How to Produce Electronic Music

Electronic music production comes in various forms. While some producers use instruments such as guitars or drums to craft tracks, others might opt for computer mouses and music production software as their only resources.

As the initial step to producing an electronic song, finding inspiration and envisioning its overall sound and structure – known as arranging – are essential.


Electronic music’s history is an intricate one that spans both early experimentation with sound-producing devices and composers’ later use of these technologies as compositional techniques. Electronic equipment was initially employed to produce tones or harmonic structures impossible or impractical with traditional instruments; later it allowed composers to escape Classical-Romantic traditions of tonal composition by allowing them to use all twelve notes of the chromatic scale when crafting compositions.

Dorothy’s chart illustrates that while Moog is often given sole credit for initiating modern electronic music, its roots go all the way back to 1830s with electrical devices like the phonautograph (a mechanical device which recorded bell sounds along wire) and theremin (an instrument with antennae which detect movement in player hands) being developed at that time.

As early as the late 1960s, rock musicians began incorporating electronic instruments such as oscillators into their music and created new genres like krautrock or synthpop. Following disco era of early 1980s and digital technologies for synthesizers becoming available; and an interface standard called Musical Instrument Digital Interface being created that allowed instruments to exchange control instructions between each other; this led to EDM and its subgenres emerging. Later in 1990s DJ Danny Rampling initiated Shoom parties held in London fitness centres – this gave birth to rave scene scene events which gave rise to rave scene events which led to EDM being widely adopted within these genres of EDM subgenres.


Electronic music encompasses an expansive variety of genres. Although it can be hard to categorize individual songs as such, some prominent types include:

Techno is an electronic music style originating in Chicago that is best recognized for its driving four-count beat and industrial sounds, vocal samples and the use of synthesizers – often combined. Techno’s tempo typically ranges between 120 to 160 beats per minute (BPM).

Trance With house and techno’s growing popularity across Europe, another melodic style known as trance emerged: this emotionally uplifted electronic music can put dancers into an intoxicated state; hence its name. Trance typically ranges between 110 BPM to 140 BPM.


A popular form of electronic music, dubstep is widely known for its gritty and dark tone, featuring heavy drumming and distorted basslines that have quickly made an impressionful mark in musical charts across the world.

Glitch and Chiptune Glitch and Chiptune are two subgenres of electronic music which incorporate experimental lo-fi sounds from early computer games and popular music into experimental lo-resolution recordings, often including lo-res sounds sourced from early computer games and pop. This style can range from upbeat or melancholy and features sounds from various instruments and cultures around the world – its tempo typically ranges between 50 BPM to 120 BPM.


Electronic music comes in many different varieties. While popular dance genres such as techno and trance may be well known, others like ambient and glitch push the limits of traditional musical structures. All these styles fall under Electronic Dance Music (EDM), which encompasses various subgenres.

At the dawn of electronic music, composers began experimenting with synthesizers and digital devices to produce sounds not available through traditional instruments. Pietro Grossi founded Italy’s Studio de Fonologia Musicale di Firenze in 1963 in order to explore new sounds and ways of composition; by the 1970s pop musicians such as Donna Summer were using synthesizers in order to add futuristic tones to their songs.

In the 1990s, electronic music emerged from UK rave scenes and sound system cultures as jungle and drum & bass emerged, both featuring fast breakbeats and basslines with frequent vocal samples. Jungle has since split into ragga jungle and jump-up funk styles while drum & bass has expanded to three distinct ones (heavy, light, mainline). Moombahton originated in Angola with Latin dance genres mixed with electro pop and rap influences including basslines from techno/Tech-Trance genres alongside African samples in its uptempo beats as well as basslines inspired by Tech-Trance basslines combined with vocal samples that often incorporate vocal samples in its uptempo beats as well as basslines influenced by techno/Tech-Trance as well as African instruments from African musicians in its uptempo beats.


Finding inspiration for electronic music production begins with finding its sound and structure. Auditioning various sounds until something strikes their fancy is important here; Splice services allow producers to easily audition thousands of samples until they find something perfect for their song.

Composers began experimenting with electronic sound-producing equipment at about the same time that mechanical acoustical recording was invented, in 1884. By 1920 basic circuits for sine waves, square waves, sawtooth waves and amplifier/filter circuits had been developed; composer Pierre Schaeffer employed these technologies to pioneer musique concrete composition – an editing technique in which sound recordings of natural and industrial noises are assembled together into cohesive wholes.

As technology for creating electronic music became more sophisticated, more composers turned to sound synthesis and composition programs as their preferred means for producing works. These programs could produce musical structures which did not conform to classical conventions regarding rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic structures.

Modern electronic music production techniques have expanded considerably over time, with multiple genres and artists employing digital sound processing to craft their songs. Yet at its core lies an array of creative and technical skills combined into unique and exciting sounds that come together in electronic music production.


There are various electronic music instruments, each producing its own distinctive sound. While some electronic instruments aim to replace traditional acoustic instruments with their unique sounds, others work alongside them; for instance, drum machines provide rhythm while synthesizers generate melody lines.

Early 1900s inventors developed audio-frequency technologies that could be used to create entirely electronic musical instruments, including tone generators and filter circuits that allowed musicians to emulate the sounds of acoustic instruments with electronic signals.

Karlheinz Stockhausen became fascinated with electronic music during the latter part of the 1950s and went on to compose Elektronische Studie I and II as examples of pure electronic composition published as scores. Additionally, at this time the BBC Radiophonic Workshop was established, including Delia Derbyshire who is famous for creating an electronic version of Doctor Who theme song in 1963.

Today’s musicians often turn to computer software in order to produce electronic music. These programs mimic the behavior of analog synthesisers in binary code and offer amazing creative freedom. Many include effects like distortion, reverb and delay as well as modulations such as flanger chorus and phaser modulation.

Melody is of paramount importance when creating electronic music, as it needs to blend harmoniously with chords and bassline. If the song features rhythmic patterns or beats per minute (BPM), accuracy in terms of BPM timing must also be ensured. Therefore, listening to many different genres of electronic music before starting your own production project would be highly advised.


Producing electronic music requires both technical and creative abilities. Aspiring producers can develop these abilities by taking online music production courses and accessing free online resources like YouTube tutorials. By exploring various genres and tools, producers will develop an understanding of how to build tracks from its core elements.

Thaddeus Cahill pioneered electronic musical instruments by employing electromagnetic generators to convert electrical impulses into sound, first using his teleharmonium around 1900. By 1940s magnetic audio tape had enabled musicians to record sounds and edit them together – leading them down the path toward musique concrete’s development through editing together recorded fragments from both natural and industrial environments.

Modern electronic production uses virtual instruments that emulate the acoustical properties of traditional musical instruments, making them affordable to a broad spectrum of composers. MIDI technology enables an instrument player to use a keystroke, control wheel or pedal movement from their instrument to remotely activate every device within their studio simultaneously for powerful automation capabilities.

Many electronic music genres originated from nightclubs and dance music, which requires an energetic beat with dynamic rhythm to sustain energy while creating a compelling beat. This core beat provides the foundation of any track which can then be layered with chords and melodies to form a composition. Producers commonly utilize effects such as reverb, distortion or delay in their tracks for added texture or depth: Reverb adds space; distortion adds gritty edges while delay adds rhythmic complexity.