In this age of digital revolution, there are multiple ways to make money as a musician!
The internet is massively growing, with new daily opportunities for music producers, songwriters, audio engineers and everyone who wants to make a living with their music.
In this post, I will teach you how I am generating a full-time income online from my passion for music and I will share with you all the best resources I found over the years to make money as a musician!
Table of Content- Categories
Music download -and streaming websites sure have had a bad influence on record sales over the last years but these sites are a great deal when it comes to gaining exposure and even to make money as a musician.
Though it gets tougher to sell an album or track (you can now download almost everything for free), you can still take the advantages of digitalization and use it for your own benefits.
Because even if it’s getting easier to get exposure, it’s also getting more difficult to get noticed between the millions of musicians you have to compete with on the net.
If you are a music producer, your ambition is to make it as a musician!
Sign a contract with a record label, sell your songs, perform and why not get famous and travel the world!
I feel you … This is what we are all tending to and this should always stay your priority!
But … if you are reading this post, chances are big that it’s not the case (yet!)
Maybe you are still working a 9 to 5 job using your savings to build up your home studio?
Maybe you are still studying and it’s even harder to find the money to buy the latest gear or software?
Or maybe you start getting some exposure already but you are just not making enough right now to pay the bills?
A couple of years ago, I was just like you!
I had a crappy call center job and I made music in my free time but I always dreamt of being my own boss, work from home and make a living from my passion.
And you know what?!
”I succeeded in living the life I always wanted!”
No, I am not a famous music producer but that’s ok since kinda forgot about the idea when growing older.
Time has offered me different opportunities to make it without being in the spotlight and for me, this is such as great! Who wants to become famous anyway … sigh… but…
Whatever your ambitions are, earning money from your passion is still better than not making money at all!
So let’s dig into the world of opportunities for music producers!
I will tell you the methods I used to make money as a musician and I will share with you everything I have learned so that YOU TOO can make an extra with your passion for music or even leave your 9 to 5 job and make a living out of it!
Use your creative spirit and find the perfect way to make money as a musician!
Create a Music Website, Blog or eCommerce Store
Not the shortest way to make money but most definitely one of the most efficient ways on the list to make a passive income from your music in the long run AND get exposure.
Why create a music website?
The reason why I am starting my post with ‘creating a music website’ is because of the endless opportunities that open up to you when you have your own website.
I will share a lot of different methods with you but as you will continue reading you will see that a lot of these methods can be easily applied on your website.
There are many ways you can monetize a website, such as:
I will go more into details about all the different methods to make money with a website as you continue reading.
Even if it’s not the shortest way and it takes quite some work, the possibilities of earning a passive income over time are real!
Creating a website has never been easier! No more coding and design skills needed!
You can easily create a website from scratch by using a Site Building Platform like WordPress, Drupall or Joomla, in a few easy steps.
Choose your platform:
For beginners, I’d recommend WordPress.
Choose your domain name and hosting platform:
Bluehost is one of the better hosting platforms.
The main difference between a website and a blog is content management and interactivity.
A website has static content and is more professional/business related while a blog’s content is regularly updated and has more of an informative and educational purpose.
But these differences might be more subtle and it’s sometimes hard to even notice the difference.
It is possible to make money both with a website and a blog as you will read in the examples below.
Creating an online store seems too difficult?
Yes, It will need some work in the beginning, especially if you have no experience with it what so ever.
But imagine the money you can make in the long run with selling physical or digital products online!
Maybe you have some products you can start to sell, like T-shirts or software you created?
If not you can run an online store from the comfort of your home by working with a retailer, that owns, sells and sends the product, so the only thing left for you to do, is promoting the products through your online store.
Most of the E-commerce platforms like Shopify teach you how to easily build and run your online store,
These websites also make it possible for you to create a shop on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, so if this is something that interests you make sure to have a look.
Shopify is helping people who don’t necessarily have the web development skills to connect directly to consumers. I see that as a real shift in the opportunities available.
Patrick Buckley Co-Founder of Dodo Case
Monetize your Website
There are many ways you can monetize a website or blog!
I would take a whole website just to explain a few of them so I will try to give you a short overview of the most common methods used by online marketers and bloggers to make money with a website.
# My Number 1 recommendation!
One of the best ways to monetize your website or blog is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning commissions by promoting products online.
If Amazon is one of the best-known affiliate platforms, there are several other affiliate programs that are music related.
If you are visiting music websites yourself, chances are that you came across some affiliate programs without even knowing it.
Some examples of Music related affiliate programs are:
Some of these affiliate programs are linked to bigger Affiliate Networks.
Internet advertising and Google Adsense is the main source of income for many bloggers!
There are many ways to generate an income with ads ( Pay per Click advertising, selling ads on your blog, popups,…)
Now, before you will start to make an income, you have to be aware that this method of monetizing a website has some shortcomings as well.
It’s often said, that the money is the list!
Get subscribers, by installing an opt-in form on your website or blog and promote products by regularly sending out newsletters with your latest blog posts, product reviews, and affiliate offers.
I won’t go further into detail about creating an email list as there would be too much to say and it really belongs to the realm of online marketing, though feel free to ask me more information about how to create an email list and I’d be happy to help you out!
Did you know that your favorite social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can make you earn cash?
Instead of wasting time on your favorite social platform, why don’t you use it to make money!
If you have a website or blog, you can create an FB-or Twitter page related to your website or blog.
This way you’ll get more exposure and followers.
But these platforms are also a great way to get subscribers to your list and make money with adds.
You don’t need to have a website or blog to make money because you can promote affiliate programs directly through adds, though I recommend having at least small website or landing page because people are not keen on buying from someone they never heard of or has nothing to show.
