The Best EDM Gear to Make EDM music
Today’s focus will be on specific EDM gear to help you create your next dance hit. American Music Supply offers many different options and the following is a small sample of some great tools currently on the market. Use this as an EDM gear guide to help you start creating music.
Let’s begin with Ableton Live, a powerful DAW that makes music creation and improvisation more intuitive than other DAWs. Live has two discrete workflows. One called Arrangement View which resembles a typical DAW with events recorded at a specific time. The other workflow is known as Session View. Session View is where Ableton shines, as it allows you to arrange different pre-recorded audio and midi loops in real time. It can be used for live remixing, DJing, or experimenting with different arrangements while fleshing out the structure of your song.
Ableton Push is not just a controller, but an instrument featuring 64 pressure-, velocity- and touch-sensitive pads. 8 touch-sensitive rotary encoders and an intuitive screen are also present. Having Ableton Push with Live alone is what you need to get a novice started.
Another popular option outside of the Ableton camp is Propellerhead’s Reason, and Reason features proprietary synths, drum machines and effects. Check out reason, it is one of the popular DAW’s that has been around since 2000 with Reason 1.0.
The Akai MPC series infuses the legendary feel and swing of their classic MPC hardware with the modern power and convenience of a computer. Akai’s MPC software is included with the MPC-X, MPC-Live, and MPC-Touch hardware. The MPC-X and MPC-Live are special in that they can operate in stand-alone mode (without a computer) as well as with the MPC software on a computer. This is great for musicians that don’t feel like bothering with sitting down at a computer every time inspiration strikes.
Similar to the MPC-Touch but in a class all on its own, the Maschine series by Native Instruments is extremely popular with today’s group of EDM producers. Maschine’s hardware integrates seamlessly with the software and features the robust sound library Native Instruments. It contains a pattern-based sequencer, professional sampler, multi-effect unit and VST/AU plug-in host. Maschine comes in three formats, a full-blown studio version with extensive hands on control, the standard MK2 unit, and the small-format Maschine Mikro MK2.
We covered DAWs, samplers, and beat making hardware/software gear, and now it’s time to look at a few of the awesome synths that are shaping today’s dance music.
The Moog Mother 32 is the first semi-modular tabletop synth from Moog. It combines raw analog sound, sequencing and extensive interconnectivity to any electronic or modular ecosystem. The Mother 32 provides musicians with a diverse array of creative tools and it is easy to use. It also inspires new music, unique sound and endless sonic exploration.
Just as Moog continues to create new instruments in homage to their classic gear, so does Dave Smith. The Sequential Prophet 6 is a modern analog poly synth that takes the best qualities of the original Prophet-5 and adds enhancements such as studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, and arpeggiator. Classic tone and vibe with a sound that fits with today’s EDM scene.
We spoke about the Roland TR-808 & TR-909 in a previous article, so it’s only right to mention Roland’s Aira series which pays homage to the classics. The Aira TR8 Rhythm Performer is a performance rhythm machine that melds the legendary sound and vibe of the TR-808 and TR-909 with features and functions for the modern age. Genre-defining sounds, classic effects, unprecedented live pattern manipulation, and solid, intuitive performance controls.
There are so many great software synths and effects out there, and to keep this brief we’ll end this segment with Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2. This instrument of extraordinary power and versatility will inspire a lifetime of exploration. Over 12,000 sounds for all types of music production. Variable waveshaping DSP synthesis, granular synthesis, timbre shifting, FM synthesis, polyphonic ring modulation and more. Layer sounds and manipulate the finest details.
The EDM gear rabbit hole goes deep. We hope that this has given you a good understanding of the history and fundamentals of electronic music. Remember the golden rule of music production, trust your ears. If breaking the conventional rules of music production sounds good, it is.
Written by: Headsnack