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dmgtz96

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Suppose that you're trying to get started with trance production, and you have 0 musical skills (never learned to play an instrument, knows zero music theory beyond the circle of fifths).
How would you get started with trance? What forums/online resources would you use? What physical equipment or software would you recommend to buy (or pirate :p ). Would you recommend learning a 'real' instrument and some background music theory before jumping into electronic music production? Would it be better to learn those things at the same time instead (since my goal is electronic music production)?
How much time (months, years) would it take to produce a steroid 138 banger ready to be released in WAO138 when starting from this background? Assume ~1 hr/day of actively working on/learning music production, with ~2-3hr/day during weekends. How long would it take to make something good, like Hoopoe - Hutan?
 
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Magnevi

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How to learn: Youtube. Just search for Airbase tutorial or Giuseppe Ottaviani studio session... things like that. Estiva has great production videos too. He started with that last year.

Physical: A fairly good computer and medium-budget studio monitors are a must.

Software: Any DAW. Like Ableton, Cubase, Fruity Loops, whatever you prefer. Then add some preset packs and sample packs.

Real instrument? No need. Although playing keyboard might help creating chords/melodies. But you can do that with your mouse too.

When will you release 138 steroid when producing 1 hour each day: within a year.

When will you create something unique: hard to say, this depends on talent, determination, inspiration.. could be anywhere between 1 to 999 years :) Juventa didn't produce long at all, was 16 year old, and made stuff that came on ASOT. Most producers however, will remain hobbyists, and that's fine too.
 
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Exodom

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I have always wanted to start making music, I dont know if it would be Trance but I would sure give it a go. I used to use bandcamp and sample loops when I was much younger and enjoyed it.

I am put off by the cost. I see these producers with such amazing equipment and hardware, as then keyboards, speakers, dual monitors etc. I know you can produce with just a laptop today but is it really enough to make good sounding music, I just dont know. I really like lo-fi and it seems easy music to make so considered this as my first attempt if I just use a laptop.
 
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dmgtz96

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I have always wanted to start making music, I dont know if it would be Trance but I would sure give it a go. I used to use bandcamp and sample loops when I was much younger and enjoyed it.

I am put off by the cost. I see these producers with such amazing equipment and hardware, as then keyboards, speakers, dual monitors etc. I know you can produce with just a laptop today but is it really enough to make good sounding music, I just dont know. I really like lo-fi and it seems easy music to make so considered this as my first attempt if I just use a laptop.
I feel this to my core.
My goal is to get started with something, even if that's 138 steroid trance, and then take it from there. Maybe I'll just be a hobbyist or get a couple of releases in a small trance label, no rush really. Maybe one day I will make my "Hoopoe - Hutan" or invent a new kind of trance that has never been done before, but at least going through a well-traveled path seems ideal for now. If you want to make lo-fi, maybe take some classic songs from your country and make lo-fi versions of them. I've seen Mexican producers do them for classic Mexican songs, and the outcome is actually really good :O
 

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To start this long post off, music theory isn't a necessity, but it is really helpful. I went with my ear the most, but if you want to do some fancy progressions and whatnot, you should know theory. It would be good if you could learn a bit, and then when you start producing, focus on learning sound design, since that is more important creatively for music as relatively simple as trance.

I remember picking up FL Studio years ago for my rap recording and beat-making, deleting it and coming back to it years later for trance. Seems most beginner-friendly, even without tutorials you can pick up the basics quite fast. Most producers prefer what they discovered first, so the choice is yours, really.

As far as tutorials go, I only watched Air Night's tutorials on YT (which were free) and recreated everything he did. That taught me so much and made me so much better almost overnight. I've heard two recommendations so far: Dance Music Manual and their tutorials. I've watched one tutorial on EQing of theirs, which was a great learning experience, but didn't really transform my productions that much.

As far as hardware goes, you can start with just a laptop. You won't become a release-worthy producer in a year or so, so you really don't need pro equipment. If you're short on money, just buy some decent headphones. Later on you'd need to invest in some monitors, as well as studio headphones. A MIDI keyboard could be useful for experimentation and playing around, learning to play etc.

