Music Production for beginners 2020 tutorial

Music Production for beginners 2020 tutorial play video
Written by: Dexxter Clark, 17-04-2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS VIDEO
0:40 best computer for music production
1:24 best music production software
2:43 monitor speakers
3:46 Sound interface
4:38 Sounds (sample pack)
5:59 Plugins (VST)
7:06 beginner tutorial music production

You want to start with music production but have absolutely no idea where to start.
No worries, I’m here to help you with this video.

I’ll give you a quick overview as introduction to music production, music production 101, music production for beginners.
I first look at some gear you need, then I take you into my software for music production and show you the first steps of how to make a song.

If you want, you can follow along with this video with the free version of Studio One https://shop.presonus.com

You want to start with music production but have absolutely no idea where to start.
No worries, I’m here to help you with this article.
I’ll give you a quick overview as introduction to music production (music production 101, music production for beginners whatever you want to call it) .
I first look at some gear you need, then the software called a DAW.

To start you need a couple of things.

1) computer

A computer less than 10 years old, preferably less than 3 years old. This can be a desktop or a laptop.
software for music production is pretty heavy on your computer, the more recent and powerfull it is, the more convenient it is.
It can be a windows computer or a mac.

A proper new music production computer will cost you 1500 – 3000 bucks.
But I suggest you try to manage with your current computer and see if it works.
Then if you want, later down the line, when you are more serious about music production, you can buy a more powerful

If you like to dive deeper into this topic because you want to buy an new computer for this purpose, check out my video about computers for music production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THcS2iU2TC4&list=PLO0we5bJUGNLtLzjZcNsNmewpQx8ielIx
It tells you everything you need to take into consideration.

2) software for music production

Music production software is called a DAW.
A DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation

There are free DAWs on the market.
I suggest you choose one of them to start with.
But most of them have major downsides, because they want you to upgrade to their payed versions.
I reviewed 18 free DAWs for mac and Windows in a separate video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfgFV2Fc-3U&list=PLO0we5bJUGNKfh3PRHPO9BhQAXVkjB2Fe

If you want to go the more serious route, I suggest going for a commercial DAW.
The biggest DAWs that I would recommend for beginners are Logic, Studio One, Ableton Live or FL Studio.
Most of them have free trial versions.
I also made a special video about commercial DAWs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LpmruHsbi4&list=PLO0we5bJUGNLTm8DMoLMeAeArz8biuMTp

commercial DAWs vary immensely in price.
200 – 600 bucks, but the price is absolutely no indication for quality.

3) good pair of headphones and/or monitor speakers.

The speakers in most computers are not good, the miss frequencies below 50 hertz and the spread of the frequencies over the frequency spectrum are not equal, they are boosted in some places and dip in others.
Especially laptop speakers are terrible.

A pair of decent speakers will cost you about 200 bucks per speaker.
A decent headphones for starters will cost 150- 200 bucks.

For mixing and getting volume levels right, headphones are not recommended.
They are recommended if you want to produce a melody at 11pm and don’t want to disturb the neighbours.

In my video about music production equipment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhJzgjjL7d0&list=PLO0we5bJUGNImQeLph900KN83jUZFZXZc
I dive deeper into the speaker and headphone thing, and also do you need a midi keyboard?


4) sound card

A sound card is optional for a beginner.

Most monitor speakers have big jack connections that your computer lacks.
Only sound cards can provide them.
My Tannoy reveal speakers have mini-jack connections so I can plug them directly in my computer.

I use a sound card though, for a better sound quality, lower latency, I can connect a professional microphone, and I’m addicted to a physical volume knob.

If you want to have advice on which sound card to choose, check out my special video about equipment for music production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWRD-a8wFBY&list=PLO0we5bJUGNImQeLph900KN83jUZFZXZc

5) sounds

You can download so called sample packs that contain all the individual sounds you need like a kick, snare, high hat etc.
You can download these sample packs from https://www.beatport.com for example.
But a lot of famous DJs have sample packs too.
The problem with most sample packs is that they contain 500 sounds if which only 5 are actually usable.

The website https://www.splice.com has a subscription model for less than 10 bucks a month with thousands and thousands of samples.
You can preview these sounds and only download the ones you need.

Some sample packs have also drum loops.
Especially for a beginner that is very handy.
A drum loop is a 4 or 8 beat portion with preprogrammed drums.
With a few clicks you music sounds instantly better.
This is a good starting point for a beginner, when you advance, you can program your own drum loops.
Some DAWs like Logic and Studio One come with a bunch of samples and loops.

6) plugins

You can download additional software for your DAW.
Those are called plugins.
These can be effect plugins like a reverb, or instrument plugins like a synthesizer.
A lot of DAWs have basic plugins like synthesizers included.

You can also pay and download third party plugins.
This is where the magic happens.
The most famous plugins are:
-the effect plugins from Fabfilter like the pro-Q equalizer, the Pro-C compressor, Pro R reverberator and Pro L limiter
Or Synthesizers like:
-Xfer Records Serum synthesizer
-Lennar Digital’s Sylenth 1
-Spire by Reveal Sound
-Nexus by ReFX
-Massive by Native Instruments

Check out my video about my top 10 favorite plugins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qU9zCty9QE&list=PLO0we5bJUGNJeI5hne-bkX2toADpV2o5O

Your first steps

I use Studio One Professional.
But if you want, you can follow along with Studio One Prime, this is the free version of Studio One with limited features.
In the video at 7:06 min, you will find a beginner tutorial with the first steps in Studio One to make your own song.

If you like get a quick start with music production
You can check out my step by step music production course for beginners
You can find it here: https://www.dexxterclark.com/courses

If you are serious about DJing and want to take it to the next level on the CDJ,
you should check out my CDJ 2000 video course.

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photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Music Producer / YouTuber

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