Learning how to make beats requires a lot of time and effort.
Everybody seems to agree on that.
However, having the right tools and the appropriate guidance can make all the difference.
That’s why I made this guide for guys like you, beginners, who want to start the right way without losing much of their time nor their money.
To become a professional beat maker quickly, you’ll need two things.
First, you’ll need to have to develop an effective learning strategy. I know this sounds a little bit overwhelming, but it’s actually easier than how it sounds. Check out this post of mine where I explained this in details.
Second, you need to have the appropriate tools that will enable you to learn quickly and create awesome beats. When I say tools, I’m referring to the beat making equipment as well as the beat making software.
This guide is all about the tools that an aspiring beat maker should possess.
Nowadays, Beat Making made easy.
Huge music producers like Kanye West use tools that are worth thousands of dollars. They have all that fancy equipment that isn’t accessible by everyone. However, thanks to technology, it’s been possible in the last two decades to actually have a decent studio that can create beats as good as those made by famous music producers.
Today, you can have a powerful home studio for just a few hundreds of dollars. I know that this sounds crazy but it’s totally doable and thousands of beat makers, like me, have done it.
Another great thing is that music production software is becoming easier as time passes. Software companies are regularly developing better versions of beat making programs that are cheaper and easier to use.
So, it’s basically all within your reach. You have zero excuses to stop you from becoming the music creator that you always wanted to be. It’s time to follow your dream and do the thing that you love.
And this guide is here to help you with that.
In the following lines, I’ll outline the best beat making tools in 2017 with providing insights about each equipment/software to make the process of decision making easier for you.
Best Beat Makers For Beginners In 2017
First of all, we’ll discuss the software part because this is where most people get confused by all the seemingly similar beat makers we find in the market.
A beat maker (beat making software) is basically a software that you install on your computer and allows you to edit, mix and play with your instruments the way you like in order to produce new beats.
You may also hear the term Digital Audio Station (DAW) which refers to the same thing.
Since the DAW is the center of your home studio and all of your songs and music that you produce will depend on it, you should be very careful when choosing it.
To make the decision a lot easier for you, I picked up these two beat makers which I believe to be your best options as a beginner.
I decided to start with BTV SOLO because, based on my personal experience, I believe it the best beat maker to start with for beginners. It’s a software that will make learning the basics of music production an easy task.
BTV SOLO comes with a user-friendly interface that is the easiest thing I’ve ever seen in music production programs. Plus, it comes with powerful features that are more than sufficient for a beginner to make his ideas into music.
BTV SOLO was made by a 2 grammy awards winner Dallas Austin who’s a successful music production, songwriter and currently he is the vice president at A&R for islands records ( a company that work with many famous singers such as Enrique Iglesias, Ariana Grande, Drake…).
I won’t get into the advanced details about this software because I’ve already covered everything there is to know about BTV SOLO in a detailed review that you can visit by clicking on the link below.
I’ve been using FL Studio ( support only PCs ) for so many years now and it’s definitely one of the best beat makers ever made. Fl Studio is one of the most complete beat makers in the world.
It comes with ton of features that can literally allow you to create any kind beats you like. Also, there are thousands of free tutorials that will teach you how to use every feature on the software.
However, I found, from my experience and others’, that FL Studio can be a really headache for first-time beat makers. I know that some people are okay with it and says it’s part of the learning process. But, I know from first-hand experience that having too much difficulties with you first ever beat maker can cause a lot of frustration and can even lead to you quitting the whole thing.
So to avoid any uncalled for headaches, I strongly advise people who are complete beginners to avoid FL Studio at the beginning. They can start with something a lot easier like BTV SOLO until they learn the first basics of beat making. Then, and only after acquiring the necessary self confidence, they can move to more advanced beat makers such as FL Studio.
Other beat making software that I recommend
If you want to read more about beat makers, I actually made a post where I talked about the best beat makers for beginners where you can find more insights about these beat makers and their differences.
Just remember that at your stage, more expensive doesn’t mean necessarily better.
Bottom line, BTV SOLO is the go-to software if you are starting beat making for the first time or if you had a bad experience with a complicated software. If you are already familiar with most of beat making basics, then any of the other beat makers can be a good choice.
Beat Making Equipment In 2017: Everything You Need.
