Producer FAQs: DAWs, Gear & Music Theory

Composers, producers and audio engineers can tap a rich vein of new opportunities in 2022. Streaming entertainment, video games, digital film and the traditional worlds of studio/live music all require talented operators with technical know-how and educated ears.

At AIM, we’re all about creating the music/audio professionals of tomorrow. Therefore, we brought in Matt Tinkler, one of our heavy hitters in the Composition and Production department, to drop knowledge on getting started with composing/producing at home for this week’s YouTube episode.  

Matt Tinkler is an electronic music specialist, audio engineer, sound designer and Ableton-certified trainer. He’s also a lecturer in AIM’s Composition and Production degree course. In today’s episode, Matt gives budding producers and composers the answers to three of his most frequently asked questions. Read on for the highlights and learn more about our courses and how we go beyond the basics here


Digital workstations (DAWs) range cost-wise from free to over $1,000. How do you know which one to choose? The good news is that each DAW does the same thing. However, they all have slightly different workflows tailored towards styles of music and ways of working. They also include built-in sounds and effects to help you get started making professional-sounding music.  

Some of the most popular digital audio workstations include the following. Each DAW has specific benefits for different styles of music, though it’s up to you what works best.  

I recommend getting started by downloading the trial version and watching some beginner-friendly tutorials on YouTube. After your trial, you’ll have to fork out some money to continue using your chosen DAW.  

If you’re after a great and budget-friendly option, I recommend Reaper, which has an extended trial period. Post-trial it only costs $60. 


All you need to get started is a computer and access to a digital audio workstation (DAW); a program used to make music. It’s also worth investing in:  


Audio Technica 80HM 50x OR 

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros 

Audio Interface: 

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 OR 

PreSonus Studio 24c 

Studio Monitors:  

PreSonus Eris E4.5 OR  

KRK Classic 5

MIDI Keyboard/Controller:  

Novation Launchkey Mini (keyboard) OR  

Novation Launchpad X (controller) 


Rode NT2-A OR  

Audio Technica AT2050 



The answer to this question really depends on the kind of music that you’re interested in making. A basic understanding of music theory is useful for creating any type of music. At AIM, every student goes through some fundamental music theory training, which will enhance their ability to collaborate and communicate with a wide variety of musicians and creatives.  

Developing an ear for what sounds good to you is the most important aspect of becoming a good producer or composer. This comes naturally the more music that you make and listen to. Get out there, listen to and make some music!  



Bachelor of Music (Composition & Music Production) 

Bachelor of Music (Audio) 

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