In the time I have been making music with my computer, I have amassed a number of resources.  Many of them are represented here:

My Key Resources

Finale PrintMusic – Nearly everything I do musically begins with notation, and PrintMusic is the most critical element of what I do.  This is just one of several programs in the Finale suite of music notation programs, but it is the lowest level which provides VST support and, while limited compared to the full Finale, allows me to do everything I need in terms of notation (although sometimes with some unorthodox workarounds).

Finale Forum (Windows) – One of the best things about PrintMusic (and any of the Finale suite of notation software) is the user forum.  There is a vast wealth of information in the forum, and a number of longtime users of various programs in the Finale suite who are more than willing to help a newcomer.  I am thrilled that I am now in a position to help newcomers… and not embarrassed to admit that I occasionally need help as well. – Fairly early in my journey into computerized music, I discovered SoundFonts, and one of the first sources of SoundFonts I encountered was this site, run by Genycis.  I am constantly amazed by the quality of the SoundFonts he offers for such a low price, as well as drum kits he also provides – and those prices are lowered even more with a free membership to his site.  Much of my music uses Genycis’ SoundFonts and drum kits, and nearly every instrument in The Goddess Project is from his site.

Reaper – Although Music Maker was my first DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and was an excellent means to learn the basics of mixing music, I now use Reaper as my DAW.  What I like most is how easy it is to customize Reaper to my liking – even something as simple as applying colors to tracks makes a big, big difference to me.  Most importantly in terms of the music, however, is that Reaper creates a higher quality of music during the mixing process.

Garritan Libraries – Garritan creates various sound libraries, and I currently own two of their libraries, Garritan Personal Orchestra and Garritan World Instruments, and have my eyes on their Jazz & Big Band library as well.  I also would not mind having the Authorized Steinway set.

Applied Acoustics Systems – I am using AAS’ free AAS Player more and more; this comes with the free Swatches sound bank, which contains samples of their paid sound banks, and I also own several of their commercial sound banks, which I find to be particularly useful for electronica music (especially the Angelicals sound bank).

Camel Audio – Camel Audio creates the Alchemy and Alchemy Player virtual instruments as well as a number of related sound libraries.  I have Alchemy Player and several of their libraries, my favorites being the ones with a lot of pads – I find that pads are very useful, especially during the mixing stage of my workflow, to add extra texture or flavor to a section of music without needing to push the staff limit in PrintMusic. 

The Freesound Project – This is a very sizeable database of sound effects, with all files making use of Creative Commons licenses.  The extent of the sound effects available is almost mindboggling!  Quality can vary, of course, but whenever I need a sound effect, I can usually find several good possibilities which will sit well in the music mix.

Computer Music Magazine – This UK-published magazine has been an excellent resource for me, both in terms of the articles as well as the DVD included with each issue.  There are also multiple special issues each year focusing on a specific topic.

Other Resources

Twitter and Facebook – These are both excellent means of learning about new and updated offerings for making music.

SoundCloud – Essentially social media for musicians, SoundCloud is an excellent way to share music with the online world as well as constantly find new sources of inspiration.

Groove3 – The Groove3 team makes video tutorials for music creation, and I can personally vouch for their tutorials on Reaper. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time from their Reaper tutorials, and I will definitely be returning to Groove3 for other tutorial videos.

Tutorials for Reaper – This Web site by Jonny Ginese provides a series of videos addressing various elements of Reaper. I actually discovered Tutorials for Reaper before discovering Groove3, and this site was provided me with a good start for building my Reaper knowledge.

Vocaloid – Vocaloid technology is essentially a “singing synthesizer,” with Hatsune Miku (utilizing the Version 2 engine) being the best-known of the Vocaloid voices/singers.  I personally use Vocaloid Miriam, which runs on the Version 1 engine.