But can you really make electronic music “from scratch”, comfortably seated at your desk? With the right advice, commitment and without too many pretensions, yes. Ckrono is one of the most important DJs and producers to emerge from the Florentine underground scene, he has signed several successful songs and remixes published by various foreign labels (Mad Decent, Enchufada, Trax), bringing his music around the world. Below is his tutorial for those who want to start making music on their computer from home .
Let’s not give up: today everything is easier
I grew up musically between the 90s and the 2000s, in particular the decade 1995-2005 was the one that marked me the most. Between rock, grunge, metal, punk and everything that could be definitive “alternative” and the pop dance hits of the 90s, trip hop, the expansion of post-rock, IDM and other pioneers of insanely innovative sound like the Chemical Brothers , it was quite evident that electronic music was the music of the future. Fortunately, my hometown, Florence, was also very lively in those years and at the same time very connected with the sparkling realities such as Bologna or Turin or with Europe. Personally, first the jungle / drum’n’bass and then the mixtapes of Radio Soulwax definitely opened my worlds and creativity.
Where to start
Today everything is very easy! There are a thousand apps on mobile devices that allow you to explore the potential of software. If, on the other hand, one wants to approach a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like FL Studio or Ableton just to name the most user-friendly ones, now you can download the demos from their sites (or maybe ask your cousin;))
Starter pack: what you need to go
The starter pack that I recommend involves the use of a pc or mac, which is much more complete than apps, and consists of:
- Ableton Live (but only because it’s my favorite, but you can easily search for FL Studio or Logic X)
- Bluetooth speaker (or your father’s stereo) but watch out for volumes and schedules or you will have all the neighbors against.
- Headphones, to remedy the above problem (although working only with headphones is never advisable)
- A midi keyboard (which you can now find in the whole price range, for example AKAI)
How to create a beat
On Ableton it is quite intuitive, on the left side window under “categories” you will find everything you need: from virtual instruments (instruments) to drums. Just drag them to the 1 midi column, activate these two buttons (Images B and C) and you can play the chosen instrument with the keyboard (the whites in the “a” row and the blacks in the “q” row, with “z” and ” x ”change octave). Then create midi bricks in the vertical part of the screen (which you can drag in the horizontal one, ie in the “sequencer”) and you can lay out your loops. If you want to use audio samples instead, you can find lots of them here. Drag them directly into the “audio” columns, or load them into the samplers (“Sampler” in Ableton).
I’m ready for an upgrade: what to do
The first upgrade is usually a nice pair of studio speakers. If you have to organize yourself for this quarantine, I advise you not to exceed the ones with the six cones, again for the old story of the neighbors … The choice is wide enough, the most popular and cheap that I can recommend to those who want to start are KRK, Yamaha, or Tannoy. The second upgrade is the sound card, which improves the sound quality and the recording possibilities of external instruments, whether it is a voice, a guitar or a bass. To save some more money I recommend the musical market , a very useful site for making good deals on used cars!