Beginner: Steps to take?

Discussion in 'Production' started by muzzadj, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. muzzadj

    muzzadj POW!

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    Sorry for the second thread, mega bored at work and got a load of questions running through my head production-wise!

    What I want to know is what do you all see as the really key skills/techniques to learn for a beginner when it comes to producing? Obviously there is almost an infinite amount to learn so as a beginner i'm kind of just thinking where do I start? My theory is that if I spend some good time learning each process in itself so I actually know what i'm doing instead of opening up Cubase and just pressing a load of buttons I will feel like i'm actually learning something. I can make something that sounds OK with enough time, but i'll never actually know what the hell i've done to make it.

    So would you suggest I take that bit of time in each small step learning what i'm doing instead of just making some noise? If so what are the really key things I should know? For example if i'm working on a kick should I really be giving a fuck and taking the time to learn what frequencies im messing around working with or just play around til it sounds ok?

    I just want to know the fundamental key steps for a beginner really that if I take that time to sit and learn it will give me that little edge in production to help me get out of this pressing any old thing and hoping for the best.

    I guess share those tips that really helped something 'click' for you, as I really do feel I need that right now to be able to move on and give myself that extra will power. Cheers peeps :)
     
  2. D-Jhepz

    D-Jhepz ◕‿◕

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    mate i just go/went for it trying to write songs that match what i hear in my head, any genre any synth, sampling out patches and drums and patterns then when i started getting better that creation and stuff, i looking to compressers eq's and how and why it did wat it did, was it worth using them, how i could use them... i literally just went head down with absolutely no knowledge of daws or plugins or even music, i just had the music in me and it need to come out... but again everyone is different i find my self now when im bored going through all the sample i have and all the patches on my plugins what they do wat will happen if i change and that and everything in between, truly trying to conquer my daw inside and ouy
     
  3. Forau

    Forau CONCUSSION RECS

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    Im in a similar situation. What ive been doing lately is going through loads of old remix competitions downloading stems and going from there, its teaching me a lot.
     
  4. Hi-Def

    Hi-Def Newbie

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    I started in september and the more i learn, the more i realize theres always more stuff i dont know if that makes sense. I actually spend more time reading up on theory at work then i spend making stuff at home. I would rather this be the other way round of course but im lucky i can read upon this stuff all day everyday at work i spose. Dont bother with video tutorials, well for me i find that they only seem to focus on achieving a certain sound rather than learning the process. make a folder in your email account and everytime you read an article of use then email the link to yourself. Thats Iv been doing and it works for me. Im sure people will say that you need to just jump in there and expereiment to get creative but i have found that gaining knowledge facilitates you to get your creative juices flowing quickly and easily with messing about paying with buttons too much. this is just how i enjoy learning but horses for courses as they say.
     
  5. Linguist

    Linguist Member

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    Just play around, experiment and have fun. The first few tunes you make will sound shit, but it wont matter because you get to enjoy making them and learn along the way.
    Read the stickies, read other tutorials, try and learn as much as you can and just go for it.

    Also, listen to as much different music as you can for influences and inspiration. If you are just listening to other DnB artists then the end result runs the risk of sounding too generic. Stealing musical ideas is fine, but try to steal them from unique sources!
     
  6. Linguist

    Linguist Member

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    Also, when you listen to music, try to listen to it in detail and pick out all the subtle elements that might otherwise go unnoticed, but contribute to the whole.
    Especially in DnB, a lot of tunes that sound superficially simple have a phenomenal amount of attention to detail in the composition, without which the tune would sound flat and boring. Try to emulate that attention to detail in your compositions.
     
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  7. Hi-Def

    Hi-Def Newbie

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    also theres an online introductory course to music production that starts on 1st march which looks pretty promising. coursera. org /course/musicproduction
     
  8. elmaruk

    elmaruk slannndaaaaaaar

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    fuck about with stuff, use things the wrong way.
     
  9. groelle

    groelle Well-Known Member

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    without reading the whole thread, id say download lots of breakbeats / drum samples / samples and then go on learn how to sample, timestretch, fitting into the tune etc.

    then drum processing, by far the most important thing in dnb. learn how to layer sounds properly, subtractive eqing, eqing in general. then learn how the mixer inside your daw works and have a look at dnb arrangement (being a dj you might get that one pretty fast tho). if you got that down the only thing youll really need is some bassline, and thats by far the hardest to get imo, and needs all the techniques i listed before so dont worry tooo much about it and get the rest down -and you might end up with a tune that only needs a sine-wave anyways ;)

    all the other things, as in-depth processing, mastering and mixdown kinda things just come by time, when you start to hear all the little tweaks you do due to your altered perception of sounds (the more time youll spend on producing, the more your hearing will advance aswell) it gets way easier to compress properly etc.
     
