Many people stop their music production dreams before they get off the ground—worrying that it’s too expensive or that they don’t have enough knowledge of music theory. Thankfully, if you’ve got a computer and a few hundred bucks to spend, there’s nothing holding you back but yourself. Keep an open mind and read on to learn what you need to start your music production journey.
Choose and Learn a DAW
First, you’ll need a digital audio workstation, or DAW. This software will allow you to turn any musical thoughts into an audible reality, and it can do everything you need to get a song recorded. There are a ton of DAWs available on the market, with a wide range of prices and features, but there are a few essential plugins you’ll want regardless of the DAW you go with.
If you’ve got an Apple computer, try out GarageBand before making a big purchase. While this DAW is much more limited than Logic Pro or FL Studio, the skeleton is similar, and you can give production a shot without spending a lot of money. Also, consider searching for a DAW with a free trial if you want to see all the features you can get with professional software.
No matter which DAW you choose, you’ll need to take some time to learn it. There are tons of excellent video tutorials available, so don’t be discouraged if you have no idea what you’re looking at when you first open the application. We’ve all been there.
Write Anything to Completion
Once you know a little bit about how your DAW works, it’s time to create some music. It doesn’t have to feature two dozen instruments or a catchy melody—it doesn’t even need to be “good.” Just take a musical idea you have and write it until it’s done. As often as you can, finish all your projects. Fifteen incomplete pieces are a lot less helpful to your growth than two completed ones.
Never Stop Practicing
After you’ve written a piece to completion, figure out what worked and what didn’t. Then, try again, applying the knowledge you gained. Keep doing that while learning more about your DAW, music theory, and other essential concepts like mixing, mastering, and sound design.
Now that you know what you need to start your music production journey, download a DAW and start throwing notes at the wall—you’ll see what sticks soon enough!