You can even create online stores through your favorite social media. ( See create an E-commerce store)
I haven’t been too much in detail about creating and monetizing a music website because there is way too much to cover!
The purpose of this post is to give you an overview of all the options available to musicians to make money.
Now, since you are reading this post you are aware that this IS a music website and like I told you before I am able to make a living from my online endeavors.
Do you want to learn everything about how to turn your passion into a thriving business?
And how I did it?Join Me Inside!
If you are really interested in creating a website and you’d like to learn everything about how to monetize your website, get access the most complete training on affiliate marketing and connect with thousands of like-minded striving online marketers, then meet me inside!
I’d be more than happy to help you out!
It’s Completely free to start with and you can have a running, hosted music website by the end of the day!
I’ll meet you there if you have any questions!
Write about Music
What if you used your experience by making product reviews about your favorite DAW, Midi controller, Synth, mic or audio interphase?
If you already have a website, there must be thousands of products related to your niche that you can write a review about.
Product review + Affiliate Program= $$
On Dooyoo for example, you can get paid by reviewing product or services after testing them. Some websites even pay you to write product reviews on their website.
Another great website is sponsored reviews. It connects bloggers SEO’s, marketers and advertisers looking to build links, traffic, and buzz.
Their system allows you to write articles or post advertiser provided content to your blog in exchange for cash.
They have thousands of advertisers looking to have articles posted for many different industries!
Now you think, ok, this all sounds great but if nobody finds my website, how the hell will be able to sell anything?
Now there are different ways to get your website exposed.
SEO techniques and Keyword research can teach you how to get ranked in the search engines and social media ( as you will see below) can help your website get noticed.
But creating great content is still the best way to get ranked, create a brand and gain followers!
In fact, you need your blog posts to go viral!
If you already have a passion for music, I am sure you can up with a topic that you know well.
Talking about something you know and you’re passionate about will be much easier.
” It’s much easier to gain loyal followers when you speak from your heart!”
”Anyone can start a blog but the real test is getting readers”
Jon Morrow CEO of Smartblogger
An awesome way to get exposure is to write for other websites or blogs.
A lot of quality websites are looking for talented people to write blog posts for them.
You’ll gain notoriety and some websites even pay to get guest posts!
If you type music + guest blogging in the search engines, you will be able to find some websites that accept guest bloggers.
It’s not easy to get accepted if you have nothing to show, though.
Having your own website or blog already will definitely help you get a gig.
There are other platforms where you can apply as a freelance copywriter and get hired and paid to write for websites but more on this later….
Musicians are creative people! Usually, we tend to be creative in other forms as well, such as writing.
You can use your experience to write an Ebook and sell it online or if you have some money aside, you can invest into hiring someone to write it for you.
It doesn’t have to be a bestselling novel of course, but if you can teach beginners how to make music, give some production techniques and tips or why not write your BIO.
Here is an article with a list of websites where you can sell your Ebook: Hongkiat.
If you don’t feel like you should get paid for your writings, you can still use your e-book as a freebie to get people to subscribe to your email list.
Video Tutorials and Courses
If you are an expert in music production, an audio engineer, a singer or if you can play an instrument, you can use your experience to teach others!
Teach others online and monetize your expertise!
The way we educate people has changed a lot of the years and the internet has opened many ways for experts to share their knowledge.
Of course, you will need to be comfortable in front of a camera but if you are not you can still create an audio podcast.
I am of number 1 recommendation to sell your online music courses is Udemy.
Udemy is the largest marketplace for online courses.
There are more than 12M hungry students eager to learn and more than 20K passionate instructors who are making money every day by selling online courses.
They give you all the tools you need to create your own online course, create a brand and inspire and teach students all over the world!
Create a Youtube channel and monetize your videos!
There are several ways to monetize your videos on Youtube, by using the Youtube Partner Program, with ads or whenever your music is used in a video ( licensing).
A lot of famous websites such as Loopmasters, Future Music Magazine, and Point Blank Music School have created Youtube channels to promote their online courses.
Another way to monetize your tutorials is to create a few free tutorials to teach the basics and redirect your ‘students’ to your website where they will pay to get the full course.
How I just love Fiverr!!!
There are so many possibilities to make money with Fiverr that it’s almost impossible NOT to make money once you get involved.
I will talk a lot about Fiverr in the next paragraphs and give you some ideas about how to make money with Fiverr. With a little bit of creativity, you might even be able to get a full-time income just by selling gigs!
Basically, you can create a gig and sell your gig for a tiny basic price starting from 5$.
Actually, you can earn a lot more by offer premium service or more related gigs. It also depends on the time it took you to perform your gig and the type of service you are offering.
With a little bit of creativity, you might even be able to get a full-time income just by selling gigs!
Some of the weirdest gigs I came across are:
”I will dance in a music video on any music style”
”I will be crazy in love with you in a prank video”
”I will sing depressing happy birthday as a mouse”
”I will be your girlfriend on social media”
But more seriously, try to find out what other musicians are offering and get ideas of what service you could offer regarding your experience.
Create and sell a Product
You are probably using music applications yourself to listen to music or even to create music.
All the main music websites like Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify have smartphone applications.
There are tons of applications related to music like beat making apps, Piano apps, music production apps, and even karaoke apps.
When I think about my favorite music apps, the one comes in mind in Shazam!
The guys who invented Shazam were pure geniuses! They came with up with a simple idea which was something that everybody wished they had: An application that helps you figure out a song you hear, wherever you hear it!
