People who play a musical instrument often don’t see that there can be any connection at all between that and their home computer. Yet if you already have a computer then it almost certainly has the capability of being used as the starting point for a small home music studio. You might associate this immediately with bedroom dj’s and not see the connection between traditional music making and your PC – but you would be amazed at how much software there is available that could enhance your playing, regardless of your musical tastes.
The cost of connecting your PC up to a digital keyboard or piano is insignificant, and the process is straightforward. And whatever you want to do musically, there is probably a software product, which will help you do it.
We’ve been championing making music on your computer for years – and a lot of our recent content is now available in our blog, and if you have anything you want to ask just contact us and we will do our best to help! Below are a few ways we think your computer can enhance your music making
Education – there are plenty of tutors for learning the piano, keyboard, guitar, saxophone…. name your instrument. There is also software to help you learn the ins and outs of music theory and for ear training – especially useful if you are hoping to take theory exams, or to practise for aural tests. If you want to resurrect old skills, start from scratch, or support your child while they are learning then there will certainly be software tutors that will help you do it.
Composition – whether you are interested in traditional notation, orchestration, sequencing, multi-tracking, or playing with samples and loops, the computer has become a godsend to composers and musicians of all kinds; there are literally hundreds of different pieces of software out there to support your creative activity. The best software is no more difficult to learn than a word processor or spreadsheet package, and opens the door to you being able to compose and present your work professionally, either via printed sheet music or through the creation of CD’s that you can then share with others.
Interactivity/auto-accompaniment – playing an instrument can be a lonely experience if you haven’t got people on hand to play along with. There is software available that gives you the chance to interact with accompaniments. It’s like having your very own band or accompanist – in some ways better in fact, as it plays at a tempo to suit you. Some of the software is even capable of reacting live to your tempo changes, or can help you correct inaccuracies, making the experience even more rewarding and beneficial, and leading to genuine improvement in your skill level. Even if you are at the very start of your music learning you can benefit from playing simple tunes with an accompaniment – and with the option of setting an appropriate tempo you won’t be frustrated by an accompaniment that is too fast for you.
Recording – it is so easy to create a good quality recording on your computer now, either with a USB Mic or a professional computer recording interface and then you can add backing tracks, or just listen to yourself and improve, or share your music with friends and family
A few years ago music software was expensive, and you would have required a great deal of cumbersome hardware as well. Nowadays a home studio can be almost entirely software-based so it doesn’t take up much room, is reasonably priced, yet is incredibly powerful.
The next question then is not just what is available, but which is the best product for you? We know how hard it can be to get up and running without the right guidance. Our aim is to clearly tell you exactly what each piece of software does, and suggest how it might be used, so you can make an informed decision. Different people will have very different requirements – we hope to guide you straight to the right software for you with the minimum of fuss and technical jargon. The most common thing people say to me on the phone is ‘I don’t know anything about computers….’ well that’s because you are more interested in making music – so don’t let the computer get in the way – learn to use it as a tool it has really never been easier or cheaper!