Be your own Online Music Producer... Free!

Friday 06 January 2017 TECHMIX NEWS

Kris Pathirana

Music. It's like pizza. Sure, there's good pizza and bad pizza but if I offer you a dodgy slice – be honest – you're still going to take the pizza. As it goes with baked cheese on dough, so it goes with music. Your playlist may be packed full of Skrillex, but there was that one time you sneaked an ear pop at Katy Perry and Spotify never forgets.

Our appetite for music is fiercer and more eclectic than ever before. We want the latest, we want the greatest and we want it all the time. The online music war is over (ask your parents what an HMV is). Music to stream at your fingertips has meant that today, your favourite tracks are instantly available and free (ish) to all. Bad news for established artists – great news for you. Why? Thanks to myriad online platforms like SoundCloud and Beats, there has never been a better time to go from coulda-woulda-shoulda to fledgling artist. So get out there. Make something. Put it online. Let the world see what you have to offer.

But what if you're not an aspiring artist, perhaps you fancy a lofty perch as a mogul music producer? You need a band. We now have unprecedented access to the minds of our peers via social media as well as public playlists on our favourite streaming apps. We know what our friends are listening to, when they're listening to it, and we know what we have in common with our peers. Those with similar tastes may have similar aspirations. That girl who sits three rows across from you? Might have a voice that can blow the doors off any room she likes! That boy at the bus stop with bitchy resting face that you pass every day? Turns out he's an incredible guitarist. Perhaps you've created a track and discover an aspiring DJ online who just happens to be the remixing key to unlocking its full potential. Build your online community. Invest in each other. Use the tools at your disposal... the key tool, being access. We (mostly you - my drumming days are over) have an opportunity to build a community of digital artists. It just requires someone to put the pieces together and put their hand up. And maybe that someone is you.

Okay, so there's platforms out there, you've got your content sorted, but you don't have the software to record your soon-to-be masterpiece? Not a problem. There are free software and music making programs available online, like Temper and DarkWave Studio, and the majority have comprehensive online tutorials and helpful user communities to help as you take your first steps into music production. This game is a marathon, not a sprint. Anything worth doing, probably takes longer than fifteen minutes. Invest in yourself and learn. Last issue's cover star and online supremo Jamal Edwards did not wake up one day and discover he had a burgeoning empire. He put his hand up, and behind the flashy success of SB.TV, lay pain-staking hours of learning to edit via online video tutorials. This is where success begins.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there. Make something. Be fearless and experiment. Anything you make today is 100% better than the thing you didn't make. What does this mean? It means you can't fail. Your bedroom is now your studio, your mobile phone – your mobile office. So get in your studio, flip the lap top open... and dazzle us. We've been waiting for you.

These platforms, online communities and free software have democratised music production and industry itself to such an extent that what you create in your bedroom today, could be heard by a girl in Los Angeles or a boy in Cape Town tomorrow. These platforms have given everybody the opportunity to have their voice heard. I dare you to pick up the microphone...