OK. First off, I'm no expert and in no way would I even call myself a producer as of yet. I am learning constantly like everyone else but there are a few things I know todo and to avoid when starting out as I started without using this forum and I fucked up a lot and tbh, took weeks, months and even years getting better at simple things that someone could have taught me in days. I just think a thread for people who have no idea where to start should have a place to go.
The first thing you need to know is this: Music creation/making/production is not something that comes over night. You need to practise and practise fucking hard to get where you want to be. More so, as a producer for an electronic genre, such as DnB, Dubstep, House, Electro, etc... you need to be able to know what to do in terms of engineering a tune on top of being able to 'produce' it. This is where many people fall on the first hurdle. They think that cos they have a new DAW (explained later) and a few drum samples that they will be the new Sub Focus in a few months producing wikid sick mega tunez blud. I know that's what I and a lot of my mates thought when we first started out. We rapidly started to realise that this is not the case.
What I'm saying is, prepare to spend a LOT of time perfecting your production techniques. Unless you're some sort of music production prodigy, or are being personally tutored by Noisia, it's gonna be a long old while before you start making things you're actually marginally 'happy' with.
Right... prerant over... lets begin:
First off, you're going to need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
These are computer programs designed primarily for recording, editing and playing back digital audio. (More than often, everything you need to start off producing simple tracks will generally be included in your DAW package from basic to more complicated synths and maybe a few samples. All depends on the pack/DAW you buy.)
First off, I recommend you check out this:
Pic a DAW and get to know it. If you're on a PC so an easy one to get to know is FL Studio. A little higher up the range would be Reason, Cubase or Ableton Live. I don't know Cubase but I know its very powerful. Ableton is also very good at a lot of things. Not my personal preference but I know that a lot of my friends use it and live by it. Got some seeeeeeriously powerful shit in there. Reason, although I haven't actually played with R6 yet, is seriously good at some things but falls on a few hurdles. You cant use VST's for instance. I used it for years and have found myself coming back from Logic to use some of the instruments and compressors in the Reason rack because I prefer their sound. Each to their own though. Just a few pointers.
(Also, while I think about it, if you are on Reason, you can follow a guy called 'BoyinaBand' on YouTube. Some really good tutuorials all the way through from compression and EQ to making UK Garage and Drum and Bass. He's here: http://www.youtube.com/user/wwwboyinabandcom. There is also another guy that focus' on DnB using Reason. Some of his stuff is dark as hell but he's a very good producer. I learnt quite a bit from him when I was starting out: http://www.youtube.com/user/loki1200)
If you're on a Mac, there is a basic program that comes with it; Garageband. Very simple program but tbh, you can't get much better than just using it to get used to the workflow of a DAW. Higher up the range on a Mac would be Logic Express and then Logic Pro. Not much difference between the two but I'm sure you can read up on the difference yourself. Pro Tools is another industry favourite. I'd only recommend getting it if you have £12K to spend on the HD version. If not, get Logic.
These are very hard to explain so follow this tutorial to understand what a piano roll is:
Yes, it's for FL Studio, but the process is pretty much identical for all DAWs
Learn how to make beats to start with. Simple drum patterns and things to then layering samples.
Samples can be found here:
Also, there are shit loads of free samples packs for one hit drum samples. A lot of DAWs come with samples themselves anyway. Just have a look. The WorldWideWeb is your Oyster!
When you've learnt how to use a piano roll and change your instruments and make drums and stuff you need to next, learn how to EQ and compress. Compression is possibly one of the hardest things to learn in terms of mixing and engineering so really look into it. Play with a compressor along side reading about it to understand what it does. These are your 2 most basic mixing tools. You don't know how to use these, you ain't gonna have any good tunes, let alone giving Nestky a run for his money.
A couple of tutorials for these are here:
I know this is for Logic but its a very good tutiorial:
Again, for Logic, but it'll help you get the idea:
I would go on but I'm tired and need a piss. That should get you started though.
In terms of using the forum… You need to ask specific questions or otherwise, no-one will be able to help you get better. Asking 'How do I be like Netsky?' is almost like asking 'How do I do wicked sick mega 3D graffiti?' Or 'How do I get a six pack in 10 minutes?' You're only gonna learn by yourself with years of practise and perceverence.
Anyone who wants to add to this for people starting out, please do.
I know richie/logikz/miszt/Freek/Mr_Fletch and the other seasoned producers will be good to update this a bit too to help the youngens out...