Introduction: How to Make a Song With Recyclables

This is a tutorial on how to make a fairly basic song with sounds from recyclables such as wine bottles, cans, and milk jug.


A computer


Some recyclables

Step 1: Opening the Program

First, open up LMMS. You will be greeted with a screen similar to this. If you are not familiar with this software, please watch a tutorial on Youtube before continuing or you can just hop in without a tutorial and figure it out as you go.

Link to LMMS download:

Step 2: Record Some Sounds of the Recyclables You Have

I just found a website that has the ability to record audio from a microphone. Once you have found a website that can do this, go ahead and record some sounds that you would like in your song. I recorded sounds like a milk jug for a kick, hitting a wine bottle with a stick for a hat, and dropping a smashed can for a snare. For the melody, I blew over the wine bottle and pitched that up and down. After each recording you like, save it to a folder because we'll need it in the next step.

Link to microphone recorder:

Step 3: Converting the Audio Files From Mp3 to Wav

Since the recordings you just took are in the mp3 file format and LMMS doesn't accept mp3 files, we have to convert them to wav so that we can use them in LMMS. To do this use the link below and convert the mp3 files you might want to use in your song to wav files. After you've done that head back on over into LMMS.

Link to mp3 to wav converter:

Step 4: Finding the Files and Moving Them Into LMMS

On the left side of LMMS click on the computer icon and find the folder which you put your wav files in. After that, drag them into the song editor, or for the percussion, double click on the file and it will automatically put them in the beat/baseline editor, where you can make drumloops.

Step 5: Making a Song With the Sounds You've Put in LMMS

After you have dragged the files over in the song editor it will look something like this. As you can see I added 5 beat/bassline tracks in as well. You can do this by clicking the button in the song editor with 5 squares on it and has a plus sign on it as well. If you click on the beat/bassline track you can then edit it in the editor. You can either make the melody first or you can make the beat first, it's up to you.

Step 6: Making the Melody

To make a melody you can left click on an empty box to the right, then right click it and open it in piano-roll. This will make it so you can play any sound on the piano. You can place notes in as you choose or what sounds best to you. I'm not very good at making songs myself so I just went with an arpeggiated minor 7th chord, basically the minor 7th chord going up in notes.

Step 7: Making the Beat

For the beat, you want to make something simple, or difficult if you would like, that carries the song through. I made a pretty simple beat with a second beat having a faster hat pattern in it. I wrote my song in a slower bpm, but you can choose whichever works the best for you. Try to make some thing fun that flows well with the melody.

Step 8: Adding Effects and Eq's

Adding effects, eq's, compressors, etc. are optional. These things can be added in the mixer bar where you can add them to different tracks. These plugins can definitely help with the sound of your over all song. For example, my kick is made by smacking a milk carton. To get a more bassy tone, I added an eq which allows me to add and subtract frequencies I don't want. So for the kick, I took out almost everything above 500hz and boosted everything from 180hz down to 50hz. This can make the kick a bit more punchy and have more bass to it.

Step 9: Admire Your Work

Now you can listen to your song. For me this is the best because I can see what problems there might be in it and I can either make the song I just made better or I can apply them to make another song. From what I have learned when making music is that the more songs you make the better you will become. So what are you waiting for go make some music!