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HELP:I want to learn how to create music on a computer synth

HELP: I want to learn how to create music using computer synthesizer software.

What would I need to get started?
What software would you recommended? Where would I get it?
What books or websites would you recommended for learning?
What websites would you recommended for downloading?

There are SO MANY different ways to make music on your computer, you need to be a lot more specific!!!

If you just want to play through the instruments, you'll at least need a MIDI keyboard and interface and the virtual instruments themselves.

If you want to spend a lot of money but get the best, look at anything by Native Instruments. There are many VST plugin instruments that are pretty decent though and lots are free. Use a program like Reaper to host VST plugins and record them if you want to record real instruments in there as well. However if you are interested in making electronic music only I would highly suggest buying a copy of Propellerhead's Reason software... it is incredible and flexible!
I agree with froginabox, first thing is to get a MIDI keyboard, its really hard to type out music in the programs, much easier to play it out and your workflow is much better than guesing notes. Propellerhead's Reason is a good one to try out and also you can check out FL Studio, you can download a trial version from their site and test it out. Personally though I use Reason and Rewire it as a slave to Cubase. Reason is a standalone program though so to be able to use additional VST plugins you would have to do what i do and run it through Cubase. FL Studio on the other hand readily accepts VST connections so you wouldnt need another program. Check out the Native Instrument plugins as a starter and also Absynth is nice for enviromental sounding synths depending on the genre your producing.

One of my favourite websites for learning would be
If you don't mind typing in the music notation, get Noteworthy Composer -

Been using it for years, it's a great piece of software.

If you want to use a 'tracker', ie. using wave samples in the style of the old Scream Tracker and Impulse Tracker programs, there's a few new ones around such as ChibiTracker -
You could try getting Ableton (There are demos available on their site), which is a great software for programming and recording music. It's like Pro Tools' slick little brother.
Learn to play the keyboard first. Even basic knowledge of a piano and chords are enough to get you started. Where you go from there and what program you use is up to you.
I think being able to read notes is also a good tip.
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