I looked at the people counter and realized that over 10,000 people have viewed this page! To celebrate this “monumental” event, I am working with ADSRsounds.com to give away a free course!
In order to enter this drawing, go ahead and like the How to Produce Electronic Music’s Facebook page! Then, post a comment stating how you got into music production! It’s really easy, and you could win a free NI Massive Masterclass Course!
Also, for extra “karma” in this drawing, post your soundcloud link too! You could get some of your songs on the How to Produce Electronic Music Soundcloud Page!
The contest ends on March 31st, so make sure to like our page and get a free NI Massive course, courtesy of ADSRsounds!
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Over the past few weeks, people have been asking me what is better: Mixing on headphones or mixing on speakers?
Now I have already created a blog post about the pros and cons of mixing on headphones, but I don’t believe I ever gave an answer as to what the best headphones are, and what the best speakers are. Today, I am here to clear the air about this issue.
After much research and many hours testing headphones, I have found that the AudioTechnica ATH M50 studio headphones are the best at an affordable price of under $200 MSRP. Most AudioTechnica ATH M50 studio headphones can be found for around $139, and are a great bargain for the price.
I personally have a pair of AudioTechnica ATH M50 studio headphones and have had them for almost two years.
These headphones are built like tanks: they withstand being stepped on, dropped, and whatever else you can manage to do to them. As their name suggests, these are studio headphones, which means they are specifically manufactured for studio settings. The specifications can be read here, but they have a great frequency response. The range that these headphones are capable of are, for the most part, out of the human ear’s range. The human ear’s range is from around 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, while these headphones are capable of 15 hz to around 28,000 hz, which makes these headphones great for mixing.
Of course, there are also cons to any product, and some of the inherent flaws in the design of these headphones is the weight. While the headphones are designed to be as comfortable as possible, (and they are for a while), the weight on your head causes you to have a headache after a while. I have also found that the headphones can cause your ears to bend a little, causing discomfort after an extended period of time wearing them.
In recent years, scientists have also found that wearing headphones for more than an hour at a time can increase the amount of bacteria in your ear by eleven times. This leads to pain in your ears, and can eventually lead to hearing loss (which is a producer’s worst nightmare!). If you use these headphones periodically and carefully, they are extremely well-rounded and exceptional headphones.
Now on to speakers. For almost three years, I had no speakers, which was extremely detrimental to my development as a producer. When I did get speakers, I got very bad ones from one of my friends, which was even worse because they didn’t balance the bass or highs and made my music sound worse than before. The only thing worse than having no speakers is having bad speakers.
This was how I happened to come across the KRK Rokit G3 series. They are the most popular and well-liked studio monitors in the production world at the moment. While there are many, many other studio monitors out there that are worth looking at, (the PreSonus Eris E5 series are REALLY good), I will be talking about the KRK Rokit G3 series since I personally have these speakers.
The KRK Rokit G3 studio monitors have a great frequency response for studio monitors below $300. A pair of these monitors are usually around $250, but that also depends on the size of the monitors. The series consists of 5″ monitors (what I have), 6″ monitors, and 8″ monitors, and their prices go up respectively.
The frequency response of these monitors is about 40-45 Hz to about 35,000 Hz, which is not as wide a range as the AudioTechnica studio headphones I mentioned earlier. But, one thing that monitors are able to do that headphones can not do, is let you hear what your music sounds like after it passes through air, bounces off walls, and any other objects in your room. With headphones, you don’t allow the sound to pass through air or bounce off the walls, giving you a distorted view of your music.
One of the best things that you can do for your music is to do a combination of both: use your studio headphones for reference, and then switch to your monitors to mix on there, and then switch again. Learn how your equipment responds to different frequencies, how it sounds in different environments, and what things you can do to fix these problems that you have with your equipment.
Hope this all helps! Cheers!
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Wanted to post a very personal and very heartbreaking warning here, especially for new producers:
ALWAYS save your music in a minimum of three different places. Use external hard drives, USB sticks, another computer; basically anything that can save files from your computer. I recently had to update my computer from Windows 7 to Windows 8 (long story short, I couldn’t get internet and my computer was VERY slow) and didn’t save my files to an external hard drive. Even though it said it would save my personal files, it did NOT save my most personal files: my FL Studio projects.
