Incredible advancements in technology over the last ten to twenty years have altered society positively in many ways, and one of those ways is the increased tools available at the disposal of aspiring producers.
Before times in which powerful laptops and PCs were commonplace, everyone had their own personal laptops and computers, it was prohibitively expensive to produce music. The cost of entry into music production was high, and it involved a slew of expensive purchases such as instruments and equipment. Now, however, the entry cost is limited to a computer: all aspiring producers need is a laptop/PC, software, and some creativity. Let’s take a look now at some of the software and hardware that modern producers use.
A digital audio workstation, or DAW, is an important software used for recording, editing and producing audio files. With a DAW, producers can record jams, explore sound design, and compose their first songs with flexibility. Beginners have a wealth of options to choose from, and the choices can become dizzying. Thankfully, it’s possible to use demo versions of different DAWS, so producers can figure out which ones they are most comfortable with before buying a commercial version. Ableton Live, Reason, and Studio One are all well-regarded options.
Before choosing a DAW, of course, comes the age old debate on whether to purchase a PC or a Mac. In terms of choosing an option for the purposes of making electronic music, there is no clear answer here, and preferences are subjective. Macs are generally quite powerful, with adequate specs on most models to make music, but they are also quite expensive.
With PCs, however, the range of manufacturer options and configurations is much greater, and you can also customize the build of your computer. It’s important if opting for a PC to pick one that can run your chosen music production software smoothly: the last thing you want to do is scrimp on features and end up with a machine that isn’t powerful enough to do what is required of it.
Many of the instruments you use as a producer will be controlled with MIDI information. MIDI is essentially a protocol that enables communication between different audio devices. MIDI messages carry information such as notation, pitch, velocity, vibrato, panning, and clock signals Following on from this, a MIDI keyboard is a solid investment for any producer. These keyboards output MIDI data, they are generally quite budget-friendly, and they make a big difference in the ability to control instruments.
Behind any good set of software and hardware there must be a person who has exceptional drive and passion for creating music. Successful producers and ghost producers tend to be the individuals who put in long hours and are willing to learn from their mistakes. Lack of motivation, laziness, and becoming flustered easily are all significant barriers to succeeding, regardless of the technology available at a producer’s disposal or the talents that a producer possesses.