Audio interface

What exactly needs to be replaced is the built-in sound card. Typical chips that are integrated into motherboards are suitable for playing music in MP3 or streaming, but not for creating it. They consume hardware resources, which negatively affects the performance of the system, and we already know what this leads to. An external audio interface frees the processor and memory from the load associated with sound processing, its translation from an analog signal into a digital signal, into bits and bytes of information. This conversion is done by AD / DA converters. The higher the bit depth and sampling rate, the better your material will sound. Today, the most popular standard in the industry is 24 bit / 96 kHz.

The SNR characteristic (aka S / N) determines the strength of the clean signal relative to the background noise. On average, the range of values ​​is 75-90 dB on budget cards and 100-114 dB on professional devices.

Another argument that will dispel the remaining doubts about the new card is the connectors. Initially, the computer does not have the necessary inputs for connecting audio equipment and instruments. An external audio interface is a hub between signal sources and a computer where sound is recorded. Instrument inputs are indispensable for connecting instruments. Electric guitars, basses, and other high impedance sound sources require a high impedance input labeled Hi-Z. For a microphone. XLR-connector, and if it is a condenser, then also a built-in preamplifier with phantom power.

There will be no problems with connecting the audio interface itself. USB is supported by all computers and laptops with the exception of some MacBook models. When buying a sound card, rely on the tools you have and keep in mind the technical parameters of high-quality sound.

General overview of everything you need

Recording a track or an entire album at home is not a fantasy for a long time. And even perfectionists have no cause for concern. With a competent attitude to business and the proper level of skill, an ordinary listener will not guess where and on what your works were created. A gentleman’s set of hardware and software for starting is as follows: computer / laptop, digital workstation (DAW), audio interface, headphones / monitors, or both.

These are the necessary elements to stop dreaming about discovering your serious talents, and finally start doing something for this. The computer is the main tool, the creative center, and, if necessary, a mentor, ready to share knowledge. Those who have mastered the musical literacy have a head start, it is easier for them to navigate the arrangement, it is more difficult to miss the right note, but no one has canceled the following intuition, an inner call, an innate genius. History is replete with many great self-taught careers. There are even more graduates of conservatories who for years became highly qualified professionals, and then remained unknown and out of work. This is not obscurantism. knowledge really unties the hands, but their absence should not stop. You can compose a good electronic track without theory, but if you don’t have analog equipment racks, then you can’t do without a computer.

How to Make a Song in FL Studio 20 �� | Software Lesson

MIDI controllers

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A MIDI controller is a device that transmits commands and MIDI messages to a sound editor on a computer or protocol-compatible equipment. You can also control the DAW using a regular keyboard and mouse: put down notes, drag samples, change envelopes, in fact. manually draw a track in the workspace of the program. In practice, this is extremely inconvenient and can discourage any desire to compose, so we add the MIDI controller to the short list of mandatory purchases.

Controllers come in many different types, with the most common combining the keyboard with other controls, including pads, knobs, and sliders. They have a common goal of optimizing the time spent writing music. If your songs are based on melodic mowing line and you can play the piano, then the priority is multi-octave keyboard controllers with pressure sensitivity and aftertouch support. For beatmakers, the pad grid is much more important to fill in drum parts and run samples. If your career is just getting started, but entering the scene is already in the near future, take a transport controller like Novation Launchpad or Ableton Push. Many devices are made by the same companies that make digital workstations. Despite the close relationship and specialization of controllers for specific software, most tools work with any software.

make, music, your, computer

DAW is software and a producer’s best friend. The list of popular DAWs looks like this: Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, FL Studio, Cubase, Studio One, Reason. The question “which is better?”. rhetorical. Despite the fact that some programs are more suitable for performing certain tasks (Ableton Live is actively used by solo electronic engineers, and the possibilities of Pro Tools are fully revealed in the hands of sound engineers working with large projects and budgets), they are all suitable for writing arrangements, recording, mixing and mastering. Genre gradation does not matter. you can write an armor-piercing techno number or meditative ambient in both FL Studio and Cubase.

