A million times

Hi Mike,

You probably have heard this question countless times but I’m hoping for your input on getting started with entry-level music production. I’ve been reading ‘Keyboard’ since the late 80s and much of what I read still seems very technical to me but I’m hoping some of it will click once I get my hands on some gear and perhaps associate with others who are knowledgeable. What about a computer? Someone suggested to me that Macs are best for music applications (seems like they are also mentioned a lot in your column). What about the music production software? Hoping to zero in on something that is easy enough for me to grasp in the beginning yet also powerful enough for when I am better at it and want to tackle some serious music projects. Your input is always appreciated.

Peace,

Ted


Ted,

I do get that question a lot, but fortunately every year I have better answers for people like you looking to learn more about music production software. If you look through Keyboard youíll see tons of advertisements for great schools that have correspondence courses about music production, and many others that have great videos about specific software platforms.

I am a big time Digital Performer user but recently got Logic 8 and wanted a quick tutorial so I could finally figure out what Logic was all about. I went to MacProVideo.com and found exactly what I needed. They have many really great videos explaining how to use Logic, Pro Tools, Garageband, and many other applications. For years I tried on my own to get my head around Logic with no success, after a few videos with MacProVideo.com I was finally making music with Logic. MacProVideo.com gives you a very cool program called N.E.D that you use to check for new tutorials via the internet, and then you can download and watch them instantly, no waiting for a DVD. Very coolÖ

I know there are many more people out there that are using PCís instead of Macís for music production, but in my opinion the Mac is still superior to PCís for music and video. Macís come bundled with Garageband, which is actually a cool little program for coming up with music very quickly. For ìseriousî music production you still need to know Pro Tools, as it is arguably the ìstandardî. For $249 you can get an Mbox micro interface and Pro Tools 7.4, pretty powerful software for the price.

I love Logic for the virtual instruments and plug ins, and Apple has recently knocked the price of Logic way down. But for me Iíll always use Digital Performer, especially in live situations. The point is that there are so many great options for making music, and so many educational materials available to help you that now is the best time to dive into music production. You wonít waste days getting frustrated with manuals and will be able to concentrate more quickly on making music! Mike

Mike McKnight Sounds Inc.

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