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Getting started making a track

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Postby Khaos » 26 Nov 2018, 15:13

Hi Everyone, I've come to your forums seeking help and advice from the gurus of music production.

I've been a massive Hardstyle fan now for many years, particularly big fans of Headhunterz, Wildstylez and Coone but recently I've been getting this overwhelming urge to try my hand at making something myself.

I'm not expecting to hit big or become a world famous Hardstyle DJ but I'm just intrigued to see what it is I could produce.

What has been going through my head.....and stay with me on this.....the Psy bass that the likes of Timmy Trumpet and Vini Vici play I reckon would sound immense in a Hardstyle track.

My issue is....WHERE DO I START???

Can anyone help me out with software to use and tips on how to get the sound I'm looking for?
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Postby jordanmcewan13 » 29 Nov 2018, 00:36

You should start obviously with the basics, I would recommend getting the demo version of Fl Studio as it's user interface is awesime. Then head to YouTube and search for Seamless-R and he has a playlist of Beginner tutorials that get you familiar firstly with what everything is and what their functions are. After learning this, play about with what you know, and once your ready to proceed, he has hundreds of great tutorials for various aspects of production
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Postby jordanmcewan13 » 29 Nov 2018, 00:38

Seamless R doesn't do Hardstyle but the beginner tutorials cover info that you will need to produce anything in Fl Studio, once your familiar I can send you some great tutorials or link them to you
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Postby Neko » 29 Nov 2018, 12:54

Awesome to see someone interested and seeking out for some help here.

I'd second what jordan already said.
First, get a DAW (Digital audio workstation, like Fruity Loops, Cubase...). It doesn't matter which one. But keep in mind, that you will probably use the one you choose for a long time, they all work different and you really need to learn the programm. What everyone says about adobe photoshop for example also is true for all daws. being able to do everything comes with the price of complexity. But basically all DAWs can do everything, they just all take a different path.
I'm pretty sure there are some youtube videos which compare all daws to eachother. I picked FL and never looked back.
Then you gotta learn the program. Jordan already said, that there are plenty of tutorials for every DAW. I feel like that there are more FL tutorials than tutorials for other daws though.
First I would focus on general tutorials for that DAW and not gerne-specific tutorials because those genre-specific tutorials require some basic understanding for the DAW. I didn't do that at first and was scared off plenty of times by some higher-end hardstyle tutorials where I had to look up every second word basically. Thats what I'm trying to prevent for you here.

Well, assuming you are following my steps here, you didnt have much of a succesfull experience as just learning something and not using it properly isnt that rewarding. You wanna produce something finally.
I'd start with doing bootlegs or remixes actually.
Because you have plenty hurdles technically with your DAW (You're still learning), incorporating your cerativity on top which is sometimes the hardest part, can make everything really complex again. Remixing or bootlegging something really helped me out there because remixing something includes certain rules and boundaries which are helpful at the beginning. For example, you already have that melody, you don't really have to work on that. Thats a "finished" element you can use, you only have to put work into the synthesizer which plays the melody. Doing a solo track at first leaves you with both building sites, the melody and the synth.

You don't have to follow everything I just rambled about. For me, those things I stated helped me, your workflow may vary and my tips may not be much useful anymore. You gotta see that for yourself.

Just try and be not overwhelmed and demotivated by the complexity this all brings onto the table. I hope for you, not understanding a certain thing motivates you to try to understand it rather than leaving it untouched.
There's a reason many producers are perfectionists.

Before I started to produce music, I wouldn't have considered myself being a perfectionists, that came with producing actually.

One tip left: get yourself to learn about music theory. For real. I see many beginner producers just trying to realize their ideas and their tracks sound really off. Music theory helps a lot more than you would think.
Building chords in major or minor, building a topmelody on top of that and such things helped me stay within the boundaries of sounding good. I didn't know shit about it and my tracks were sounding exactly like that.

I wish you good luck! I'm happy for you that the feeling of finishing your very first track and being so proud about yourself still lies in front of you. Thats the best feeling ever.
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Postby Khaos » 13 Dec 2018, 15:44

Thanks for the valuable input here, I've got myself a copy of FL studio and I've been following tutorials for a while but as Neko said it's quite unsatisfying.
I'd like to create something knowing it was all me, and it was complete. I had thought that bootlegging some other tracks may be a good way to start as the basis of the track is already there but then this comes with extra questions.

