How To Compose Music On The Computer
Composing music is one of the most fundamental skills you can develop as a musician! Writing songs is like writing any other type of story or essay, except instead of telling someone’s life experience, they are creating their own musical idea or expression.
Writing a song includes deciding what chords, notes, and rhythm to use, ordering these elements in time, and incorporating voice changes (different tones) and lyrics. All of these components come together to create an effective piece that appeals to listeners.
Music theory — such as understanding modes, intervals, chord structures, and tempo – aids in this process. However, even if you don’t know all of these terms, you can still compose beautiful pieces.
This article will go into more detail about some easy ways to start composing on your computer. We will also look at some free software that may be helpful for beginner musicians.
Make a note of important notes
In music theory, there are two main components that make up a melody. These are called pitch or tone (what notes you play) and rhythm (how many times you play a note per unit of time).
The first thing is creating an intro or motif for your song. This can be done easily by picking a key and using the familiar tones in that key as your theme. For example, if your song has an A-ballad structure, then use the A tonal chord as your theme!
After this initial part of the song, add additional bits onto the theme until it changes or breaks off. Once it does, start adding new parts to the rest of the song.
Record your voice
Recording your own music is an excellent way to start writing songs! There are many ways to do this, with most software recording apps offering you free or low-cost solutions to get started.
Many people begin by recording themselves singing a simple song fragment (like one note or half of a word) and then editing down what they want to keep and discarding the rest. This can easily be done in any digital audio editor such as Adobe Audition, GarageBand, ProTools, or even Windows Media Player.
Once you have recorded yourself singing something, you can edit these recordings into other pieces of music – like rhyming lyrics that fit the melody. You could also add drum beats and bass lines, and possibly additional vocals!
Some people organize their recordings by genre, while others use template settings for easy remixing. The best place to find royalty-free music is YouTube, where you can search for ‘Free music’ or ‘Music for production’ to find some great alternatives.
Edit your recording
Once you have tuned your instruments, it is time to edit your recording! You can do this by adding or changing voice parts, altering the instrument balance, and/or editing some of the song's lyrics.
For instance, if the bass line in a piece sounds very heavy, cut down the amount of bass that one instrument has by mixing them together. If the treble tone seems too strong, reduce those levels as well!
By doing this, the music will sound lighter and more balanced. You can also add additional voices such as piano, guitar, or any other type of instrument to make the music fuller.
Record your instrument(s)
Recording your instrument is an integral part of music production. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most common methods is using software that allows you to record from either a computer or device such as a phone, tablet, or webcam.
Most musicians start out recording themselves singing or playing a chord progression onto a track before adding other instruments and effects.
By starting with yourself, you can easily edit and refine your recordings until they are professional quality. Settings for recording yourself should be comfortable and easy to use!
There are several free and paid apps that allow you to create tracks by recording audio sources. Some only work with microphones while others accept external input such as headphones or devices such as smart phones and tablets.
Many have touch-surface features which make it simple to add bass, treble, reverb, and more without needing access to a real microphone or physical input source.
Mix your recording
When recording music, there are two main components of the song that you work on independently before combining them together. These are the melody or voice part and the bass line.
The first component is the melodic instrument part of the music. This can be anything from piano, guitar, violin, etc. The second element is the bass. This can be a rhythm pattern (like a drum beat) or an acoustic bass note.
When both of these parts have been completed, it is time to combine them into one. By doing this, you create a whole new piece of music!
The hardest part about composing music is knowing what elements need to be put together to make a full song. There are many ways to do this, but the best way depends on the genre and style of the music you want to produce.
Tweak your settings
There are several different settings that you can tweak in your computer’s music software to get better results. Some of these settings are universal for all music apps, while others are more specific (like Track Settings) or even genre-specific (Key Scale).
This article will go into detail about some of the most important music editing settings and how to use them!
This one is pretty self explanatory – if this setting is off, then whatever track you play next will be extended by the length of what has been previously played. If it’s set to Loop Off, the song will not start until it has finished being played.
You also have the option to turn Auto Looping on, which will automatically keep playing through the end of the song as long as there is still playback activity. This can get annoying when you want to listen to a short sound clip or piece of music that has a short break between songs, but there’s no way to stop it!
Tracks With Same Key Signature
This one is very specific to Pro Tools, but it’s an extremely powerful feature!
If you look at any two notes side-by-side, you will see that they have the same key signature. For example, looking at A and B, you would notice that they both have a sharp sign above them – a G#.