Once you’ve chosen the best software for yourself and had a chance to create a few of your own dubstep tracks, you might be looking for ways to progress your new craft. A natural progression for your production environment is to use physical tools along with your DAW software.
Do I have the right computer?
Basic tools necessary for music production (such as a computer, speakers, and headphones) are obvious, but choosing the right device can seem daunting. Below are some of our best articles for not-so-obvious hardware decisions.
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), is basically the language used by electronic music equipment, your computer’s sound card, and production software to communicate sound. In Dubstep production, or any kind of electronic music production for that matter, tools are needed to manipulate MIDI language and control the sound you are trying to produce. Now, this can all be done through your DAW pretty effectively, however a physical MIDI controller will make your life wayyy easier. If you really want to nerd-out on this stuff, check out the Wikipedia article on MIDI.
A “MIDI controller” is literally something that can control or manipulate the MIDI language that we talked about. Naturally, there are tons of different types of hardware that can do this ranging from a common keyboard style synth to a MIDI Saxaphone – ever heard of Big Gigantic?
So which ones can you use to make dubstep music? Well, you can definitely use all of them and your options are endless, but we recommend you start with these main types to integrate with your DAW:
A MIDI controller that fits nicely into your home studio can do wonders for your production by allowing a more direct relationship between ideas in your head and the tracks that you lay down. By using a tool tailored for the task at hand (compared to your computer mouse), you can focus less on the frustrations of getting the virtual knobs just right and more on creating the perfect sound for your listeners.
The foundation of your workspace is your desk. You obviously need something sturdy and large enough to hold your speakers/monitors, audio interface, MIDI controller, and your PC setup. Most people have a desk lying around already that will do just fine. But if you’re in the market for a new one, or want to try out a pretty cool side project, check out our article on how to build a studio desk for under $50.