This article will give you a headstart to music production, even if you never touched a Virtual Instrument (Plug-in) before and you don’t know how or where to start.
Before you randomly buy a Virtual Instrument or effect plugin you should have at least a DAW installed on your computer. DAW is an abbreviation for Digital Audio Workstation, it's a computer-supported system that will help you to record, compose and mix music. A Virtual Instrument will only work in conjunction with a DAW. There are a lot of music companies which offer great DAW's, the best free ones that you should check out are
- Pro Tools First
- Studio One Prime
- GarageBand (macOS only)
- Live 10 Lite
- ...and a lot more
The most famous DAWs to buy are Ableton Live, Presonus Studio One, Steinberg Cubase, FL Studio and Logic, but they usually come with a free trial version – always try before you buy! Look around which of them catch your eye or watch recommendations on YouTube.
If you found a DAW you like and you know the basics about your DAW, you are ready to download your favorite Instrument on your computer and start to jam like you always dreamed of.
If you only wanna play with the plug-in without recording audio waves there are free DAW alternatives like ''VST Host'', just for jamming around.
We recommend using an external MIDI controller to use UJAM plug-ins. It will help you to play easier instead of playing with the keyboard of your computer. But it's not necessary, with the piano roll in your DAW you can just write your own MIDI notes.
There are MIDI controllers for around $100 available, check out our article on “How to become a bedroom producer” to find out what gear you like and where to get a MIDI controller to make your productions easier, faster and better. All UJAM plug-ins are made to be controlled by a MIDI Keyboard.