10 easy guides to making music on your PC

Get to grips with audio interfaces, arrangements and more


If you've ever wondered about making music on your computer, look no further.

Our colleagues over at MusicRadar have gathered together 10 top tutorials to help you along the way.

Whether you want to learn more about the basics, find out about virtual instruments or create the perfect intro, here's a guide to help you.

1. Good reasons to start making music on your computer
Some of you might be doing this already – probably the reason you're reading this list, in fact – but if you haven't yet discovered the joys of computer-based music-making (or just need some fresh inspiration) then here are 10 compelling reasons to do so.
Read 10 good reasons to start making music on a computer

2. Tips for computer music beginners
Making music on a computer is now easier than ever, but if you're just starting out, it can still seem like a daunting prospect. Don't panic, though – MusicRadar has put together some general tips to help ease you in gently…
Read 15 tips for computer music beginners

3. The beginner's guide to DAWs
If you're making music on a computer then you're almost certainly going to use something called a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. DAWs, put simply, are programs you can use to create, record, edit and arrange music. Get the full lowdown here.
Read The beginner's guide to DAWs

4. The beginner's guide to virtual instruments
While you can certainly make all kinds of bleepy, synthetic-sounding electronic music on your Mac or PC, the arrival of virtual instruments has made it possible to create realistic-sounding drums, strings, pianos, guitars, woodwind, brass and more, all from within your computer. MusicRadar has the full skinny on everything a beginner needs to know about virtual instruments, as well as download links to a few free ones for you to play with.
Read The beginner's guide to virtual instruments

5. The beginner's guide to MIDI controllers
The QWERTY keyboard and mouse combo is great for most computing applications, and you'll certainly use them when piloting most music applications. However, your creative experience will become all the richer if you splash out and buy a MIDI controller keyboard – and possibly another sort of controller – to work alongside them. Here's everything you need to know about MIDI controllers.
Read The beginner's guide to MIDI controllers

6. Get to grips with audio interfaces
Given that most modern computers have onboard audio capabilities, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you don't need an audio interface – but if you make music, you do. And here's why…
Read The beginner's guide to audio interfaces

7. Create a great song arrangement
When you're making music, the arranging process is just as important as the compositional one. Get it right and you could have a hit song on your hands – get it wrong and you'll be left with a jumbled mess of ideas. Here are 14 things you can do to create better arrangements on your computer…
Read 14 ways to create a great song arrangement

8. How to promote your music online
If you want your music to reach the wider listening world, the internet can be your best friend. However, if you're going to have a presence online, you need to make sure that you do things right. Here are MusicRadar's top tips for making it big via the world wide web…
Read 14 ways to promote your music online

9. Ways to start a track
Every songwriting journey begins with a first step, but taking that first step isn't always easy. In fact, many people find that starting a track is the most difficult part of the creative process. Fortunately, MusicRadar is here to help – here are 20 things you can try if the well of inspiration has temporarily run dry.
Read 20 ways to start a track

10. What not to do when you're making music
MusicRadar is always advising you on the things that you should be doing when you're making music, but what about the things that you shouldn't? Its put together a list of the most common bad habits – if you've fallen into one, it's time to get out of it…
Read 10 things not to do when you're making music


Now read How to mix live music with your laptop

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