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Thread: How to start composing techno music on a $0 budget?

  1. #1

    Question How to start composing techno music on a $0 budget?

    So far I have Music Studio Producer, by Frieve, for the notes, and Audacity for post-production. I've been fiddling around with instruments and drum beats, but I can't seem to find anything that will stick. Does anyone have any advice? I think I can do genres other than techno, but of course MIDI sounds best when it's pretending to be techno...

  2. #2


    I think for a $0 budget, MIDI is a pretty viable solution to some of what you need to get done. Although the quality of MIDI is rather lacking when compared against proper hardware, as the presets in most programs can be fairly bland. A friend of mine uses [which I think is called] Guitar Pro, which I've seen is a great MIDI program for the guitar.

    "Techno" music is hugely broad term, so I really don't know what sort of music you want to make, but I'll assume electronic. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is primarily synthesiser-driven, coupled with the use of computers, samplers, drum machines and sequencers. There are plenty of free applications on the internet than can handle these various aspects of the production.

    If you want to create unique sounds, your best bet would be to "acquire" a copy of a music software program and look into Visual Studio Technology (VST) and Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), stuff where you can build/create your own synthesisers/sounds... provided you don't mind spending a bit of time learning them, as some do have a steep learning curve. Programs like Reason, Renoise, Reaktor and MSP can handle this, but be prepared to put some time in it.

    But if that's not your thing, then get more creative about your music making. Do you have an audio recording device somewhere? If so, why not record natural sounds and then filter and edit them on the computer. Sometimes the effect can be more ethereal than anything you can produce artificially.

    Of course though, I'd recommend buying a synth or other instrument if you want to make music. Nothing beats the real deal if you're after quality.

  3. #3


    You might check out Hydrogen for drum beats: Hydrogen - advanced drum machine for GNU/Linux

    EDIT: The title says GNU/Linux, but it also runs on Windows, if you happen to use it.

  4. #4


    For synth sounds, id use a program called MiniMogueVA
    Its a moog synthesizer simulator!

  5. #5


    A lot of electronic music is "idiom" driven. To give you an example, almost all Acid techno features the sound of the Roland TB-303 bassline synthesizer. Drum and Bass frequently features drum-breaks from old funk/soul records ("Amen Brother" from the Winstons or "Think" from Lyn Collins to name a few).

    So if you want to make techno, figure out what the idioms are, and that will get you the sources for your sounds. Ferinstance, I think Propellerheads software gives away their "Rebirth 338" software, which will give you 2 emulated TB-303's and an emulated TR-808 (A drum machine with a very characteristic sound).

    Hope that helps a little. Careful though. What starts as a hobby suddenly turns into an excuse to drop thousands of dollars on software/hardware. Sometimes it gets as extreme as building your own custom synthesizers. But damn is it fun.

  6. #6


    Well if you like torrents and dont mind breaking copyright laws I would recomend VIRTUAL DJ and some sample tracks along with garage band. Or buy the software which I recomend even more!

  7. #7


    Fruity Loops lolololo

    I agree with Lukie. Want a unique sound? Record your own sounds and compile them in a way that you want. Honestly that would be pretty awesome - to make a song completely out of your own recorded sounds, on Audacity.

    I'm going to try it now!

  8. #8


    For purchased software, nothing beats Ableton.

    That said, you can go out and get some decent used hardware pretty cheap these days. Nothing beats actual knobs and sliders.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by sissybecky View Post
    nothing beats Ableton.

    Nothing beats actual knobs and sliders.
    Your honor! This statement directly contradicts this evidence! Er, statement!

    Lol I quote Phoenix Wright. Am I funny yet

  10. #10


    I use DP, but it's more of a DAW. It does have built-in softsynths, but I don't care for them. I'd rather use my external synths.

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