Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Started (Be Organised)

Hey, I just wanted to share with you guys some tips on making computer music. I know how daunting it is when you first start making tunes. No matter what genre you make House, Electro, Breaks, Drum and Bass, Trance or what ever, these tip will help you progress faster. Feel free to check out my tunes.

Ok, it really depends on what software you use to write your songs/tracks but it is really important to get into a good habit by organising your workspace. The programmes I would recommend are:
  1. Cubase
  2. Logic
  3. Protools
  4. and if you have to Fruityloops

All of the above are very good but if you are a PC user, I would highly recommend using Cubase SX3 or higher.

So what do I mean by being "organised"???

We will start firstly by keeping your studio tidy. This may seem like a simple thing but keeping your studio tidy will promote focused train of thought when writing dance music. Once you have tidied your room like a good boy you want to setup a template for your tracks.

So what does this mean?

It just simply means that you can setup your workspace and save it as a template so you can use it everytime you start a track. This will save you time in the long run. It depends on what you are writing but here is a simple layout that will help you write majority of dance music styles.

You want mono audio tracks for your kick and snare. It is also a good thing to layer your kicks and snare so you may want two of each labeled kick 1 and kick 2. We will get deeper into layering in future blogs.

Next, you want stereo audio tracks for all your cymbals, open hats, closed hats, crash and any loops you may wish to add. You may wish to add breaks so add tracks appropiately. Now if you want to use a sampler, label each sampling channel the same way.

Next are basslines. So open up a couple of midi tracks and label them Bass1, Bass2 ect. You can always open up more channels once you start, so just open the average amount of channels you usually use. Just repeat these steps for whatever instruments you would usually use, lead synth, fx ect.

Once you have done this, you want to make folder tracks. You can put channels into these folders so create a drum folder, bass folder, fx folder and a lead folder. Once these are created, insert all your drum channels into the drum folder and repeat for the rest of your tracks. Now you can open and close these folders when you want which means that your workspace looks alot tidier and will be alot easier to navagate in the future.

Once this is all done, you want to create group tracks. Create a kick group, snare group, drum group, bass group, lead group, fx group and main group.

Now for the appropiate tracks, make the output of those channels to the appropiate groups.

Once all of this is done, then save your work as a template. Now you can open this template everytime and this will automatically save you about half an hour everytime and you can jump straight into writing your tracks.

Hope this has helped you. Keep coming back here as I will be posting new tips and strategies regulary. I will be covering essential topics such as compression on drums, basslines, importance of gating, grouping, mixdowns, mastering and many many more!!

Most importanly, never give up!!!


  1. HI:

    Should Basslines be Mono or Stereo? Do you have a list on what I should make mono, and what should be stereo?

    Thanks for the tips. Very Helpful.

  2. Very nice Info thx.. all im tryin to do is make sure the kick doesnt take down the levels of the other sounds, so far so good! like listen to "a milli" that bass takes all the sounds down everytime it kicks!

  3. Dear Yuhei,

    I am so glad that there are still people like You, willing to help. I myslef am glad to find Your blog, where I can definitely boost my production techniques. I really thank You for Your effort to enlight other new hidden talents, as me for instance xD, with such an altruistic act !
    I do have a question tough, regarding the mono/stereo elements.

    when You say " You want mono audio tracks for your kick and snare. " and then " Next, you want stereo audio tracks for all your cymbals, open hats, closed hats, crash and any loops you may wish to add. You may wish to add breaks so add tracks appropiately ". Can You pelase tell me what is the difference using both ? and why that decision ? I would be very thankful hearing from You!

    Keep up the good work. I am going to read through more !


  4. I think there are a lot of software that can be used to produce a music on the computer

  5. I'm really glad I've came across this informative post, this really helped me out quite a bit, by answering all my questions properly, hopefully the site will grow bigger and more popular as ever it was. Keep up the good work and I'm sure I'll visit you up someday soon for more great articles. You may find great articles and music production tools at: by the way!