Dig some ideas and be creative. I am sure you can come up with some innovative app that will make the day of thousands of music aficionados just like you!
Maybe a bit more complicated but creating an Audio Production Software can be a great idea but you need the skills or connections to do so.
The same DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation) you use has been created once by someone just like who!
It will be difficult to compete with the big names like Ableton, Logic Pro or FL Studio but you don’t have to make it as complex either.
Many producers are on the look for some cheaper and less complex alternatives!
Sell Digital Products
There are plenty of websites where you sell your creations and make money as a musician!
The advantage you have as a musician is that you are in number 1 position of selling a digital product you have created yourself!
Another huge benefit is that digital products don’t need investment, space or shipping, you can sell them in just 1 click!
You only need to create it once and you will be able to sell the same product over and over again!
If you have been making music for some time, you probably have created a lot of Melodies, Drum Loops, Leads, One-shots, FX and/or Vocals.
Some of them you used in your productions and some you didn’t.
What if I told you that you can sell them online!
As an audio engineer, you can create Sample packs and why not create an online store to sell them.
Or, you can sell them through other existing websites without having to bother creating a website yourself.
Same goes for DAW, Synth or other presets you have created.
There is a huge demand for custom sounds!
You can try to sell directly to software companies such as NI Massive or NI Kontakt or find resellers that will buy and sell your packs for you.
Beats and Drum Loops are still the best selling products in Sample Stores.
Some people manage to get a steady income just by selling their beats online!
Sound effects can be used for a variety of purposes such as gaming, commercials, cartoons, …
Nature sounds, industrial sounds, human sounds, and Urban sounds sell very well and there are a lot of specialized websites offering free or paid sounds.
If you check this post, you will get a list of the 8 best websites for free sounds. Uploading your sounds and give them away for free is a great way to get exposure, but some of these websites are also selling them.
Uploading your sounds and give them away for free is a great way to get exposure, but some of these websites are also selling them.
Creating background music is also a great way for musicians to make an income!
background music can be licensed for movies, cartoons, games,…
My number 1 recommendation to sell sound effects, background music, and even sample packs is AudioJungle.
I have heard of people that are able to make a living just by Audio Jungle
If you are a singer or vocalist you can sell your vocals or a Capella’s to specialized websites. ( see sell lyrics).
You can upload your vocals indaba music which is an online community for musicians and a great place to find opportunities.
You can also connect with other artists.
ccmixter.org. is a very cool website that helps musicians, vocalists, and DJ/ Producers connect.
Musicians upload original samples + vocalists upload a Capella’s = Producer or DJ creates a remix
If you wrote some music lyrics or even poems, you can sell them online.
Songbay is a cool website that allows you to buy and sell lyrics of every style.
They are the world leader in original music and lyric sale and they massively promote the work of sellers and buyers.
Songbay is also an awesome marketplace to connect musicians together to collaborate on songwriting projects.
Do you have a hot voice?!
Why don’t use that voice to create DJ drops for radio stations, DJ intros or commercials?
If you already own the rich software, it will be a piece of cake to put together a short message, catchy sound or brand signature for any kind of podcast.
You can also create a gig on Fiverr and sell your drops from there!
Sell Physical Products
If you have been a musician for a long time you have probably a lot of music gear or software you are not using anymore.
Some retro synths and instruments have increased in value and you will always be able to find collectors or passionate people to pay for it.
If you don’t feel like selling your gear ( I completely feel you), you can rent it out and make some money that way!
You can also buy gear and material and try to resell it for a higher price.
I know a guy who is specialized in Roland Synths. He is buying damaged synths, repairs them and resells them for a good price.
The vinyl is back and what great news that is!
I have always liked vinyl and I think it’s been a great loss when people started to mix digitally.
If you have been a DJ in the ‘early’ stages or if you still have a collection, you can sell them for a good price.
Collectors can go for hot prices these days and there is a huge demand for this kind of items.
DJ turntables, like the famous Technics SL, can be sold for prices up to 300$!
If you don’t have any vinyls, you can still dig into your parents or grandparent’s attic and find some hidden gems!
If you have a professional studio you can rent it out to other musicians and make a nice income and return on investment of your studio.
Sell Your Music Online
What better way to make money as a musician than to sell your own music!
You can start by getting exposure on streaming websites like Youtube or Soundcloud but if you want to make money from your music you will need to bring it out there!
You don’t need to be signed or have a record deal to get your music on Spotify.
If you have a label or aggregator they can easily get the job done for you.
If you don’t you can use one the aggregation companies ( Like TuneCore) that Spotify works with to deliver the music for you, handle the licensing and collect royalties.
For more information visit Spotify.
And again for Amazon Music.
My recommendation would be to use Tune Core , like I already mentioned above.
Tunecore is an independent artist community that helps you sell your music on several music platforms such as Spotify, Itunes, Amazon Music and so on.
Same goes for Itunes and other music streaming websites!
Music Related Freelance Jobs
Getting a Freelance job is a great idea to make money as a musician because it allows you to make a steady income by offering your music skills on may levels.
”A music synchronization license, or “sync” for short, is a music license granted by the holder of the copyright of a particular composition, allowing the licensee to synchronize music with some kind of visual media output (film, television shows, advertisements, video games, accompanying website music, movie …” Wikipedia
Start making money by licensing your songs for videos, TV, movies, video games and much more and get paid every time your song is used as part of a project.
CDBaby is a website that manages sync licensing for you! It’s the web’s biggest independent music store but it has so much more to offer!
Their Licensing program is a free add-on so you can start making money by licensing your songs too, from YouTube ad revenue and micro-sync licensing.
