What the latest banger that you have on repeat? You might imagine it being lovingly created in a giant studio with a famous producer sitting back swirling his single malt whiskey and a record executive rubbing her palms dreaming of her next yacht. The reality is that it was probably at least started on a minimal setup similar to what almost everyone has available. So do you need a ton of gear to make great tracks? The short answer is: no.
The Rules –
Rule #1: The gear you need is the gear you have.
You can make great music with a base level DAW (digital audio workstation) and a few VST plugins. If you enjoy listening to music you probably already have a few pairs of headphones around, so you do not even need to invest in a listening device. You could even just use laptop speakers.
A lot of music is now mixed and mastered to sound really good on incredibly cheap speakers. This makes a lot of sense because that’s where the music is being often played for the first time. When a new track drops, most people don’t wait to go home and fire up their $10,000 studio speakers. They listen on their phone or through cheap earbuds that will never have a full dynamic range. If you can make your music sound great on such low-quality devices, you know that you are on to something special.
Rule #2: Be prolific
No matter what, you need to put in the hours. Even if you have a base level DAW and a computer that crashes every time you use a specific setting on a plugin, you can still make great music. However, you need to find a way to be creative and original given your restrictions. Almost no one has 24-hour access to a studio, and no studio has all of the gear. It is not about the gear. It is all about you perfecting your sound and directing your creativity towards making the music that you want to create.
Rule #3: Get the Right Gear
You can make superb music with minimal gear, but a little gear can make a big difference in unleashing your creativity. If you must invest in more gear, there are three places to look:
- MIDI controllers
The biggest benefit from upgrading to better listening devices is not just hearing your music better, but hearing all music better. This can help you to define what you like, and to better hear how other music makers build their tracks.
Plugins are another great place to spend limited resources. The right plugin can open up a huge number of possibilities.
Finally, a MIDI controller can free up time and creativity. It’s a very small investment, but well worth investigating. Above all else, get in there and make the best music that you can with what you have today.
Hamed Wardak currently splits his time between his home in New York City and On the island of Puerto Rico. (Hamed) Wardak is the son of a former defense minister for Afghanistan. Hamed Wardak is an entrepreneur and recently joined the techno music world, creating, producing, and performing his new artistry in underground techno clubs all over the world. Hamed Wardak is known as Valen of Wicked.