How I Make Music

Whenever I tell people I make music, I often get the question, "How do you do that?"

I find it difficult to explain, so here's a whole blog post about it!

I use a DAW (digital audio workstation) called Ableton Live 10. This is the heart of the whole setup: it's where everything comes together.

DAWs, like Ableton. are like digital versions of those giant mixing desks you see in big studios. Except they're capable of a lot more and fit inside your computer. The only real downside is that they don't sound as good, and perhaps aren’t as easy to mix on.

Other DAWs include Logic, ProTools, Cubase, Reaper, etc. They all do fundamentally the same thing, but differ in terms of specific functionality. I prefer Ableton.

Ableton Live 10 Suite

A recent project in Ableton Live 10

I record instruments (guitars, synths) into the computer (Mac Pro) through a preamp (Universal Audio 6176) and audio interface (Apogee Quartet).

The Universal Audio 6176 is a preamp, which means it amplifies the signal coming from the instrument. This particular preamp uses tubes. It also has an EQ and compressor built-in. I made a significant investment in this preamp because everything passes through it before going into the computer – so it's important that it sounds good.

Different preamps have different sounds. The cheaper ones tend to sound harsh, digital, and generally uninspiring, while the more well-made, longer-lasting ones sound warm and musical.

This post is in progress! More to come soon. (^_^♪)