Welcome to How To Produce Music For Beginners Part Two. This is the second of a two part series helping beginners get to grips with how to produce their own music. In part one we looked at why you would want to become a music producer, whether you should use a professional recording studio or produce at home with beat maker software such as DubTurbo (And why), how hard music production really is, and what you need to get started. In this part, we’ll look at what software you should use to learn the ropes, where to get your own samples to makes your songs more exciting, how to arrange your songs, and what you need to do if you want to create beats like a professional.
If you haven’t checked out part one yet, I suggest you read that first to get some background knowledge that will help you come a better producer:
How To Produce Music For Beginners Part One
How To Produce Music For Beginners Part Two (This article)
This guide is mainly aimed at beginner producers that either haven’t been producing for long, or are thinking about getting into the game. It doesn’t matter if you want to know how to produce music on a Mac or a PC, this guide deals with principles, so will help you get started with music production either way. With only a computer and some cheap music production software (We’ll tell you what the best one is in the section directly below) you can get up and running as and start producing your own music today!
Getting The Right Beat Maker Software To Make Your Own Beats
The main thing you need to do when you start out producing, is getting the right beat maker software. This is where many people go wrong, as they try and buy the most advanced music production software thinking they’ll be able to produce music like their favourite producer. In reality however, buying upper end music production software can often do more harm then good for beginner producers.
The thing is, a lot of them have a steep learning curve. You can’t simply install this software and expect to have a good beat by the end of the day, it takes a long time to learn how to use the software and make decent tunes.
This is why I recommend using easy to learn beat making software to start out with. If the software is easy and straight forward to use, you can put all your effort into learning to create good beats, rather then learning how to use software. I personally recommend DubTurbo for beginner producers, as not only is it extremely cheap (Around $30, where other complex software such as Cuebase costs you hundreds), but it is also very powerful and includes everything you need to make good quality beats. You can easily arrange songs using the thousands of different instruments and sounds that comes with this beat maker software (You can also import your own sounds, something we’ll talk about in the next chapter below), then export them as a high quality WAV file ready to bring to the recording booth.
From what I’ve seen, DubTurbo seems to be the best music production tool for both beginner and intermediate producers of music. And for that price, you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to what computer you use however, I’d say it doesn’t really matter. As long as your computer has enough memory to not slow down your audio production software then you’re good. It will of course need to allow you to hear sound as well, but that’s a pretty standard feature on most modern computers.
Stocking Up Your Music Library
As any good music producer will tell you, you can’t just stick to the sounds that already come with your music production software. Using these pre installed sounds if fine when you’re learning how to use the software, as there is usually enough sounds for you to make a number of good songs. But if you want to take your music production to the next level and want to make your sounds sound exactly how you want, there’s a good chance you’ll need to find your own sounds and samples at one point.
In all honesty, this isn’t something you’ll need to do straight away. Most beat making software comes pre installed with thousands of instrument sounds and samples. What’s more, you can edit these samples to your heart’s content, making them sound completely different from before. Having said that, when you want a specific sound that’s not there, this can be quite frustrating. At this stage, you need to import some new sounds to use.
You can find these sounds from all over. There are many websites which give away free music sample (Make sure it’s royalty free music so you’re not downloading it illegally), some music magazines come with pre recorded sounds for you to use, and you can buy music samples if you look around online. If you have the means, you can also record your own samples to use, so that’s always an option if you want to truly create your own beats.
Something many producers of music like doing is sampling sounds from their favourite TV shows. I’m sure you’ve all heard those film samples in songs, someone records a line from their favourite film and loops it in their song. This is something you could consider doing, but bare in mine there could be copyright issues you need to deal with first.
Arranging Your Song
Now that you’ve got your music production tools and are ready to go, there are a few things you need to think about when you make your own beats. You can’t simply just put instruments anywhere you want and expect to have a hit on your hands, you need to know what you’re doing and how to structure a song. This is probably the most important part of knowing how to produce music, so pay attention to the below points:
- Structuring Your Songs.
