January 2021

Music Producer Deal: $35 Off Code Voucher Coupon + Sweepstakes for Holidays Winter 2021

Native Instruments is giving you $35 as a gift for the holidays this year. To celebrate the end of 2021 they are giving you a free e-voucher! Click the link below to receive this deal AND enter into their sweepstakes giveaway.

Use the coupon code HOLIDAYGIFT2020 to get $35 off at checkout

Sweepstakes: Maschine, Komplete 13 Ultimate Collector’s Edition, Komplete Kontrol M32 keyboard, and Traktor Kontrol S3. *Need to enter details* (name/email) to participate in sweepstake giveaway.

Native Instruments is also giving away YANGQIN virtual instrument for FREE

Looking at getting a midi controller? Take a look at our article here.

Top 5 Midi Controllers for Music Producers Blog Post
Top 5 Midi Controllers

Top 5 Midi Controllers for Electronic Music Production

These days there are so many options for electronic music production. This is why we handpicked the top 5 controller options which suit various producer needs.

1. Ableton Push 2 $999 CAD/$700 USD

The Ableton Push is a very powerful midi controller for those who are producing electronic music with Ableton Live. Suitable for beginners to advanced producers.

The Ableton Push 2.

Pros:

  • Allows you to completely control Ableton from outside of the computer.
  • It’s very easy to learn, Ableton’s website has a ton of tutorial resources.
  • Songwriting streamlining.
  • Sequencer ability.
  • Customizable chord functions.

Cons:

  • Expensive
Official Ableton Push 2 Demo.

Buy the Ableton Push 2 here: Canada/USA

2. Akai – APC40 MKII $340 CAD/$254 USD

The best controller option for live Ableton performances, mixing and arranging. Suitable for DJ’s and performance styled music producers.

The Akai APC40 MKII.

Pros:

  • Very powerful capabilities with Ableton’s session mode.
  • Also available for other popular DAWs.
  • Lots of controller templates available.
  • Fully customizable midi mapping, tons of FX knobs.
  • Awesome for live performances.
  • Easy to learn.

Cons:

  • No built-in display.
The Akai APC40 MKII Demo.

Buy the Akai APC40 MKII here: Canada/USA

3. Novation Launchkey MK3 $294 CAD/ $179 USD

The best option if you are on a budget. A keyboard controller fit for Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, or FL Studios electronic music production. If you are looking for a keyboard and a controller, here is your match. Suitable for musician-type and DJ-type producers.

The Novation Launchkey MK3

Pros:

  • Ableton Live integration.
  • Expansive songwriting capabilities.
  • Custom midi modes.
  • Standalone operation. Launchkey Works with an analog setup.
  • Includes tons of bonus software and a 2-month Splice subscription!
  • Midi keyboard and midi controller.

Cons:

  • Steeper learning curve.

Learn more about the Novation Launchkey MK3 in the video below.

Novation Launchkey MK3 official introduction video.

Buy the Novation Launchkey MK3 Here: Canada/USA

4. Akai – MPK225 $284 CAD/$211 USD

A compact option for a keyboard controller for electronic music production. The best-integrated controller for space-efficient studios. Suitable for beginners to advanced producers with limited space.

The MPK225.

Pros:

  • MPC workflow integration. The MPK225 comes armed with MPC essentials software.
  • Comes with virtual synthesizers: Hybrid 3, and SONiVOX twist.
  • Compact design.
  • Keyboard + controller midi function.

Cons:

  • Few keys.
  • No faders.

Take a deeper look at music production with the MPK225 keyboard controller. See why this one made it into our top 5.

Buy the Akai MPK225 Here: Canada/USA

5. Novation Launchpad X $242 CAD/ $160 USD

A cool Ableton Live integrated performance capable electronic music production controller. Suitable for performance styled producers.

The Novation Launchpad X.

Pros:

  • 64 lighted touch-sensitive pads.
  • Ableton integrated midi controls.
  • 4 Easy to use modes.
  • Custom modes.
  • Velocity-sensitive.
  • 2 month’s of Splice included.

Cons:

  • No faders.
  • No midi output.
Launchpad size comparisons.

Buy the Novation Launchpad Here: Canada/USA

Novation Launchpad demo performance.
Here you have it, that’s our top 5 electronic music production controllers. I hope you found one that suits your producing side and gives your music good vibes! I’m sure with one of these controllers in your hands you are going to have tons of fun and become much more efficient with your music production workflow.
Top 20 Virtual Electronic Music Concerts

Top 20 Virtual Raves of December 2020

Here are our top 20 virtual electronic dance music events from this December 2020 to tune in to if you missed them. There were so many events it was impossible to enjoy them all live so here are some of the highlight DJ sets from the past month.

This year has been a weird one. We haven’t been able to get together like we normally would, but this has its silver linings. Although we have missed out on tons of festivals and shows we love to attend, having these events virtually has made some events more accessible for many of us. This list is in no particular order, but I made it very simple. Here are the top 20 virtual electronic music sets of December 2020.

