zircon Posted January 24, 2013 Report Share Posted January 24, 2013 (edited) Getting Started What we call "ReMixing" is just another kind of music making. Don't be intimidated! If you're already a musician, then you already have the skills to ReMix. Learning an instrument, practicing with a computer music program (also known as a "digital audio workstation"), studying up on some music theory, or watching YouTube guitar tutorials will all help you make better ReMixes. If you have no musical background, we highly recommend picking up an instrument like piano or guitar. While in-person lessons are ideal, you can check further in this post for some online resources. You can make music on most any PC or Mac. We have a list of some recommended programs below. While getting a ReMix on OCR is a great goal, creating music should be fun. You should enjoy the process, no matter what the result! Music Making Programs A digital audio workstation is a program used to create, record, edit and sequence audio. In this day and age, most DAWs are quite fully-featured, so if someone tells you that one is "better" than another, that's mostly nonsense. Pick whichever DAW has the best workflow for you. FL Studio (PC) $99-149 = One of the most popular DAWs on OCR. Though a little unwieldy for audio recording and editing, FL's non-standard workflow can be very fast, particularly for sequencing (writing MIDI notes). Thanks to its large userbase here, there are plenty of folks to answer your questions. Reason (PC/Mac) $129+ = Another popular DAW. Reason boasts perhaps the best variety of built-in sounds, effects and instruments of any DAW. Like FL, it has a unique workflow and large userbase. Its main downside is that unlike most DAWs, it can't be expanded with most free tools. REAPER (PC/Mac) $60 = Fantastic for audio recording and editing, REAPER is a great choice if you plan on recording live instruments. Though its MIDI capability is a little weak and it has no built-in instruments, it's an excellent, fully-featured program with a very customizable workflow and unlimited free demo. REAPER also has a growing fanbase on OCR. Sonar (PC) $99+ = One of the first sequencers ever created. Sonar comes in many flavors but has a powerful traditional workflow and a strong suite of built-in instruments. Cubase (PC/Mac) $99+ = Like Sonar, this is another venerable DAW with plenty of great features and instruments. Whether you prefer this versus Sonar or REAPER depends on your personal preference. There are many other DAWs out there that aren't listed here. Experiment! Finding New Sounds As you begin making music, you will no doubt want a nice palette of sounds to choose from. On a PC, you will typically look for "VST plugins" which are added to your DAW and add new functionality to create and alter sound. On a MAC, you want "AU plugins". The single best resource for both free AND commercial plugins is KVR Audio. It has an amazing database and search engine allowing you to find all sorts of instruments, effects and samples, sorted by platform, commercial vs. free, etc. However, before downloading more instruments and sounds, you should try to acquaint yourself with the tools available in your DAW. It's easy to download lots of plugins and become overwhelmed; we recommend picking a handful at a time and learning them really well before moving on. Music Education Resources As mentioned earlier, taking music lessons is the best way to improve yourself as a musician (that, and PRACTICE!) There is no substitute for a good teacher or class. If you're in high school, you may have access to basic music theory or technology classes, while most colleges have something similar. Private music teachers often start at around $30/hour, but just one lesson a week will provide substantial benefits over time. That being said, if you simply don't have access to music classes or lessons, there are a few resources you can check out online: MusicTheory.net - Almost any musician from beginner to expert can benefit from studying theory, which helps in both writing and arranging music. Berklee Online - A fantastic resource with free classes from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Everything from piano and guitar to production, songwriting and arranging. You can't go wrong here. Hardware & Computers The world of music hardware is incredibly vast, but the truth is that you need almost nothing to get started. Your key pieces of hardware are as follows: * A decent computer. Desktops are generally more powerful than laptops, but either will get the job done. Ideally you want something built in the last 6 years. If you're buying a new machine, look for a fast processor and 4+gb of RAM. A solid state drive is also good to have. * A solid pair of headphones.... Good headphone brands include AKG, Sony, Beyerdynamic, Grado, and Audio Technica. More $ doesn't necessarily mean better, and stay away from consumer-oriented headphones like Beats, or bass-enhancing Sennheisers. Something like the ATH-M40 headphones may not be blinged out but they are excellent for listening critically and cost only $50. * ... or speakers / monitors? This may be controversial to some, but I don't recommend doing the bulk of your music-making on speakers or studio monitors unless you can afford to spend at least $150-200 on an entry-level professional-grade set AND you can do some basic acoustic treatment to your room. It's fine to double-check a mix on speakers, but without proper speakers or treatment, it's hard to get a good sense of balance. If you're starting from scratch, start with headphones. * An audio interface. (more to come!) Edited January 30, 2013 by DarkeSword Daylectorbr, Rafael A. A. Merlo and fxsnowy 2 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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