The Dirt: How to get a start in electronic production
It’s International Women’s Day today so it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate some kick ass things women in electronic music are doing, using those experience to help you get a start in electronic production. You’ll hear from DJ/Producer/triple j Mix-Up kween Andy Garvey and Elise & Rosie from Perth duo Feels who also run WOMPP (Women of Music Production Perth) – a community of 270 women and non-binary music makers who talk and learn all things electronic music.
Hit play to cop these hot tips in full.
1. FIND THE RIGHT SOFTWARE FOR YOU
When there are dozens of music-making software to choose from, where do you start? What does each do? Elise from Feels says this is one of the first things to suss out so that you’re starting your electronic music journey off on the right foot.
“Choose the right software for you. Make sure you think about whether you want to be performing live eventually after you’ve written or produced your music, or whether it’s more for in the box production for DJ sets or for mixing.”
2. USE THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU
Elise and Rosie started WOMPP because when they first started out as Feels, they struggled to find other female acts to play with, knowing very well that they existed and were out there somewhere, but where? With that in mind, they launched a community to get everyone together in the one place – and with that, emphasise the value of community for learning.
“Learn from other people, learn from friends – don’t just use YouTube tutorials,” explains Rosie. “Engage with other women other men, anyone else that you know who is doing the same thing. Or perhaps there is a community already in your city that is existing for electronic music makers. I think that learning from other people and lots of other people is really valuable.”
WYN is a DJ/producer from Perth who’s been involved with WOMPP for around 6 months and backs that advice hard. “Everyone has something to teach you. You have to accept that it’s a super long road, there’s always more that you can learn and everything is always changing so you’re never going to stop learning.”
3. IT’S ALL ABOUT CONFIDENCE, BABY!
So, you’re sitting on some music you’ve made and you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing about what to do with it? Get it online girl!
“Have confidence always” says Elise. “Put out your music when you’ve finished it. There’s a lot of hesitation when you first write a track and this thought process of ‘When am I gonna put it out? When’s the right time?’ There’s no real good time to put out the track when you’re first starting, you should just get it out there. Because the more tracks you’re sitting on, nothing’s happening. I mean maybe don’t put it out on the 1st of Jan or Christmas.”
4. PATIENCE IS EVERYTHING
We hit up triple j Mix Up kween Andy Garvey to see what helped her out when she first started noodling away on her computer, and her first piece of advice: patience.
“Take your time, learn your craft and realise that the first track you make is not gonna sound like Flume, it’s not gonna be the next Peking Duk smash hit – you’re gonna start off and it’s not gonna sound quite right but the little mistakes you make along the way are gonna help you to become your own artist.”
“[When I first started] it took me years [to figure things out]. I’m a really slow learner, computers are freaky but I finally got my head around it and now it’s something that comes so naturally.”
5. COLLABORATE WITH M8S
How good are mates? They’re there with you for those epic D&Ms, the good times, the bad times and Andy reckons you should collaborate WITH them too. Bounce ideas off each other, even if they make completely different music.
“Just get into the studio and see what they do, see what you can take from it, see what you can teach them as well. Find those little bits and pieces that might fill a hole in what you’re trying to do that you didn’t know was even there.”
With these fresh tips in mind, it’s time to plug in that midi keyboard and record those bloops, bleeps or wubs that have been swirling around in your head busting to be turned into a song. Have fun experimenting and entering the world of electronic music production!