  10. Eternaloptimist

    Eternaloptimist Active Member

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    i wasted a lot of time watching useless tuts and stuff
    1st - choose a daw. influences on choice could be other friends using the daw, number of tutorials on the daw available etc IMO Ableton is the one
    2nd - decide what route you will take - more synthesis or more sample based
    3rd - get shit load of samples. know the good shit from the crappy shit. (vengeance, gold baby etc)
    4th - get the loopmasters packs, they always have decent stuff
    5th - i highly recommend the Fracture course. the guy is a pro and he makes a whole tune while you watch.
    6th - computer music mag videos are always good but you need some background in production to follow whats happening.
    7th - these days its easy to get any plugin you see in videos or tuts via torrents and stuff. dont rush do download these as you will end up with shit loads of expensive plugins that you cant use.
    8th - drag a tune you like into your daw and try recreate it.
    9th - learn about the stereo field. from there learn reverb, eq and compression.
    10th - a lil bit of music theory and ear training will help you a lot.
    **** dont loop mong!!! if you make a great loop, great! dont think of the track going down (by adding more sounds) but going across (length of the track). ie finnish what you start

    good luck
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  11. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I think the two most important FUNDAMENTAL concepts you need if you're serious about music are. Being goal oriented, while simultaneously being indifferent to the outcome of your actions (meaning, yes you're going to try and write songs, but if you're trying and it doesn't go so well at first you don't beat yourself up and quit), so essentially having task-oriented and relevant "fun" in the studio.

    And, second, finish fucking songs. Don't get yourself caught up in the circle jerk of overproduction every little "secret" to your drums and your bass or your bads and your EQ and all that. Tunes are supposed to make you feel good, if you don't feel good it ain't workin.
     
  12. Linguist

    Linguist Member

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    THIS - i know people that can make a beautiful sounding 8 bar loop but then never finish the tune. If you make a loop you like ask yourself how it got there, and where it wants to go
     
  13. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Good advice this!

    If you are struggling to get started, just find a track you like, stick in your daw, listen to each element from 0.00 secs and work from there :)
     
  14. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    so 1st off I think some of these tips already given are gold, but if you are a real beginner, most of them probably dont even make sense to you right now......

    1st rule is dont stress yourself, you arent going to be anywhere near the standard you hope to be yet, and thats not a bad thing. I'd suggest just quite literally going with the flow. Focus on how to create a drum pattern that sounds pleasing to your ear, dont worry about what other people will think, right now it only matters what you think. Also dont stick to one genre of music when starting out, your own style and sound will come naturally over time, but for now, experiment with various genre's, you'll be surprised how much you learn simply by switching from drum and bass, to an uplifting house track. And FUCK rules and guidelines, be creative, who gives a shit if something comes in too soon or hits on an off beat? again, structure and all these things will all fall into place over time, and believe me, it really does happen!

    I was in your shoes once, as we all were, and everyones story is a little different. But for me, when I 1st started out I was making shit drum and bass beats / hip hop beats / house / trance / garage....you name it! Spent ages (and I mean ages) not really having a clue what I was doing. I knew where I wanted to be, but could never see myself there......everything just seemed so far away! I spent month's watching tutorials, replicating those tutorials thinking "Great, I made that sound in the tut" but also at the same time thinking "How the fuck did that happen?!" I read books on synthesis, all the while thinking they may as well have been in a foreign language because none of it was sinking in!

    Anyway, one day, I opened up my DAW, and for some reason, something just "clicked" it was like a switch had been flicked inside my brain, and I was starting to understand everything that was inconceivable beforehand. And I reckon quite a few of the guys on here will agree, that it almost happens overnight..........month's of not understanding any of the terminologies or what any frickin dial or button does, and then one day, everything slips into place and makes sense.

    Unfortunately, you are a long way off this point, and before you reach this point you will think it doesnt even exist, you'll question everything you are told, you'll think we are all hiding some missing piece of the puzzle and you'll question if you even want to bother continueing down this long path..........and this is where a lot of people drop off the radar never to be seen again. But push past these dark days, and there's a whole heap of knowledge, fun and creativity waiting on the other side for you!

    Trust me, we was all there at one point.
     
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  15. muzzadj

    muzzadj POW!

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    Fantastic replies guys. Hugely appreciated! Just got to learn not to beat myself up so much I guess and learn to have some god dam will power and keep on cracking on! Look forward to getting home and opening up Cubase again :) I keep getting stuck at the point where I just need some decent synths and sounds to work with so i'm not just making a drum track or using shitty little sounds to try create an atmospheric vibe. Guess this just leads to my other thread though about needing a keyboard and VST's. Maybe I should focus more on what i'm doing now though?! Far too much overthinking going on!!!
     
  16. MisterApe

    MisterApe 8bit junkie

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    Erm, you're not recommending the vengeance sample packs right?
    They're overcompressed horseshit ripped straight from mp3s most of the time.

    Hopefully I read that wrong :p.
     
  17. Linguist

    Linguist Member

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    Also, what I've found has helped me a lot is always having a pen with me wherever i go. You never know when you might have a great idea, but if you dont put it down and forget it later, then its gone forever.

    If im on the bus or at work listening to music and i hear something cool to sample, or a musical idea that i can try and incorporate into my own tunes, then I know I can always go and work on it when i get home

    Edit: don't get frustrated if when you try to execute an idea it doesnt come off how you wanted it to - even if its not what you were expecting, chances are you will make an interesting sound or learn something new
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  18. Mr Fletch

    Mr Fletch aka KRONIX

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    I think a lot of you are overlooking something here.......Muzza is a complete beginner.......some of you are going into way too much complexity
     
  19. d-low

    d-low I know you got soul

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    what happened to having fun? Y SO SERIOUS?
     
  20. Eternaloptimist

    Eternaloptimist Active Member

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    i actually was recommending them...?? what samples do you use?