The 28 Steps to Electronic Music Production

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A comprehensive guide to electronic music production, taking you through the entire process from start to finish.


Article One: Introduction

The 28 Steps to Electronic Music Production is a comprehensive guide that covers everything from music theory to sound design, and from composition to mixing and mastering. It is aimed at both beginners and experienced producers who want to take their music to the next level.

This guide is divided into four sections:

1. Theory: This section covers the basics of music theory, including scales, intervals, chords, and progressions. It also introduces you to the world of electronic music production, and covers the basics of sound design and synthesis.

2. Composition: This section contains 28 composition exercises, each of which will help you develop a specific skillset. By the end of this section, you will have written a complete song using only the sounds you created in the first section.

3. Mixing and Mastering: This section covers mixing and mastering in detail, and provides tips and tricks for getting the best possible sound out of your track. By the end of this section, you will have learned how to mix and master your track for maximum impact.

4. Publication: This final section contains information on how to get your music released on major platforms like Spotify and iTunes, as well as tips for promoting your music online.


The digital audio workstation (DAW) is the heart of electronic music production. This is where you will compose, record, edit, and mix your music. There are many different DAWs available on the market, and each has its own set of features and capabilities.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a DAW:
-What types of music do you want to produce?
-What is your budget?
-How much experience do you have with music production?

Once you have a DAW, there are a few things you need to do to get started:
1. Choose a project template or create your own.
2. Set up your audio interface and MIDI controllers.
3. Choose your plugins and virtual instruments.
4. Start composing!

Music Theory

There are 28 steps to electronic music production, but music theory is the foundation that all producers must start with. Without a strong understanding of music theory, it will be very difficult to create professional sounding productions.

Music theory is the study of how music works. It includes the study of harmony, rhythm, and melody. These are the three basic elements of music, and they are what all songs are made up of.

In order to understand music theory, you need to be able to read sheet music. This is the language that musicians use to communicate with each other. If you can’t read sheet music, you’ll need to learn how before you can start producing electronic music.

Once you have a solid understanding of music theory, you can begin learning how to use electronic production software such as Ableton Live or Logic Pro. These programs will allow you to create professional sounding tracks without needing a band or studio musicians.

If you want to learn more about electronic music production, check out our course The 28 Steps to Electronic Music Production. This course will teach you everything you need to know about producing electronic music, from start to finish.


The first step in electronic music production is recording. This can be done with a microphone, but it is more common to use a device called a field recorder. Field recorders are portable devices that allow you to record sounds in the field, and they come in both digital and analog varieties.

Digital field recorders are becoming more popular because they offer higher quality recordings and are less susceptible to interference than analog field recorders. However, analog field recorders are still used by many producers because they add a certain warmth to the sound that digital recordings can lack.

Once you have recorded your sounds, the next step is to transfer them to your computer. This can be done with a USB cable, an SD card, or via Bluetooth. Once the sounds are on your computer, you can begin editing them using a digital audio workstation (DAW).

There are many different DAWs available, but the most popular ones are Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools. Each DAW has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you.

Once you have chosen a DAW, you will need to create a new project. In the project, you will imported your recorded sounds and begin arranging them into a song. This process is called sequencing, and it is one of the most important aspects of electronic music production.

After you have sequenced your sounds into a song, the next step is to add effects. Effects can be used to change the sound of individual instruments or groups of instruments, and they can be used to create new sounds altogether. There are many different types of effects available, so it’s important to experiment until you find the ones that work best for your song.

The final step in electronic music production is mixing. Mixing is the process of balancing all of the different elements of your song so that they sound good together. This includes adjusting levels, adding EQ (Equalization), and using effects such as reverb and delay.

Mixing is both an art and a science, and it takes practice to get good at it. However, even if you’re not an experienced mixer, there are still some simple things you can do to make your songs sound better. For example, make sure all of your tracks are in mono (not stereo) and that they are all properly panned left or right before you start mixing..


In its broadest definition, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a sound recording in a different track. The new track may be similar to the original piece or drastically different. It may use the sample(s) in combination with other sounds, or it may feature the sample(s) as its only element. Sampling enabled producers and DJs to reused recordings, incorporate snippets of pop songs into their own tracks, and create new pieces by “scratching” vinyl records.


Synthesis is the process of creating new sounds by combining or manipulating existing sounds. There are many different types of synthesis, but they all share the same goal: to create new sounds.

The most common type of synthesis is subtractive synthesis, which is what you’ll find in most analog synthesizers. Subtractive synthesis starts with a waveform that contains all the frequencies of the sound you want to create (like a square wave or a sawtooth wave), and then removes frequencies until you’re left with the sound you want.