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It is not uncommon for a complete set of audio equipment, be it an audio interface or a controller, to include a fully functional distribution kit. Download some trial versions of different DAWs and try to sketch them. First impressions are important. If you find your way around the interface, understand the location of the software components, then an in-depth study will not cause difficulties.

Usually DAWs are presented in different versions. The starting ones are cheaper and differ in a smaller set of tools, the flagship price reaches several hundred dollars, but the user gets a full arsenal at his disposal. Do not immediately aim at the maximum configuration, first stop at the basic edition. It can be expanded if necessary. all developers provide flexible pricing for existing users who are ready to move to the next level.

Studio Monitors / Headphones

No matter how developed the ear is, no musician and sound engineer can do without a high-quality monitoring system. In this context, monitoring is the process of acoustic control of a signal throughout the entire sound path and at every stage of production. For this task, you need to get studio monitors and headphones. These are complementary means. Do not buy hi-fi speakers that color the sound and change the original frequency response. Listening to music as a professional and as an ordinary person are fundamentally different things. Use studio monitors with flat frequency response and wide frequency range.

Monitors are different: active and passive, near and far field, closed and open. The first criterion is due to the peculiarity of working with the signal, the method of its amplification. Passive monitors need an external amplifier, active ones do not. The proximity or range of the field refers to the distance to the point where the picture of the sound unfolds optimally. Far-field monitors are installed at a greater distance from the listener and require additional acoustic treatment of the room. Open monitors differ from closed ones by the presence of a bass reflex of a special design, which expands the dynamic range due to resonance.

Closed monitors stand out with tighter bass, while open monitors are more capricious when placed. Do not place a monitor with bass reflex ports on the back of the cabinet near a wall, as this will cause unwanted resonance that will distort the sound. When setting up a home studio on a tight budget, it is wiser to choose active near-field monitors. The presence of a bass reflex is at the discretion of the user.

Studio headphones will help you do a lot of work in relative silence for others. The main requirement for them is a natural and clean sound, devoid of any harmonic distortion and embellishment. Of the technical parameters, it is important to consider the frequency response (the range of frequencies that the speaker reproduces), sound pressure and harmonic distortion levels, and impedance. Headphones are usually classified according to various criteria, but speaking about suitable for monitoring, we distinguish two types. closed and open. Closed ones completely cover the ear, respectively. effectively isolate from external sources of noise. Open ones let sound out and in. It is believed that they solve different problems: the former are more suitable for recording, the latter for mixing. Musicians and studio engineers use both. Headphones should fit comfortably on your head and not cause fatigue during extended sessions.

How to MAKE MUSIC with BandLab on a COMPUTER!

How to write music on a computer: a beginner’s guide


This article can not only be read, but also listened to:

Desktops and laptops that await us in homes and workplaces can be used in many ways.

For some, they have become inevitable companions of the office routine. Others take their laptops to bed to spend the evening watching the show. Still others clap the mouse buttons with all their might when they enter the arena of fierce gaming battles. Others combine all this, read news resources along the way, clean their mailboxes from spam, communicate with friends via video link and solve many problems. To each according to his abilities and needs. For aspiring artists, the computer is one of the shortest paths to music.

A computer

make, music, your, computer

What kind of computer do you need? At the initial stage, such a question is ignored. If you did not inherit the dilapidated Pentium from the nineties-zero, then the momentary upgrade is postponed until better times. Modern machines can handle the workload of producer software, so-called digital workstations or DAWs, with confidence. Soft, active plug-ins of virtual instruments and effects access the RAM and the central processor. The more funds are used, the longer the computer processes incoming information.

Fast performance affects not only the pace of production, but also the quality. Sound artifacts that may appear at the stage of mixing, and then migrate to the.wav file, also depend on the power of the computer. It is difficult to name a universal configuration suitable for everyone. There is a popular rule of thumb here: the more powerful the better. Multi-core processor, the amount of RAM are the most obvious indicators that deserve attention. It is advisable to replace the outdated HDD with a solid-state SSD drive.

