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!
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.