A good PC/laptop is a must, with best single-core performance, which is really important.

Software-wise, you could make do with just a DAW and a couple of really nice freebies. Paid plugins are the best there is and are usually better than anything that comes for free, but it isn't a necessity.

That said, if you want paid ones, here are a couple of my recommendations. If you want to buy them, it's your best bet to lurk around until you get some good deal, every year there are Black Friday and other sales where you can get huge discounts.

I'd say u-he packs for synths (and maybe effects), as well as FabFilter for effects and you're more or less set. Omnisphere is state-of-the-art regarding software synths in my opinion. If you like hardware emulations, you can't go wrong with Arturia. If you want some proper trance synths with large sound banks, Synthmaster and Predator 2 are amazing. For effects (especially mixing and mastering), iZotope Ozone and Neutron are state-of-the-art, maybe along with FabFilter, although Waves have a trillion great effects, and Soundtoys have a few but great ones.

Samples are a different story, I'm not sure what I should recommend. I think Vengeance samples are the most used ones for trance, although Loopmasters has some great ones.

When it comes to plugins and samples, don't overwhelm yourself with a trillion of options. Start by learning the basics first, what every plugin does and why and how to use it etc.

When you would get your first release is a difficult question. 10h/week without a mentor, it will take you quite a long time. Just learning the basics takes quite a while. For some good stuff, I'd say even longer, but it's hard to say without knowing how creative you are.

To end, if you decide to do this, feel free to ask for help, I'll gladly do it, as I'm sure the rest of our producer community would.
 

jetflag

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Suppose that you're trying to get started with trance production, and you have 0 musical skills (never learned to play an instrument, knows zero music theory beyond the circle of fifths).
How would you get started with trance?
the way you start with any hobby: invest time, efford, (some moneys) and just start.


What forums/online resources would you use?
For feedback I recommend trancefix.nl. 10/10 top forum for track feedback and Now 10% off on a 3 page essay as to why your track sucks! sign up today!, (constructive feedback not guaranteed, trancefix will not be held responsible for soulcrushing existential crisises brought forth by user dayseeker feedback)

For tutorials -> youtube.
What physical equipment or software would you recommend to buy (or pirate :p ).


Would you recommend learning a 'real' instrument and some background music theory before jumping into electronic music production? Would it be better to learn those things at the same time instead (since my goal is electronic music production)?

A Daw and a pc/laptop on which it can run without crashing when simultaniously playing 3 midi tracks is sort of essential to get started. As for the specific type of DAW. it depends on what kind of producer you are at heart or turn out to be.

if you're the type of musician who can enjoy hours technical knob tweaking one specific sound bottom up to perfection and loves the technicallity of it as opposed to the actual music aspect. Reason is a good bet.

If you're more like me and be like: "oh hey, cool preset/sound -> that goes in there. Next!" Cubase or logic is more your thing as it focuses more on arrangement and you picking and assembling your own sound/librairy, which can be 100% preset based (if you like).

I would recommend a piece of hardware (whether that be a guitar, casio keyboard or actual synth) to get a feel for playing/ music. but its not a must, nor is the time of picking it up (before after) that essential. I myself benefitted greatly from my childhood piano lessons.

How much time (months, years) would it take to produce a steroid 138 banger ready to be released in WAO138 when starting from this background? Assume ~1 hr/day of actively working on/learning music production, with ~2-3hr/day during weekends. How long would it take to make something good, like Hoopoe - Hutan?

there's no standard formula or timeframe as it highly depends on the person. Creating a proffesional sounding track can vary from 1 year with 0 expertise to 4 years with classical piano training in my case.. I also know a guy who's spend his formative years getting proffesional education in studiotech/music, and now works @ a hardware store not having signed a single (good) trance track ever.. He just..doesn't have it in him to create and finish something wich turns heads..

Developing the skills to create a track to the level @ which you're aspiring usually takes a couple years of training and persistence. It depends on how prolific, conscientious, creative etc. you are.

A good way to start is to try and recreate existing tracks you love as best as you can. And don't think of this as degrating or cheap.. Every great artist in history spend their formative years producing derivative work.

