– Recording MIDI and using Virtual Instruments
A popular way to start a project, whether a song or an instrumental, is to set up a drum pattern, a bassline and a keyboard ‘pad’ to mark out the chord changes – often using MIDI instruments, although you can always put guide parts down from real instruments as audio. This is particularly important if you intend to overdub live musicians one at a time. Most musicians prefer to hear something more interesting than a click to play to while overdubbing, and having a keyboard pad throughout helps to guide the musicians through the arrangement. Drums and bass are arguably even more important than lyric, melody and harmony for many types of dance music, so most dance music starts out with these, and even if you will be recording mostly (or even all) live instruments, it often helps if you sketch the arrangement out first using MIDI instruments.