Are you trying to become an EDM producer, but don’t know where to start? Well, don’t worry, in this article we’re going to walk you through your question “how to become an EDM producer.”
Most music producers you see touring the world today had no idea what they were doing when they first started. They didn’t know which DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) to use, where to focus their time and energy, or what kind of chords they should be using in their productions.
Use this guide of how to become an EDM producer as your roadmap as you begin your journey in music producing.
While some of you may be new to production altogether, some of you may be at the stage of what do I produce next. Let’s start with the very beginning and for those of you who can skip ahead in the article, feel free to do so.
1. Choose Your DAW and Learn Everything About It
One of the most important things you need to do before becoming an EDM producer is to choose your DAW. While Fruity Loops (now FL Studio) was what many people chose to learn on back in the day, with how many tutorials there are today, it may be best to see what some of your favorite producers are using. For example, if you want to follow what Skrillex and Diplo are doing, you may want to look into Ableton Live. If you want to be like Amon Tobin, Chvrches, Infected Mushroom, and Tiesto, you may want to consider Cubase. If you want to be like Max Martin, Timbaland, and Aphex Twin, you may want to use Pro Tools. While there is no one size fits all DAW, there are many different aspects to consider while choosing which DAW you want to go with.
Once you have chosen your DAW whether it be Cubase, FL Studio, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Bitwig Studio, Studio One, REAPER, Reason, Nuendo, or even Cakewalk, it’s best to learn everything you can about that particular DAW.
Still can’t decide on which DAW to choose? Each of the most popular DAWs has the ability to export great music. It may be worthwhile to learn what your friends are using, what your budget is if any of the DAWs offer educational discounts, and what any of the artists on Sidetrain are using.
While it’s highly debatable on which DAW to choose, we tend to meet a lot of artists that have chosen to work with Ableton Live. Be sure to try out the 30 day free trials though to properly test out the software before choosing one particular software.
Once you have picked out the DAW of your choosing, now you’ll want to invest in a good pair of studio headphones and studio monitors. While the studio monitors aren’t a necessity, it’s important to be able to hear the sounds you’re creating in clear quality.
2. Play Around With Your DAW
Now that have you selected your DAW and are going to do a 30-day trial of your new software, you’ll want to prioritize and learn how to use it. While you may be interested in a mentor at this time, it may be worthwhile to just learn everything you can on YouTube tutorials and what is the best way to use your new software.
One of the best ways to learn your DAW is to pick a song and recreate the song and melody on your software. While you should not release the song, copying and duplicating songs that you know, are a great way to fully dive into your software.
3. Creating Your First Original Song
Once you have played around with your DAW and recreated a number of songs, you’ll next want to create your very own original song. While it most likely will not be your masterpiece, play around with different elements and try to make at least 2 minutes of a song.
4. Learn Music Theory and Structure
Every single person learns at a different pace. While some people may pick up the DAW and everything clicks for them within minutes, others will struggle to try and figure out how to even just use the music software to begin with. Once you feel you have gotten the feel of your DAW, the next step is to start to begin to learn the basic fundamentals of music composition. This will include the basic understanding of music theory, mixing, and structure & arrangement of songs.
5. Don’t Overthink Your Productions
I know a lot of musicians today that have been working on songs for the past 3 years. While some of these songs may be their masterpiece, others have created some of their best works in under 4 hours. While you may not fall into either one of these two categories, try and work on speed with your music productions. Start a song and finish it within a 24 hour period and do this repeatedly.
6. Experiment With Your Sounds
Even though Tiesto or Martin Garrix is producing one type of sound that you love, this doesn’t mean that you should jump right into what everyone else is making. Be original and creative with your sounds and try to create a wide range of songs. I’d recommend starting with trying to create some lofi hip hop singles and work your way up to dubstep or trance. While these may not be your favorite genres, it’s important to learn different elements of each genre which may influence the future sound you are known for.
7. Get Constructive Criticism on Your Music
Everyone knows the guy on SoundCloud or Facebook that has tried too early in their career to try and collab with everyone else. While this is a great idea to collab with other artists, you also need to get constructive criticism of the songs you are working on currently. Be sure it’s not just your mom who says everything you do is great. Get honest feedback from others in the community who are willing to help you try and make your best work. Build relationships with producers and learn what others are doing in the industry.
8. Be Patient With EDM Production
Too many producers will quit just before having their breaking moment. If you got into music production on a whim and thought you would give up within 6 months of not making a “banger,” then this most likely isn’t the profession for you. Be patient and realize that you are not self-entitled to anything in the industry.
Like we said before, music production is not an overnight success. While you may have seen Porter Robinson’s documentary back in the day or you see others who make it seem easy, music production is just not that. Even if you are able to make a great song, it’s important to know the right people in the industry. You may think that you have to move to Los Angeles to get ahead, while not knowing how to pay for next month’s rent. Let me tell you, this is not a necessity. What is a necessity is to be kind and courteous and treat others with respect.