“CD Baby is a great source for music. On several occasions, the only place I could find an obscure artist’s recording was on CD Baby. CD Baby is a place that values the smaller bands and by doing so, performs a very important role in keeping independent music alive.”
Henry Rollins singer-songwriter, spoken-word artist
Imaging composing the music for your favorite movie or tv series?
Sounds too good to be true?
Though you need a strong musical background and skills such as music notation, sight-reading, active listening, critical thinking and an awareness of both music history and current trends, you don’t have to be the next Hans Zimmer to make a living out of it.
You can make music for websites, independent film studios, local theatrical performances, art expositions and more.
It’s useful to have connections with broadcast networks or advertising agencies but you can still put your creations on specialized websites in order to have professionals to buy from you.
There are other careers in movie scoring than just composing.
Use your skills to become a music editor, copyist or sound designer.
Video game composers write music scores by watching the game and create evocative music to bring emotions to the characters and happenings of the game.
Although it’s not required to be a professional music composer to be hired as a video composer, you must have a solid understanding of music theory and music scoring techniques.
You must have to ability to write any kind of genre and experience with video games is required.
Wake up, sync up computers with [the] latest game builds, eat breakfast, create music and sound until lunch, eat lunch, feel drowsy and haphazardly work, read and respond to email, make sure my team is doing what they are supposed to, repeat.
Chris Rockwood Video Game Composer
Advertising agencies often employ musicians to compose melodies and songs for commercials for radio, television, podcasts or local advertising.
”Voice-over is a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative —is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theater, or other presentations. Wikipedia”.
Or you can use freelancer websites such as Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer to get hired for a voice-over job. ( More on that later)
Ghost Producers create a music production for a certain DJ without being credited for this creation. The track will be released under the DJ’s name.
Now, as you may know, I am not a huge defender of ghost producers as you may have read in my post.
But, some people don’t like to be in the spotlight and have a real passion for creating music without wanting to become a Super Star Dj/ Producer.
If that’s your case and you can live with the idea of never being credited for your productions, ghost producing is definitely something to consider, especially if you are into EDM.
Audio engineers can make a living by offering mastering and mixing services to clients.
There are plenty of ways for engineers to generate an income online and most engineers are able to live from their skills.
You can create songs, offer feedback on songs, make arrangements, do some basic mixing or offer full packages to your clients.
Creating tutorials, videos and writing a book to teach others can be a great way to get exposure and earn money.
Opening a record label won’t be an easy task unless you have a degree in music business or if you don’t have serious connections in the music industry or with artists.
If do have some connections and you want to promote your own music, it’s a good way to get exposure but it might take some time to make money from it.
You need to establish your sound and presence, find artists and have a solid business plan.
If creating your own record label is something that you consider, you can have a look at this post, which gives an easy to follow overview of the steps to take to get started.
In the Real World!
If the online world isn’t really your thing, you can still make money as a musician the ‘old fashioned ‘ way.
New careers and opportunities open every day as the music industry is in constant progress.
New technologies appear almost every day and some non-traditional methods have emerged from the healing sector.
Music therapists use music to help people that are dealing with emotional, physical or social problems.
You can work in the private sector or as a freelance music therapist.
A Music therapist is an established health profession and you will need personal qualifications that include a genuine interest in people and a desire to help others empower themselves and a strong knowledge of music.
You like to teach others but you are not too much into creating a video tutorial?
Becoming a music teacher can be the perfect job for you and it might be more rewarding for you to be face to face with your students.
Music sponsorships include all musical types from classical to jazz to experimental.
Music sponsors provide a means by funding by which musicians may provide their audience with live performances while showcasing the best aspects of their talent with possibly millions of people who love the individual or group.
Music sponsors provide a means by funding by which musicians may provide their audience with live performances while showcasing the best aspects of their talent with possibly millions of people who love the individual or group.
If you like traveling, you can use your experience as a musician or singer to find a job on a cruise ship.
There are a lot of jobs available for DJ’s, singers, and entertainers!
A couple of years ago I worked for a local dance radio station.
It was a lot of fun and even though I hardly got paid for it, it opened doors for me!
I met a lot of interesting people and I got hired to be the lead voice in a house music track.
Gaine some experience and exposure by starting to work for a local radio station and who knows, you might just find your path into the world of radio animation on a bigger scale!
If you are an electronic producer, the easiest way to get your music noticed is by being becoming a DJ/ Producer.
You will gain money as a DJ but even better, you will be able to play your own creations and get your music get noticed.
While you might not always make money by winning a music contest, you can make a chance to win a price such as Music Production software to build your home studio and make a name in the industry.
It’s also a great way to share your productions and get more skilled as you produce music for a contest.
Hang out at local music stores, go to events, parties and try to meet the right people.
By getting out there you might just meet the right people to maybe connect or collaborate with later.
Get your music out there and spread it to the world!
Some websites pay you to listen to music.
You won’t get paid a lot but if you are working at home or if you can have access to streaming websites, you can put the music on and just get paid to listen to your favorite genre.
Now I see you think … but a good street act can make you make more money than your think.
I live in Barcelona, where street acts are everywhere. Some are even paid by the city to perform in metro stations or on the streets.
And… good street acts are often filmed and put on Youtube!
Crowdfunding campaigns can be a great way to raise money for their projects.
First I’d like to thank you thank you for reading my post.
Since I started making money with music online, I had this blog post idea in mind, so that I could use my experience and research into helping others achieve the same.
We, musicians, are not made for boring 9 to 5 jobs, let’s admit it ( and who is anyways)!
When I first started to look for opportunities for musicians and music producers, I never thought that I would manage to quit my job and be able to earn a living from home.
