Since there are many programs and resources available, it is possible to create and share music with a computer and some simple accessories. Start by getting the instruments and recording equipment so you can play and record music at home. Come up with ideas for rhythms and melodies that you can use to write your songs. Once you have an idea for a written song, record it and mix it up on your computer so you can share it with others.
Method 1 of 3: Obtain the necessary equipment
Step 1. Choose a digital audio workstation so you can record and mix your music
Digital audio workstations are programs that allow you to write, record, edit, and export songs. Many have built-in software instruments that you can play using the computer keyboard and use in your music. Find a workstation that is compatible with your computer's operating system and compare the features and prices to see which one best suits your needs.
- If you are looking for the simplest experience, you can use Garageband or Logic Pro for Mac, or Reaper on Mac and PC.
- If you are looking for more advanced software, use FL Studio, Pro Tools or Cubase. All of these stations are available for Mac or PC.
- If you want to focus only on electronic music, go for Ableton, Bitwig Studio, or Reason.
- Many digital audio workstations offer trial periods so you can try before you buy.
- These stations can seem complex at first, so look for tutorials to know how to use the interface and the program to know all the settings that you can access.
Step 2. Buy a condenser microphone and stand to record vocals or live instruments
Condenser microphones capture high-quality audio and are used for recording in most home studios. Find a mic on your budget that has good reviews and you can use for instruments or vocals. Choose an adjustable stand so you can easily move it around to record different instruments.
You won't need a microphone if you plan to make electronic music with software instruments
If you can't afford a microphone, you can use your phone or your computer's built-in microphone, although you won't always get the best recording quality.
Step 3. Get an audio interface to connect the instruments and microphones to the computer
An audio interface plugs into a computer's USB port and converts acoustic audio into digital files. Choose an interface that has one or two 0.65-centimeter (0.25-inch) ports to plug in the microphone and the instrument at the same time. Compare the prices and features of different microphones and instruments to find one that has good reviews and meets your needs.
- High-end audio interfaces can be expensive, but you can buy a beginner for a lower price at music stores or online.
- You don't need to use an audio interface if you don't plan on using live instruments or a microphone.
Step 4. Use headphones to hear the song clearly
Using headphones will allow you to hear things that you may not be able to notice when playing music through the speakers. Use over-ear headphones that have noise cancellation for the cleanest sound possible. Choose wired headphones so you don't lose audio quality when listening. Wear them every time you record something so you don't get audio feedback.
If you don't have high-quality headphones, use earphones, although you may not hear the final mix of the song as clearly
Step 5. Select studio monitors to mix songs
Studio monitors are speakers that accurately recreate the mix of songs to hear levels and adjust the mix as needed. Head over to your electronics or music store to see which monitors are available within your budget. Mount the monitors on stands so that they are at ear level so you can hear clearly. Opt for monitors with large drivers for louder audio and more balanced sound.
- Many studio monitors can be expensive. The more expensive options tend to sound better than the cheaper models.
- It's okay if you want to work on headphones alone, in case you can't afford the expense of a studio monitor right away.
Step 6. Pick an instrument you want to play
Popular instruments when starting to create songs are the piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass, but you can pick any you want. Practice playing the instrument for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day to improve your skills and progress. Make sure you have any additional equipment necessary for your instrument, such as amplifiers, pedals, or cables to connect to the interface.
If you don't have an instrument, you can use software instruments that are built into your digital audio workstation. You can use the computer keyboard or the station controller to play the instruments
Method 2 of 3: Write Songs
Step 1. Choose the genre to write songs
Each genre has different techniques, instruments, and styles that you can incorporate when writing a song. Make a list of songs similar to the ones you want to create and listen to them to identify common themes or techniques you can use. Pick a genre that you like to listen to and that you want to experiment with for your song.
- For example, hard rock songs tend to have louder guitars with distortion, while hip hop songs are more characterized by drums and synths.
- Experiment with different genres to find out which one you like best.
find a way to combine genres to create a unique sound. For example, you can incorporate electronic synthesizers into rock songs to make the song sound similar to pop music.
Step 2. Choose a chord progression to follow in the song
A progression is the order in which you change the chords, and it can help you choose the notes to use in your melody. Pick three or four chords in the same key and arrange them differently to identify what sounds best. Play the harmonic progression on your instrument to decide if you are happy with the sound. Write or record chord ideas on your phone so you don't forget them.
- If you want your song to sound upbeat, you can use the C, F, and G chords.
- For a sadder song, use A minor, D minor, and the E chords.
- You can try any chord you want for your progression.
Step 3. Improvise with your instrument to find a melody that you like
The melody is the main sequence of notes that are repeated throughout the song. Choose notes that are in one of the chords of the progression to use in your melody. Experiment with different rhythms and note ranges to make your melody sound unique and interesting. You can try melodies on your instrument or whistle or hum along with the harmonic progression to find something you like.
- Repeat the harmonic progression in the background to play the melody over it.
