If you are a singer, songwriter or simply a beginner who is interested in EDM (electronic dance music) production than this article is for you. My own journey began almost 7 years ago. It was the first time I have heard Avicii’s iconic hit “levels” and I fell in love.
From its incredible energy to the infectious melodies, tracks such as “levels” and Porter Robinson’s “language” were my new obsession. I listened to EDM for around 3-4 months before I started my production journey.
When I started I thought I was going to be the best EDM producer the world has ever seen, I thought making EDM would be easy and I thought that making tracks such as “levels” or Skrillex’s “Bangarang” would be an easy task.
So I downloaded the demo of Avicii’s DAW of choice (FL Studio) and watched a YouTube tutorial on how to start producing. What I discovered was horrifying. FL Studio was much more complicated than it seemed and I couldn’t even recreate twinkle twinkle little star.
That’s exactly the time I first quit music production, It was simply too hard and I was utterly disappointed by how overwhelming FL studio was. 2 months have gone by and I kept on listening to artists such as Avicii, Swedish house mafia, Deadmau5 and Porter Robinson.
I was in my car one day and I heard Swedish house mafia’s “greyhound”. I got the same musical high I got when I first listened to “levels” and I felt guilty for quitting on something I loved so much.
So I came back to the drawing board and started watching countless FL Studio tutorials on youtube. I still sucked but I kept going, a year has gone by and I improved a lot, I started making better melodies and my mixing/mastering were much better than when I started.
Even though I made a lot of progress I was still very frustrated. My songs still sucked in comparison to my idols tracks and I constantly compared myself to Avicii, Porter Robinson, and Deadmau5.
That is exactly the time I quit for the second time. a year has gone by and a song by a young prodigy has just come out, the song was animals by Martin Garrix. Martin was only 17-18 at the time and he just made one of EDM’s biggest hits.
Later this day I watched an interview with Martin where he says he is constantly working and that he has been producing for several years. He also mentioned he got inspired by DJ Tiesto at a very young age.
I could totally relate to Martin and felt he has gone through the path of my dreams. After watching that interview I finally bought FL Studio 12 and could finally save my projects 🙂 purchasing FL Studio was a milestone for me and a sign of personal commitment.
Yet again I watched countless youtube tutorials and made dozens of tracks. My tracks were still bad and I was frustrated again. I then sat with myself and thought about what MAKJ has said in an interview. the interviewer asked him about what is his favorite EDM songs right now. He has said that he doesn’t listen to EDM in his free time and that he prefers rock music instead. He has also said that he doesn’t listen to EDM so he doesn’t constantly compare himself to others.
That was the first time I saw a big producer such as MAKJ who shares the biggest problem I have encountered on my own production journey. That problem was obviously the constant comparison. I finally realized that was the main thing holding me back.
That was the turning point in my production journey and I finally started making some incredible progress! My tracks started sounding a lot better and I was finally enjoying my craft 🙂
At this time my music started getting some attention from youtube channels and labels and I finally got some positive feedback on my music. People started sending me fan messages and I was super excited 🙂
A year after reading the MAKJ interview and getting some of my remixes/originals on some YouTube channels I became obsessed with positive feedback.
I was constantly working on music and wanted to finish as soon as possible, I only wanted that surge of positive feedback again and I didn’t really enjoy my craft anymore this behavior led to worst sounding tracks and I didn’t get the same positive feedback I have gotten before.
That was the time I quit for the third and last time (for now) A couple of months have gone by and I stopped my “connection” with EDM music completely. I didn’t produce music and I didn’t even listen to music.
At this time I was very depressed and I explored other hobbies/professions. I tried cooking, I tried movie making I even tried gardening.
None of them felt right to me, None of them gave me the same feeling of euphoria EDM has given me.
At this time I haven’t been producing for at least 6 months and I felt a piece of me was missing. That’s when I got back into production for the third time, this time I promised myself I am not quitting again and that I will not compare myself to others. I also promised myself that I will not constantly strive for positive feedback and that I will simply enjoy myself.
To this day I kept all of these promises. I have made a lot of progress in the past few years and I finally feel I am getting very close to the level I want to be at 🙂
I know you have been expecting a guide and I am completely aware this is a story, The reason I am telling you my story is I think music production and EDM production specifically is an elusive art, it’s hard and at times it will become overwhelming.
I hope my story reassures you that you are not alone and that any feelings of frustration or anger are completely normal. I also hope you are a little more inspired than what you were 10 minutes ago and that you will always believe in yourself.
The last thing I want to tell you before ending my little rant is that the moral of my story (as cheesy it may sound) is never quit and always believe in yourself.
That’s it, that was my “guide” on how to make electronic music. Now it’s your turn! go watch some YouTube tutorials, and immerse yourself in the community you won’t regret it 🙂