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How to Make EDM Music: A Beginner's Guide




EDM music, or electronic dance music, is one of the most popular genres of music in the world today. It's a type of music that combines electronic sounds, rhythms, and melodies to create catchy and energetic tracks that make people want to dance and have fun. EDM music can be found in nightclubs, festivals, radio stations, and online platforms, and it has a huge fan base across different cultures and countries.




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If you love listening to EDM music and want to try making your own, you might be wondering where to start and what tools you need. In this article, I will show you how to make EDM music in seven easy steps, using a digital audio workstation (DAW) as your main tool. I will also give you some tips on how to choose a genre, a mood, and a sound palette for your track, as well as how to arrange, mix, and master your track. By the end of this article, you will have a basic understanding of how to produce your own EDM track, and hopefully feel inspired to experiment with different styles and techniques.


Step 1: Choose a genre and a mood for your track




The first step in making EDM music is to decide what kind of track you want to make. There are many subgenres of EDM music, such as house, techno, trance, dubstep, drum and bass, electro, trap, and more. Each subgenre has its own characteristics, such as tempo, rhythm, sound design, structure, and mood. You can learn more about the different subgenres of EDM music by listening to some examples on websites like [Beatport](^4^) or [EDM.com](^8^), or by reading some articles on websites like [Britannica](^2^) or [Wikipedia](^1^).


Once you have an idea of what subgenre you want to make, you also need to think about what mood you want to convey with your track. Do you want it to be happy or sad? Energetic or relaxing? Dark or bright? The mood of your track will affect the choice of sounds, chords, melodies, and effects that you will use later on. You can also use some keywords or phrases to describe the mood of your track, such as "uplifting", "melancholic", "aggressive", "dreamy", etc.


Step 2: Set up your DAW and choose your sounds




The next step in making EDM music is to set up your DAW and choose your sounds. A DAW is a software program that allows you to record, edit, and arrange sounds and music on your computer. There are many DAWs available on the market, such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro X, Cubase, Pro Tools, etc. Each DAW has its own features, interface, workflow, and price. You can choose the one that suits your needs and preferences best.


Once you have installed your DAW on your computer, you need to choose your sounds. Sounds are the building blocks of your track. They can be either synthesized (created by using software instruments or synthesizers) or sampled (recorded from real sources or other tracks). You can find sounds in different formats, such as MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), WAV (Waveform Audio File Format), MP3 (MPEG Audio Layer III), etc.


You can either use the sounds that come with your DAW (called presets), or or download them from online sources, such as [Splice], [Loopmasters], [Sample Magic], etc. These sources offer a wide range of sounds for different genres and moods, and some of them are free or have trial versions. You can also create your own sounds by using synthesizers, samplers, or other sound design tools.


When choosing your sounds, you should consider the following factors:


  • The genre and the mood of your track: Different sounds have different vibes and fit better with certain genres and moods. For example, if you want to make a house track, you might want to use some deep and warm bass sounds, some funky and groovy drums, some bright and catchy synth sounds, etc. If you want to make a dubstep track, you might want to use some distorted and wobbly bass sounds, some hard and punchy drums, some glitchy and noisy synth sounds, etc.



  • The quality and the compatibility of your sounds: You should choose sounds that are high-quality and compatible with your DAW and your computer. High-quality sounds have a clear and crisp sound, a good dynamic range, and a low noise level. Compatible sounds are easy to load and play on your DAW and your computer, without causing any errors or glitches.



  • The variety and the coherence of your sounds: You should choose sounds that are varied and coherent. Varied sounds have different characteristics, such as pitch, timbre, volume, duration, etc., and they can create interest and contrast in your track. Coherent sounds have similar characteristics, such as tone, style, genre, mood, etc., and they can create harmony and unity in your track.



Step 3: Create a basic beat and a bassline




The third step in making EDM music is to create a basic beat and a bassline. A beat is the rhythmic foundation of your track. It consists of different drum sounds, such as kick, snare, hi-hat, cymbal, tom, etc., that are arranged in a pattern or a sequence. A bassline is the low-frequency foundation of your track. It consists of one or more bass sounds, such as sub-bass, synth-bass, electric bass, etc., that are played in a melody or a chord progression.


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To create a basic beat and a bassline, you can use the following steps:


  • Create a new project or session on your DAW and set the tempo (speed) of your track. The tempo is measured in beats per minute (BPM), and it depends on the genre of your track. For example, if you want to make a techno track, you might want to set the tempo between 120 and 140 BPM. If you want to make a drum and bass track, you might want to set the tempo between 160 and 180 BPM.



  • Create a new track or channel on your DAW and load a drum machine or a sampler. A drum machine is a software instrument that allows you to create and play drum sounds. A sampler is a software instrument that allows you to load and play sampled sounds. You can use either one depending on your preference.



  • Choose or load some drum sounds that match the genre and the mood of your track. You can use the presets that come with your drum machine or sampler, or you can use the sounds that you downloaded from online sources.



  • Arrange or program your drum sounds in a pattern or a sequence that suits the genre and the mood of your track. You can use the grid or the piano roll on your DAW to place or draw your drum sounds on different beats or subdivisions of beats. You can also use the step sequencer on your drum machine or sampler to enter or edit your drum sounds step by step.



  • Create another track or channel on your DAW and load a synthesizer or a sampler. A synthesizer is a software instrument that allows you to create and play synth sounds. A sampler is a software instrument that allows you to load and play sampled sounds. You can use either one depending on your preference.



  • Choose or load some bass sounds that match the genre and the mood of your track. You can use the presets that come with your synthesizer or sampler, or you can use the sounds that you downloaded from online sources.



  • Play or program your bass sounds in a melody or a chord progression that suits the genre and the mood of your track. You can use the keyboard or the piano roll on your DAW to play or draw your bass notes on different pitches or octaves. You can also use the arpeggiator or the sequencer on your synthesizer or sampler to generate or edit your bass notes automatically.



Step Step 4: Add melodies, chords, and effects




The fourth step in making EDM music is to add melodies, chords, and effects. A melody is a sequence of notes that forms the main musical theme of your track. A chord is a combination of two or more notes that are played together to create harmony. An effect is a sound processing technique that modifies or enhances the sound of your track.


To add melodies, chords, and effects, you can use the following steps:


Create another track or channel on your


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