How to Make Electronic Music: A Beginner’s Guide

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Making electronic music can be a daunting task for beginners. But with this guide, you’ll be able to get started quickly and easily. We’ll show you how to make electronic music, step by step.


If you’ve ever been interested in making your own electronic music, but didn’t know where to start, this guide is for you. We’ll go over some basics of what you need to get started, and give you some tips on how to create your first track.

To make electronic music, you’ll need a computer with some audio editing software. There are many different programs available, but we recommend starting with a free one like Audacity. Once you have your software set up, you’ll need to choose what kind of music you want to make. Do you want to make dance music? Ambient music? Something in between? Once you have an idea of what kind of music you want to make, it’s time to start adding sounds.

Start by choosing a kick drum sound. This will be the foundation of your track, so take some time to find a sound that you like. Once you have your kick drum, add a snare drum and hi-hat on the two and four beats. These will provide a solid backbeat for your track. From there, start adding other percussion sounds like claps and shakers. Then, add some melodic elements like synths and pads. You can also add vocals if you want, but they aren’t necessary. Once you have all of your sounds in place, it’s time to start arranging them into a song. Start by laying down a simple four-bar loop. Then, start adding and subtracting elements until you have something that you’re happy with. Remember that less is often more in electronic music. Finally, add effects like reverb and delay to give your track more space and depth.

That’s it! You now know the basics of how to make electronic music. Just remember to experiment and have fun with it. There are no rules in electronic music, so feel free to experiment until you find your own sound.

What You Need

You don’t need much to get started making electronic music. In fact, all you really need is a computer and some basic software. You can find a lot of great software for free or very cheap. In this guide, we will cover some of the basics of what you need to get started making electronic music.

A computer

To get started making electronic music, you’ll need a computer. Nearly any computer will work for making music, but if you’re just starting out, you may want to get a basic model that’s easy to use.

Once you have a computer, you’ll need to install some software. There are many different types of software available for making electronic music, but we recommend FL Studio or Ableton Live. These programs are user-friendly and perfect for beginners.

In addition to a computer and software, you’ll need some other basic equipment. You’ll need a MIDI controller, headphones, and speakers. A MIDI controller is an input device that allows you to control the sound of your computer’s synthesizer. Headphones are essential for monitoring your music as you’re creating it. And speakers will be necessary for listening to your finished tracks.

Music software

Now that you have the concept and the equipment, you need the software to create your music. This is where electronic music gets its name; You use a computer program to create, edit, and mix your sounds into a piece of music. The most important part of this stage is picking the right software for you and your project.

The two most popular types of music software are digital audio workstations (DAWs) and drum machines. DAWs are general purpose programs that can be used for any type of music production, from recording live instruments to creating complex electronic compositions. Drum machines are specialized programs designed specifically for creating drum beats.

In general, DAWs are more complex and capable than drum machines, but they can also be more overwhelming for beginners. Drum machines tend to be more limited in terms of functionality, but they often have a more user-friendly interface that is easier to learn.

If you’re just getting started, we recommend using a DAW like Ableton Live or Logic Pro X. These programs are very versatile and can be used for any kind of music production. If you’re interested in creating mostly electronic beats, then a drum machine like Native Instruments Maschine might be a better choice.

MIDI keyboard

MIDI controllers come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny portable units to massive 88-note behemoths. The good news is that you don’t need anything too fancy or expensive to get started – a simple 25-key MIDI keyboard will do the job just fine. MIDIs keyboards usually have a few extra buttons and knobs which can be assigned to control various parameters in your DAW or plugin, but again, don’t worry too much about that for now – you can always add more controllers later on down the line.

The great thing about MIDI keyboards is that they don’t make any sound themselves – they’re just used to send MIDI data to your computer, which it then uses to trigger sounds from a virtual instrument or plugin. This means that you can use them with any DAW or plugin, and you’re not tied into using any specific software.

The Basics of Music Production

Before you can start making electronic music, you need to understand the basics of music production. In this section, you will learn about the different aspects of music production, including composition, sound design, and mixing. You will also learn about the different types of electronic music, and how to create your own tracks.

Creating a beat

In music production, a beat is a unit of time, usually equal to a quarter note. The term is also used as a verb, meaning to produce or lay down a beat. When you’re creating a beat, you’re essentially deciding what kind of rhythm the track will have.

There are four main elements to creating a beat: the kick drum, the snare drum, the hi-hats, and the bassline. The kick drum provides the track with its low-end thump, while the snare drum adds some snap and crackle. Hi-hats are used to create movement and interest in the track, while the bassline ties everything together and gives it some extra oomph.

Creating a beat can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to keep things simple and focus on getting the basic elements down first. Once you’ve got those nailed, you can start experimenting with more complex rhythms and embellishments.

Adding melody

Now that you have a basic foundation of electronic music making, it’s time to add some melody to your productions. There are many ways to create melodies in electronic music, but one of the easiest and most popular methods is using a MIDI keyboard.

A MIDI keyboard is an input device that allows you to play and recordmelodies into your DAW. MIDI keyboards usually come in 25, 49, 61, or 88 key varieties, with the larger sizes giving you a wider range of notes to work with. MIDI keyboards can be connected to your computer via USB or they can be wireless, depending on the model.

Most MIDI keyboards will also have a few other features like pitch and mod wheels, octave buttons, and built-in arpeggiators. These extra features will give you more options for manipulating your melodies after you’ve recorded them.

