Hey EDM people! My name is Chris and I’m a DJ/Producer/Writer/Skateboarder from Vancouver Canada. Aside from deciding what I want to specialize in between my four favourite hobbies, I’ve recently become the creative writer/blogger for the EDM show! This is will be the first of many articles covering music production, DJ’ing, creativity, and music. I hope you enjoy my articles, and be sure to tune into the EDM show friday nights to hear some of Vancouver’s best ( including occasionally, myself :D).
Please do not be afraid to send me your thoughts and concerns. I would love the feedback from you guys; after all, this would never exist without you.
Message me on facebook @https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsSpectro
Follow me on twitter @https://twitter.com/SpectroOfficial
Check out my music on soundcloud here @https://soundcloud.com/theofficialspectro
Enjoy the article! I hope you learn something new!
Top 10 Music Software’s for New Electronic Producer’s
I started producing electronic music four years ago, and for the first year, I was completely lost. Of course, the confusion was mainly due to a lack of knowledge on sound, mixing and musical theory/structure, but importantly, I did not have a clue about the software’s that made music sound strong and clean. Furthermore, it was difficult for me to learn production with several different VST’s or DAW’s that would essentially have the same results.
These software’s have helped me through out the years because of their simplicity and power. By mastering a few, adapting and learning becomes much easier. All in all, with respect to the clarity of audio signals, your software can give you awesome results.
10. Sausage Fattner
Don’t be fooled by this VST, it will give your production the punch you need. I put this at number 10 on the list because really, all it boils down to is two knobs—fatness and color. Though the results are great, this VST is incredibly simple. The two knobs are essentially built it distortions combined with a strong compressor. You will get your productions sounding huge in no time. However, use it in moderation as this VST could severely harm the mix.
9. Glitch 2
Ever wonder how great electro and dubstep producer get super complex and memorable grooves? The answers simple—their complete geniuses. Think about it, how can you make something that is musically not complex sound complex? There’s has be some black magic going on. For us mere mortals, there is Glitch. Glitch is a step sequencer that chops up your production giving it “glitch” sounds. Surly, it could be used in genre as the 16+ bar loop and the ten different effects can give you infinite production possibilities. The only downside to this VST is its learning curve. Have a good understanding of musical timing to get maximum results.
8. Sugar Bytes Unique
Personally, I strongly believe in software. Though hardware is definitely fun, it is expensive as hell. Furthermore, I feel that either young producer’s will often get caught up in wanting to get the latest gear, or conversely, feel inspired by older gear. That’s is completely fine; however, having good finances can be very beneficial overall. Software is more economical. Unique is a great synthesizer that wills producer that beloved old school moog, korg or 303 sounds. The best part about this software synth is its stock sounds. With the stock sounds, I hardly ever feel the need to change the parameters.
Like Unique, Nexus has awesome patches that are recognizable in progressive house. The leads and chord patches sound very crisp, and its piano patches sound sharp. Nexus can give your production quick results. As well, the patches need little changing. Ironically, The only issue with nexus is also what makes it so good. It is often over used. That being said, I would still encourage anyone to use Nexus. Don’t let it hinder your creative boundaries.
6. Waves Plugins
If you really want a step up with your productions, buy the Waves Plugin package. Essentially, the Waves package consists of everything, everything you need to mix down and master your tracks. The plugins are straightforward and easy to learn. Better yet, your audio signals going through these plugins will sound very clean. Perhaps that’s why Waves is industry standard.
Native Instruments Massive is THE synthesizer to learn. Learn massive. Understanding the fundamentals of this synth will help you understand the fundamentals of every synth both software and hardware. That said, the sounds that massive can produce can be absolutely amazing. Massive is a synthesizer that can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Also, there are tons, TONS of tutorials on this synth.
4. Sylenth 1
A step up from massive, Sylenth is where its at. Sylenth turns the boys into men with its awesome, straightforward parameters. As well, the copy and paste options make creating new patches even more convenient. Like Massive, there are also many tutorials on how to use this synth.
3. Izotope Ozone 5
The mastering is just as important as the production. Mastering opens up a completely different avenue for your creativity. Once the set is in its final stages, Izotope will provide you with the final touchups. Ozone is an awesome VST that has all the functions you will need to master your tracks—In a software form at least. Don’t finish tracks? Don’t worry. When I use izotope, I will sometimes put in it the master suite to see if what it would sound like with the effects layered down. That being said, I think it’s important that producer take advantage of “total recall” or in other words bypassing. There’s no need to imagine what it sounds like anymore, so don’t be afraid to just put it on. It cost nothing!
2. Wave Liquid Rhythm
This piece of software is the epitome of music creation. People foresaw it coming for a while, but only now has it been actually done. This VST or software (however you use it) generates groves and note patterns based on what YOU want. Now you don’t even need to be a “trained musician” to make grooves. Learning an extensive knowledge of music theory does not restrict your creativity. Once your ideas are set down, the software can transfer over these grooves and put them into your DAW of choice. It can be as musically simple or complex as you’d like it to be. However, I would always, always suggest you know your theory. Understand that there is an algorithm to your ideas. Understand that even without the use of software, you can still make great music. This just helps.
Ableton is the only DAW I use and I’ll tell you why. Many producers may say to master several DAWs at the same time. I challenge the contrary. Learning a DAW is difficult. There are so many parameters that producers will often get stuck up on small aspects such as how to simply put down a beat. I’ll tell you this, watch some tutorials on Ableton, learn it, and make a few songs. If you can understand Ableton, you can understand any DAW (the real challenge comes with the hot key controls). Sure the industry standard at the moment is Pro Tools and Logic, that’s fine, still use those DAWs, they are important, and sometimes, I would even recommend that the tracks get bounced down to use be used in them. However, when it comes to musical creation, Ableton is king. Ableton is about the creativity and ingenuity. That’s the basis of how they market themselves and create products. That being said Ableton is all about the beats. This DAW is a groove machine. The visuals and colours Ableton helped me a lot. At first the grey screen may seem bland until the play button rolls with several tracks going at it and killing it. I’ll put it this way. Even if you don’t make music, Ableton has so much creative possibilities. GO USE ABLETON!
This list is of course a recommendation. Use whatever works for you, and always remember, you don’t need to spend extensive amounts of cash on software to create good music. Some VST packs out there are in the thousands. I will give out this piece of advice to conclude. No matter what instrument, software, hardware, or theory you use, master it. Know your tools inside and out. If you can get passed that, then that’s all you really need to know for technique.
Now for creativity.