What You Need to Know About Producing Electronic Music

A beginner’s guide to the world of electronic music production, from the basics of sound synthesis to more advanced concepts like sound design and mixing.


If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in learning how to produce electronic music. Or maybe you’re already producing but you want to learn more about the process. Either way, this guide is for you.

Electronic music production can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of knowledge and the right tools, anyone can start making great sounding music.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about producing electronic music. We’ll start with the basics of recording and mixing, then move on to more advanced topics like sound design and composition. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of what it takes to make professional sounding tracks.

So let’s get started!

The Tools You’ll Need

If you’re interested in producing electronic music, there are a few things you’ll need to get started. First, you’ll need a computer with a sound card and appropriate software. You’ll also need a MIDI keyboard or other controller, a microphone, and some basic recording equipment. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the different software and hardware options available to you and what you need to know to get started.

A computer

In order to produce electronic music, you will need a computer. A laptop will do the trick, but a desktop will give you a little more power to work with. You will also need some type of audio interface. This is what allows you to connect your musical instruments or microphones to your computer so that you can record them. Lastly, you’ll need some music production software. This is what you’ll use to create and mix your songs.

Music production software

In order to produce electronic music, you will need some type of music production software. This is what you will use to create and edit your tracks. While there are a variety of software programs available, they all essentially serve the same purpose. Some of the more popular music production software programs include Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools.

If you are just getting started with producing electronic music, you may want to consider a less expensive or even free program to get started. Once you have a better understanding of the basics of music production, you can then upgrade to a more sophisticated program if you choose.

MIDI keyboard

A MIDI keyboard is an essential tool for any producer looking to create electronic music. They come in all shapes and sizes, from simple 25-key USB controllers to massive 88-key weighted beasts. MIDI keyboards usually include a selection of assignable buttons and knobs, which can be mapped to control almost any parameter in your DAW or plugin.

If you’re just starting out, we recommend going for a 25- or 49-key keyboard. These are small and portable, making them easy to transport to gigs or sessions. They also tend to be quite affordable, making them a great option for budget-conscious producers. If you have more space and a higher budget, you might want to consider a 61- or 88-key keyboard. These larger models offer a more realistic piano playing experience, and can be useful for writing complex melodies and progressions.

When choosing a MIDI keyboard, it’s important to consider the type of keys it uses. The two most popular options are semi-weighted keys and synth keys. Semi-weighted keys are similar in feel to an acoustic piano, making them well suited for pianists or anyone who prefers a more traditional playing experience. Synth keys are often found on budget models, and tend to be smaller and lighter than semi-weighted keys. They’re also velocity sensitive, meaning they can register different levels of dynamic expression depending on how hard you play them.

Audio interface

An audio interface is a device that connects your music-making equipment to your computer. It acts as the middleman between your synths, drum machines, and other gear, and the software you use to record and produce music.

If you’re a producer who uses virtual instruments and plug-ins inside a DAW, you’ll need an audio interface with enough inputs and outputs (I/O) to accommodate all of your gear. Most audio interfaces will also come with preamps, which will boost the signal of your microphones so they can be properly recorded.

In general, the more I/O an audio interface has, the more expensive it will be. So if you’re just starting out, it’s important to only buy the number of inputs and outputs that you need. As your studio grows, you can always buy a new audio interface with more I/O.


It’s important to have a good pair of headphones when you’re producing electronic music. You need to be able to hear all the subtle details in the music so you can make sure everything sounds just right. There are a lot of different types of headphones out there, and it’s important to choose a pair that is comfortable and sounds good to you.

There are two main types of headphones: over-ear and on-ear. Over-ear headphones are the type that go over your whole ear, and they tend to be more comfortable and have better sound quality. On-ear headphones go right on top of your ears, and they’re generally less expensive than over-ear headphones.

There are also noise-cancelling headphones, which can be helpful if you’re trying to concentrate on your work in a noisy environment. These headphones use special technology to cancel out background noise, so you can focus on the music.

The Basics of Music Production

Before you can start producing electronic music, you need to understand the basics of music production. This includes understanding the different types of equipment and software that you will need. It also includes understanding how to use these tools to create the sound that you want.

Creating a project

Creating a project in a music production program is similar to setting up a new document in a word processing program. Before you start adding tracks, you’ll need to decide on some basic parameters for your project, such as the tempo (speed), time signature, and key. You can always change these later if you need to, but it’s good to have a starting point.

