and i guess you’ll need a computer… so that might be expensive. BUT if ur reading this you probably have one :)
so yeah, ppl always ask me to make a tumblr tutorial on how to make music, so here it is
first off, the best program (in my opinion) is ableton live. however, garageband is perfectly acceptable and i made visions on garageband. its kind of the same thing but simpler.
when u open it, it will look like this:
if you hit tab, it will turn into this window (which is how I usually work because I like seeing the tracks horizontally):
its pretty strait-forward. the audio track is where you record audio, such as ur voice through a microphone or a guitar or smthn.
You record audio by clicking the black dot in the audio channel as well as the black dot beside the yellow OVR thing in the upper left. you will want to record audio with headphones on, so that you can hear any other things you may have recorded in order to keep time, stay in key etc. without getting the sound of the backing track into ur recording.
there is also a metronome which is the two dots beside the 4/4 thing (which is ur time signature). if u click on the metronome button a click will play at whatever BPM (beats per minute) that ur track is set at. the default bpm is 120, but u can make it whatever u want.
note on bpm:
most pop songs are about 128. the current max martin-y pop is around 135 (beauty and a beat for example). but u can make great dance music at like 116. the slower the tempo, the more percussive stuff u have to play with.
If you can’t afford a cheap microphone there is a built-in microphone in ur computer that works fine, depending what u want to do. For the best recording, you probably want to record using a condensor mic and a pre amp, but these things are expensive. I only just started using these things a month ago, so its probably fine not to use them if u aren’t trying to sound like taylor swift (who does sound amazing, but that record was probably very expensive to make).
you will probably use a dynamic microphone - which is also easy to use live, so its a good purchase. I would suggest an SM58 or SM58 beta. they are cheap and nearly indestructible.
You will also need an XLR cable to attach the mic to an interface. an interface is what you use to record audio and send it to your computer. It will attach to your computer via USB.
I recorded visions on an interface like this :
you can get one of these on craigslist for probably about 50 - 200 dollars, depending on ur city.
ok so - you install this and open ableton - insert the male end of ur XLR cable to the mic in on the interface, and the female end into your microphone.
if you click command+comma, this will open:
as you can see the buffer size is at 2048. This is the quality of playback. If you lower this, you will find it is easier to record. I bring this down to 90 to record vocals and stuff and then when im mixing all the tracks together after I’ve recorded them I bring it back up to 2048 so i can hear what I’ve done at full quality.
The audio input device is where you select your interface as the input device if you have one, but just leave it if you’re using the built in microphone. You can send your sound out of monitors that you can attach to your interface but this is unnecessary. if you’re starting out i would just use the headphone jack for headphones or computer speakers or whatever.
*** Also FYI - the best headphones that you can get cheaply are the audio technica ATHM50s. they’re like 128 bucks or smthn and they’re super nice. also i know this all seems expensive, but i really feel like if you’re gonna spend money on anything, the emotional rewards of making music are totally worth it. if you think about other things you do recreationally its probably more expensive than this.
ok so ya. thats how you record audio. if you click control+T you make a new audio track and u can just record as many of these as u want. midi is a different story but ill get into that later.
oh, also - In the upper left corner you will see a folder called audio effects. if you click on this you’ll see reverb, delay, chorus etc. You can just play with these to figure out what they do, thats prob the best way to learn.
so ya! thats how to record audio. Once you have the basics u can just start googling how to do things on ableton and teach urself.
if anything is unclear let me know and ill update. also if u want to know how to do particular things i can try to go into it but im not super expert at this stuff cuz i figure it out as i go along.