Music Production

Throughout a large chunk of my teenage years I spent a lot of time trying my hand at making music. I spent countless hours with software like eJay (Hip-Hop, Dance, etc.), ProDJ (vague name, not sure who the developer was) and probably a few others, too. I did it all the “cheating way”, using only the supplied bundle of samples. I don’t recall ever creating my own samples. Really, I never really created any music – I was just re-spinning what someone else had probably already tried.

The last few days I’ve been exploring the side of creating my own samples. So far, just a few basic drum loops and percussion instruments exist. I’ve yet to put my voice to anything – take me word for it, it’ll need a lot of skewing to make it sound music worthy.

I’ve been searching for something to replace eJay and ProDJ for their ease of use. For those not familiar with ProDJ – it was a clean interface version of eJay. I’m sure anyone who’s ever used eJay (any version) knows that the user interface was cause for sore eyes. Regardless, both were very easy to use: you set your BPM, the software adjusts all the samples to match, you arrange all your samples on a “sheet”, press play to check it sounds OK and finally, export to MP3.

Through the above process, believe it or not, I managed to create an entire 12-track audio CD’s worth of repetitive drumming, bass lines and synth noises. And yes, I actually put it on a CD to listen to in the car. This was before I could drive, so it was my parents who had the misfortune of having to put up with it.

I digress. I’ve found what I think to be the right software without paying the applicable fees for the likes of FL Studio – it’s called LMMS. I’m not sure what it stands for, but if the front page of their website is to be taken into account, maybe “Let’s Make Music Software”, although, that’s ambiguous.

That screenshot alone is very reminiscent of ProDJ.

As for my sample and loop making, that’ll all be occurring in Audacity. I’ve watched endless tutorials on YouTube for generating realistic drum sounds, clean bass lines and other percussive noises. Synth is one thing I’ve not quite dialled in, yet. That’ll come soon. Everyone loves a good synth track.