- Do not use melodies that have been used in other songs, since they are protected by copyright, and you need permission to use them in your musical creations.
Step 4. Create the rhythm of the song with drums or software instruments
If you have a drum kit, create a basic rhythm with the kick and drums. Otherwise, create a virtual drum kit with a software instrument on your digital audio workstation so you can fix the beat. Play the kick drum and drums in different rhythms until you find something you want to use in your song.
If you're looking for a basic drum beat, put the drum on beat 1 and 3, and the drums on beat 2 and 4
Step 5. Structure the song with verses and choruses to create something memorable
The songs are generally divided between two or three verses separated by a repeating chorus. Create calm verses at the beginning and increase the intensity towards the end. Start the choruses with the catchiest tunes to make them sound memorable and give listeners something to hold onto. Make sure the verses and choruses sound different from each other so they don't get mixed up.
- Include a chorus for the song at the beginning or during the chorus to get the listener's attention.
- As you become more comfortable creating music, you can experiment with different song structures.
Step 6. Write the lyrics of the song if you want to sing along with the instrumental part
Think about the main theme you want to convey when people listen to your song to identify the basis for your lyrics. Choose a rhythmic pattern to follow in verses and choruses so that it is easy for people to sing the lyrics to the beat of the song. Use the same lyrics for the chorus so listeners remember them more easily.
- Incorporate metaphors that you can use to represent emotions or feelings, rather than saying directly. For example, you can use a storm to represent anger and sadness, or the sun to represent happiness.
- The lyrics don't have to always rhyme if you don't want to.
Method 3 of 3: Record and Share Your Music
Step 1. Connect the microphone and audio interface to the computer
Connect the audio interface by plugging it into a USB port on your computer. Plug the end of an XLR cable (which has three-pin circular plugs) into the input port of the computer. Plug the end of an XLR cable into the microphone or instrument to connect to the computer.
You don't need to connect an audio interface or microphone if you don't plan on recording instruments live
Step 2. Record live instruments or vocals with the microphone
Place the instrument on its stand so that it is at the same height as the instrument or the mouth, in case you want to record vocals. Put on your headphones while recording so you don't get an audible response. Press the record button on your digital audio workstation to play or sing the part you want in your song. Try recording several times until you are satisfied with the result.
Use a metronome or click track when recording to keep the beat
create a separate track on your digital audio workstation for each separate instrument you record. This way, you can avoid interference or overlaps.
Step 3. Use software instruments to add drum beats, synthesizers, or samples
Digital audio workstations come with built-in instruments that you can add to your song if you want to create more layers. Go through the list of instruments in your station and select the ones you want to add. Drag and drop the notes on the station to add different rhythms and melodies to your song. Experiment with different sounds to find new instruments to incorporate.
- You can also purchase additional instrument packages for your station online.
- Many stations allow you to change the settings of digital instruments to change the sound and achieve exactly what you want for your song.
- If you plan to create instrumental or electronic music, you can use software instruments for the entire song.
Step 4. Edit the song to remove background noise and make the instruments follow the beat
Click on the track you want to edit and highlight any part that only has background noise or interference. Once you make your selection, remove it from the track. Then click and drag the track to change it to the part where you want to include it in the song. Make sure the track keeps up so it doesn't sound weird or out of place.
You can move or rearrange any track of the song you want. Experiment with the way you layer instruments and how that changes the sound of your song
Step 5. Modify the mix of your song to raise or lower the volume of the instruments
Go through all the tracks in the song and adjust the volume level so nothing is too loud. Play the song multiple times and listen carefully through the headphones if you need to change anything. You can also add different effects (such as compression, reverb, and echo) to your tracks to create a unique sound.
Adjust the EQ of your instruments to evaluate how modifying affects and alters sounds
Step 6. Export the songs in a WAV or MP3 file
If you are looking for the best sound quality, save the song in WAV format. If you are looking for a smaller file that is easy to share, save the song in MP3 format. Click on the export option from the station's main menu and choose the file format you want. Name the file with the title you want and choose where to save the song on your computer. The station may need a few minutes to process the song before it is finished.
Listen to the song after exporting it to make sure everything sounds the way you want it to. Otherwise, go back and tweak the mix on your station
Step 7. Upload your song on the internet to share it with other people.
Look for free sites where you can upload or upload and share your music, like Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or YouTube. You can also use a service like TuneCore, DistroKid, or CDBaby to upload your songs to a streaming service like Apple Music and Spotify for a small fee. Provide the name of the song, the name of the artist you want to include, and any album art you want to use before uploading it to the internet. Send your music to your friends so they can listen to it.
Uploading your music to Spotify, Apple Music, or Bandcamp can also help you earn money from your music, but only a fraction of a penny per stream
- Listen to your favorite songs and musicians to create music similar to their style. In this way, you will begin to observe common themes and structures in their songs.
- Take music or instrument classes to improve your technique and songwriting skills.