45

Wave is an uncompressed or lossless format, whereas MP3 is compressed or lossy. Technically .wav is just a container format and can hold various types of compressed or uncompressed audio, but typically you'll see it containing LPCM uncompressed audio (the same as on audio CDs). With .wav files, you are essentially getting a raw bitstream representation of ...


41

'In general' is pretty hard to nail down. There is so much to say about this era I could write a book - perhaps I should ;-) Late edit - Let me add a quick TL:DR Hardware sequencers were such a pain to programme is was simpler just to play it most of the time. One good bit of diddley-diddley sequence could make the whole track sound "electronic". It didn't ...


32

They are not always the same. There can be differences in the harmonic content, in the wave shape, even if they are unnoticeable to the ear (or most ears). There are many different ways to generate the basic waveforms electronically, so in analog synths the actual waveform will depend on the design and implementation. I've also found that analog ...


31

Computer: You're using one right now. You don't need a fancy new computer to make music. DAW: There are many free DAWs. REAPer is free if you don't mind a nag screen, Audacity is free and open source. Keyboard/Synth: You can get an entry keyboard for $100 that will work fine. VSTs: There are many free VSTs available from plenty of websites. Samples: Free on ...


28

Harmonic mixing is the practice of using music theory in your dj sets. You can use this knowledge to achieve specific functions when mixing two songs (similar to chord progressions), or to know which songs are compatible with each other, just to give a few examples. The most common and basic form of harmonic mixing. If you don't want to know about the ...


27

One of the most common pieces of advice I hear about this is to take breaks. You're right that in some situations (extremely tight deadlines, for example) this may not be practical, but in reality, it's the best way to achieve the results you hope for. Listening fatigue is a real thing, and the phenomenon you describe, coming back to a song you liked only ...


25

For a long time, in popular music, a bootleg has been an unauthorised copy of some music. That would include unauthorised concert recordings, copies of masters stolen from record company archives, or just cassettes dubbed from commercial LPs. At various points in history, you'd find bootleg recordings as vinyl pressings, acetate pressings for DJs, as ...


24

This is a difficult question to answer, because you say you already understand synthesis, and that you're good at it - so it seems you should already know what synthesisers are capable of, and how to make them do it. So you'll know there are many different kinds of synthesiser, and they can be combined - there's nothing to stop you from controlling an FM ...


24

It doesn't need to be expensive. Computer: You don't need an expensive system, and chances are that the one you are using right now is more than enough. I have used a 2GB RAM, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system for production (including mixing). The more powerful your system is, the bigger your real-time toolbox is: more channels, more effects, more programs, ...


23

In principle, the answer is yes, with software instruments it is feasible to (re-)set the tuning so that you can realize music with modulation that stays in just intonation across these changes. The frequencies are directly accessible in sound synthesis environments like PureData or Overtone, and even just by setting the tuning information in a set of MIDI ...


22

He's just showing off. There's a few major reasons why what he describes doesn't matter. First and foremost, sheet music is a guide. It's not actually the music. You are always expected to put your own experience into the notes before they get called music. Thus, you would never want to play an exact transcription of the black toner on the page. It ...


19

I'll give this another spin: Can music time signatures really be rational? Which I'd answer: no, not really. Rationality is a mathematical concept, depending on an exact, axiomatic notion of numbers. Now, sure, any ordinary piece of music will use a rational signature given by integer numbers on paper, or in the DAW you use. Time is conceptually divided ...


16

Two main ways: Record the song in-studio and "DJ" the recording in the club. Bring your group to a club and play live using the synthesizers/samplers/drum machines you'd use in the studio. Both are seen, but most club scenes use the first model overwhelmingly, and have done so long before house music was developed, for many reasons: Electronic dance music ...


16

You cannot even realize "just temperament" reliably when you are working with continuous-tone instruments like singers and trombones. Take a look at even something as old as J.S. Bach's mass in B minor, like the "Confiteor" which goes off-tonality somewhere after 2:30 (in this recording) and loses tonal center rather thoroughly between 3:00 and 4:00. The ...


