From its humble beginnings in the 80’s to current day 2020, techno music has been on the forefront of electronic dance music culture.
Over the decades, it has still maintained a repetitive heart-beat pulse made from a pounding kick drum, snap/clap and open hi-hat. Many people will use a variety of instrumentals, MIDI keyboards and hardware synthesizers to produce techno music too.
While you might not have all the hardware tools to play with, even a simple setup with a computer and DAW can produce some fantastic techno music. Here are a few tips for beginners on producing techno music.
Find the perfect DAW
Picking out the best DAW software is an important part of the process. It’s where you’ll start fiddling and learning the ins-and-outs of producing techno music.
Many techno producers will recommend Ableton, Reason, Logic or FL Studio.If you’re looking for a free option, Reaper is highly recommended as the best free DAW.
Have the right PC / laptop
Once you’ve decided on the right DAW for you, make sure your computer or laptop can handle it. You will need to look at the recommended requirements for your DAW, however we have also put together a PC guide for rough recommendations.
Invest in a MIDI keyboard
A MIDI keyboard will make your production process a heck of a lot easier, plus playing on a MIDI keyboard is a lot of fun. You don’t need to spend a lot, the M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MK3 or Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII are both affordable MIDI keyboards that are great for making techno music.
Listen to inspiration
You might already have your favourite techno artists that you listen to, but properly listen to their top tracks and single out each sounds. Focus on the transitions.
Sometimes you might even find a tutorial on YouTube, which will take you through the process of an entire techno track from a popular artist.
Less is more
When starting out with your first track, try and keep things simple. Don’t over-complicate the process and use too many samples. You’ll often find a simple track will lead to less distractions.
Keep it structured
Techno can infamously be a repetitive genre. When starting out, make sure you stick to the 4/4 kick drum pattern, a clap/snare on 2 and 4, a high-hat on the offbeat. You can also download a few sample packs to get you started with quality sounds to create drum loops.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
While it’s recommended to keep a good structure, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with other elements of a techno song including unique vocals or adding interesting synths!
Show it to family and friends
After you’ve completed the track, show it to family and friends for feedback. If you’re confident enough, upload it to Soundcloud and get feedback from anonymous users on the internet. It’s the best way to get an honest opinion!
Producing techno music isn’t easy. Depending on your music theory background, computer knowledge and other variables producing a techno song could take you a few hours, a few days, a few weeks or even a few months.
Techno music production tutorial
If you would like to learn more about how to produce techno music, this tutorial below provides a wealth of insight for beginners.
What do I need to produce techno?
To produce techno you will need a laptop or PC, DAW software (which is used to write the music), a MIDI keyboard and a pair of headphones or speakers.
Is it hard to make techno music?
It certainly will be difficult. To create a quality techno track, it will definitely be difficult too! Music production in general is not easy, but it’s worth the journey.