Another common type of synthesis is additive synthesis, which starts with silence and then adds various frequencies together to create the desired sound. Additive synthesis is often used to create sounds that would be impossible to create with subtractive synthesis, like orchestral instruments or complex pads.

There are also many other types of synthesis, like FM synthesis, wavetable synthesis, and granular synthesis. These all have their own unique character and capabilities, so it’s worth exploring them if you’re interested in creating new and unique sounds.

Drum Programming

Drum programming is the process of creating drum beats and rhythms using a drum machine, MIDI keyboard or sequencer. This can be done manually, by inputting each note and beat into the sequencer, or by using special software to generate the beats automatically.

Drum programming is an important part of electronic music production, as it allows producers to create their own unique beats and rhythms that can be used as the foundation for a track. It can be a complex process, but there are some key things to keep in mind that will help you get started.

1. Start with a basic understanding of rhythm and drums. If you don’t know how to play drums, it will be helpful to learn the basics before you start programming. You should also have a good understanding of tempo and time signatures.

2. Choose the right drum sounds. There are millions of different drum sounds available, so it’s important to choose ones that will fit with the style of music you’re making. Spend some time experimentation and listening to different drums until you find ones that you like.

3. Decide on the overall structure of your beat. Will it be simple or complex? What kind of feel do you want it to have? You should have a clear idea of what you want before you start programming.

4. Create a basic foundation for your beat by adding kick and snare drums on the first and third beats of each measure. This will give your beat a solid foundation that you can build on later.

5. flesh out yourbeat by adding additional percussion instruments such as hi-hats, cymbals and tom-toms. Experiment with different rhythms and patterns until you find something that sounds good.

6. Add embellishments such as fills, rolls and flams to add interest and variety to your beat . These can be programmed manually or generated automatically using special software .

7.. Once you’re happy with your beat , export it as an audio file so you can use it in your tracks .


Once you have arranged and edited your track it is time to start mixing. This is where you will balance the levels of the different elements in your track, as well as start adding effects. Mixing is both an art and a science, and there are many different approaches that you can take. In this section we will give you a basic overview of the mixing process.

The first step in mixing is to set the level of each track. This is known as the gain stage, and it is important to get it right. If the track is too quiet it will be lost in the mix, but if it is too loud it will start to sound distorted. You should aim to get the level of each track so that it sits nicely in the mix without being too low or too high.

Once you have set the levels of each track, you can start to think about panning. Panning is where you place each track in the stereo field. For example, you might put the kick drum in the centre and pan the snare drum to one side. This gives your mix more depth and makes it sound more interesting.

Now that you have set the levels and panned each track, you can start to think about EQing them. EQ stands for equalization, and it is used to boost or cut certain frequencies in a track. For example, if a kick drum sounds too “boomy” you can cut some of the low frequencies out with an EQ. EQing is a complex topic, but there are some basic things that you should know before you start using it on your tracks.

The next step in mixing is to add effects such as reverb or delay. These effects can really help to bring your tracks to life and make them sound more polished. Reverb adds a sense of space to a track, while delay can add depth and width. There are many other types of effects that you can use, so experiment with different ones until you find something that sounds good.

The final step in mixing is Automation . This is where you automate certain parameters such as volume or EQ using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Automation can be used to make subtle changes in your mix, or completely transform it . It is a powerful tool that gives you a lot of control over how your mix sounds .


The process of mastering is the final step in music production, where your mixed track is processed and polished to get ready for release. It’s the last chance to make sure your track sounds its best before it reaches a wide audience, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

Mastering involves adjusting the levels, EQ, stereo width, and other aspects of the mix to achieve a well-balanced, polished sound. It’s also common to add audio effects such as limiting and compression during mastering, to help your track compete with commercially released music.

If you’re new to mastering, start by reading our guide to the basics of mastering electronic music. Once you’ve got a handle on the basics, you can move on to our more advanced guides on specific topics like EQ and compression. And if you want to learn from the pros, check out our interviews with top mastering engineers.


In order to get your music out there, you will need to release it. Before you can do that, though, there are a few things you need to take care of first. Make sure your music is mastered and ready for release. You will also want to create artwork for your release, as well as make sure you have the legal rights to any samples you used in your tracks. Once all of that is taken care of, you can move on to releasing your music.

There are a few different ways to release your music. If you are signed to a label, they will handle most of the legwork for you. If you are self-releasing, you will need to take care of everything yourself. In either case, you will need to create a distro list and send promos out to various labels, radio stations, and websites. You will also need to create an effective press kit and reach out to journalists and bloggers who might be interested in writing about your music. With a little hard work and some luck, you should be able to get your music out there and start building up a following.


This article has provided an overview of the 28 steps to electronic music production. Although there are many more detailed guides and tutorials available, this should give you a good starting point. There are no shortcuts to becoming a good producer, but by following these steps you will be well on your way.

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