16

There are indeed new languages, as well as libraries within other languages. I'm going to list a few that spring to mind off the top of my head, and maybe come back and expand my answer later. edit 03/17: I have slightly revised the answer. Notable that to a great extent, SuperCollider is often used as a back-end for systems based in a range of languages &...


15

This is actually called sidechain compression. It is usually applied to pads, or basslines with higher frequencies (but not always) and then a kick drum is often used as the 'input' for the compressor. The kick drum hits and just like when you listen to the radio, when the dj/presenter talks over the music, the volume dips. The attack, delay, hold and ...


15

Taking breaks has been mentioned, and is obviously a good idea! Other ideas: A change is as good as a rest: work an a different project for a while, and come back to the first one listen to other music in a similar style - or even a different style - to get your bearings again, and tune yourself back in to what's normal listen on different systems, and ...


14

The only thing that matters is if the sample sounds good. You have to listen to it and decide whether you want to use it. No numbers or waveforms or analysis programs are going to tell you whether the sound is good. But be aware a sample that sounds good by itself might not sound good in a mix, and other sounds that work well in context might sound bad when ...


13

General Midi specifies a mapping. Roland's GS standard adds to it as does Yamaha's XG standard. Your exact keyboard (and possibly drum preset itself) may vary. see http://pianocheetah.com/midi/drum.html and wikipedia:


13

Learning production is like learning any musical instrument in a lot of ways. You first need to practice a lot to become very familiar with your software. The software is your instrument, you need to know it inside and out to become proficient at creating songs. For instruments, daily practice is the fastest way to improve, and the same goes with digital ...


12

The executive summary of Charles' very detailed answer is: Use WAV for recording and editing. Use your audio editor's native file format with references to the WAV files to keep disk space under control use MP3 for distribution. 44.1 and 160kbps is lots, unless your audience has a home stereo that is worth more than their car and ears to match.


12

It's a bit more complicated than may appear at first glance. Within a single key, if Just Intonation makes the I,IV, and V chords all (4,5,6) ratios, the ii chord will be off. The other question is what note to play as a melody note. Often, melodies are somewhat independent of the underlying chords (at least in CPP if not in Jazz and other Pop theories). I ...


11

Additive synthesis can be more than just stacking a bunch of sine waves to emulate an instrument. For instance are the sine waves following the harmonic series or some other series of harmonics? are the sine waves at a constant amplitude? are the sine waves in the same phase? The key thing to remember is that almost all natural sounds will have dynamic ...


11

Let's first define Musique Concrète as: Music crafted from the manipulation of recorded sounds. You can find more in-depth definitions here and here. Where to start? Before we can manipulate sounds, we need to record them. Grab a mic and start recording whatever sound you find interesting. Falling stones, water, voices, rain, cars, wood, strings, ...


11

Expensive compared to what? If you looked at learning sax, guitar, piano etc., and bought new, as you appear determined to do, you would shell out a load of money with those.Especially electric guitar, because you would feel you need a decent amp., then effects, et al. When you learned to ride a bike, you hopefully didn't go and buy a $3000 racing road bike,...


10

What you need to be looking for are VST - Virtual Studio Technology - instruments. The good DAW's all let you use VST plugins to synthesise instrument sounds, using various parameters, including different breath pressure, volume etc. Many libraries are available for free online, you tend to get free ones with Digital audio magazines (often a DVD full of ...


10

This sounds similar-to (but more general than) the so-called Speech-to-Song effect, a musical illusion discovered and described by musical psychologist Dr. Diana Deutsch, whereby a repeated phrase of speech comes to sound like music. I think the effect you're discussing is a more general effect, since it involves any repeated sound, and does not necessarily ...


10

"just intonation better than equal temperament" Judgement call there. When instruments are slightly off perfect ratios, there can be very appealing beating and chorus effects. Piano strings are intentionally mistuned from each other by slight amounts. Nothing but perfect ratios can sometimes lead to a very thin sound. Depends on context. "instruments which ...


8

Seems that you are new to the whole synthesis thing and you are looking for specific sounds found in other songs, so I recommend you to start with a software synthesizer that has a big and good library and macro support/dynamics. The library will let you choose from an array of well-organized pre-programmed sounds, and the macros will let you tweak those ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible