How To Make Music Digitally - The Different Ways

Posted by Jam Addict Staff

This article will discuss how to make music on your computer using music programming languages like Propellerhead Reason.

Although there are many means of creating music (either in an original or borrowed form), one of the most popular means of doing so is to use a computer program to make your music.

We'll use Propellerhead Reason, which you can get on sale for $15.99 (£13.67) on the Mac App Store.

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To open Reason, simply select it from the dock.

Just like many other music software programs, the first thing you'll see on the screen is the "Setup" screen, which presents a wizard-like interface.

Select one of the four options: "Getting Started," "Browse", "Edit" and "Inspect."

Make sure that "Inspect" is selected, because then you'll be able to look at the syntax of all the music clips you've selected.

What will be explained below is the basics of writing music in Reason.

These techniques will be expanded in the future, so we recommend checking out the full article if you'd like to know the whole process in more detail.

1. Find the music file

black iphone 7 on macbook pro

The first thing you should do is open a music file.

Depending on your workflow, you could do this with the Music I/O facility in iTunes, but if you're just looking to make some music quickly and efficiently, you can use a program like Reason to help you.

Open Reason and select the file. It will appear in the main window.

2. Create your own file

A sample file should appear in the top-left corner of the window.

In the right-hand column, a section that says "New" should be highlighted. Click this button to open the interface.

2a. Find a title for your piece

You can name your piece whatever you like, but this is a good place to start if you want something that reflects the music you're writing. In the search box, type "found."

Now click on "More Suggestions." Select the first result that appears: "Progressions."

Press the arrow keys to scroll through the other suggestions, and select "Blue Music." Click the arrow keys to select it.

2b. Open it with Reason

Click the file.

Enter a name for your piece. You can use anything you want, but it should reflect the style and mood of your piece.

Click "OK."

Now that you have a file in place, you can start using it!

3. Open the song in Reason

Make sure that you are in the main window of the program, and click the play button on the upper-left corner.

In the dialog that appears, choose "Open," then "Create."

This will open a window where you can see your newly created file.

You can use the arrow keys to move around the document and to select new elements.

4. Adding effects

A DJ sets up his mixing table for a night filled with music.

When you create an instrument in Reason, it's placed in the "Synth Section." To add an effect to a note in this section, click on it and then press the effect button.

From here, you can select an effect, apply it, and save it.

On the right-hand side of the screen, click on "Devices." This is where you can access up to four effects at a time.

You can access these by clicking on the dot next to an effect's name. You can also use the left-hand navigation bar to scroll through the list of effects.

Click "Add Devices" to see a list of the devices available. You can switch devices by pressing the icon at the bottom left of the page.

5. Compose and loop

You've got your piece, now it's time to build on it! To continue, click on the blue arrow in the top-right corner of the screen.

To compose, you must click on a note and then press the third piano key on your keyboard: M. This will send a message to your DAW to begin the process of capturing a single note.

After you've recorded a note, you can loop it by pressing and holding the M key for 30 seconds.

6. Layers

DJ at work

You can apply effect and effects in layers, meaning that you can choose one component at a time to affect the sound.

To do this, click on the rectangular "Layer" icon next to the key you played to record the sound.

To add an effect, click on the dot next to the effect name and select "Create a new effect."

You can now add other effects by clicking on the "+" icon and selecting an effect. When you're done, click "OK."

Now you have an instrument in your DAW that sounds great! Repeat the steps until you have three layers.

7. Finishing touches

Finish by selecting "Play" to playback the song and the whole process from scratch.

Making music with Reason can be tricky, but it's easy to get started.

Remember that it takes practice to learn how to create music, so you'll need to experiment a bit and practice.

You may be wondering if you can record a track while playing along with the instrument in your DAW.

Although this is possible, you may end up with a very uninspired piece. Instead, try experimenting with the different elements you have added.

You can even use a MIDI keyboard to create and record your own.

You can also use the built-in effects on your instrument to record a quick guide to making music.

 

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