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Hey all,

I want to start a hobby (just mixing and creating/producing tracks, forgive me if the terms are wrong). I watched a few tutorials and I'm currently using Ableton (as it looked the easiest to me and my amateur friend also recommended it to me).

I'm just curious, I watched the tutorial on functions of the program and everything...but nobody actually teaches you how to START/CREATE a track. A quick background - I have no prior musical foundation (played mary had a little lamb with a wind instrument back in high school, but that is the extent of my education).

How do I actually start? Do I pick a chord? Do I need to know what each chord sounds like and does? Do I start with a high to low chord? Reverse? Everything is so overwhelming and honestly, I've just been playing around in Ableton and seeing if I can make anything that sounds like what I want (but with no luck)

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With a basic understanding of elementary music theory..... You should look into Band in A Box. Grab a copy of the PRO level and this program will give you the fastest start you can possibly get. Pro version is the entry level and has a limited number of styles and real tracks but it gets you in the door to see what this can do. You have a great wealth of knowledge in the forums as well. Ask questions and people will assist.

You don't need to play an instrument... you simply tell it what chords you want ( that's the music theory part) and it does the rest for you. You can import it into Ableton and play around to your hearts content. It's not a hard thing to learn.


You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com
Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.
You can make excuses or you can make progress but not both.

The magic you are looking for is in the work you are avoiding.
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Open the program, type a chord in the first bar location. Maybe a C then hit tab twice to the second location (bar 2) and type a G tab twice again and type C, tab twice again and type D tab once and hit D7 . hit play and listen. Now experiment.




then watch


Last edited by Rob Helms; 10/18/23 07:41 PM.

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If you can afford it buy the Ultra plus pak, and never look back. it comes with RealBand a nice related DAW program. you can open Band in a Box songs there and add personal tracks it the project.


Lenovo Win 10 16 gig ram, Mac mini with 16 gig of ram, BiaB 2022, Realband, Harrison Mixbus 32c version 9.1324, Melodyne 5 editor, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL, Presonus control app, Komplete 49 key controller.
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Henry Clarke's channel on YouTube is also very accessible: +++ here +++


Jazz relative beginner, starting at a much older age than was helpful.
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Originally Posted by Gordon Scott
Henry Clarke's channel on YouTube is also very accessible: +++ here +++
Yes. Definitely explore some of Henry's great intuitive works. You won't be disappointed.


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How about learning an instrument?

Or that might be too obvious.... grin


Byron Dickens

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Originally Posted by lamar4
Hey all,

I want to start a hobby (just mixing and creating/producing tracks, forgive me if the terms are wrong).
How do I actually start?

Best to pick up a hobby you know something about. But good luck to you.


Dan, BIAB2024, SoundCloud Win11, i7(12thGen), 32GB, 1TB SSD(M.2 NVMe SSD), 2TB Libraries, 1 TB(WD-Black), 2TB SSD(M.2 NVMe SSD)Data, Motu Audio Express, Keystation 61, SL88 Studio, Reaper

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Originally Posted by MusicStudent
Originally Posted by lamar4
Hey all,

I want to start a hobby (just mixing and creating/producing tracks, forgive me if the terms are wrong).
How do I actually start?

Best to pick up a hobby you know something about. But good luck to you.

Harsh, but fair.


You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com
Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.
You can make excuses or you can make progress but not both.

The magic you are looking for is in the work you are avoiding.
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If you get yourself a copy of BiaB, choose a style (Country, Jazz, Pop, Hip-Hop, Funk, Latin etc), start entering chords as per the video instructions indicated above, then start using the integrated mixer to change volume levels, panning, reverb etc. of different instruments. Listen to your results, Rinse and repeat. That's a starting point.


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This thread takes me back to years ago when I got barbequed for saying something similar to this. I am going to make this post as a role playing conversation.

Track: "Start entering chords..."
Newb: What's a chord?
Track: You know, the progression of the song.
Newb: What's a progression?
Track: The order of the chords.
Newb: Again, what's a chord?

And on and on.

This software in particular, but all DAW software in general, requires a certain amount of assumed and implied knowledge. We went though this with a discussion of chords once as well. I asked someone to tell me, as if I knew nothing about music, what this thing called a major chords is that everybody talks about. Somebody (I think it was Norton) said "A major chord is 1-3-5." Now of course I know that is correct, but I was asking as a music know-nothing. THAT conversation something went like this.

What's a 1? What's a 3? What's a 5?
The notes in the scale.
What's a scale?
The series of notes in the key you are playing in.
What's a key?

And on and on.

Note that the OP has not returned to this thread, and that this is his only post. I thought from the beginning that this thread was somebody thinking it would be fun to troll this forum. How does somebody who admittedly knows nothing about music end up with a copy of Ableton and think "Hey now! Music, which I know zero about, looks like a fun hobby." and then end up in THIS forum? Wouldn't Ableton software's documentation land him on Ableton's web page?

I have my doubts that Lamar4 is real.

As to the OP, in case it IS real (and yes, I am calling you out here, Lamar), you probably want to take up a different hobby. This is not something you are just going to "pick up". Yeah there are posers and pretenders here who just want to use "auto-everything" and claim to be a musician. Every kid with a laptop thinks he is a producer anymore because they download a loop from somewhere and somebody reads angry, sexist, racist beat poetry roughly in time with the loop and they call it a rap song. You simply HAVE to know about music to make music. You can't just sit down at an instrument you can't play and turn into Diane Warren cranking out #1 hits.

