kevin's website

Getting Started with Music Production

Kevin Nel

To be honest, as nice as all the things are you really don’t NEED much. Just a good set of ears, a creative mind and a positive attitude. (and a computer, but you’ve probably got one if you’re asking this question)

DAW (the software you make music in)

Theres a bunch of free ones but the one that has the biggest user base is probably reaper. you can get reaper for basically free since the trial never ends (I find it a bit complicated but it works well if you’re on a budget and I know quite a few guys who use it professionally.)

Educate yourself

Youtube has tons of tutorials all free free (apart from data costs) and you can learn everything you need there)


Theres tons of great free plugins for synths and effects (I even wrote an article about)

PS. Landr has got a lot of great articles with tips and stuff as well

  1. Every Free VST Plugin You Need For Mixing Perfect Vocals - LANDR Blog
  2. The 200 Best Free VST Plugins - LANDR Blog
  3. 12 of the best free VST/AU plugin synths - MusicRadar

Some others like ‘camel crusher’ are even staples in a lot of pros setups


Chances are your DAW isn’t going to have a ton of great samples in them (especially if you went the free route) but have no fear there are tons of great free samples on the interwebs. Here are just a few

  1. Free Download Vault - Cymatics
  2. Free music samples: download loops, hits and multis - MusicRadar music

A quick search for any specific samples you’re looking for will normally be fruitful (we wont get into the ethics of sampling here, just make sure you look into it)

Bonus: the production "YouTubers" often have websites and give out sample packs so keeping up to date with some of them are great (‘i’m a music mogul’ and some others come to mind)

Recording (possibly spending money for the first time)

If you want to dust off your guitar, plug in a bass or record any other instrument you’ll need an interface. Presonus and Focusrite both have a great range of quality lower priced interfaces. Do some research about choosing the right one for your needs and then get recording!

Bonus: to put it short the interface you choose matters very little as long as there's good support and the drivers are kept up to date. They all basically do the same thing. unless you’re looking to record full on live bands and need a big expensive one. Save yourself time and don’t sweat too much.

Headphones (definitely spend a little money)

The first thing you should invest some money into would probably be a good set of headphones (with a flat frequency response, ie NO "bass boosted" or other consumer stuff.) Presonus and AKG have some good entry level offerings.


If all you’ve got are a pair of apple earbud and a laptop you can still make good music. All you have do is "JUST DO IT" and the practice and knowledge you’ll acquire over time will guide you the rest of the way.

Good luck.