You got start with something catchy, it doesnt matter what. It has to sink in, even if its an 8 bar loop of a beat, a bassline, a lead, a stab it doesnt matter. If you keep playing does it still sound good after 30 seconds? If it sounds good solo, you know you got something gold when you add more layers.
I personally start with the beat and sub bass because hell, let's admit it, you could have a good beat and a sub bass kicking and it if it's put together real well, you don't need much else.
This advice is spot on. I often times will start with a pad or some atmospherics as these will often times set the vibe that is responsible for all the other elements of the song. I hear unintentional overtones in the sounds that will inspire the basslines and leads...once these are set, you'll have some drum ideas in mind for sure.
I know that I've mentioned this before, but...the most important thing is to not spend too much time considering "what's the right way to do this?" or "how is everyone else doing this?". Networking and learning is definitely very important, but the most important thing to do is to spend time in the studio taking what's in your head and recreating it for all to hear.
lol i asked this same question yesterday =]
Guess im not alone
But after much thought, anguish and anadin extra i managed to come up with this...
Start with either the intro or the main break/beat
For the intro i tend to hang around atmospherics with a lone 4/8 bar ride, The break i tend to work on at least 3 to 4 alternatives (because im a tech lover and i love to chop between the lot)
Find yourself a nice quirky melody or sample and do what you will to that, Next slug into a bassline... your choice, personally i use a well educated kickdrum thats been totally manipulated and sit it sweetly on a deep ended sine wave, then take your time to piece it all together, use filters, tricks and techniques that youve either learnt or harnessed or plain stolen lol
^^A recipe for organized mess^^
Ps. dont forget to EQ-Compress-Distort-Bounce in any order and as much as you want, the more the better, also mixdown on the fly, as in the long run its way easier =D
Hope ive helped