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Beginner’s Guide: How To Create Music On Your Computer



guitar chord chart
In the past, in order to make high-quality music, you needed access to a studio, lots of money and years of studying music composition. Now, thanks to rapid developments in musical software, the process can be a lot easier. All you need is a computer, some audio software and some practice, and then you’re on your way to make beautiful, studio-quality music. In this article, we’ll be tackling all the important aspects you need to consider in making high-quality music from the comfort of your own home, using your own computer.

Before we get into the technical side of things, you’ll need some things to get you started.

Digital Audio Workstation (or DAW, for short)

Unsurprisingly, you’ll find that the most important thing that you’ll need to get you started is audio software. These allow you to record, edit and ultimately, produce audio files. Depending on your level, you might want to download the free DAWs before committing to purchasing professional DAWs. Make sure you do your research since there are so many options out there, which is both a blessing and a curse.

MIDI Controller

A MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) controller does not transmit any sound, but rather allows your DAW and your musical instruments to communicate with each other. It is recommended that you get something basic – MIDI controllers don’t have to be sophisticated at all. In fact, you could produce music without it at all, but it just makes your life that bit easier.

Audio Interface

An audio interface is an essential piece of equipment for anyone using their computers to produce music. It provides the link between your computer and any external hardware/instruments. The good news is that today’s basic audio interfaces are able to produce very high-quality results, meaning you don’t have to spend big or complicated. Just be sure that the audio interface you buy accommodates the instruments you want to record with.

Mixing Equipment

Mixing equipment is notoriously expensive and bulky, which is why you should be happy to know that most of it is already included in any half-decent DAW. The two things you’ll need are mixing headphones and studio monitors. They are a lot more accurate than your regular headphones, and so using them will help you produce much more beautiful music.

Now, onto the types of audio files you’ll be using:

Regular Audio Files

These creatively named audio files represent the sound waves. These are the types of audio files you will deal with when you record using physical instruments. Music producers usually prefer these files as they are easier for computer processors and are easier to edit. The only downside is that you can’t really edit the musical aspect of the file.

MIDI keyboard
MIDI Files

Using MIDI files has the undeniable advantage of being able to control any style of digital instrument. You can change the note arrangement, the chords, and the velocity of the track. Unlike regular audio files, MIDI files take up a lot of processing power, and are often more difficult to edit.

Now, you can finally get into arranging, layering and mixing your recorded tracks into actual music. The entire process can be completed within the DAW. This may sound simple, but it can take a bit of time to get the hang of the technical side of things, which is why it is important to practice a lot and not get frustrated quickly. Once you do get the hang of things, you’ll find that producing your own music is one of the most artistically fulfilling activities you can ever perform. So make sure you have fun and really let your creativity run wild.

By Erick Ycaza

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style. Surprisingly, I have been blogging and writing about music since 2007.