I used some of the methods above but not all of them of course.
It’s up to you to find out which of these ways to make money as a musician suits you the best!
I like to write, I like to learn and I can spend hours doing online research so was looking for a way to share my creativity and experience to help others.
Since I wanted to use my skills to help others, creating a website was the most obvious direction to take for me and affiliate marketing the best way I found to monetize this website.
Discovering Wealthy Affiliate has definitely changed my life!
And it could change yours too!
So, join me inside and we can work on your future together! It’s completely free to start with!
I am using several methods to make money from music but creating a website and share my knowledge is the way that fulfills me the most!
That the fastest way to make money would be through Freelance websites such as Fiverr, Udemy, and Upwork.
I am also doing some freelance jobs on Upwork ( which are not directly music related but bring a steady income from home) and I have some gigs on Fiverr.
So, whatever it is you decide to go for, don’t think it’s not possible not make money from your music skills but it IS possible!
If you are thinking about becoming a music producer or you are interested in audio editing, recording or making podcasts, you probably came across the term ‘DAW’. But what is a DAW?
A DAW stands for ‘Digital Audio Workstation‘. It as a computer based software that allows you to produce, edit and record audio files.
DAWS are used by music producers to create songs, audio files, and sound effects. They enable you to create a track from scratch and master them into a finished song! They can be used for other purposes such as remixing, creating samples or sample packs, video editing or radio and video podcasts.
Although most DAWS have similar features, as you will find out later, your final decision on which one to go for will be based on different aspects. Your operation system, your preferences towards workflow, your experience (beginner or pro), how much you are willing to invest and your purposes.
Everything has a price and nothing is less true in the world of Audio Production Software. But, the good news is that there is a variety of Free DAWS available and that the best DAWS will cost you less than 100 $ for a limited edition and offer you a trial period of 30 days.
So, without further ado, let’s dig deeper into the world of Digital Audio Software and let’s find out which one you should go for!
If your only goal is to play around with sounds in your free time, you might not want to invest in expensive software at first. Maybe you don’t need all the features of more professional DAWS and you just want to keep it simple.
Free- or open source DAWS can be a good solution for you!
Now if you are serious about becoming a professional music producer you might want to reconsider…
If you do want to start or work with free DAWS anyways, make sure to choose the best ones on the market.
In a related post, How to make music for free, I am giving you a list (with download links) to what I consider being the best free DAWS on the market.
Make sure to check it out!
Like you can see, I am not a big fan of free DAWS and this due to my personal experience with them.
Remember that, even if free or open source DAWS can offer great features, not 1 of your favorite music producers used a free DAW to produce their tracks!
Honestly, I don’t think you are doing yourself a favor by starting out with free DAWS. You will probably learn a few things, I don’t deny that but if you want to have all the keys in hands to become a professional music producer, you shouldn’t waste your time with ‘average’ when you can go for ‘excellence’.
Considering that even the most basic version of any DAW are an undeniable upgrade to any free DAW…
Do yourself a favor and go for the real deal right away!
Before we figure out which one you should go for, especially as a beginner, let’s have a look ‘inside the box’ and help you understand the basic features that all DAWS have in common.
Every edition of the DAW you will decide to buy, comes with a sound library, instruments, integrated plugins and FX.
How many will depend on which edition you are going to buy. (The cheapest editions will have limited features compared to the ‘all in 1’ or ‘bundle editions’ )
When the layout and functionalities of DAWS might be different for each one of them, all possess some basic settings.
What will change is the work flow and interface. At the end, most DAWS will offer the same features but in different shapes and forms. Some are more user-friendly than others and will be more easy to use for beginners (but more on that later).
In the first picture of the Ableton live 9 interfaces you can only see the session view, though you can toggle to another screen that will be an arrangement view. On FL Studio, there is only one screen for editing and arrangements.
An audio mixer will bring all the parts of a song together and process them so that the song blends together.
A mixer is divided into 2 parts. The channel strips and the main output section. Each Channel strip is divided into control groups with knobs and faders.
The truth is that there is not something like the best DAW like some people tend to make you believe. Why is that anyways that everyone claims that HIS DAW is the best… really, it’s not! What will be the best DAW for Pete, won’t necessarily be the best DAW for Paul.
Only your personal experience will matter. Some people will like Ableton over FL Studio because of it’s workflow but others will prefer FL Studio because of its simplicity.
I started making music with FL Studio. What I liked is about FL Studio is that you can start making music right always and that it is fun to use.
What looks a bit like a child’s toy is, in fact, a powerful music production tool but more accessible than other more complex DAWS.
Some say that FL Studio is an EDM or BIG Room producers DAW. That might be true and it it is overall more used by EDM producers probably because of it’s integrated plugins and because it is easy to make beats.
FL Studio would be a great choice for beginners on Windows!
Later, I switched to Ableton Live. Not because I didn’t like FL Studio but because I went for a Mac and that FL Studio only has a beta version on Mac (which in my opinion lacks features from the original edit)
Ableton live might be a little bit more complex at first side. I could find my way quite easily because I had experience in using a DAW but the interface and workflow are completely different.
As a beginner, every DAW will seem complex at first and you will eventually learn how to work with it.
The best thing is to do and what I would recommend, is to try out the trial versions of different DAWS and see which one you prefer to work with.
As a musician, your DAW will be your most important tool. So make sure to go for the right one!
Now that you understand more about ‘What is a DAW’, the free and paid options that exist, the common features that all DAWS possess and what aspects make a DAW unique, the only thing left is for you to choose your DAW.
The best way to know exactly which one to go for is to try it out!
