How To Make EDM [Getting Started]

edm guide getting started

So you want to get started with producing EDM music?

Welcome to an insanely addictive, time consuming, fun and amazing thing to get into!

Your ears will never be the same after getting into Music Production. You’ll notice more random sounds in life and you’ll constantly question when listening to music how a particular sound is created or how the snare punches through so hard!

But son’t worry, we all do that. You’re not alone haha.

But seriously, with todays technology anyone can get into making music with a laptop or computer which is great. Unfortunately on the flip side of this is that there is massive competition and it is harder to break out and make a name for yourself. 

But don’t let that small fact get you down, creating music is such a rewarding thing to get into, not everyone who creates music creates it with the intention of making it big.

So are you ready to get into it? In this post we’ll discuss the few things you’ll need to get and prepare yourself for making tunes!

1. COMPUTER

MAC vs PC?

A constant argument over which is better. But your choice doesn’t effect your skill level one bit and at the end of the day, it is just a computer that will hold your samples, open you program and so on. What you choose depends on your budget and your priorities.

Mac

  • Costly (Expensive, Fixed Price, If you want to upgrade you’ll most likely have to buy a new mac)
  • More Stable. Prone to crashing less.  If you want to get into performing/djing your music live this is the common choice.

PC

  • Cheaper (Can get more Power for less dollar, upgrading is easy)
  • Slightly unstable (although getting better, OSX is found to be more stable than Windows)
  • More VST Plugins available for PC

2. DAW

Now that you have the computer, it’s time to choose your software that will allow you to manipulate sound, create instruments and ultimately make the music. These programs are referred to as Digital Audio Workstations or DAWs.

ABLETON

Ableton Live

Ableton is one of the most popular DAW’s out there at the moment (tied with FL Studio). One of the many things that makes Ableton Stand out from the rest is its ability to change your session to a live session and perform your track Live. Live 9 has also received many praises for its simple workflow and vast features.

Pro Users: Bassnectar, Skrillex, Liam Howlett (The Prodigy), Diplo, M83, Flying Lotus, Deadmau5….
Compatibility: WINDOWS, OSX
Cost: $99, $455, $759

Image Line FL Studio

FL Studio’s fanbase spans the globe, they’re a loud and proud bunch and there’s reason to be. Fl Studio offers an inspiring layout, immensely powerful Plugins and a traditional mixer. And one of the best features the Fl Studio has over the rest is lifetime Free Updates. So you only have to pay for the program once! 

fl studio

Pro Users: Porter Robinson, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Madeon, Feed Me, Afrojack, Oliver Heldens…
Compatibility: WINDOWS, OSX
Cost: $99, $199, $299, $899

logic pro

Apple Logic Pro X

Although not as popular among the ‘EDM’ Producers like the others (more popular with the producers and engineers of commercial records) Logic is still and insanely powerful DAW. Built in MIDI features, great layout and Bus Routing are definite strong points for this and don’t get me started on the guitar pedals ohhhhh my, those sounds!

Pro Users: Swedish House Mafia, Nicky Romero, Flosstradamus, Hardwell, David Guetta…
Compatibility: OSX
Cost: $199

Don’t let these Top 3 DAW’s influence you decision just yet. There are still many more DAW’s out there. Do some research and check out the trials of more DAW’s and see which one takes your fancy. Remember you only need to pick one.

More DAWS: Nuendo (Pendulum/KnifeParty) Cubase (Noisia), Bitwig, Reason, Studio One 3

3. Sounds [Sample Packs]

Now that we have the Software, we probably need more ‘Samples.’ So what are ‘Samples?’ Well samples are specific sounds. A sample can be anything from a single kick drum to a complete vocal. Although all DAWs come with Samples & Sounds, it might be wise to download some sample packs from websites that specialise with specific genres and cater to what you’re planning on making.

Say if you are planning to make some Dubstep inside your DAW you might want to download a ‘Sample pack’ that has sounds specifically to the genre. So by starting with the right sounds, you can more easily create the right tracks. If you are in need of Free Sample Packs, why not check out our list here.

edm producer free samples

4. Tutorials [Learning]

ableton live tutorials

Now that you have the right tools and sounds, all you need is to learn how to put them all together.

This is where tutorials come in handy. You could start with a complete beginners guide to your DAW or maybe watch someone making a track from start to finish (any of these can be found easily on youtube.) Or you could take a completely different approach and experiment around with your DAW and find out what different things do. Or even take a music production course?

There’s no right or wrong approach, do whatever helps you learn best.

5. Conclusion. What’s Next?

Now comes the fun part of making the music. However in reality this is also the part where most people quit. The first few months are going to be the toughest. I’ve seen many producers begin producing but not make it past the 2 month mark. Why? It’s because they either don’t have the patience, not enjoying it or not getting the results they want quick enough.

However, try to perceiver past this point, if you don’t how how to create a specific sound or get a result, just ask some who does or look it up on youtube.

There are countless production tutorials, facebook groups or subreddit with people who are happy to give you the answers to your question, you just need to ask.

Once you’re underway and creating music, our best advice would be is to have fun! Music is meant to be fun, so enjoy yourself and get creative!

READ MORE ARTICLES