Beginning, no knowledge

soundtwist

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#1
Hey there,

Over the last 2 years I've been listening a lot to dubstep, but since this year I've more been listening to DnB, which I prefer above dubstep.

My dream has always been producing music, some years ago I thought about making the somewhat mainstream dance music, but since I like DnB so much, I really like to make DnB music.

My only problem is that I have no music producing experience. I have played piano for 4 years, in private lessons. That means I can play songs if I get the sheet music, but I can't play by ear and have no idea about what note is what letter and chords.

Is there any way to become a DnB producer without any music knowledge?

The things I have that may be useful in making music:

- Roland FP-7 electric piano with USB connection to computer.
- JBL creature III personal desktop speakers
- iMac late '10, (20 inch), planning on getting a 2nd monitor soon.
- Sennheiser HD 205 headphones


I'm prepared to buy equipment needed for this, as long as it isn't the most expensive equipment. My budget is at a max. of € 500, an ideal price would be under € 200.


Thanks for everyone who knows a solution, hopefully I may discover a hidden talent? ;)

P.S: Please do not think I'm just another kid that wants to make music, I'm seriously prepared to make DnB music on a small scale, first uploading songs to SoundCloud and Youtube.
 

d-low

I know you got soul
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#2
having said that you know sheet music, you will actually have an advantage over other producers!! most arent musically trained or have any music theory knowledge, but they write by what sounds good!! All you need is software, samples, and synths (most people do their producing on computer, but hardware is optional) Producing electronic music is largely about technique and you pick that up as you go along, but anybody can be a producer.
 
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#4
Everyone starts without knowledge. Did you start our your piano lessons thinking "This won't work because I can't play piano"?
Just give it a go, the most important thing is that you have fun whilst making stuff. You don't have to start out sounding like Noisia.

That said, 4 years of piano and still not being able to play by ear? How's that possible? Have you tried? Being able to play scores will hardly help if you can't tell an off-key note.
 

MisterApe

8bit junkie
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#5
Yeah honestly, learning by messing around and being creative and problem solving will get you a long way because it keeps the fun in things.

First off though.. Which DAW were you looking at?
 

soundtwist

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#6
That said, 4 years of piano and still not being able to play by ear? How's that possible? Have you tried? Being able to play scores will hardly help if you can't tell an off-key note.
It is true. I had private lessons, but never learned to actually hear what chords are played, I don't even know what to play when you give me chord letters. In private lessons I just learned to play song by song, without lessons it's hard for me to play songs on my own. Now, years later, I actually regret the private lessons, because of these things.
 

ApeCat

Human Dubplate
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#7
Watch tutorials on YouTube, listen to a lot of music, start off having fun, experimenting and don't afraid of anything then when you feel you're getting the hang of things start making tracks with a real goal in mind for what you want to end up with or else it can be really easy to lose your way and inspiration.

Listen to tunes and write and draw down the different parts and the structure so you've got a physical, tangible reference point, but do them in "your own language" like.
 
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#9
It is true. I had private lessons, but never learned to actually hear what chords are played, I don't even know what to play when you give me chord letters. In private lessons I just learned to play song by song, without lessons it's hard for me to play songs on my own. Now, years later, I actually regret the private lessons, because of these things.
Why regret something you learned? Jesus man, you'll probably regret 'wasting' your time on production in a couple of years.
 

Mr Fletch

aka KRONIX
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#10
I'm struggling to understand how you can spend 4 years learning the piano, and not know what keys are what? It doesnt make any sense? I've only been producing for 3 years, have absolutely no musical training but still know where the C is on a keyboard / piano!

Even if you did learn "song by song" like you say, you should still have grasped an understanding of where the keys sit in an octave!
 

soundtwist

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#12
Why regret something you learned? Jesus man, you'll probably regret 'wasting' your time on production in a couple of years.
Well, I don't regret playing piano, but I regret that I learned by private lessons and not in music school, where you get theory. In private lessons you just learn the song, you can barely use your piano skills anywhere else than having to play by sheet music.

I'm struggling to understand how you can spend 4 years learning the piano, and not know what keys are what? It doesnt make any sense? I've only been producing for 3 years, have absolutely no musical training but still know where the C is on a keyboard / piano!

Even if you did learn "song by song" like you say, you should still have grasped an understanding of where the keys sit in an octave!

I do know the keys, not the letters, and of course I know where the keys are in an octave, what I was trying to say is that I have nothing useful left from those lessons, for later music-making, while when doing music school, you also get basic music knowledge which is very useful.
 

marcelkennard

Storms comin in Annie
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#13
I used to have JBL creatures and I produced a lot with them. Thought my tracks were sounding wicked for a while...
Eventually got some decent monitors - played back the tracks I made on the JBLs- sounded like utter shit. Literally couldn't even tell it was the same track. They will not be any help for producing. The sennheiser headphones on the other hand - awesome. I've had my HD 595s for 2 or 3 years and they are literally the most helpful tool in my studio. Period. If I were u - get some decent monitors for however much money you can afford to spend otherwise you will be held back quite a lot. For now- stick to producing with the headphones as they are actually up to a pro standard
 
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#14
Man I wish I knew how to play piano! 4 years is definitely going to help you in producing dnb. Basically just watch a lot of YouTube videos... Read a lot of the threads on this forum, I've already learnt loads from here and been on such a short time, go on web pages like audiotuts etc, most importantly I reckon is to listen to a lot of music, different genres not just dnb, but house, indie, whatever, and analyse the tracks, take ideas from what you like of them.
 
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#16
I fi were you I would start by purchasing Logic Pro from the appstore it's like £150 which is a bargain in comparison to other software.

Your keyboard has Midi connections so you could purchase a cheap Midi interface from ebay for like £5. That will enable you to play and record the virtual instruments within logic.

If you want to record using anything from external equiptment, like your keyboard or using a MIC, you will need an audio interface to convert the sounds into digital format so you computer can record them.

Other than that, purchase some good quality cannabis and your set.

The rest is pretty much down to you. The above will get you started but like most things in life you get out what you put in. Google, youtube, and forums like this are your friend.
 
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#17
I'm buying a cable soon to connect an old, I think 20 inch (maybe smaller), display to my mac.
I'm currently going to use garageband and later use programs with more possibilities.
Btw, is it possible to use an iPad in making DnB? I currently own an iPad 2.
 

Innovine

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#18
Don't forget that using your gear to make music is like learning any other kind of musical instrument, it'll take years and a lot of effort before you get anything good. Lots of people start and then just drop out after pissing about for five minutes when they realise that it's actually hard, and you have to study a whole lot. So have a think about that before you spend money.
 
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#20
Your keyboard has Midi connections so you could purchase a cheap Midi interface from ebay for like £5. That will enable you to play and record the virtual instruments within logic.
What exactly is the difference between connecting to a midi interface which is connected to usb and a direct usb cable from the keyboard itself?

I have to notice, trying to record some normal piano stuff in garageband trough the usb makes some notes fall away, is this a problem with the program itself?
 
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