Stage two. “Dressing up” the melody

After the melody and accompaniment are ready, you should add instruments to the composition, that is, fill it with colors to enhance the main theme. It is necessary to write melodies for bass, keyboards, electric guitar, and register the percussion part. Next, you should choose the sound for the written melodies, that is, experiment with different instruments, you can work on different tempos. When the sound of all the recorded instruments will sound harmoniously and emphasize the main theme, you can proceed to mixing.

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Stage three. Mixing

Mixing is the imposition of all the recorded parts for the instruments on top of each other, mixing their sounds in accordance with the synchronization of the playing time. The perception of the composition depends on the correct mixing of the instruments. The important point at this stage is the volume levels for each part. The sound of the instrument should be distinguishable in the overall composition, but at the same time, and not drown out other instruments. You can also add special noise effects. But you need to work with them very carefully, the main thing is not to overdo it, otherwise you can ruin everything.

How to write music on a computer

In today’s world with rapidly developing computer technologies and a society that keeps up with all the innovations, the question often arises of how to write music on a computer? Most often, creative individuals, both professional musicians and those who have independently mastered musical literacy, choose a computer as a tool for creating their musical masterpieces.

It is really possible to write high-quality music on a computer, thanks to a huge number of various programs created for these purposes. Below we will consider the main stages of creating compositions on a PC using special programs, of course, you need to be able to use them at least at an initial level.

Stage one. Idea and sketches of the future composition

At this stage, the most creative work is carried out without any restrictions. From scratch, the basis of the composition is created. the melody, it is necessary to give it depth and beauty of sound. After the final version of the melody is determined, you should work on the accompaniment. In the future, the entire structure of the work will build on the work done at the first stage.

Stage four. Mastering

The fourth stage, which is also the final one in the question of how to write music on a computer, is mastering, that is, preparation and transfer of the recorded composition to any medium. At this stage, you should pay attention to the saturation so that nothing affects the general mood of the work. None of the tools should stand out from the others, if something similar is found, you should return to the third stage and refine. It is also necessary to listen to the composition on different acoustics. The recording should be of approximately the same quality.

It does not matter at all which program you use to create music on your computer, as there are a great many of them. For example, the professional music creation program FL Studio, the leader in popularity among musicians. Cubase SX is also a very powerful virtual studio recognized by many famous DJs and musicians. On par with the listed virtual recording studios are Sonar X1 and Propellerhead Reason, which are also professional recording, editing and mixing studios. The choice of the program should be based on the individual needs and capabilities of the musician. Ultimately, high-quality and popular works are created not by programs, but by people.

Let’s listen to an example of music created using computer programs:

Exporting a Music Composition

After creating your musical creation, be sure to save the project. To get a music track for further use or listening outside of FL Studio, it must be exported to the desired format. This can be done through the “File” menu of the program.

Select the desired format, specify the quality and click on the “Start” button.

In addition to exporting the entire musical composition, FL Studio also allows you to export each track separately (you must first distribute all the instruments and sounds to the mixer channels). In this case, each musical instrument will be saved as a separate track (separate audio file). This is necessary in cases when you want to transfer your composition to someone for further work (the same information and mastering, for example). This can be a producer or sound engineer who will bring to mind or somehow change the track. In this case, this person will have access to all the components of the composition. Using all these fragments, he will be able to create a song by simply adding a vocal part to the finished composition.

To save the composition as a track (each instrument is a separate track), you must select the WAVE format for saving and in the window that appears, check “Split Mixer Tracks”.

Working with a playlist

The music fragments you have created, distributed according to individual FL Studio patterns, need to be placed in the playlist. Follow the same principle as with patterns, that is, one instrument, one track. Thus, by constantly adding new fragments or removing some parts, you will bring the composition together, making it diverse, and not monotonous.

