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Radiowar

what is a good way to learn to make electronic music

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i would consider myself pretty capable in quite a few genres of music, anything that doesn't require that i know what i'm doing when i'm turning knobs and stuff

but electronic music is giving me a lot of trouble since i pretty much need to know exactly what i'm doing to achieve certain sounds

anyways the point is i am trying to learn how to make electronic music properly, starting with dance music (i.e. trance, house, etc). trial and error hasn't been working, and i don't really know where else to start. anybody have any recommendations?

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I learned by getting some MIDI sequencing software, getting a decent sound module, and playing around with sounds until it sounded like I wanted it to sound like, then I started programming sounds until they sounded like I wanted them to sound like, then I started learning how to edit recordings until they sounded like they way I wanted them to sound like, and after about two years from starting out with absolutely no knowledge, I would be able to whip something like this out:

http://www.dannthr.com/samples/Dan_goes_crazy_30_seconds.mp3

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yeah that's sort of what i do right now, only i am trying to learn what all the different knobs and things on synthesizers and effects actually mean and how they are meant to be applied

if it helps i mostly use fl studio

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Using FLStudio doesn't help me, and I can't ever say it helps you.

Experiment.

When I was starting out with electronic music I was told by a veteran of my hardware to simply listen to a track and emulated as best as I could, when I got damn close was when I could say I was "capable" with my hardware--the same goes for FLStudio.

Cheers,

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Using FLStudio doesn't help me, and I can't ever say it helps you.

oh no i meant like if it helps illustrate my situation...not literally

but thanks for your advice

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the best advice i can give you is to make sure you actually listen to the genre so you can really get a feel of song structure, what synths would be appropriate, because without a background knowledge of the genre you'll make bastardized "trance" with orchestral instruments as leads and it won't be pretty.

also take note of what really defines each genre; ishkur's guide is a great place to start.

good luck.

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also take note of what really defines each genre; ishkur's guide is a great place to start.

Iskur's guide is a joke. I can't believe so many people take it seriously. The only thing it's good for is listening to sound clips.

yeah that's sort of what i do right now, only i am trying to learn what all the different knobs and things on synthesizers and effects actually mean and how they are meant to be applied

http://braincleaner.net/?q=articles/synthesis

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the best advice i can give you is to make sure you actually listen to the genre so you can really get a feel of song structure, what synths would be appropriate, because without a background knowledge of the genre you'll make bastardized "trance" with orchestral instruments as leads and it won't be pretty.

also take note of what really defines each genre; ishkur's guide is a great place to start.

good luck.

If everyone thought like that, we would still be making nothing but tribal drumming music, for fear of 'bastardizing a well defined genre.'

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some deviation is alright, and it's what propels and creates new genres

HOWEVER in the overwhelmingly frequent occurence at ocr, the edm genres in particular are bastardized beyond recognition to the point where anything with a 4x4 beat is considered trance.

and although ishkur's guide is tongue in cheek and not to be taken seriously, it provides good genre definition.

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I didn't know much about Synthesis untill I got Reason 3.0, It didn't give me everything, but it forced me to learn how to use it's devices and triggered my interest in Sound Synthesis. So now I know how to use all types of synthesis.

If you looking for a starting point to learning how to make electronic music and being able to create some decent Dance/Trance Techno beats I highly recommend Reason so you can have fun tweaking it. If you want to go pro, and feel that your fluent enough in Synthesizers I highly recommend these hardware Synths. Don't waste your money untill you know they will benefit you though. Reason isn't for everything ether.

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yeah i actually did start by going to ishkur's guide. it helps show the nuances of the different genres, whether or not it's supposed to be taken seriously. it's also a good way to make sure i don't end up like the people cocaine white is talking about.

thanks for that link, brain cleaner. that looks really good.

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Experiment, listen to the genre, and read about how synthesis works. Theory was very important for me, it made the difference between turning knobs up and down for hours till I got what I wanted by casuality and actually knowing what to use and what to do to get a desired sound.

Listening to the genre though, is most important imho. And not just listen, but analyze.

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I highly recommend Reason for learning synthesis. Its interface is friendly and intunitive imo, and to be cliche, the Subtractor synth is complex in its simplicity; its easy to get going, but it has so many variables you have to know what your doing to get the right sound.

ONE THING I WANT ANSWERED MYSELF: I dont have too many external samples for dance music, and am getting into harddance atm. But I'm finding myself really lacking a good kick sample. I find the beats I'm using dont have the same presence as the music I'm learning off, and given I'm usually a downtempo/ambient dude, the processing is way off my usual mindframe :P Help, kick samples or processing plz

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basic hard dance kicks

take a 909 or 808 kick drum sound... distort and then compress heavily... use that for the "tone" or prescence.. then layer with a single osc sine wave lp'ed to give it some "punch"... and final layer, need a short sharp percussive attack... a drum with a distinct "klick" ... sandwitch those layers together, buss them through a master compresser..

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anyways the point is i am trying to learn how to make electronic music properly, starting with dance music (i.e. trance, house, etc). trial and error hasn't been working, and i don't really know where else to start. anybody have any recommendations?

Don't try to tackle several genres at once.

First of all, you must've noticed that there can be several versions of a track - radio mix, club mix, etc. These differ; a club mix is not simply a radio mix with verse-chorus copied.

One advice I give to people to get themselves a piece of 5 x 5 mm grid paper, landscape, and start drawing. From left to right is the progress of the song. From bottom to top are the sounds - bassdrum on the bottom, vocals on the top. Get some magic markers.

Try to draw during listening; every time you hear 4 beats passing by you color a block on the bassdrum "line". When you hear a snare drum roll, you draw that on top of the bassdrum line. When the bass kicks in or one of those sequenced sounds starts, draw it on top of that. Bonus points: a snare roll is a gradual gain in volume. Draw that as a triangle, lowest volume left, peak volume right.

The end result, with careful listening and drawing and rewinding and paying attention - that's the "map" of the song. That's 50% of the entire art. This is not something that can be explained easily; you have to develop some feeling for it. You have to think in blocks of 4, 8, 16 or 32, or oddball numbers (never odd!) like 6 (with 2 blocks as a break or snare roll or filtering or dropping the volume of the bass).

Make 3 of these maps of radio mixes of songs you like. Do the same for club mixes. What you see there is essentially the same you see when you'd zoom out in Cubase/FL Studio/Reason/whatever - it shows where elements of the song are introduced. Since dance music is not that top-heavy on melody, it has to find other ways to captivate the listener, and that's by building up.

Then, use those maps to imprint your own ideas on it; use the same buildup, only with your own drums and your own melody.

After you've done that for a few times (and you'd be surprised how different a song can sound, even if it has the same build up if the instruments and melody differ!), try to meditate why a producer decided to introduce or leave away elements at that place.

Ishkur's guide is good - the text may be ass but the samples are good, and it's a single point of reference you can link people to.

Learning synthesis is useful, but try to start with some presets first; if you have to, buy a sample CD like Vengeance Essential Club Sounds; it can be used as filler while you're learning how the knobs work, and you won't be futzing around in the dark with plain 909 kicks. Then, when you have the building up/breaking down thing down well, learn how to choose and modify your percussion.

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maybe i should've been more specific...learning synthesis is what i am interested in. i'm not starting without any musical experience whatsoever, and i have a fairly good understanding of quite a few areas of music.

it's the more technical side of things that have been holding me back from really getting into electronic music, is what i'm saying. braincleaner's article on synthesis, for example, has been helpful in explaining things to me that i had not really understood before. and it seems like Reason is a good program to learn from so i will look into that as well.

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