- bob dylan's first album contained 11 copied songs.
- hunter S thompson retyped the Great Gatsby, just to get a feel of what its like to write a great novel.
- even mozart started off playing existing works, over and over again.

every artist no exception, learns via emulation.
 
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LostLegend

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I've actually been thinking about writing up a 'beginners guide' thread for a while now, just never had the time to get around to it.
So here's a few tips in the mean-time.

[WALL OF TEXT]

Firstly, the most important thing you need as a new producer (and I cannot stress this enough) is patience.
It takes a long time and a lot of hours of practice before you get to a level where your music sounds good.
It's all about 'marginal gains' - In that, there's not many things you can learn that will make your music instantly better. It's all about learning lots of small techniques and tricks that make your productions that little bit better gradually.
There's a huge attrition rate amongst new producers who get frustrated when they realise just how long it all takes.
If you go in with this in mind, plenty of patience and make working on music part of your daily schedule, then you are ahead of a lot of people already.

Funnily enough, I saw this video earlier on YT and made a similar comment in the comment section:



So learning some music theory will help you a lot. You don't need to go all in and learn how to read and write music manuscript or learn all the phraseology (Arco vs Pizzicato etc,) like my manic school music teacher was so obsessed with back in the 90's :LOL:
Some basic knowledge of how chords work, keys, scales and the like will help a lot. Tons of tutorials on Youtube.

This is also a great resource: Music Scales and Chord Tools for Guitar and Piano

Playing an instrument is not essential. I can play keyboard... poorly... like I can jam out basic melodies and chords which helps with work-flow, but if I tried a live performance, it would be a train-wreck. I have 5 thumbs on each hand :LOL:
So, getting yourself a midi keyboard (A basic one is fairly cheap) might help you get ideas out, but certainly not essential.

Equipment: A laptop or PC that can at least run your DAW of choice close to recommended specs.
A decent pair of headphones are a must, studio monitor ones if you can afford them. Monitor speakers can wait until you get to a point where your productions are at a point where you need them to improve.

Most of the main DAW's out there have trial versions available (Ableton offers a 3 month free trial of the full Live 11 suite for example) so maybe try a few and see which workflow seems to speak to you the most.

Don't listen to anyone who tells you that one DAW is better than any other either "LOL FL Studio is for amateurs" and all that nonsense.
It's as pointless as Iphone vs Android/Playstation vs XBox. Pure brand loyalty nonsense-
Most of the main DAW's out there like Ableton, Pro Tools, Cubase, FL Studio, Studio One, Bitwig etc. are all highly capable pieces of software. All will have their pro's and cons, it's just about finding the one that works for you.

You don't really need to invest in any hardware synths, or expensive plug-ins to start with really, as most DAW's stock plugins are at a very high level these days. I'm an Ableton user, and I use a lot of the stock effects in all my tracks. There's also a ton of excellent free stuff available out there as well, such as the VITAL synth, Spitfire LABS (And the awesome Pianobook site by the same people), Valhalla Supermassive etc.

Youtube is of course a fantastic learning resource (Wish it was around when I first got started) but try not to spread yourself too thinly when it comes to learning new things.
If you watch 4 or 5 videos or read a load of different articles all on different topics, then you are going to forget most of it.
Try to concentrate on one or 2 things at a time. Like prioritise learning your DAW, then move on to learning something else like how to use EQ or synthesizer basics etc.

And be sure to ask plenty of questions in here! :)

Good luck!

[/WALL OF TEXT]
 

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Some great advice in here, enjoyed reading all your thoughts. I am seriously considering taking the plunge and starting to try and learn. I do have hesitations on when I will fit it in, as I already have so many creative projects that I really want to work on (and don't). I also want to learn how to mix properly. Do I throw another creative program into the mix... I do love music so much so I think it would be silly not too.

