This is part 4 of a 5 part series on the basics of electronic music production. Start by reading part 1 if you just got here.

Now that are set-up is complete with all the hardware, software and reading materials we need it’s time to get the visions in our heads onto the screen. After learning the basics in our Apple training and Power series books all of our creativity and ingenuity takes over to create our own signature sounds for our musical style.

I swear by using several different sources of sounds to create my own songs, even genre specific songs will have my own fingerprint in them by starting to favor specific effects, instruments and specific processes, which all come from experience and time spent with our studio. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different effects and processes, it could lead to a hot new sound for your songs.

I recommend to start with GarageBand then Logic Pro. Using the apple loops, you are able to construct a basic song within minutes. You’re more likely to continue doing something if you’re seeing results happen in a timely manner, GarageBand plays on this psychology well and it will prepare you for the more complex workflow of Logic Pro.

Working with Logic Pro and Reason is to get you started on the idea of starting a song in one D.A.W and moving it into another to finish it,then you are able to exploit the best aspects of all your software in one musical composition. Each D.A.W is more than capable of handling an entire anthology of material, the idea is that it adds the amount of options for sounds,samples and instruments to a single song.

There are some general techniques we can use in these D.A.W.S to spark inspiration by going through the recommended reading material I suggested in part 3. the guides will teach you several different methods on how to navigate the software for your needs.

These programs are very powerful tools and it’s extremely important that we know how to use them to take full advantage of the software’s potential. An example of what you would learn in one of these guides is when working with midi instrument loops on Logic you can take a basic piano loop and reassign it to a an electric guitar to create the same midi pattern in a completely different sound style, sometimes a move like that can sound really bad and out of place, other times these actions create some really inspiring pieces of music and it may be the spark you need to get a song going.

Try taking a midi piano section and assigning it to a house drum kit , sometimes you can create some cool intricate grooves quickly by simply reassigning random preset instrument loops to different drum kits. Going through each exercise will enhance your knowledge, build confidence and unlock your creativity to allow you to plan a strategic system for creating your music.

So by having these comprehensive guides, a couple different D.A.W.S, an audio interface, a midi keyboard your home studio becomes an electronic orchestra filled with a vast array of colorful instruments and sounds that blend into danceable grooves or a mind expanding pieces of audible art.

For live performance there is no other software that gets the job done better than Ableton Live. Ableton Live is a D.A.W like Reason and Logic so you can use it with your workflow when you’re producing your songs, but this software really shines as an instrument for playing a live set of electronic music.

After recording 30-45 minutes of your own music you will be ready to start constructing a live DJ set made up of all original material. Ableton Live 8 Power is the resource for this power live performance software.

Next, DIY Electronic Music Production Basics: Part 5

Guest Post: Rick Lloyd is a Musician/Producer with 8 years of experience writing, performing, recording  and producing with a variety of musicians focused in Electronic and Indie Rock music. Rick is currently getting ready to launch Ghost Print Media, an in depth media blog website focused as a reference guide and networking site for the D.I.Y artist, as well as reviews of media services, software, and equipment used to create our media. Follow him  on Twitter @GhostPrintMedia

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