But, again, I don't think this account is even real.


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Hobbies are supposed to be for fun, right? What fun is it to do somethink you know nothing about? Otherwise, the best you will end up doing is spending the next years watching YouTube videos. cry


Dan, BIAB2024, SoundCloud Win11, i7(12thGen), 32GB, 1TB SSD(M.2 NVMe SSD), 2TB Libraries, 1 TB(WD-Black), 2TB SSD(M.2 NVMe SSD)Data, Motu Audio Express, Keystation 61, SL88 Studio, Reaper

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I agree with Eddie. Anyone who bought Ableton then asks "How do I actually start? Do I pick a chord? Do I need to know what each chord sounds like and does? Do I start with a high to low chord? Reverse? Everything is so overwhelming and honestly, I've just been playing around in Ableton and seeing if I can make anything that sounds like what I want (but with no luck)" is putting us on!

If by chance this is a one in a million honest post then I suggest the OP buy Acid Pro and mix loops.


My goal this weekend is to move just enough each day so that no one pokes me to see if I'm dead or not.

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Originally Posted by MusicStudent
What fun is it to do something you know nothing about? :

That succinctly sums up my 3rd wedding night...


I am using the new 1040XTRAEZ form this year. It has just 2 lines.

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Originally Posted by eddie1261
This thread takes me back to years ago when I got barbequed for saying something similar to this. I am going to make this post as a role playing conversation.
Track: "Start entering chords..."
Newb: What's a chord?
Eddie, c'mon. To be fair, you only quoted a fragment of the actual sentence that this Track guy mentioned. Track mentioned "start entering chords as per the video instructions indicated above".
I think that fragmentation reduced the intended guidance. Anyway, have a great day smile Nothing wrong with a good BBQ either (the one with food grin).


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I'm with Eddie and Mario on this one. It has to be a put-on.


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We may never know because it was his first post and everyone pounced on him! maybe we should be a little more patient. Eddie i remember when you had a ton of question with RB just saying.


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Originally Posted by Rob Helms
Eddie i remember when you had a ton of question with RB just saying.

Yes I did. With Real Band. But who comes onto a music software forum and says they know nothing about music and want to be a producer as a HOBBY? Asking about "what chords sound like"? Forward or reverse chords? With Ableton?

Had to be a prank post.

Last edited by eddie1261; 10/21/23 09:18 AM.

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Go hang out with people who make music.

Billy


New location, new environment, new music coming soon

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If you feel like you’ve herd all these cow puns before, you probably have deja-moo
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Originally Posted by lamar4
Hey all,

I want to start a hobby (just mixing and creating/producing tracks, forgive me if the terms are wrong). I watched a few tutorials and I'm currently using Ableton (as it looked the easiest to me and my amateur friend also recommended it to me).

I'm just curious, I watched the tutorial on functions of the program and everything...but nobody actually teaches you how to START/CREATE a track. A quick background - I have no prior musical foundation (played mary had a little lamb with a wind instrument back in high school, but that is the extent of my education).

How do I actually start? Do I pick a chord? Do I need to know what each chord sounds like and does? Do I start with a high to low chord? Reverse? Everything is so overwhelming and honestly learning , I've just been playing around in Ableton and seeing if I can make anything that sounds like what I want (but with no luck)
Starting your journey into music production can be both exciting and challenging, especially if you're new to the world of music and digital audio workstations (DAWs) like Ableton. Here are some steps to help you get started with creating your own tracks:

Learn the Basics: It's great that you've watched tutorials on Ableton. Continue learning about the software and its various functions. Understanding the tools at your disposal is crucial.

Explore Music Theory: While you don't need to be a music theory expert, having some basic knowledge can be extremely helpful. Start by understanding scales, chords, and keys. This will make it easier to create melodies and harmonies.

Experiment: Don't be afraid to experiment. Start with something simple, like a chord progression. You can choose a key and experiment with different chords within that key. Ableton has virtual instruments that allow you to play around with sounds.

Use MIDI Instruments: If you're not familiar with playing traditional instruments, you can use MIDI instruments within Ableton. These instruments allow you to create music using your computer keyboard or a MIDI controller.

Listen Actively: Listen to music actively. Pay attention to the music you enjoy, and try to deconstruct it. What makes it sound the way it does? How do different elements work together?

Drum Patterns: Start with a basic drum pattern. The rhythm can serve as a foundation for your track. Experiment with different drum sounds and patterns.

Layering: Music production often involves layering different sounds. You can layer multiple instruments, synths, and samples to create a rich and complex track.

Arrangement: Once you have some musical elements you like, start arranging them into a structure. Most songs have an intro, verse, chorus, bridge, and outro. Arrange your elements into a similar structure.

Effects and Mixing: Experiment with effects and mixing to shape the sound. Ableton offers various audio effects and mixing tools to enhance your track.

Practice: Music production is a skill that takes time to develop. Be patient with yourself, and keep practicing. Your early tracks might not sound the way you want them to, but that's part of the learning process.

Seek Feedback: Don't be afraid to share your work with others and seek feedback. Join online music production communities or forums to connect with fellow producers who can offer advice and guidance.

Remember that there's no one "right" way to create music. It's about expressing yourself and having fun. Keep learning, experimenting, and, most importantly, enjoy the creative process. Your skills will improve over time, so keep at it, and you'll see progress in your music production journey.

Last edited by johifo; 10/31/23 06:08 AM.
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