Evaluate different DAWS according to your needs
Analyze the different specifications of each DAW and…
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the comment section below and don’t forget to Like & Share if you liked my post.
10 Essential Electronic Music Production Tips
When you start as a music producer you want to get the hand on your software as soon as possible. You also want to create some kick-ass beats as soon as ‘NOW’!
The truth is that starting with electronic music production is sometimes a bit ‘hum’ before it’s fun… If you have been spending more time searching on the net for tutorials, training and VST’s, then you most certainly need some electronic music production tips. These tips will spare you some time so you can start doing what you want to do … Making music!
If you are not in that situation anymore and you are having fun already you might learn some things too, as electronic music production tips can come handy for anyone.
What do I mean by keeping it simple? When you start out you might think that the more software and gear you own, the better it is. You are wrong!
You see those pictures of home studio’s on the internet and you already imagine yourself playing around with the latest Korg Minilogue and tweaking the buttons of your latest Push, but just be aware that those studios have been built up for several years sometimes ( and need a solid budget).
A mistake that a lot of people make is investing in gear before even being an expert at the one they already have… And so, never become an expert at any!
Before you buy a synth, you need to have notions of the features that a synth possess.
Get familiar with technical features like oscillators, Filter, Mod Env and LFO!
Little by little you’ll gain experience and you have plenty of time to build up a home studio as you and your music grow!
In the continuity of what I said before, you shouldn’t invest in too much software or gear when you start off.
In my post ‘How to make music for free,’ I am explaining how you can start making music for free, how much a home studio cost and what budget you will need.
There is no reason why you should spend hundreds of dollars at first when there are so many free options to take advantage of.
• Read more: How to make music for free
Of course, you will need to invest eventually but there is no hurry in wanting it all right now!
Give yourself some time to get used to your software before building your home studio.
Music production is not cheap and it might take some time to see something coming out of your investment.
Take it one step at the time and enjoy the ocean of free stuff that internet has to offer!
– Your DAW
There is a lot of discussions about which DAW is the best to work with and people tend to claim that the DAW that they are working with is the best!
The truth is that there is not the best DAW. The best DAW is the one you feel comfortable working with.
Like I said before, the good news is every DAW offers a free trial period. You can try out as many as you want before making your final decision.
Read more: “Top 10 production software“
Professional Studio headphones will be an essential parts of your studio equipment!
There are some great values out there for affordable prices! And there are some very performant studio headphones for less than 100 $.
Read more: “The best professional studio headphones under 300 $”
If you are not sure how to choose headphones, you need to know that there are different types of headphones and that each type has it’s own function.
For recording or tracking you will need closed-back headphones, while you’d preferably use open or semi-open headphones for mixing and mastering. Some can perfectly handle both.
Read more: “How to choose professional headphones”
When you try to make it as a musician the main goal is to be great at it but also to have fun!
You strongly believe you are going to be the next ‘Beethoven’ of the electro scene and you WILL create everything by yourself?
You believe that Samples and Sample Packs are only good for shitty EDM producers with no talent or inspiration…but it’s not that easy…
Some websites do offer high-quality sample Packs that can help you out starting out or that can be used to recreate something new out of it for more experimented producers!
‘Using Sample Packs is OK but Use them Wisely!’
How to use Sample Packs?
Read more: ”Loops and sample packs: How to use them”
You can create samples with household objects! Your home is a ‘free Sample Paradise’ and you can create samples with almost everything.
You will need a good mic to record your sounds and with a little bit of imagination, you can add effects to transform about any possible sound in a source of inspiration for your new track!
Record sounds you hear in the streets or anywhere, they can be great samples for your next track!
I got the idea by watching an old time classic ‘Berlin Calling’ with Paul Kalkbrenner and people who watched the movie will recognize the scene I am talking about 😉
If you haven’t watched the movie, I highly recommend it!
Check out this cool video of a guy showing How to create your own samples and sounds with a thing you own at home!
You will definitely learn some great tricks!
Don’t listen to people! You will eventually have to face negativity at some point.
Rings a bell? People don’t always mean bad by giving their best ‘advice’ but if it brings you down, just let it go! You know best where you want to go’ Take advice but keep a critical mind.
When you are beginner it is great to get some advice from more experienced musicians or pros, though.
You will get a lot out of what they might teach you but… Remember that everyone has his own way of doing things and that a method that works for someone, will not necessarily be the method that works for you. But remember…
You should take your music out! Play it through different headphones, in different places, and with different devices!
It will give you an idea of how others perceive your music. You have to know that your track will sound very different in your studio with your professional headphones and monitors than it will in a club or on MP3.
It is important to hear the differences so you can adjust and remix some ‘errors’ in latency or gain and you will be able to achieve much better and professional results… even with a pair of crappy headphones.
Stop listening to that track over and over!
You are creating a track. Got a nice bouncy drum loop and an uplifting melody. It sounds great already but something is missing …
What will you do?
The same as almost everyone else! You will listen and listen again to the same loop over and over in the hope you’ll get that sparkle of inspiration to get back on track.
I know I did and it worked sometimes but I learned that the best way to get inspiration is to have 1 good listen and let the track rest for a day or more. Try to focus on something else or try to make a new track.
The one you are working on will still be in the back of your head and you might even surprise yourself with a sea of inspiration when you get back to it!
Stop over listening! There is absolutely no point in doing so and you won’t improve anything by keeping on working on that same track for days in a row.
You will only notice that your song will only get worse.
A great way to produce your favorite genre is to ‘re-produce’ tracks you like. You will learn from your favorite tracks by simply importing it into your DAW and analyze it.
