Deciding to go from DJ to Music Producer: Part two

Before you go spending your pennies to invest in any D.A.W’s and studio equipment, there are some little things that can help reassure your buying decisions, to make sure that music production is right for you. The first thing I would suggest is to….

Headphones on a laptop computer

Headphones on a laptop computer


Download free D.A.W trails

One of the mistakes I made was not really trying out a variety of D.A.W demos, to see what I would have preferred. I went with Ableton live, which I heard at the time was one of the easiest programs to learn. Nothing wrong with that though, but it wouldn't have hurt to try out some other programs. Whether it’s easier or not, what will help you as a beginner producer is to try out a few D.A.W’s. Both Ableton live 9, and Cubase 8 have free 30 days trials and FL Studio 12 has an unlimited free trial. Logic Pro X unfortunately does not, but if you have a Mac laptop, you can use Garage Band, which is like a mini version of Logic.   

Start making mash ups

The next thing you can always do is to start making your own mashups and edits.
This will do a few things; Test your creativity, give you a chance to experiment with audio effects and automation in selected D.A.W’s, give you a taste of seeing what is to come from starting at a basic level, and to see if you enjoy experimenting and putting your own unique spin on music. Also, it will give you a chance to test your D.A.W’s.

You can also use Mixed In Key’s Mashup 2 program which I highly recommend. I have used it. It is easy and simple to use and will get you into an entry level production mode.

It does not matter what D.A.W you use

Music producer working in the studio.

Music producer working in the studio.

Whenever it comes to selecting a D.A.W, I want you to remember that it does not matter which one you select, it is all about the person using it. Using a certain D.A.W will not make you a better music producer or your productions sound better. Each and every program has it’s pros and cons. It is entirely up to you to decide what you like best and run with it. So my advice is to not get caught up in the gossip, because it leads nowhere.

Realise that you don't need to spend thousands

Be smart and just buy what you need to begin. You don't necessarily need a keyboard if you want to use a mac laptop for production, and I recommend you do so if you have limited funds. Make sure you just have a good pair of monitor headphones, something like the Sennheiser HD 25 are ideal for music production. What you will need to get started in my opinion is your chosen D.A.W. Ableton, Logic, Cubase, or FL Studio, and a soft synthesizer is also a great idea to start experimenting and creating your own sounds too.

Sylenth 1 is the go-to soft synthesizer for beginners and still to this day a highly popular and easy to use one that will not break the bank. What about samples? You can buy them if the D.A.W you get does not come with much. So, D.A.W’s will range from $130 to $999 Australian dollars, Sylenth 1 synthesizer will cost just under $200 Australian and sample packs can vary from $20 dollars up to $100 dollars per package. So, depending on where you want to start, you can spend under a $1000 dollars for a D.A.W, a soft synth and some samples.

Sylenth 1 synthesizer

Sylenth 1 synthesizer


Realise it is a game of consistency

Consistency is key

Consistency is key

The difference between a good producer and a great producer is consistency. If you can be consistent for years on end, you will become a great producer eventually. What does that mean? As an example, it is better to spend 2 hours a day 7 days a week than 7 hours on just a Saturday and Sunday producing music. Why? You are more focused in a shorter amount of time than longer periods, and your brain also has the tendency to sleep on a problem and figure it out the next time you arrive at your studio desk.

Yes, it takes many years to be great, 10,000 hours perhaps? Yep, but that has to be a productive, dedicated and focused 10,000 hours of practice. Which is why it is far better to do shorter focused intervals than the longer marathon sessions, where you will end up procrastinating and wondering off from time to time. I am not saying you should not stay in a studio for a full day, I just mean if you only have a certain amount of time, make it count and be more focused.

Remember to enjoy the process

When it comes to enjoying your music production sessions, it can get hard at times, trust me. When starting off, it can be the most exciting and creative time of your experience, but when you have been doing it for several years, that can have a tendency to diminish. Which is why a lot of people quit, because they are not getting their desired results.

The only pressure you will be under is your own more so than anyone else, and you will always be either your own worst enemy and critic or your own best friend when it comes to enjoying the creation process. So, my advice is to detach yourself from the outcome and just enjoy it, because the more you enjoy it, the better you will produce music.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. Feel free to drop your comments below.
I want to know what you think about this topic.