Where to Start?

This may be one for Chris. I was typing up a reply to one of his responses but realised eventually it came from a ‘no-reply’ address. So here is a copy of my mail. Any feedback and tips for new novices like myself would be great

Thanks Chris. I’ve been trying to learn EMP but in stops and starts but hopefully look to commit properly this year now that I’m separated and living alone.

I don’t want to spend lots of money on kit. At the moment I have a macbook pro from late 2011 running Logic Pro 9 and an M-Axiom Midi controller with a pair of M-Axiom stereo speakers. I don’t have an external sound card but would be grateful if you could recommend one within a decent budget.

I also ordered a book called ‘Dance Music Manual’ by Rick Snoman which I’ve heard is also a really good reference point.

My plan is to:-

  1. Go through this book and ground myself in the theory musical and electronic (do you also have any other recommendations?)
  2. Subscribe to your website and work through some of the beginners level tutiorials especially around understand DAWs and how to use these.
  3. Work to re-construct some of the tracks through the tutorial videos.
  4. At some point in the future write and produce something myself

I am a novice but I do understand enough to get me started.

Also, should I upgrade to Logic X and purchase the ANA plugin?

I want to keep it basic since simplicity is the key and I want to base my future compositions around building melodies first.

I love uplifting, melodic, dreamy trance and chill out music and sounds and this is what I want to aim for.

Does sonic academy offer one on one tutorials or is all online to keep the prices down? SAE institute and Point Blank look good but are quite expensive

Apologies for my long email but would be grateful for some hints and tips so that I can plot my ‘journey’. I do work full time so will be hoping to dedicate any spare time I have to this. I’m really passionate and I want to start somewhere. There’s a wealth of info on the internet but it just so confusing.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Best regards,


you can tag @chris_agnelli in the future :wink:

Hey @Shazman - thanks for the post, will try and go through as much a possible. Firstly, you are totally correct not buying loads of gear. Many successful producers create tracks using mainly their DAWs stock plugins. I did an interview with @CidInc and he uses stock plugins - Key bits are a decent audio card, decent monitors that are placed in an alright sounding room (No point in having £1000 monitors if the sound is just gonna bounce around the room) and perhaps good headphones for those late night sessions!

Budget audio cards - look here - http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/13-of-the-best-budget-usb-audio-interfaces-570850

1 - Good to get a basic understanding of music theory - here are some courses on our site -

2 - Definitely do this!! Plenty on Logic around here, with a good start being here - How To use Logic Pro X Beginner Video Tutorials | Tutorial 1 - Playthrough . Also, try out our understanding series which will lift the lid on the most commonly used tools in and around the studio. All Courses

3 - This is good practice, to get an understanding of your chosen genre

4 - Yes, then put into practice, what you have learned! Its gonna be a long and sometimes frustrating journey, but ultimately a rewarding one.

I would upgrade to LPX (of course get ANA its amazing!), it’s very cheap and there are loads of cool new features, plus most of our newer courses are in LPX and you maybe missing out on some cool tricks or tips. Do keep it simple and learn what you have well, a great way to work and work fast.

Lastly, we are just an online school.

Hope all this helps, and lets us know how you are getting on.