And of Course … Don’t copy!!!
Another thing is that you should not only be listening to your own style of music but experiment with other styles that you might not listen to.
It opens a whole new world of inspiration. Just force yourself to listen to classical music, Heavy Metal, Country music or music genres you absolutely hate!
It will open your ears to new sounds and you might even end up liking it
Seems obvious?! I don’t really have to explain the importance of saving but when you are concentrated in your music you might forget!
It happened to all of us… You are working on a track and it sounds great so you want to add something more to it but in the action, you forgot to save and the result is a total mess!
You are not sure which action caused that mess and you have no saved copy to return to… Certainly sounds familiar, so don’t forget and Save Save Save!
A great idea is to save different versions of your track while your song grows. If something gets fussy at some point you can still go back to an older version of it and start again!
! Put an alarm! to help you remember to save 😉
What will you discover?
When I started making music online, I was broke as hell so I had no other choice than to find out how to make music for free.
Becoming a home-based music producer can be an expensive matter and we all know that starting music producers are most often dead broke. Now, you will have to start somewhere and it doesn’t necessarily have to ruin your already small budget.
Now, you will have to start somewhere and it doesn’t necessarily have to ruin your already small budget.
All you need is a Computer, a DAW* and good Headphones to start with. Don’t take me wrong, you will need to buy some decent stuff if you consider building a home studio but you don’t need to put all your savings into expensive music production gear at first.
It also depends on whether you take it as a hobby or you are really wanting to become a music producer.
*If you are not sure what a DAW is, read my post: What is DAW? Creating a Track From Scratch
Supposing you already own a computer and some decent headphones, then you can start making music for free as for today!
Something you need to think of is if your computer has the basic specs that are necessary to support Music Production Software. If you are not sure I invite you to have a look at my post: The Best Budget Laptops For Music Production. You will learn about the must-have specifications for a music production laptop and I will recommend to you the 3 best value laptops for music production.
Most of the best DAWS on the market have a Free Trial Period of 30 days. This leaves you plenty of time to test it out and decide whether or not that the right pick for you. Try out different DAWS to get familiar with it. Every DAW has its own advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on your own preferences and workflow.
Since there is a relatively high price tag to all them, you will better make sure to choose the right one before you commit.
One thing you have to know is that Free Music Production Software exist as you will see later in this post.
You will need to invest in decent studio headphones at some point but if you don’t have the money right now, you can start with the ones you have. I started with some cheap earplugs! Since you won’t be mixing and or mastering your tracks at first, just a good pair of headphones will do.
If you are a newbie, you can easily get overwhelmed by all the different DAWS available.
Don’t worry, I made a list of the Top 10 Audio Production Software on the market. It is a complete overview of only the best DAWs on the market and will help you make a decision on which DAW to use whether you are on Mac or Windows, your preferences and budget and you can try them all out for free!
Free audio production software or open source software are mostly created by volunteers and I think it’s great that they exist! They can handle smaller audio tasks quite well, such as video editing.
Even if Free Music Production Software exists, I personally wouldn’t recommend starting with a free DAW.
Why? Because you will never achieve success with a free DAW. It is as simple as that! There is not 1 famous DJ/ producer that has ever scored a hit single with one of the free DAWs out there!
As your music production skills increase, you will quickly get frustrated by what you get from a free audio production software because they just have very limited functionalities compared to DAWS such as FL Studio, Ableton or Logic Pro.
Another thing is that most of those free DAWS have no technical support at all!
If you think that the most popular DAWS are expensive, don’t forget what it needs to create professional audio software and everything you get with it! Engineers have worked for years to create the best result and you can get a complete audio recording program into your own home! Something that wasn’t even thinkable 20 years ago!
So yes, you will have to put some money but don’t forget it is an investment in your career!
You are still not convinced or you just don’t have the money right now…
You are making music and it’s just a hobby? Or you need Free Music Production Software for Video Editing or small audio tasks?
So you don’t feel the need to invest, which is great. There is some free music production software out there that can handle audio production quite well if you don’t see any reason why you should pay.
Free audio production software or open source software are mostly created by volunteers. Some of the best free DAWS are:
Audacity Probably the most downloaded free DAW out there
Presonus One free only for the most stripped down version
Ardour ( for Linux and Mac OS)
Reaper is not free really a free DAW but you can get 60 days of free trial and you don’t have to pay to use the most basic functions if you don’t want to buy it after the trial period
I won’t go any further in details and feel to try them out … but I’ll probably see you back in 2 weeks!
Though I have to admit that you will have to spend a few dollars, I am a fervent defender of buying your software and pay those who made it possible for you to even use and NOT download cracked software, samples, DAW’s and VST’s!
Those will not only damage your DAW, bring loads of viruses and destroy your system. They will most probably are from mediocre quality too and they will give you a very bad reputation.
So think twice!
You wouldn’t want to be related to the use of cracked versions, as you might have a lot of problems later on when you make a name as a musician.
Think of Martin Garrix’s video when he is of showing how he produced ‘Animals’. Shame to see that it was produced on a cracked version of FL Studio.
He lost all credibility afterward (at least to those who respect music).
No harsh feelings though if you like Garrix… just not my style at all and I wanted to give you an example why you shouldn’t download cracked software if you ever want to make it in the music industry.
‘I believe that in an ethical way if you want to be part of the music industry, the most basic thing to do is reward those who make it possible for you to get there’
Good news is that you can find a lot of free VST Plugins, free sample packs, free acapella’s and free music making software on the net. Make sure to check the Best Websites for Free Sound Effects and if want some Free EDM Samples right away, you can download my sample pack here.