So....I thought, being an 80's child, a hardstyle bootleg of Blue Monday would sound epic, the melody in that tune is instantly recognisable, my issue here is how do I get the basis of Blue Monday into FL studio to start playing with? are there editable versions of tracks knocking around the internet or do I effectively have to build the original before I can mix it?

How would I get started learning about music theory? i've never been a particularly artistic person but something about the idea of creating a track from my favorite genre and being able to say "I did that" just gets me.

This may sound really silly but after watching so many tutorials now when I listen to usual tracks I can visualise the FL studio process of how creating it may have looked.
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Postby Soundphase » 13 Dec 2018, 16:55

isn't that Timmy Trumpet guy also making hardstyle though? I guess it's hard to get into hardstyle production later on since the sound design is a really serious discipline, it really takes a lot of time and practice for your ears to adjust and your techniques to improve. some of the sound design can be a world of pain, and can sound more simple than it really is. But a lot of producers use kick packs now and ripping kicks from tracks has been going on since 2005

My advice to try to bypass the trivial stuff: get as much sample packs as you can (old and new), use trial and error to learn about layering samples with horizontal beatmatching - (Tick - Tok - Mid punch - deep punch - bass tail), experiment with leads and layering (use compressor to get a clean sound, use minor eqing), learn about Xfer OTT (over the top limiter by Steve Duda), know the importance of using compressors and limiters, and brickwall limiters on kick layers to get a fat square-like waveform
It's better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation
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Postby Neko » 14 Dec 2018, 17:25

Khaos:[...]
So....I thought, being an 80's child, a hardstyle bootleg of Blue Monday would sound epic, the melody in that tune is instantly recognisable, my issue here is how do I get the basis of Blue Monday into FL studio to start playing with? are there editable versions of tracks knocking around the internet or do I effectively have to build the original before I can mix it?
[...]

No. To both questions, no. There are probably no editable versions out there for you to work with, but you also dont have to rebuild the original first. Rebuild the elements you wanna include in your track. Like the melody for example. Just rebuild that and go from there your own way, thats what remixing is all about (Taking one or two core elements and work your own way from there)

maybe if you search for "acapellas" thatll lead you to a clean vocal sample or if you search for midis you can get the melody without rebuilding it yourself.
Rebuilding the melody for yourself though helps you really with learning how that shit all works.
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Postby Khaos » 17 Dec 2018, 14:48

Soundphase:isn't that Timmy Trumpet guy also making hardstyle though? I guess it's hard to get into hardstyle production later on since the sound design is a really serious discipline, it really takes a lot of time and practice for your ears to adjust and your techniques to improve. some of the sound design can be a world of pain, and can sound more simple than it really is. But a lot of producers use kick packs now and ripping kicks from tracks has been going on since 2005

My advice to try to bypass the trivial stuff: get as much sample packs as you can (old and new), use trial and error to learn about layering samples with horizontal beatmatching - (Tick - Tok - Mid punch - deep punch - bass tail), experiment with leads and layering (use compressor to get a clean sound, use minor eqing), learn about Xfer OTT (over the top limiter by Steve Duda), know the importance of using compressors and limiters, and brickwall limiters on kick layers to get a fat square-like waveform


Timmy Trumpet is indeed doing hardstyle now yes, I've seen him live a few times at Creamfields and DLDK and his sets are actually quite good, hardstyle with the Psy element and some of his trademark trumpet is actually quite catchy.

Thanks so much for the advice, a lot of that seems a little over my head right now starting out but I'll sit and keep trying until I get to grips with things, it's actually quite fun just playing around even though I'm no closer to producing anything final.

Neko:No. To both questions, no. There are probably no editable versions out there for you to work with, but you also dont have to rebuild the original first. Rebuild the elements you wanna include in your track. Like the melody for example. Just rebuild that and go from there your own way, thats what remixing is all about (Taking one or two core elements and work your own way from there)

maybe if you search for "acapellas" thatll lead you to a clean vocal sample or if you search for midis you can get the melody without rebuilding it yourself.
Rebuilding the melody for yourself though helps you really with learning how that shit all works.


Thanks for helping out again, the rebuilding sounds a challenge but as you say that's how I'll learn. you've been a great source of advice.
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