Partner Content

Getting started in music production: what you need to know

Kicking off a music career is not something to be taken lightly. Music undoubtedly has the potential to become an incredibly rewarding path, but you’ll never in your life find a successful musician who hasn’t done the hard yards.

In recent times, getting your start in music making has become easier than ever. If you’re looking to finally dip your toes into this world, then make sure you kick things off right.

getting started in music production
Photos: Dani Hansen

Want to get started in music making? Your first steps may be the most important you ever take, so be sure to get them right the first time.

Choosing your DAW

The very first thing you’ll need is a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. These are programs which allow you to write, record, and edit music on your computer or laptop – Ableton, Pro Tools, and Logic being three of the industry’s most popular.

Many DAWs have downloadable free or trial versions with limited features. If one isn’t quite working for you, it simply may not be your best choice. Try another, see how you like the feel, and decide on one to commit to once you’ve become familiar.


Using a DAW is possible with just a mouse and keyboard, but you’ll quickly find it restrictive in many ways. MIDI controllers, microphones and audio interfaces are the next step here, and often one is more than enough to get your started.

If you’ve chosen to undertake some formal education or training in a school, university, recording studio or similar, be sure to familiarise yourself with a few programs and pieces of gear while you have the opportunity to use the facilities. Everyone has the tech that just clicks best for them, and it’s a godsend to know which is best for you before you buy.

If you haven’t, there are still a million resources on the internet when it comes to buying your first piece of gear. If you have friends whose setups you can quickly jam on to get a feel, even better.

Time to experiment

You can write songs at any time with as little as a pen and paper, but once you’re able to record, overlay and edit ideas digitally, your world will open up a hundred-fold. From here, the best way forward is to just do stuff.

Write songs and listen to them, no matter how bad they are. As our wise friend Jake the Dog says, “sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something”.

Making mistakes, being self-critical, and keeping a good work ethic with your music are all tools as essential as your creativity. Learn to foster those along with the basics, and you’ll be unstoppable.

Stay in school

One way to sharpen your learning curve, get your hands on some sweet gear, and meet a host of like-minded musicians and up-and-coming industry professionals is to get yourself into some formal education.

JMC Academy is Australia’s largest creative educator, offering courses in straight-up Audio Engineering, Music Performance or Songwriting, plus a super useful course in Entertainment Business Management, which will give you edge in promoting your music, planning your tours, and connecting with other artists, radio, and events.

Learn more about JMC Academy here.