Zhu NYE – Reset NYE Drive in Rave

Truth x Lies – Discovery Project DJ Set

Amelie Lens – NYE Livestream Kompass Klub Closing

NALA Presents Dirtybird TV Party

Post Malone NYE Bud Light Seltzer Session

i_o @ Mixmag: The Lab LA

Bear Grillz Release Livestream

Tchami with Dr. Fresch

What So Not Djakarta Warehouse Project

Subtronics @ Park n Rave on Insomniac TV

Yellow Claw in Beautiful Bali

Insomniac TV Live Restreams

Valentina Khan Drive-In City of Champions

Ghastly Rave-A-Thon (Beyond Wonderland)

Shiba San Beyond Wonderland

Tchami’s Very Cool Sunrise Set

DJ Snake and Malaa Secret Room Set

Bruno Martini (Beyond Wonderland)

Alison Wonderland and Valentina Khan

Autograf Park n Rave Set

I hope you enjoyed these DJ sets of December 2020. In case you are wondering what gear you could use to DJ like a pro, most of these DJs are using something like this.

how to make music in 3 easy steps

How to Make Music Faster: Start Making Electronic Music in 3 Easy Steps

Are you wondering how to start making electronic music fast? Well, you came to the right place. Here are 3 ways to make music producing easier for yourself.

1. Start with samples: Subscribe to Splice.

Everything you really need to write electronic music is in one place, and it’s called Splice.

I recommend starting out with Splice if you are new to producing. If you haven’t gotten Splice and you have been producing for years, get it. Seriously, it’s awesome. If I was using Splice when I first started producing, I would have found the sounds I was looking for so much faster. Ah, my life would have been so much easier. Instead of scouring the internet for expensive sound packs or incomplete free sample packs, try doing a monthly subscription to splice. It’s about as much as a large coffee. Ever since I started using splice, I make songs a lot faster. It’s also way easier to get started with a new idea! Splice is not only equipped with sample packs. They also have midi packs and sound presents. Finally, they even offer “rent to own” VST plugins for you to try and buy, making them a “one-stop-shop” for electronic music producers.

If you use samples, it will save you from having to worry about creating new ideas. For a lot of us, this is the hardest part. Not everyone is naturally gifted at playing music, and even if you are, samples can help you save valuable time. It’s good to make music with a little help from our friends sometimes, and there are tons of samples out there to use when starting a bit.

2. Buy an audio interface and get a cool synth to play with.

Alternative: Splurge on a VST synth like Massive or Serum (available through small monthly payments on Splice).

One of the most fun parts of producing music is using an analog synthesizer. Don’t get me wrong, VST synths are pretty much just as fun, but there is value in hands-on learning from trying out analog gear. There are so many options! I recommend the Novation MiniNova. It has huge power packed in and is pretty portable. I also have really enjoyed using my MicroKorgXL because it’s so straight forward and easy to use. Both of these synths have tons of classic sounds to use for electronic music production.

If you don’t have a ton of space or a ton of cash, I would recommend using the payment plan through spice to get yourself a synth like Serum. Serum is debatably one of the best synths available. And, it is probably the most popular VST used in bass music. I can’t stress enough how useful Splice is, really it is a lifesaver. The rent to own is so reasonable you can get tons of synths for a small monthly fee. In the long term, you are going to find some samples from your favourite producers on Splice and make a gnarly collection, along with the synths they have available through rent-to-own. Then you will be crushing your music production goals much easier.

3. Use a midi controller to make beats: MPK Mini/Maschine/Ableton Drum Rack

This one is a game-changer. If you have ever seen a video like this then you know how powerful this Maschine is.

If you want to have similar control of Ableton without the price of the Maschine MK3, opt-in for an MPK Mini. It may be best to learn Maschine when you are first starting out as a producer. Out of the gates, you are in learning mode. You are very excited about learning how to produce music and you have a little extra money for something fancy. If this is you, definitely try to get your hands on a Maschine. In a similar way to the first two steps, Maschine is equipped with samples and controller capabilities. It will help you shortcut some of the pains of producing everything from scratch in your DAW. I especially find Maschine useful for drumbeat creation. With hundreds of customizable drum kit libraries, you really have endless capabilities for drums. Although you will have to practice, it will open the doors to music creation in a hands-on way, similar to analog gear. Like I said above there are many alternatives to these steps, but I think these are three big steps you can take if you want to avoid some of the pains most of us experience starting out as a producer. Not to mention, these things do make the process of music production a ton of fun! I personally did not have these resources when I first started producing. When I did finally have all of these things though, it did make big difference in how EASY the process of electronic music production was. When it comes down to it, you can always keep it simple, but if you are looking to upgrade your studio power, here are a few great ideas. Use ANY samples you can find that fit your vibe. MASTER the built-in synths of your DAW. Use your computer keyboard as a MIDI CONTROLLER. There are SO MANY ways you can produce music with just a computer and a DAW if that’s all you can afford. If you can buy a little something extra, it will definitely be worth it and make your life a little bit easier and more fun.