Music Making 101

Inspired by the fabulous work of the team over at Disintegration States, I’m interested in getting started making the old “electronic music”. My current setup is a cheap Chromebook.

What next?

(ie are there any fun, online tools to play with before diving in)

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Start with this

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What spec is yer chromebook?

Do you have anything with fewer corners? Looks a bit complex.

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Errr… really bottom end.

This is what I was playing with last night and it worked fine, so I was thinking of stuff like this:

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Not many corners here

Despite what I said about corners, I can actually play up to SIX (6) strings.

Alright, Thundercat.

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Would bloody love a drum kit one day.

FL Studio is basically that method of composition (note placement, synth creation), but scaled up massively. It’s desktop based though so hard to tell how you would find running it.

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MaxMSP 4 lyf

e.g. Here’s what FL Studio looks like for one of the tunes I put out yday. It’s all placing sounds, programming synths, adding effects, then layering into channels.

Sounds like you’re in the situation I was in last autumn.

I started off by buying this:
because it came with Ableton Lite, and I knew that I’d want to play stuff in. You can get smaller / cheaper keyboards too.

Having got it home I soon realised that Ableton Lite would be far too limiting for what I’d want to do, so I dug into my savings and bought Ableton Studio, which I reckon will do me. Now I’m thinking of buying a dedicated sound card too though. And a microphone. And more instruments for Ableton. And …

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Used to have a Gak but binned it off when moving up from London to Leeds a year ago as I’d done no music for years. Kinda regret it now.

I got the Ableton demo a few years back, and have been playing with Ableton Intro (the cheapest version) since. It’s very fun, user friendly, and easy to make something that sounds half decent. I’m worried I’m going to outgrow Intro and all my tracks will start sounding the same, but haven’t got to that stage yet.

Would highly recommend the free demo as a starting point.

On a bottom end chromebook you’re going to struggle to find much tbh - not being able to install programs really limits you. I had a dabble on my own piece of crap cb a while ago - I think was alright, as was I didn’t get very far with either but that’s as much down to my lack of inspiration at the time as anything.

These look like a great starting off point, thanks - I’m not expecting to come up with much tbh, but if I find I really enjoy it, it might be a good incentive to get something proper.


Yeah - I was forced into piano lessons for years as a child, so there’s a lot of muscle memory and it makes a lot of sense to play chords and melodies on a piano keyboard rather then on a keyboard / mouse setup.

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If you can make something decent on those then the possibilities a proper DAW will open up will be endless. If you do get good at that do yourself a favour and skip the freeware Audacity stage and invest in something decent. Save yourself a few headaches.