3xosc for a few days until you get the hang of using FL as a whole. Then you can start branching out to the more complex synths and effects to make more interesting sounds. Also as Alycs said, definitely don't buy new sample packs or synths right at the start, they will probably only confuse you more about how to use them properly and some of them can add to the stereotypical noob-dubstep sound that a lot of new producers have for a few months.

Probably the most important thing is that you ask your superiors for help and tips on what you should and should not do in producing. This is something many people fail to do and it can cause very bad (or rarely very good) results as you may not learn as well from your mistakes without someone more experienced to explain it to you. This forum has quite a few friendly people that are pretty experienced in EDM production (and other areas of music), so definitely don't be afraid to ask for help.
(also on the subject of microphones I highly recommend the MXL 770 condenser mic, very high quality for a relatively low price)
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Stakeout Punch » 29 Aug 2014 19:04

itroitnyah wrote:such as LMMS


As an avid user of LMMS I can safely say DO NOT do this. LMMS is not something you want to get into unless you
  • literally can't afford anything
  • are obsessed with using open source things
  • want a challenge

That being said it is fun to try and see what can be done with LMMS considering it is not a fully featured DAW in the slightest, but it not something you'd probably want to start with.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby Stuntddude » 03 Sep 2014 16:27

GCKrastin wrote:Harmor or Sytrus, which both come with the FL signature bundle.

Harmor isn't part of the bundle. You can check what's in each editions onthe site.
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Re: Brand new to all of this, where should I start?

Postby seraj89 » 18 Nov 2014 23:31

Well, if you wanna be a dj, you can start with the cheap stuff. Using programs like Virtual DJ and Mixxx (which I strongly suggest) will get you started on making mixes and having a channel to put it on. If your producing your own music try getting a trial for FL studio 10-12 and mess with that a bit; remember to look at some tutorials and listen carefully to some of the sounds you hear in music, then create it. By the end of at least 2 months, you should have a track done.

When publishing your work, do remember to add in the names of songs that you used. If you're using YouTube, or Soundcloud (basic domains) to go publish your work, make it stand out. Have someone make a cover for you or just use Photoshop to make your own. Always add social Media so people everywhere can see your work.

Also learn how to use multiple tasks. I'm a DJ who makes my own covers with after effects, and photoshop. If you want to save money, do most of the stuff yourself. Not saying you should crack all the software which I sorta did but try getting the trial first before trying to use it fully.

Software usually costs money, and sometimes people will get to that point where they decide they'll want to start torrenting things. This usually isn't a problem, unless you happen to have the same serial number to FL studio as your neighbor which is like a 0.005% chance. Take that chance if you want

When it comes to getting equipment, get what you think might help you on your journey to what I guess is fame? dont go trying to buy something expensive off the bat (CDJ 200NXS) instead try going for something you'll find fun and helpful in so many ways. If you wanna practice making music lively, get the only hardware you might ever need, a midi fighter. 16 Arcade buttons that are mapped to Ableton or almost any DJ softwar

Good luck
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