> Step by step
1. Get a track under your belt
1 Start 2018 as you mean to go on and get a track finished as quickly as possible using only sample packs, synth presets and other easy solutions. This is great psychological motivation to get you in the headspace of a ‘track finisher’ for the rest of the year. We’ve started with some drums from an old sample pack. 3 Once we’ve got the rhythm track and musical elements sounding on point, we can arrange the loop into a longer piece of music. We add sound effects and fills from other sample packs to beef up the arrangement, making the whole track more interesting. A sprinkling of ambient reverb adds extra flavour. 2 Cubase’s Chord Pads make light work of creating musically polished chord progressions. These not only sound slick when triggering a virtual synth, but can also be a great way of learning more about music theory. We can deconstruct these chords further to create complementary leads and basslines in a flash – easy! 4 After a bit of basic mixing (volume levels, EQ and filtering) to sweeten the sound up, we’ve ended up with an arranged track that sounds great. People consider making tracks from sample packs and premade sources to be cheating, but whatever your attitude, it’s a superb motivational exercise!