I think i'm gonna get Ableton and buy a few sample packs and see what I can do. I feel like making some dub techno or ambient(ish) music might be a good start, as it seems basic enough. I do worry at how hard it seems for producers in the modern era to make tracks that actually sound enjoyable to the ears (musical idea aside). I've always felt that software was the problem, but maybe my opinion on that is now softening....hmmmm
 
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Gagi

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Some great advice in here, enjoyed reading all your thoughts. I am seriously considering taking the plunge and starting to try and learn. I do have hesitations on when I will fit it in, as I already have so many creative projects that I really want to work on (and don't). I also want to learn how to mix properly. Do I throw another creative program into the mix... I do love music so much so I think it would be silly not too.

I think i'm gonna get Ableton and buy a few sample packs and see what I can do. I feel like making some dub techno or ambient(ish) music might be a good start, as it seems basic enough. I do worry at how hard it seems for producers in the modern era to make tracks that actually sound enjoyable to the ears (musical idea aside). I've always felt that software was the problem, but maybe my opinion on that is now softening....hmmmm
If you want to take the hardware route, you can afford a couple of modern clones of legendary synths. In fact, take a look at the Roland Boutique Series:


Otherwise, knowing your music tastes, if you apply yourself the end results could be very interesting!
 
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Recharge

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There is some youtube channels that have been a great library of knowledge for me

Mostly EDM Tips, amazing channels that actually taught me how to produce and marked my start at producing. He doesn't have a lot on trance, mostly progressive and house, techno.

But thanks to him I learned future bass and pop which after progressive is my second favourite style to produce. Best thing is to follow his how to videos, 1/3rd of my songs are from how to videos and the rest are inspired from that and what I've learned from them.

I've been saving time, he has 4 new videos of how to which I wanted to make with the organic house one on top of my list, since I tried to make one on myself but ended up with a more ethereal melodic house & techno. Now he will only get you so far but there is things from the next two channels that are helping me realise principles of building tension and how to get away from a loop into a proper song plus in time you will start realising things.

On more tips that can be transferred to many styles:
Yalcin Efe - Mercurial Tones Academy
Underdog Electronic Music School

I can suggest also Serato Studio as DAW, very simple(actually lacks a lot of thing for now), but has my favourite cheat - play in key which means you can easily write things that will sound ok/good without having to worry if it's in key.

And one thing I started last year at 35 which was a bit more than year ago and I think I am doing pretty ok for now, started learning djing 3 years ago too. You just need love for music and persistence.

Edit: All the channels are actually from very good producers and music teachers so no wonder that they are so well orginised. Also they sometimes slip some good rare knowledge normally reserved only for their students.
 
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Hensmon

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So Ive download Ableton, and made my first 16 bar house beat, with piano, synth etc. Not as complicated as I thought for intial entry, but can see how I have a LONG way to go. I plan on comitting 2 hours a week at least and with no expectations or rush to get anywhere. Small gains.

Anyone got any recommendations on tutorials or courses where I can start to learn? Ideally focused on electronic music. Would take free or paid. (will check out EDM tips @Recharge)

I also started installing some of those free plug-ins that @LostLegend suggested. Are there any other free Trance related packs/plug-ins that are a must? How do we feel about sample packs? Something I should install and play with?
 
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Recharge

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So Ive download Ableton, and made my first 16 bar house beat, with piano, synth etc. Not as complicated as I thought for intial entry, but can see how I have a LONG way to go. I plan on comitting 2 hours a week at least and with no expectations or rush to get anywhere. Small gains.

Anyone got any recommendations on tutorials or courses where I can start to learn? Ideally focused on electronic music. Would take free or paid. (will check out EDM tips @Recharge)

I also started installing some of those free plug-ins that @Lost Legend suggested. Are there any other free Trance related packs/plug-ins that are a must? How do we feel about sample packs? Something I should install and play with?
Edm tips will get you started very nicely, try his free tutorials and if you think in the future you can get paid lessons. Some of his students like Zoya (girl from my country) managed so sign releases on Anjuna and Pure Trance. She actually had some great tracks and her career seems to be on the rise. She started on Pure Trance release, but eventually got signed into Anjuna.

I suggest you try Podolski, its a vst Synth and has some amazing melodic pad sounds and osdchool synth sounds/arps. Probably the second reason after EDM tips for some good songs I've made from time to time, for a free vst has some amazing sounds.
 

