There are a lot of myths about electronic music that I have heard since I started out. Some people think electronic music is easy to make, others think it is all about presets and that is the way it should be. Others think electronic musicians can’t play an instrument or sing. Others will say you can’t have any emotion in electronic music. And we could go on and on. But let’s just talk about some of them here.
1. Electronic music is too easy to make
2. You need to know how to play an instrument or sing
3. The best way to do it is with presets
4. All you do is push buttons
5. It needs to sound like something else you’ve heard
6. It’s only for certain genres
7. Live shows aren’t fun at all
8. You need expensive gear
9. You don’t need a computer
10. It’s not emotional at all
As with anything that’s new, innovative, and hasn’t yet been classified into a neat little box, electronic music is surrounded by myths. Many of these myths are simply a result of the lack of knowledge about what goes on in the studio, or the creative process behind it. Others are attempts to pigeonhole a genre of music that doesn’t fit into any one category.
As someone who has been performing and recording for nearly 20 years, I’m going to try and clear up some of the most common misconceptions about electronic music. Some of these myths have been around since the early days of synthesizers, others are a result of recent trends in dance and pop music.
1. People love retro music.
2. I need a lot of gear to make electronic music.
3. The sound quality of my music is not good enough.
4. I need a lot of money to make electronic music.
5. Compression and mastering are all I need for my music to sound good.
6. People love the “vintage” sound of old synths and samplers, like the Roland 808, SH101, Akais and many more…
7. Mixing and mastering service providers will make my music better than it sounds now.
8. My mixes are loud enough, so they are professional.
9. The most important thing in making music is your creativity and talent, so production techniques don’t matter that much anyway…
10. I need Ableton or Logic Pro X to make electronic music – those programs are awesome!
1. “The Software is the Music”
This is a common one. It’s also completely wrong.
Just because you have a certain piece of software, does not make you more creative or intelligent than another musician who uses different software.
2. “I need a Mac to make good music.”
Nope! In fact, it was actually the other way around. The Macintosh Operating System was originally written in order to run Ableton Live. Not the other way around!
3. “All electronic musicians are DJs too”
4. “My music sounds weak because I don’t have a pro-audio interface.”
5. “The more filters and effects I put on my sounds, the better they will sound”
6. “If I buy all of these plug-ins and samples, then I’ll be able to write awesome music.”
7. “If I buy this synth/sample library, then I can become famous.”
8. “I just need to copy what everyone else is doing and I’ll get better at writing music.”
9. “I’m just not very musical.”
10. “I can never be as good as (insert famous artist name here)”
1. You’re not a musician if you make music with a computer.
2. You need to be a professional engineer or scientist to make electronic music.
3. Electronic music is not as expressive or emotional as organic instruments.
4. Electronic music has to sound like Kraftwerk.
5. Electronic music is all about the production and arrangement; the songwriting doesn’t matter as much.
6. Electronic music can only be enjoyed in the club, not in the home.
7. Ableton Live is just for DJs and remixers, not for making songs from scratch.”
Electronic Music is a broad term which encompasses a large number of musical styles. The term historically described music which uses electronic musical instruments and electric musical instruments. As it grew in popularity, the term began to encompass music which was created by electronics without the use of musical instruments.
Electronic music may include both human performance using synthesizers, drum machines, or samplers and computer-generated sounds. Some composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Ryoji Ikeda have mixed acoustic instruments with electronic sounds to create hybrid pieces of music. Electronic music is often used in modern film scores.
The earliest electronic devices for performing music were developed at the end of the nineteenth century. The first electronic instrument is generally considered to be the Telharmonium, an audio generator created by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897. It was followed by many others, including the Ondes Martenot – developed in France in 1928 – and ondioline, which was invented in 1940 but only became popular after World War II (1939-45).
Modern electronic musical instruments were developed later in the twentieth century following the development of solid state vacuum tube oscillators (1905) and transistor oscillators (1947). This allowed for the development
Analog v. digital:
Many people believe that analog is better than digital, and vice versa. The truth is that they are both different tools that can be used to achieve a similar result. Many of the studios that release these high quality sound libraries are using digital technology. Why? Because it sounds good and it is less expensive.
Quality of samples:
I often hear a lot of people complaining about the quality of samples, especially when it comes to loops. My response, “If it sounds good use it.” I can tell you from experience that with the right EQ and compression, almost any sample can be tweaked to sound great.
The difference between a $50 library and a $200 library:
This is a question I hear all of the time! With sample libraries, how much you pay does not necessarily determine how good it will sound; it’s all about how you use it. Again, with the right EQ and compression, just about anything will sound good. All you are really paying for with some of these libraries is the convenience of having everything pre-packaged for you.
Which software is best:
I have heard many arguments on this issue as well. In my opinion, there isn’t really one piece of software that is better