Once you have your project set up, you can start adding tracks. In most music production programs, each track can hold MIDI data (information about which notes are being played and when) or audio data (a recording of actual sounds). You can record audio directly into a track using a microphone or other input device, or you can record it from another source, such as a CD or another file on your computer.

MIDI data is usually created using a MIDI keyboard or another type of controller connected to your computer. You can also create MIDI data by drawing notes directly into the track in the music production program. Once you have some MIDI or audio data in a track, you can start editing it to get the sound you want.

Adding audio and MIDI tracks

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what you need to get started producing electronic music, let’s talk about how to actually create a song. Most modern DAWs (digital audio workstations) allow you to add both audio and MIDI tracks.

Audio tracks are typically used for vocals or any other recorded audio, while MIDI tracks are used for virtual instruments or controlling external hardware instruments. MIDI data can be sent to both virtual and hardware instruments, and many modern instruments have built-in sounds that can be played without the need for a computer.

Adding audio and MIDI tracks is usually as simple as clicking on the ‘add track’ button in your DAW’s main window and choosing the desired track type. Once you’ve added a track, you’ll need to assign it to an input (for audio tracks) or an instrument (for MIDI tracks).

Assigning an input is usually as simple as selecting the desired input from a drop-down menu. For MIDI tracks, you’ll need to select an instrument from a virtual instrument library orConnect an external MIDI controller if you’re using hardware instruments.

After you’ve assigned an input or selected an instrument, you can start recording or playing your track. When recording audio, it’s always a good idea to use a pop filter to reduce plosives (hard ‘p’ and ‘b’ sounds) and protect your microphone from moisture damage.

MIDI tracks don’t require any special equipment, but if you’re using virtual instruments, it’s often helpful to use a MIDI keyboard for playing notes and melodies.


Recording is the process of capturing audio from a sound source using a microphone or other transducer, converting it to an electrical signal, storing it on some form of electronic media, and then reconverting it back to sound when playback is desired. The entire process can be done in the analog domain, in the digital domain, or in a combination of both.


Editing is the process of arranging, cutting, and splicing audio to create a cohesive whole. In the world of electronic music production, editing often takes the form of trimming audio clips to snare drum samples and rearranging them into a drum pattern. Music producers may also use editing to create seamless loops of audio or to add effects such as reverb and delay.


In music production, mixing is the process of combining elements of different recordings to create a single track. The term can also refer to the balance between different tracks in a mix. For example, you might mix a lead vocal with backing vocals and accompaniment to create a final track.

Mixing is an important part of the music production process, and it can have a major impact on the sound of a track. A good mix can make a track sound more polished and professional, while a bad mix can make it sound amateurish and unappealing.

There are many different techniques that can be used when mixing, and there is no single right way to do it. It is important to experiment and find what works best for each individual track.

When mixing, there are several things that you will need to take into account:

– The level of each individual track: This refers to the volume of each track in the mix. You will need to find the right balance between all of the tracks so that they can be heard clearly without being too loud or too quiet.
– The panning of each individual track: This refers to where each track is positioned in the stereo field. You will need to use panning wisely so that tracks do not sound cluttered or overwhelming.
– The EQ of each individual track: This refers to the frequency response of each track. You will need to use EQ to shape the sound of each track and make sure that it sits well in the mix.
– The effects on each individual track: This refers to any effects that you might want to use on a track, such as reverb or delay. You will need to use effects sparingly so that they do not clutter up the sound or become too distracting.


After you have mixed and recorded your song, the next step is mastering. Mastering is the process of finalizing your track so it is ready for release. This includes ensuring that the levels are balanced, the sound is clear, and the overall volume is optimized.

To master your track, you will need to use a few different types of software. First, you will need an audio editing program like Audacity or Reaper. This will allow you to make any final adjustments to your mix. Next, you will need a plugin like Ozone or Mastering The Mix’s LEVELS to help you balance the levels of your track. Finally, you will need a limiter like Waves L2 or FabFilter Pro-L to increase the overall volume of your track without clipping.

With these tools, you can create a professional-sounding master that is ready for release on iTunes, Spotify, or any other platform.


In the final analysis, producing electronic music is a complex and involved process, but it can be extremely rewarding. With the right knowledge and tools, you can create professional-sounding tracks that will stand up to the scrutiny of even the most demanding listener.

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