A DJ Mixer is an small mix panel used especially for live performances.
electronic music basics

What is a DJ Mixer?

Technology is a big part of the entertainment industry today. A disc jockey no longer just plays records. A DJ now uses an entire advanced sound system. The centerpiece of which is the mixer. What is a DJ mixer? A DJ mixer is an important piece of electronic equipment used by disc jockeys to mix sound effects and audio sources during live events such as dances. It also allows the disc jockey to make his own audio using other sources and makes it easy to play continuous music without downtime. [Read more …]

Pocket Operator - The mini synths that fit in your hand.
Synthesizers

Pocket Operator PO-35 Vocal Synthesizer Review

Let’s take a close-up look at the Pocket Operator PO-35 Vocal Synthesizer – from Teenage Engineering. The PO-35 is small. How small? Smaller than an iPhone. Here it is out of the package – you can see it is a very minimalistic product. It is a bare bones product , but that is part of the appeal – to make it fun and easy to make electronic music. It has a folding wire stand. It is a very compact footprint when the wire stand is folded, but when it is [Read more …]

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is software used for creating music on a general purpose computer, like Mac or Windows
electronic music basics

What is a Digital Audio Workstation?

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an umbrella term referring to any digital audio recording and editing device or software. This is a broad definition that, taken literally, can mean everything from a smart-phone with a music-recording app to the most expensive, high-tech professional recording studios. In most cases, the term refers to any digital audio recording software platforms. There are many such programs on the market, varying in capabilities, features, and of course, price. There are also some free-ware audio recording programs. While these may not have the bells [Read more …]

Synthesizers

Synthesizers in Electronic Music

What is a Synthesizer? A synthesizer, or synth, is an electronic instrument. It usually has a key layout like that of a piano, although the exact layouts of the keys vary depending on the model. Each key produces a different tone and many synths can have multiple programs which means that the keys can produce a variety of different tones. The sounds created by a synth can vary widely, as they can imitate real instruments, create drum noises, ocean noises or even generic electronica noises. Synths can be controlled with [Read more …]

electronic music basics

All About MIDI Keyboards

MIDI keyboards let a musician communicate directly with their computer or another electronic instrument. These versatile controllers are an essential part of the musician’s toolkit. MIDI technology has only been around since the 1980s, but it works so well that it’s become a standard of the music industry. What Is a MIDI Keyboard? A MIDI keyboard is a device that can send MIDI data. Both MIDI controllers and electronic keyboards might be referred to as MIDI keyboards; they look quite similar, but they’re actually different items. An electronic keyboard is [Read more …]

A Vintage Drum Machine
electronic music basics

Drum Machines in Electronic Music

A drum machine is a type of electronic musical instrument that appeared in the 1930s. Drum machines create the same types of noises that a drum makes along with other percussion instruments and can be used in place of regular drums. Most present-day drum machines are even able to program the music artist’s distinctive drum rhythms. Additionally, drum machines have become very popular in creating background music for different artists and genres, especially hip hop and dance. The purpose of a drum machine, other than to create amazing music, is [Read more …]

A closeup photograph of the controls of a MIDI synthesizer. This picture shows the power, mode, volume, and sequencer options of the synthesizer.
electronic music basics

Understanding sequencers in electronic music

What is sequencing? Mostly, sequencing is programming a collection of musical instructions and playing them back to making music. It is one of the most common and straightforward methods of elaborating a melody in eighteenth and nineteenth-century classical music. In digital recording, sequencing allows music creators to program a combination of notes, rhythms, articulations, and effects. The audio can be sent to anything from your DAW of choice to hardware synths. Sequencing is also the restatement of a motif or longer melodic (or harmonic) passage at a higher or lower [Read more …]

A sampler is an electronic instrument used in modern music
electronic music basics

Samplers in Electronic Music

Like other modern technology, samplers have had a significant impact on the music industry. They have especially influenced such music genres as hip-hop and rap. But first, for those not yet in the know, we should review some basics. What is sampling? Obviously, in order to understand what a sampler is and what it does, one must first know what sampling is in terms of the music industry. According to Merriam-Webster sampling is the specific “act, process, or technique of selecting a suitable sample.” In this case, it would be [Read more …]