As I said before, you can’t simply put down instruments and sounds in any order and expect to have a quality beat on your hands. All good songs have a structure, and you need to find a structure that balances both your personal style and accepted song arrangements. You don’t want to be too much like everyone else or there would be little point you producing (Although having said that, you can still make money from your songs if your productions have a ‘bait’ sound but are of a high quality). At the same time though, you don’t want to be too different to the extent where people don’t feel comfortable listing to your music.
I’d advice you listen to already established songs you like, and see how they structure their songs. What speed is the song? How many bars are there for each verse and chorus? Is there any break down, introduction and outro? Do this with a good few songs and you will learn how to structure songs like a professional.
- Using The Right Sounds.
Another part of arranging your songs right, is making sure you use all the right sounds. While there are exceptions to the rule, a typical song has a few types of sounds in it:1. Bass: The bass is the type of sound that really brings the song to life, a strong bass can send vibrations through your speakers. You can also can also use a more mellow or a ‘sub base’ if you wish, it’s really down to you. Either way, use bass to provide a real feel to your tune.2. Melody: This is the part of the song that has people humming along. It is the order of musical notes that is supposed to be catchy to someone’s ears. Singers and rappers often perform in time to the melody, and a good melody can really make a song. The melody is usually made from instruments such as piano or guitar, and goes well with the rest of the tune.3. Beats: The beats consist of the drum arrangements and high hats. This is the part that really sets the tempo of your song; Add a lot and it can sound like the song’s moving along fast, add a minimum amount and your song will sound more melo and slow moving.
If you want to make music and be a successful producer, you need to know how to properly arrange a song. It is important you not only have a good bass, melody and beat, but also that you fit them together so they sound good together. This should be one of the main things you learn how to do, so make sure you study this art until it comes naturally to you.
How To Produce Music And Make Your Own Beats Like A Pro
Knowing how to produce music is worth nothing if you don’t bare in mind one very important thing: It takes time and work to become a top producer! If you want to produce music like a profession such as Dr Dre, you need to put in the work to making it happen. You have to learn your art as much as possible, and put in the time to make those bangers that everyone wants to hear.
If you expect to make your own beats and become an overnight celebrity, then you’re in for a big shock. Like anything else in the music industry, the people who succeed are the ones who both have talent and put the work in. Doing one or the other gives you a chance to succeed, but unless you have both qualities, your chances of being successful in music are greatly reduced.
Professional producers are professional for a few reasons:
- They have put in long hours perfecting their audio production skills, whether in a recoding studio or at home.
- They’ve learnt how to produce music beats that a good amount of people will like. If people don’t like your productions, your professional producing career will be a short lived one.
- They always try new things. While they may have a certain sound which got them big, they usually continue to push the boundaries and try other things. In order to do this you need to know how to produce in a variety of styles, once again leading back to putting in the time and effort to perfect your craft. Practice using different instruments and pattern arrangements in your chosen music production software. This will really get your creativity going, and help you become a better producer.
Please Note: I recommend you sticking to a style that gets you popular even if you do start making other types of music alongside it. This will keep your original fans happy.
If you want to become a professional producer, remember that it takes a lot of time and effort. Learn from your mistakes, and take honest feedback without getting offended. Use that feedback to step up your game and becomes a better producer of music.
How To Produce Music For Beginners End Of Part Two
And that’s it for our two part series on how to produce music for beginners. We hope you have found the knowledge useful, and can use it to get you started creating your own beats. If you haven’t started producing already and are just researching, I suggest you use DubTurbo to get you started as a producer (You can check out our Dub Turbo review with bonus and discount here). It is easy to set up and use (And not to mention extremely cheap compared to other music production software out there), allowing you to focus purely on learning how to produce music. Once again, here are the articles in this series:
Please make sure you bookmark these articles, and come back to them as and when you need them. If you have any further questions about how to produce music at home, feel free to ask them in the comments below.