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Kudos for starting Hens! To be honest stock plugins can get you through the basics of sound design and mixing; the important thing is to get through that first if you really want to learn "the right way". If you want to learn by playing around first, then there's a lot of free and paid plugins and packs out there that will enable you to do so, and by all means use even stuff like MIDI packs (which are finished melodies, basically).
 
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LostLegend

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So Ive download Ableton, and made my first 16 bar house beat, with piano, synth etc. Not as complicated as I thought for intial entry, but can see how I have a LONG way to go. I plan on comitting 2 hours a week at least and with no expectations or rush to get anywhere. Small gains.

Anyone got any recommendations on tutorials or courses where I can start to learn? Ideally focused on electronic music. Would take free or paid. (will check out EDM tips @Recharge)

I also started installing some of those free plug-ins that @LostLegend suggested. Are there any other free Trance related packs/plug-ins that are a must? How do we feel about sample packs? Something I should install and play with?
You should definitely take a look at Sadowicks Ableton tutorial series. I always say you should try to master as much of your DAW as possible before branching out to external plugins. It's based around Live 10 rather than the current Live 11, but there's not a huge amount of difference tbh (A few effect plugins have been consolidated into one unit for example)

 

Recharge

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I forgot to add another channel - Alex Rome, he kind of has 2 types of videos. Basics and I like the way he explains it and videos about going that extra mile adding more to your music with very small details like that one he just dropped for example:





Edit: Edm Tips just dropped another how to Lane 8 video. I also failed to mention he leaves all his how to Ableton created tracks (projects) for free download so he gets triple thumbs up in my book

 
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erickUO

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This book seems interesting

9780367900793.jpg


Q&A with the writer on Attack Magazine

Some excerpts
 

Recharge

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This is interesting. Referencing those two mixes can give you a lot of inside of how is trance produced, comparing them to each other since they have very similar structure. I don't deconstruct/reference songs that much unless I have a song based on particular sounding artist, but I know the value of it.

Uplifting version - 136 bpm

Progressive? version - 130 bpm
 
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LostLegend

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This is interesting. Referencing those two mixes can give you a lot of inside of how is trance produced, comparing them to each other since they have very similar structure. I don't deconstruct/reference songs that much unless I have a song based on particular sounding artist, but I know the value of it.

Uplifting version - 136 bpm

Progressive? version - 130 bpm
I used to try and recreate songs a lot when I was starting out. It's a great way to learn how to arrange tracks and how to get different sounds into your tracks.
 
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LostLegend

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I've spent the afternoon searching out people who sell midi packs on Facebook to new, naive musicians and posting links to the many free ones around the web in the replies.

DO NOT spend your money on this crap. Don't be pulled in by the '100% ROYALTY FREE' nonsense (You cannot copyright a chord progression anyway).
Also, there are like a bazillion free packs available around the web with a simple google search.

I'd say avoid them completely anyway, even the free ones. Most DAW's these days have some sort of chord/scale functionality built into them and they are way more conducive to you learning to create them for yourself than simply dragging and dropping premade ones into your track.

Let that be today's lesson for newer producers - there are a lot of predatory people and companies around who prey on musicians. If someone offers you an instant solution to a problem you are having for "A special introductory price off £££...", they are most likely scamming you.
 
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I've spent the afternoon searching out people who sell midi packs on Facebook to new, naive musicians and posting links to the many free ones around the web in the replies.

DO NOT spend your money on this crap. Don't be pulled in by the '100% ROYALTY FREE' nonsense (You cannot copyright a chord progression anyway).
Also, there are like a bazillion free packs available around the web with a simple google search.

I'd say avoid them completely anyway, even the free ones. Most DAW's these days have some sort of chord/scale functionality built into them and they are way more conducive to you learning to create them for yourself than simply dragging and dropping premade ones into your track.

Let that be today's lesson for newer producers - there are a lot of predatory people and companies around who prey on musicians. If someone offers you an instant solution to a problem you are having for "A special introductory price off £££...", they are most likely scamming you.

hey, when you throw something, I miss your flow, you are right the number of samples and plugins does not give you an advantage, the more that the best they create on the basis
 
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