so as a kid I kind of dabbled in making beats and such, but never got the hang of it. Now that I'm older, i want to get back into it, but im hitting the same blocks... I know a little bit of music theory, and sang in a choir quite often, so i understand music, but i can never make anything good. The only program ive ever used is lmms, and i was wondering what would be a better software, and the best place to learn the best ways to make EDM songs. Thanks!


If this is really just about a software recommendation, your question is going to be closed as off-topic. But that’s not the only thing you’re asking about. The best way to learn EDM production is by doing a lot of it, and creating a lot of stuff of dubious quality along the way.

It’s not so much about the software as it is the meatware, which is you. If you have an idea and you’re determined, you’ll find a way to make it work regardless of the tools.

The ability to realize your artistic vision in a satisfying way is something that most artists (should) struggle to do for their entire careers. You’ll be frustrated by any and all software until you have put in the time. And then you’ll still be frustrated with it, but you’ll know how to execute your vision despite its limitations.

Your question reminded me of this Ira Glass quote:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

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  • Alright, thank you. I'll just keep at it, and pour blood sweat and tears in... thanks! – Friccadillies Feb 28 '19 at 15:58

There are great tutorial videos on YouTube which can help you out when you are new to the concepts. The channel Howtomakeelectronicmusic (and the site on the internet) are a good starting point for very basic concepts I think, they helped me a lot.

Then, for Bass Sound design, SeamlessR videos, especially the "How to Bass" series have a lot of interesting tricks for the plugins "Harmor", "Sytrus" and much more. An easy to use DAW is FL Studio, you will note that both channels mentioned use it. The reason being, that it is easy to put stuff together quickly. In my personal experience, it helped to learn basic arrangements a lot.

Start downloading free plugins, there are a lot of great ones out there; analyse presets, analyse preset categories (what are they for in EDM tracks etc.), try to listen to the development and the components of your personal favorite tracks. Separate the kick, snare, drums, basses, leads, synths while hearing; how do they work together and what purpose do they have?

Try making a track with sine oscillators only - simply play around and limit yourself first. It helped me personally to not underestimate the power of the basic plugins and tools. It can help to not be overwhelmed by these complex modern and expensive plugins. These are good ways to get a feeling of the environment you will be working in. Also learn the shortcuts as fast as you can, because they will significantly have an impact on your workflow.

It is very important to finish projects too. Do not make dozens of unfinished projects because you can't finish them; just try to bring them to an end somehow. This is important because it can help you to learn arrangement as a powerful tool to convey a musical message. Example since you mentioned Dubstep: Nowadays, producers often mix different music styles/tempi to make a "riddim" track more interesting, which would on its own sound maybe dull and too "boring" possibly.

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