As I had been making music for more than 5 years, i noticed many people who are very talented in singing or composing music, but they just fear to start making their own stuff, as they don’t know where and how to start, and this fear makes them frustrated as they feel it is a complicated and a hard process to make a song. so in this tip I will give you briefly the 4 keys that you must have in order to make a valuable and good quality music or song, and you can then start knowing more about how to use those keys and apply them in using your talent or passion to produce interesting result for you and your future fans.
1-Musical Instruments and Equipment
-Those are the hardware that you need in order to input your music and/or vocals, they varies among different types and prices according to their quality and durability. I am separating them into 3 main categories that you must have if you are going to produce music or covers or professional songs.
a-Recording Equipment (Audio interface)
-we all know the sound-card that is mostly a built-in device for processing the input and output sounds of the computer, in the music production we use external sound-cards or as commonly named Audio Interfaces, those devices are very important as they have a big role in the input sound quality whether the sound of live instruments (guitar or bass for example) or the sound of the your vocal or the singer’s vocal, so it’s very recommended that you don’t choose a cheap device for this category, try to buy an expensive one or an average price one, you have to consider the following aspects when choosing the suitable device :
-number and type of inputs and outputs : try to choose the device with many input sockets for mics, live instruments, midi interfaces according to the type of songs you are willing to produce
-the brand of the device : as i mentioned before, this device is the core of your production, it is not a temporary equipment that you may or may not use, it should be powerful and durable for being used for hundreds of hours of recording, mixing and playing. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a device with a known reputable brand in order to guarantee a good quality device with high performance.
-The main input device for recording vocals and live instruments, a very important device too, and affects the quality very much, but as an individual artist or band, based on my experience and other people’s work, you don’t have to start with a very expensive one , you can start with an average condenser mic, add a pop filter to it for filtering air and noise, and choose a suitable quiet place for recording (your room for example) that you can record with the minimum amount of noise and distractions, and the result will be good enough for you.
-Those include different instruments that you may use in making your song, including Acoustic Guitars, Saxophone, Strings, Piano.
Depending on the music genre and style of your songs, you will be able to choose what live instruments you need, Some genres can be done electronically with a high professional quality and don’t require live instruments at all , like Techno/trance, Hip Hop and R&P, other genres like rock require live guitars and/or bass & drums. Although most of the instruments can be played in music making programs electronically, but it is recommended to use live instruments in specific instruments because the quality of the electronic sounds of them are not acceptable for making good quality music (acoustic guitars for example). You don’t have to choose expensive live instruments as the differences in prices are not affecting quality, they are more affecting the durability, so my advice is to know exactly what type of music you will be making mostly, and choose a good price.
2-Music Making Program
This is the second step, after you are aware of the different hardware components needed for inputting your vocals and sounds, now comes the role of the software, in which you will be able to see a user interface displaying record buttons for recording your live instruments music tracks and/or your vocals, arrange them, add effects to them, add electronic sounds and/or electronic instrumental parts, and then finishing and saving your project.
-there are many professional user friendly music making programs in the market, some of them are free, but the best of them are not free like Fruity Loops Studio (the one i am using) and Pro Tools, you can try and see what comforts you more and start using it, you can use Mixcraft as a beginning as it is easier and simpler than many other programs
3-Audio editing and mixing program
This step is mandatory for producing songs (music with vocals), as you have to choose a good program for recording the vocals you record using your mic, modify them, arrange and mix them to be complying with the music. some programs can be used for both music making and audio editing, other programs are specialized in audio recording and editing, this also depends on you and what comforts you more, one of the best and easy free programs that you can use to start recording and mixing audio is Audacity, it is easy and simple for a beginner and a good way for learning the basic techniques.
4-Speakers, monitors and headphones
the output devices, how you listen to the music while making it and after finishing it, you have to take care of choosing the right headphones or speakers as in many cases, they may deceive you, and give you a wrong indication about the volume and quality of mixing and recording, i went through this problem a lot because I had a cheap Sub woofer and speakers, and a cheap headphones.
I recommend you concentrate on buying a high quality headphones, as you mostly won’t use your speakers during recording or mixing, you will be using your headphones and that’s why they have to be expensive and powerful to give a pure indication about how your sound and music are fitting together and any other drawbacks in the quality, and then you can get a medium average price speakers or even cheap ones.
-That’s it, if you are an amateur music maker or a potential one hoping to start making music, you now have a rough idea about the main key elements and you can start getting more information about each one or adding something that you were missing.
Comment if you need any clarification or more details about anything.