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I recently stumbled upon this live mashup and I am electrified. The fellow's name is Madeon, and he has a number of similarly great remixes and mashups on SoundCloud.

I've always enjoyed electronic music and remixes of popular tracks, and I get excited just thinking about making my own little remixes or even original pieces.

I want to realize this vision. To get started I presume I need to:

  1. Acquire some software (and maybe some hardware too) and learn how to use it/them.
  2. Follow some tutorials or exercises that will teach me the principles of remixing or creating simple music.
  3. Experiment, copy pieces I like, and so forth.

If you're a DJ or producer (are those the correct titles?), what I want to know from you is:

  • Is this "roadmap" basically correct? What was your path to becoming a competent DJ/producer?
  • What do you recommend I buy/study/do for each of these steps?
  • I know it's important to start with a little project that can focus my work as I get started. What do you recommend that be?
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Seeing as posts about electronic music are welcome here (one, two) there should be an electronic-music tag. Could someone with enough rep create that? –  Nick Chammas Oct 30 '11 at 18:46
    
Half-way through typing this up I found this question on [AVP]. I wonder if I should just place a bounty on that question (or re-post over there) if what I am asking is better suited to that community. Mods? –  Nick Chammas Oct 30 '11 at 18:51
    
It's up to you. They might be better able to help you. –  Matthew Read Oct 31 '11 at 15:50
    
@MatthewRead - Should I ask on their meta or would you rather talk to their mods yourself about migrating/merging this question over there? –  Nick Chammas Oct 31 '11 at 16:30
    
I think you should probably ask it there and customize it for the site (mostly addressing why it's different from the question you linked), rather than migrating. Then we can close this version. –  Matthew Read Oct 31 '11 at 16:35
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4 Answers 4

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Pretty sure he uses FL Studio, at least for part of the process. Another popular option is Ableton Live.

Madeon's samples are very meticulously arranged, so if you if you don't have a background in music theory or some natural gift for composition you might want to get your feet wet somehow. Any old book on music fundamentals will help, or more importantly, just playing around on an instrument to get the feel for different intervals, chords, and progressions. Eventually you'll need some sort of keyboard or MIDI controller, so that might be worth investing in up front since it can double as an instrument to learn on.

Good luck and don't give up!

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Start with some kind of software, after that, the important thing is:

Make LOTS of music and don't ever stop.

There is a relevant quote from Ira Glass about this:

It is going to take you a long time to get to Madeon's level of skill. Keep at it. Eat, breath, live and enjoy music. Hang out with people who love producing. Read all kinds of books, not just about production, but musical theory, and mastering.

Choose a song of his, and try to recreate it step by step, You will learn a lot that way. In fact, when making any kind of track, I suggest having some kind of reference track.

But most of all, make lots and lots of music.

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The roadmap is correct even though it's never a straight line. If you like learning new stuff and are curious by nature everything will work out itself if you put in the hours and work smart. Look on MacProVideo and Sonic Academy. They all have a lot useful stuff like how to remix, music theory, sound design and synthesis, software and mixing tutorials, etc.

Learning the basics of DJing will make you rethink the way you produce so your songs get played by other DJs wich is important for exposure.

Music should be the center of your focus but if you can have some knowledge in graphic design, internet marketing, copyright law, music business and motion design these can all be good to help you kickstart your music career and get to know other Djs and producer.

My advice if you don't know any producer or DJ, begin by producing some really simple but neat stuff and get it out. Then you'll get to know people and you'll be able to exchange tips and techniques.

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Madeon uses a Novation Launchpad S, which comes with ableton live 8 launchpad edition, one of the best DAWs ever, and he samples from songs, then triggers them from said launchpad, using ableton. I recommend checking out this magazine issue, it is extremely helpful: https://play.google.com/store/magazines/details?id=CAownM6IAg&cdid=magazineissue-CAAqBwgKMJzOiAIw2MQr

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