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Where to begin

Hey Daniel, I hope you are doing well. I have a small question, maybe you can help me. I am attempting to get into the production side of things. I feel very intimidated starting out and do not really understand where to begin. I have just purchased FL studio and a midi keyboard. I have seen some videos on youtube. Are there any certain videos books people, services, or programs that helped you get started and feeling confident in what you are doing?

Horace Hess

Horace, I remember my first production experience: I had no clue what I was doing and how things work for years, it was frustrating indeed. I know your pain.

I could name you a few dozens of magazines and educational resources, but frankly, I think it would only confuse you even more. You see, back in the days, there was no much information available in the public domain so every manual or article was considered useful. Today, we have the opposite problem: there’s too much of everything, but not all of that is really needed especially when you just getting started.

So instead of naming you any specific sources, I would suggest you particular topics — hopefully, this will help you to get at least some structure, a vector for your learning path:

DAW Master your workstation first: how to add channels, how to route signal, how to insert plugins, etc.
Tools Learn everything you’re going to deal with: the principles of audio and MIDI, what each instrument and device does, how samples work, and so on.
Music theory Get familiar with the keyboard, notes, rhythm, tempo, arrangement and other music theory basics that necessary to build a track.
Sound design Make your own sounds by learning oscillators, filters, envelopes, modulation, and other synthesis and processing techniques.
Mixing Learn how to put all of those sounds in a 3D space by balancing the levels, panorama, frequencies.

If you just want to make a decent track, these topics should be enough. And of course, practice, practice, and practice: each finished track gives you a new experience and makes you more confident. Feel free to come back with more specific questions once you get any.

Also, I’m planning to make a full educational course that will be covering all of these and many more topics. Although it’s too early to give any estimate when it’ll be available, keep an eye on my blog if it’s potentially interesting to you.

Read and watch also:

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Dec 20   Advice   Music production

This post is a part of the “Advice” series. I’m happy to advise on such topics as music production, sound design, performance, management, marketing, and career advice in the music industry and beyond. Send me your questions, too.

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