I started making music when I was nine years old. After my brother showed me a Coldcut remix for Eric B & Rakim's "Paid In Full" on a casette in his jeep.
Back then, nobody would have called it 'making music,' because all I did was cut together different parts of a song and loop them by pausing and un-pausing the record button on my Sony high-speed dubbing tape deck. And it was insane fun.
This was in 1989, already sampling was becoming a thing. Five years later, Beck would release the crazy sample-filled Odelay, produced by the Dust Brothers. That idea of sampling, of taking one thing and turning it into a totally new thing, has informed my whole thought process.
When I was fourteen, I discovered that my old mac computer had a mini headphone jack and a microphone jack on it.
I played a sample from a Pizzicatto Five CD into my computer, using Hypercard, the only application that let you record a sound and then cue it like a sampler. That totally amazed me, it was the first time I looked at a sound.
Then a video editing program came pre-installed on our next computer. I had no videos, but the software had audio tracks. Multiple tracks. So I took a Portished song and remixed it using these multiple tracks.
For my first two or three albums, now only in the hands of a few people, I used samples liberally. Everything was a sample.
I loaded them into a program called "Player Pro" which was a 'soundtracker' program, looking like a vertical MIDI layout, and samples would cue when the cue bar rolled over them to the BPM. I used this for ten years, before any comprable music audio software had come out that was affordable. Back then it was just Cakewalk or some other antiquated overpriced "pro" audio programs, and my little free sound tracker.
Since moving to Tokyo in 2007, I've been using Ableton, the two events aren't necessarily related. I had the lite version until my girlfriend of the time asked me if I could clean up some audio they wanted to use as evidence in a court case.
The audio helped them win the trial and they got close to a hundred thousand dollars out of it. So she kindly put $500 of that towards buying me a full copy of Ableton.
Even then, it took me a good year to actually open it up and start making music, so I know how hard it can be to learn new tools. The good thing is I haven't stopped making music with Ableton since.