Start making music

New to the world of computer-based music production, or need a quick refresher course? The 2011 edition of our Computer Music Special Beginner's Guide is out now, and comes with all the advice, tutorials and software you need to start making music on your Mac or PC.

To kick things off, there's a series of easy step-by-step tutorials covering the fundamentals of production, including building beats, composing parts, working with audio and MIDI, recording guitars, arranging and mixing tracks. All the gear and software you need in your computer-based setup is explained in jargon-free terms, with budget-friendly recommendations.

Our Easy Guides to sampling, synthesis and effects will get you quickly to grips with these three cornerstones of modern music. Try out the techniques and tools for yourself and discover what a difference they can make to your tracks.

We round off the proceedings with a series of projects in Live, Reason, Cubase, GarageBand and FL Studio. Follow our hands-on interactive guides and get a taster of some of the best beginner-friendly DAWs out there, and pick up valuable music production tips at the same time.

Computer Music Special 49 is available now from selected branches of WH Smith and independent newsagents or online from