Now that you know how to make music or free, you are a step further into becoming the music producer you dream to be.
I was just like you when I started out. Still seeing myself struggling to get some sound out of my crappy computer and having no idea what I was doing. I learned how to make music for free and even if this wasn’t the ideal situation at the time, I learned a lot!
It takes time to learn all the skills to become a music producer and unfortunately, music production is far from being the cheapest activity but if you have the passion, you don’t nee the money (At least not in the beginning).
I hope you enjoyed this post? Feel free to comment below and don’t hesitate to share if you care!
Did you ever wonder how your favorite DJ’s and producers are creating their music or do you want to become a Music Producer yourself? Then this is THE place for you… stay tuned as I’ll explain you the then essentials steps to follow on how to make Electronic Music for beginners.
Windows or Mac?
The first thing to take in consideration before investing in software for making electronic music before you actually know how to start making electronic music is the operating system you are going to work with.
The operating system you are on is important, as not every DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation) will work on both and performances will vary according to what operating system you are using. Ableton Live or Logic Pro won’t run on Windows and FLStudio, which is available on Mac now but has much better performances on Windows because it was created for Windows.
Before you can start creating some great sounds you have to choose a DAW ( Digital audio workstation).
”A DAW is an electronic device or computer software application for recording, editing and producing audio files”
You ask yourself ‘what is the best music production software for beginners?’
In reality, I think there is not ‘a best’ DAW for beginners because every DAW can seem quite difficult at first if you have no experience at all with how to make music with FL Studio, Ableton or any DAW out there. You might consider downloading a free DAW, but as you are getting better you will get frustrated by the lack of features that other DAW’s don’t have and you will eventually to turn to better quality, having lost some precious time.
Choosing the right DAW can be complex and you have to be willing to put a couple of hundred of dollars if you want the best quality audio software out there. I recommend you to read my article about the top 10 audio production software.
I’ll show you around the best audio production software 2015 and it will help you make a decision. By the end of reading it, you will most probably know what is the best DAW for you.
Read more Top 10 Audio Production Software
The good news
is that most DAW’s offer a free trial period of 30 days before to decide to sign in for one of them.!
The decision depends on where you want to go with your music and on what purpose you are making electronic music. If you want to start out just for fun it is ok to try out some of the free DAW’s out there on the market but if you want to become a professional Music Producer you will have to put some money into it. The price is justified for what you get and you better see it as an investment in your future career as an Electronic Music producer!
The bad news is that once you have committed to a DAW it is difficult to change your mind on another DAW as you will have paid a lot of money on the one you get.
So my suggestion would be:
Before you invest in kick-ass home studio monitors you’ll need a decent pair of headphones.
It is very important to choose high quality as you will be spending A LOT of hours listening to music and you wouldn’t want to damage your ears.
Again, you will get what you pay for! As the price of headphones can vary from 20 $ to 500$ I wouldn’t recommend going under 100 $ but if this out of your budget you can find the best producer headphones under 100 $ soon.
I use Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones (Complete review: here )
As the most critically acclaimed model in the M-Series line, the ATH-M50x is praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers year after year for best producer headphones. Critically acclaimed M-Series professional monitor headphones deliver accurate audio and outstanding comfort, perfect for long sessions in the studio and on the go. Contoured earcups seal tight for excellent sound isolation, with minimal bleed. And the pro-grade materials are durable, yet comfortable. Read more…
read more: How to choose professional studio headphones
When you have chosen your DAW, you will need to learn the basics of electronic music. With almost every Daw you purchase comes a tutorial on how to start to making electronic music with that specific DAW. Perfect for all of you who want to learn the basics of electronic music production and get started making music right away!
I have been watching hundreds of hundreds of tutorials and I still am as you keep on learning in electronic music. Things change fast and you will get better and better over time as does your technique. In electronic music, you will never stop learning!
The quality of the tutorials provided with your DAW is of high quality but you can there are electronic music lovers all over the web that have some awesome tutorials too.
I started with FL Studio and like to share. some of the best tutorials I’ve found on youtube on how to make music with FL Studio. Those guys helped me a lot in my way of becoming an electronic music producer and they deserve some credit for that.
This was the very first tutorial I ever watched and it still is one of my top favorites on How to make electronic music – the basics’. It is a series of several tutorials and even the video is a bit dated is still very relevant.
Another one is from Beats4Beets, who has an amazing collection of tutorials in any genre.Dubstep/electro-tutorials and trance tutorials.
Read more: Complete review FL Studio 12
When I bought a Mac I decided to change DAW to Ableton. Although I was not very pleased with the moment because I just got used to FL Studio, I never regret my choice. Even if still use FL Studio once in a while, the limited use of it on Mac made me concentrate more on Ableton, which is my main DAW now and that is amazing to work with.
Some great tutorials on how to start making music with Ableton is this one:
You choose a DAW, you have a pair of the best professional headphones …and you ready to Kick Ass!
If like I did, you start without absolutely NO knowledge of music production you will be feeling overwhelmed by what is in front of you… But no stress it’s going to become more clear as you get into it!
The first thing to is searching every corner of your DAW … understand how it is working. You will probably see a lot of terms you have never heard before and it will look like Chinese to you. Most DAW’s offer a ‘tour’ when you first log in and you can get info about anything when you click on a word.
Every Daw comes with integrated instruments, Plugins, effects and a large variety of samples to start with. You will be able to upgrade as you are getting the hang of it and according to the specific genre, you are producing.
Try things out…open an instrument and try to play! You will be amazed how quick you are going to be able to create music!
Get started making electronic music!
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