The year is 2020, and music is very different today from the pioneering music of the past. It is not only blues, soul, and punk; there is now a wide spectrum of genres, many of which only exist as glitches and noise in the matrix. Because of this, musicians starting out today need machines, not instruments. In this article, we take a look at the essential equipment and techniques you need to jump-start your career.
When punk music came along, it was a revolution because it said you didn’t have to be an expert, and all you needed was basic equipment. That ethos is still very much alive today in the world of computer music, even if the punk thing is a bit outdated. Basically, any
designer with a PC, laptop, or smartphone (which essentially means everyone) can get started with computer music. You’ll need some user-friendly software to get familiar with; we recommend Cubase, Pro-tools, Ableton, and Reason.
Almost all of that user-friendly computer music software comes with built-in Synthesizers. But some of them don’t, so please check before spending your dollars. Furthermore, some musicians like to have a more authentic sound in their tunes, and for this, a hardware synth is needed. There are loads of excellent options on the market today that are compatible with the midi software and deliver fabulous sound quality. Some people like to go for the classic synths. If you can find them (and afford them), then they can be special, but digital replicas are readily available and far more accessible.
If you’re just starting out, you’ll get away with HiFi speakers for a while, until you get the hang of the software. But when you get an ear for it, you’ll recognise the need for monitor speakers, especially if you want to record your beats and play them elsewhere. The difference is that hifi speakers use ‘passive’ amplification, and monitor speakers use ‘active’ amplification. Passive amps record from a single amplification source, while active amps have their own dedicated amps in-built. In short, monitor speakers record the exact mix instead of a variation of it.
A Dedicated Space
In the same way professional bands book a three-hour slot in a studio to record their instruments and vocals separately; you will need a dedicated space to work in where your ideas and inspiration can find expression without interruptions. Interruptions will close down the creative process faster than Neo being unplugged and spitting blood. Choose a room in your house, even if it’s a cupboard with a laptop in it, and put a do not disturb sign outside. Soon, hopefully, the household will forget you’re there.
This section is slightly more abstract than its title suggests. Productivity tools are not hardware or software; they are not even a lattice-like binary code. Productivity Tools refer to the tricks and techniques used by successful entrepreneurs and business people the world over to get results. After all, results are what you want (at some point, however difficult, that track’s got to be finished). Make the most of SMART goals, the 80/20 rule, and Energy Management, as opposed to Time Management. To find out more about these excellent strategies, follow the blue links.