So, you want to make electronic music?
This is a guide for people who are brand new to Pro Tools or still consider themselves beginners. It’s not an exhaustive guide by any means, but it lays out some of the basics and offers some suggestions for getting started.
There are many ways to create electronic music, but there are two primary methods: using software instruments that mimic real-life analog instruments (drums, piano, guitar) and synthesizers (which generate sounds from scratch), and manipulating samples (recorded bits of sound) which might be parts of existing songs or just found sounds that you like.
This guide will discuss both methods.
**What you’ll need**
Pro Tools 12 (or earlier)
An audio interface (Optional, but strongly recommended)
Headphones (Optional, but strongly recommended)
A MIDI keyboard controller (Optional, but strongly recommended)
When you’re getting started as a producer, it’s important to learn the basics and get comfortable with the tools. Pro Tools is a great tool for producing electronic music, but it can seem overwhelming at first. Here are some of the basic features and functions that you’ll want to get used to in order to get started with electronic music production in Pro Tools
Pro Tools has been used on countless electronic music tracks in many different genres such as techno, hip hop, dubstep, house, drum and bass, ambient, industrial, and noise music. But Pro Tools doesn’t have a specific sound or any particular workflow that is unique to electronic music. The software itself is fairly neutral and flexible enough that it can be used by any musician of any genre. The real power of Pro Tools is its ability to edit audio quickly and easily. This makes it ideal for anyone who wants to create loops or cut up samples from other songs.
One of the most important features of Pro Tools is its ability to import audio files directly into your project. This means that you don’t need to export an entire song from your DAW of choice before bringing it into Pro Tools. Instead, you just import the parts of the song that you want using Pro Tools’ “Import” feature. This
Pro Tools is a software application used to record, edit and mix audio. The name may be familiar to you if you’ve ever worked in television or film. Nowadays however, Pro Tools is also the industry standard for musicians who want to make electronic music on their computers.
The latest version of Pro Tools (Pro Tools 9) can run without any external hardware but most people choose to use it with a special interface that allows them to plug instruments and microphones directly into their computer. There are many interfaces available but the Mbox line from Avid (the company behind Pro Tools) are some of the most popular.
If you’re just getting started with Pro Tools, I would recommend first buying an Mbox Mini or Mbox Micro. Both interfaces include a copy of the software and will allow you to get familiar with it before deciding whether or not you’d like to spend more money on a bigger interface. If you already own a computer with an audio interface, then you’ll need to buy only the software itself (which comes in various versions).
The most important thing to know about music technology is that it’s not hard at all. The main reason why I started writing about music technology is because I’d come across so many people who were afraid of it.
The truth is, you don’t need to know much at all to get started with electronic music. You can learn the basics in five minutes, and the advanced stuff in a few hours. And there are only a handful of tools you really need to make electronic music.
I wrote this article for beginners, but kept in mind that many of these tools can be used by experts too. Don’t be daunted by how much there is here; just focus on the tools and features that you’ll use right now, and then look up the others when you need them.
There are quite a few things you’ll need to get started with electronic music. The first and most obvious thing is a computer. This can be either a PC or an Apple Mac, but I would recommend that you get an Apple Mac if you can afford it.
The second thing you will need is a DAW (digital audio workstation) program. This is basically the software that allows you to record audio, process audio, and arrange your music in an easy-to-use interface. The two most popular DAWs are Ableton Live and Logic Pro X. Both of these are excellent programs, but Ableton Live is probably the easiest to use, so I’ll focus on this one.
To get Ableton Live, go to http://www.ableton.com/en/live/new-in-9/. There are three versions of Live: Intro, Standard and Suite. If you’re just starting out with electronic music, then you should go for the Intro version which costs $99 USD (although I’ve found that it’s usually cheaper on Amazon).
Once you’ve got your DAW sorted, you’ll also need some plugins for it so that you can make some sounds!
1. The laptop, an essential tool for electronic music production.
2. MIDI keyboard: a keyboard that transmits MIDI data to your computer.
3. Audio interface: an external sound card that converts analog audio into digital audio and sends it in to your computer.
4. Software: where you make the magic happen!
5. Pair of headphones or monitors (speakers) : you’ll need these to hear what you are creating and mixing!
At its core, electronic music is based around the synthesizer. In fact, a lot of electronic music is nothing more than the sound of a synthesizer programmed to repeat a single note or chord endlessly.
What defines electronic music is how that endless repetition is handled. Is it monotonous and boring? Or does it develop over time and evolve into something more interesting?
One way to make your sounds more interesting is to add reverb. Reverb (short for reverberation) simulates the sound of an instrument playing in a room with walls and ceilings. It’s what makes an instrument sound like it’s in a hall rather than on stage.
You’re probably familiar with reverb from listening to guitar players who play on stage without amplification. Their guitar sounds very sharp because there’s no room for the sound waves to bounce off of — everything just escapes out into the audience.
However, if you put that same player in a large room (like Carnegie Hall), suddenly their guitar will have much more depth and texture because the sound waves have surfaces to bounce off of before they escape into the air.
The problem with using reverb in electronic music is that you can’t just turn it up as loud as you want. Reverb is basically made up