Within a few minutes of downloading Windows 8, YEARS of my personal time spent making music vanished into thin air. I had recently created a song that my friend sang on and was extremely excited to show to you guys, my followers, how I created the synths and riffs I used in the song. Unfortunately, this is as finished as the song will ever be.
Here is the song in its entirety. I was originally going to remix the song and mix the vocals in, but unfortunately the file is lost and will be redone from scratch.
Here is another recent project I was working on. It was going to be a really dark psytrance track, and I was going to show you guys how to make that too, but that file is also gone as well.
I will be rebuilding my computer and music from the bottom up, which is kind of refreshing, in a weird way. I haven’t lost the skill set I need to make music, and very soon I will have the necessary tools to redo these tracks.
Today I teach you guys how to create growls with Sytrus, a subtractive synthesizer that comes standard with FL Studio. Many producers tend to overlook the power that this synthesizer has because: 1. They think it is inferior to more popular synths like Massive, or 2. They don’t understand how it works.
I bring you through the steps to understand how Sytrus works and how to create growls comparable to Massive and other synthesizers. While the audio isn’t the best, it still covers all the basics and will create a great sound even though my audio isn’t great.
The link to the YouTube video has been posted below. Hope you learn a lot from it!
Today, I would like to talk about one of my favorite synthesizers that I use when creating a project in FL Studio: Massive.
Massive is a wavetable synthesizer that has the ability to create huge growls and wobbles that we hear very often in dubstep and drum ‘n bass. While it is also capable of creating plucks and beautiful strings, it is the most well-known and used synth by professional producers.
I am very familiar with Massive and how the wavetable synth works, but some of you are unfamiliar with it. ADSR sounds has about 150 tutorials for Massive, and a huge collection of Massive presets. They also have a newsletter that they send out every week and have tutorials for various synths on YouTube.
Another useful tutorial I have found is on Udemy with the course “Massive Tutorial: Master NI’s ‘Massive’ in One Week.” The course is taught by Dylan Bowes, who is a great teacher and producer of EDM and is currently writing and producing pop songs for Young and Vicious Management. He takes you through all the different aspects and parts of the synth that most beginners have a hard time figuring out. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, this tutorial is very helpful for all EDM producers.
I hope this will help you out in your musical endeavors. Now go out there and start making some awesome sounds!
Useful Tutorials and Tips on Creating Dubstep, Drumstep, and DnB (producingelectronicmusic.wordpress.com)
In my everlasting search for the next big breakthrough in teaching electronic music tips and tricks, I have found it.
An EDM artist by the name of Kid Zero has made a tutorial on how to mix and master your own electronic music straight from home. I have watched many tutorials, (in case you couldn’t tell), and this one is the best by far in teaching you how to mix and master songs.
While it does cost money, the mere $37 to download it is worth the money. This is nothing compared to the amount of money you might waste on new, useless plugins that won’t improve your sound, never mind the amount of time you might waste finding out everything you will learn in these few hours.
Kid Zero manages to take apart all the steps you need to do in order to create mixes that will sound good on any speaker system and the mastering tips to make your song sound club-ready.
Now before you get ahead of yourself, I do have to say that while this tutorial has many great tips and tricks for improving your sound, it is also all video with minimal text. If you are a visual learner, this video will be great for you. If you are much better at reading than learning through video, this may not be right for you. He also lays out many great concepts and shows you step by step how to create better mixes and masters. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of time (just the percussion section is over an hour long!) and he doesn’t go into much detail about how the plugins work. You must be willing to invest several hours into this tutorial in order to get the full experience (I recommend taking breaks in between each section.) The plugins, except for the CamelCrusher Distortion Plugin (which is FREE!), all cost over $100, which, in my opinion, is quite expensive for a beginning/intermediate producer. My recommendation would be to get the CamelCrusher plugin and see how well you can mix with that one recommended plugin.
This tutorial is also a little tough to pick up on if you aren’t familiar with compression and eq’ing, which is a significant part of mixing and mastering tracks.
While he does his tutorial on Ableton, you are able to use the techniques he uses on any DAW of your choosing, including my favorite, FL Studio. If people are having trouble switching between the two programs, I may make a tutorial myself of the same techniques on FL Studio.
Here is the download for the mixing and mastering tutorial!