Here’s an example of what a patterned composition might look like in a playlist:

Sound processing with effects

Each sound or melody must be sent to a separate FL Studio mixer channel, where it can be processed with a variety of effects, including an EQ, compressor, filter, limiter, reverb and more.

Thus, you will give individual fragments a high-quality, studio sound. In addition to processing the effects separately for each instrument, you must also make sure that each of them sounds in its own frequency range, does not get out of the general picture, but does not muffle / cut another instrument. If you have an ear (and you certainly do, since you decided to create music), there should be no problems. In any case, there are plenty of detailed text manuals as well as video tutorials on working with FL Studio on the Internet.

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In addition, it is possible to add a general effect or effects that improve the sound quality of the composition as a whole to the master channel. These effects will affect the entire composition as a whole. Here you need to be extremely careful and attentive so as not to negatively affect what you have done before with each sound / channel separately.

Writing a drum part

Every composer has a different approach to writing music. Someone starts with the main melody, someone with drums and percussion, first creating a rhythmic pattern, which will then grow and fill with musical instruments. We’ll start with the drums.

The creation of musical compositions in FL Studio takes place in stages, and the main workflow proceeds on patterns. fragments, which are then assembled into a full-fledged track, located in the playlist.

One-shot samples needed to create a drum part are contained in the FL Studio library, and you can select the appropriate ones through the convenient program browser.

Each instrument must be placed on a separate track of the pattern, but there can be an unlimited number of tracks. The length of the pattern is also unlimited, but 8 or 16 measures will be more than enough, since any fragment can be duplicated in the playlist.

Here’s an example of what a drum part might look like in FL Studio, placed from a Pattern onto the Piano Roll:

Making music on your computer with FL Studio


In addition to processing sounds and melodies with effects, the main task of which is to improve the sound quality and bring the overall musical picture into a single masterpiece, these very effects can be automated. What does it mean? Imagine that you need one of the instruments to start playing a little quieter at some point in the composition, “go” to another channel (left or right) or play with some effect, and then start playing again in its “clean” form. So, instead of once again prescribing this instrument in a pattern, sending it to another channel, processing it with other effects, you can simply automate the regulator that is responsible for this effect and make the musical fragment behave like this in a specific section of the track, as needed.

To add an automation clip, right-click on the desired knob and select “Create Automation Clip” in the menu that appears.

The automation clip also appears in the playlist and stretches to the full length of the selected instrument relative to the track. By controlling the line, you will set the necessary parameters for the control knob, which will change its position during the playback of the track.

Here’s an example of what automating the “fade out” of a piano part in FL Studio might look like:

Likewise, you can set automation for the entire track as well. This can be done in the mixer master channel.

An example of automating a smooth fading of the entire composition:

Create a melody

The set of this workstation contains a large number of musical instruments. Most of them are various synthesizers, each with a large library of sounds and samples. These tools can also be accessed from the program browser. After choosing a suitable plugin, you need to add it to the pattern.

The melody itself must be written in the Piano Roll, which can be opened by right-clicking on the instrument track.

It is highly advisable to prescribe the part of each musical instrument, be it, for example, guitar, piano, kick drum or percussion, on a separate pattern. This will greatly simplify the process of mixing composition and processing instruments with effects.

Here’s an example of what a melody written in FL Studio might look like:

How many musical instruments to use to create your composition is up to you and, of course, the genre you choose. At a minimum, there should be drums, bass line, main melody and some other additional element or sound for a change.

How to create music in FL Studio

FL Studio is one of the best programs for music creation and arrangements, mixing and mastering. It is used by many composers and musicians in professional recording studios, and we will also use it in order to show how to create your own musical composition from scratch in any genre.

Note: The instructions below in no way claim to be universal either in terms of the order of steps or in terms of the actions performed on each of them. This is just one of many possible representations of how you can create music, necessary in order to show the general algorithm and is aimed at beginners who have already started to master the program.

Before proceeding with the implementation of the recommendations below, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the article presented at the link below. this will help you “get used to” and in more detail understand the functions and capabilities of FL Studio.