Once you’ve got your MIDI keyboard set up and connected to your DAW, it’s time to start recording some melodies! If you’re not sure where to start, try playing around with some simple scale exercises. Once you’re comfortable with that, start experimenting with different rhythms and note lengths. You can also try adding embellishments like trills or vibrato to add more interest to your melodies.

Remember, there are no rules when it comes to making music, so don’t be afraid to experiment. The best way to learn is by getting hands-on experience and trying out new things.

Arranging your track

fine-tuning the placement of each element in your track is an important part of the music production process. This is known as arrangement, and it’s one of the key aspects that separate a good track from a great one.

A well-arranged track will have a clear sense of direction, with each element contributing to the overall narrative. In contrast, a poorly-arranged track can feel disjointed and confused, with elements fighting for attention or not working well together.

The arrangement of a track usually follows a similar structure to that of a traditional song, with an introduction, main body, and conclusion. However, electronic music often deviates from this standard structure, and it’s not uncommon for tracks to loop endlessly or to have no real beginning or end.

Within each section of the track, various elements can be introduced and combined in different ways to create interest and variety. For example, a simple four-bar loop might consist of just a kick drum and hi-hat, but by adding other elements like a bassline, synth melody, or vocal samples, the loop can quickly become more complex and interesting.

As you start to arrange your track, it’s important to experiment with different combinations of elements to find what works best. It’s also worth considering the order in which different elements are introduced; sometimes it can be effective to start with just a few elements and build up to a fuller sound as the track progresses.

Advanced Tips and Tricks

In this guide, we’ll be covering some advanced tips and tricks for making electronic music. These tips and tricks will take your music production skills to the next level and help you create professional-sounding tracks. We’ll be covering topics like sidechain compression, EQing, and more.

Adding effects

Adding effects is a great way to add interest and variety to your music. There are many different types of effects, and each one can produce a unique sound.

Reverb is one of the most common effects. It creates a sense of space and depth, and can make your music sound bigger and more atmospheric. To add reverb, first send your signal to an empty track with a reverb plugin inserted. Then adjust the settings until you’re happy with the sound.

Delay is another popular effect. It can create a sense of space and depth, or be used to create syncopated rhythms. To add delay, insert a delay plugin on an empty track and set the time between repeats. You can also adjust the feedback to create longer or shorter delays.

Chorus is an effect that can make your sounds appear to be coming from multiple sources. It’s often used on vocals to thicken up the sound, but can also be used on instruments. To add chorus, insert a chorus plugin on an empty track and adjust the depth and rate controls to taste.

Flanger is an effect that creates a sweeping, whooshing sound. It’s often used for dramatic effect, but can also be used to create unique textures. To add flanger, insert a flanger plugin on an empty track and gradually turn up the intensity until you’re happy with the sound.

Compression is an effect that evens out the dynamics of your signal. It can smooth out peaks and valleys, or be used to increase the overall level of your signal. To add compression, insert a compressors plugin on an empty track and slowly turn up the ratio until you’re happy with the sound


In electronic music, automation is the process of using a computer to make changes to a sound or track over time. This can be anything from creating a subtle change in the level of a sound, to dramatically altering the pitch or filtering of a track. Automation can be used on just about any effect or parameter in your music production software, giving you a vast range of possibilities for creative sound design.

There are two main ways to create automation in your music: by drawing it in manually, or by programming it in with MIDI. MIDI is a type of digital protocol that is often used for music production, and it can be used to send information about changes in automation over time. This can be great for more complex changes, or for creating exact replications of real-world instruments (such as guitars) that would be difficult to duplicate by hand.

Manual automation is often used for simpler tasks, such as slowly fading in or out a sound, or adding slight variations to the level of a track over time. It is also common practice to combine both manual and MIDI-based automation in a single song or piece of music.

Recording live instruments

When you’re first starting to produce electronic music, it can be tempting to use only samples and virtual instruments. But if you want your music to have more depth and personality, recording live instruments is a great way to achieve that.

There are a few things you’ll need to do to set up for recording live instruments:

– Choose the right microphone. The type of microphone you need will depend on the instrument you’re recording. For example, if you’re recording a piano, you’ll need a large diaphragm condenser microphone.

– Set up your microphone properly. Once you have the right microphone, it’s important to set it up properly. This means positioning it in the correct place relative to the instrument, and making sure it’s not pointing directly at any reflective surfaces (such as a window).

– Use acoustic treatment. In order to get the best possible sound quality, you should treat your recording space with acoustic treatment panels. These will help absorb any unwanted reflections and sound waves, giving you a cleaner recording.

Once you have your equipment set up, it’s time to start recording! Here are a few tips to help you get the best possible performance:

– Have the performer play at a moderate volume. If they’re playing too quietly, there will be too much background noise in the recording; if they’re playing too loudly, their performance will be distorted. Strike a balance and adjust the level accordingly.

– Use a metronome. This will help keep the performer on tempo, which is especially important if they’re playing with other instruments or samples. If possible, record with headphones so that they can hear the click track clearly. You can also use a drum machine or sequencer to provide this click track if needed. Be sure that everyone in the room can hear the click track; this includes any other musicians who may be present.

– Take multiple takes and choose the best one later. It’s better to have too much material to work with than not enough. So encourage the performer to do several takes of each section, and then choose the best one later when you’re editing the recordings together.


Now that you know the basics of electronic music production, you’re ready to start experimenting and creating your own unique sounds. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different software programs, sound modules, and synthesizers to find the combination that works best for you. And most importantly, have fun!

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