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Zaprongu

How to start?

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So, I just joined this site and I think this is the most fitting place to ask this, because I need help with music-related stuff. The thing is, I don't really know how to make music - or where to start anyway. And it's a block for me that keeps me away from learning how to code and make a game, see, I won't simply settle for free music, I want everything made by myself, even if it takes a lot of time, I want to be independent, and I even want to help other people that are struggling with this too. To be more specific, I did read a bit of it, on how you need to make a simple melody and work around it (Kinda like art sketches), using different instruments to vary the mood (Like using Harps for relaxing music, I know this is not always true but...). However, I do not know the process on doing so whatsoever, as in, I don't know any software that could help me create MIDIs, neither how to use them or any term related to music, heck, I can't even read musical sheets... I already have stuff down like Art and pixelart, I have been practicing this whole year from scratch, and I have learned lots of stuff about game design, not that I won't stop learning new stuff over the time but hey, the thing right now is music. I'll put a lot of dedication to it if I understand it correctly. And I'm sorry if this doesn't go here and goes in the beginner's section >_>

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If you want to create music but are as iliterate when it comes to musical instruments as me (save drums, but that does not help much I guess), have a look at some of the digital audio workstation programs around, or even better, their consumer oriented offsprings (much cheaper or maybe free).

 

These programms will let you record and arrange your own tracks. But they will also let you build tracks from sound loops, which are short records from someone else.

 

If you are looking at a free programm to edit and manipulate tracks, have a look at Audiocity.

 

 

Personally, I am using MAGIX Music Maker. Its the consumer version of their DAW and somewhat similar to the big names like Ableton Live (though I guess not coming close to its features). The program itself is cheap to get and pretty good, and especially intuitive for an absolute newbie to music making like me.

 

They also have an online store filled to the brim with sound loops. They are reasonably priced, though the cost adds up if you want to get them all.

 

The tool also has lots of instruments to create your own tracks without a keyboard (music instrument), just using mouse and keyboard (computer input device). Its certainly slower to record your track this way and I guess most professional musicians will cry out in agony at the thought of it, but with some time and dedication it actually does work.

 

Of course, as soon as you stop just using sound loops, you will need to digest a lot of musical theory anyway, even if you don't want to learn playing an instrument. Just placing some random tones at random places might sound interesting and experimental at times... most of the time it will just sound like crap!

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Hello.

Do you own a keyboard instrument, or have the means to acquire one?

 

No, I don't have any, but I am interested on the piano.

 

@Gian-Reto: Ohhh Thanks a lot! I will check that one out! I'm desesperate for an user friendly digital audio workstation.

 

And about the Sound loops, those will come in handy!

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If you are looking at a free programm to edit and manipulate tracks, have a look at Audiocity.

Perhaps you mean Audacity, the GPL-licensed multi-track audio editor.
 

 

Yes, that's it... haven't used it in a long time and frankly didn't look up the name as I was sure I got it right. Me brains getting old it seems.

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I think you should use Reaper, pretty much free (50$ but you can have an evaluation that is unlimited for free) and very powerful for a DAW.

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If you don't know anything about music yet, composition can be quite challenging. My suggestion would be to start with taking either: 

 

- piano lessons

- guitar lessons

- a music theory course (or even just working out of one of those Freshman college music theory books)

 

The idea is once you begin to understand how to play music on an instrument (especially guitar or piano which can do chords and/or melodies) then you can start to develop an ear for how songs are put together. To just jump right into composition without any foundation could be hard but it's definitely not impossible. Learning how to play music does so many things, from learning all of the building blocks to developing an understanding of how music behaves and impacts you as well as others.

 

The other suggestion would be to use a DAW and then take MIDI tracks of songs you know and enjoy then modify them. Basically making new arrangements of them where explore what changing certain notes, chords or rhythms would do. Just be advised, all of this can take some serious time before you'll be really happy with your own music. And that's completely okay!

Edited by nsmadsen

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Pretty overwhelming isn't it?  

 

Really, the only thing you will need is:

something like noteworthy composer $15.

https://www.noteworthysoftware.com/

 

nwc21scrn.png

 

 

Noteworthy makes midi music only.  That sucks, but here you will learn what the different notes mean, what sharp/flat means, the different between slurring notes together and not, and many many more things.  You get to experiment right away even without a keyboard.  I think there's a free version on there too.  You can experiment with the different midi instruments provided to try to get a different sound.  This is how I started.  I did have access to a cheap keyboard ($30) and I practiced finger movements.  

 

The bigger Digital Audio Workstations(DAW) are very very complicated and overwhelming at first.  I recommend that when you are no longer content with making songs in Noteworthy to give FL studio a shot.  It is primarily structured around making techno songs, but if you keep at it long enough you will learn the arts and be able to make any type of music with it.  It is one of the cheaper options for a DAW being priced at somewhere around $100.  If you make it this far, pick up a midi keyboard that has a midi in/out and grab one of these 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Generic-USB-MIDI-Converter-Electronics/dp/B003KXEDVQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410436588&sr=8-1&keywords=midi+keyboard+converter

 

The converter transmits the state of key presses/releases to your computer so you can start getting into the groove a little better while composing music. I remember being blown away when the studio recorded my input for the first time.  

 

The DAW hurdle is one that will take a long... long time to learn your first time.  There are many aspects to composing music that will upset you and you may end up taking a break.  But it will always be waiting for you to return.  

Edited by Keith G

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Hello.

Do you own a keyboard instrument, or have the means to acquire one?

 

No, I don't have any, but I am interested on the piano.


 

Piano or keyboard is a great place to start. The thing is, you need to practice and develop a style before you can effectively start to create music for your game. I personally think a tangible device like a keyboard is the best place to start. it helps in creating a 'feel' for the music.

Good luck!smile.png

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