The common mistake that many beginners fall in is buying so many expensive equipment and sound samples which cause them only confusion and frustration. So, as you’re just starting out you’d want to start small and grow your studio as you go but don’t buy new equipment unless you became really good at the one you have in hand.
So these are the essential equipment that you’re going to need in order to make professional beats at home.
A Solid Computer
First things first, you’ll need of course a solid computer which is capable of running your music studio. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Mac or PC, but it should be a fast computer that can take the pressure of a DAW ( Digital Audio Workstation ).
Your computer is the heart of your studio so unless you have a powerful one with at least the below criteria, don’t bother buying the other equipment.
Your computer should have at least :
– 2GB ram
– At least 2GHZ / i3 processor
Sound Samples and Instruments
After purchasing a good DAW for your computer, you’ll need to buy some good sound samples and instruments that you will need when creating your beats by playing, mixing and adjusting them.
Fortunately, almost every beat maker comes with hundreds of free and awesome sound samples and instruments. For Example, BTV Solo comes with +1000 instruments if you bought the inistial version (27$) when FL Studio comes with less than 100 which means you’ll need to buy additional instruments.
Always keep in mind that sound samples are crucial and are the foundation of your beats and you may consider buying a bunch of them. But don’t make the famous mistake all newbies do in their first days which is focusing on buying more instruments instead of trying to use the existing ones effectively by implementing them the right way to create killer beats.
Headphones and Speakers
In addition to what’s mentioned before, you need to get a really good headphones and not just some cheap phone headphones that you put on when you’re listening to music while surfing on the net or something. This is Music production and you need to be able to hear every single detail of your beats without missing anything.
However, many beat producers use studio monitors along with their computers. Personally, i didn’t use them when i first started beat making and i don’t think that you’ll need them at this moment. But if you like to start perfectly and you have a decent budget then you’d consider taking a look at YAMAHA HS5 Powered Studio Monitor which I’m using currently and i definitely ( and many others ) recommend it.
Even if you cannot afford a studio monitor you can just use a decent speakers. But The headphones are essential because they have a huge impact on the sound coming from your computer and also you don’t want to disturb your neighbors.
But which headphones are better for beat making ? there are plenty of them at amazon. But for me I’m using Audio-Technica ATH-M30x which works great and their price is unbelievable, only 69$ !!
Do you really need a MIDI Keyboard Controller ?
MIDI : Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
A MIDI Keyboard generally looks like a piano as you see in the picture above. MIDI Keyboard Controller is Simply a device that contains bunch of buttons and knobs. And each one of these buttons makes a certain sound and sends a MIDI data directly to other devices connected to the same MIDI Protocol Interface ( in your case is your DAW on your computer).
This device is really fun and can add so much options and possibilities to your beat making process and no one can deny that having a MIDI Controller is a step ahead that will definitely help you make your beats exactly as you imagined them on your head.
But, since i did well for years without having a MIDI Keyboard. I don’t think that you really need it at the beginning if you are an absolute beginner. But, if your level is a little bit advanced and/or that you have a big budget and you are serious about making beats ( as a business ) you may want to consider buying one.
The options are many in front of you, but i think a Akai Professional MPK Mini is a good choice to start with.
How much These Beat Making Tools will Cost me ?
I always tell my friends who want to start making their own beats and getting into music production world, to start small and grow as they improve their skills.
What i mean by starting small is to avoid focusing only on buying more and more tools because beat making is not basically about how expensive your equipment are but how creative you are.
So here are the two options you have which depend on your experience and budget.
Option 1: So, if you’re just starting off and have no experience at all and your budget is very limited than I’d recommend getting the stuff below ( assuming that you have a solid computer ) :
– BTV SOLO Software
– Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones.
It’s a total of 27 + 69 = 96$
Isn’t that amazing ? less than 100$ can practically put you in the road to start producing your own beats.
Option 2 : You have a decent experience with beat making software and you want to get to the next level or you ( still a beginner ) want to start hard and develop your skills fast then :
– BTV SOLO Software
– Audio-Technica ATH-M30x headphones
– YAMAHA HS5 Powered studio Monitor
– Akai Professional MPK Mini
it’s a total of 27 + 69 + 199 + 75 = 370$
Three Beginners Mistakes you need to avoid
1. They start with a very complicated beat making software
Some beginners think that the more complicated a program is the more effects and great options you can find on that program which is completely untrue.
So it’s better for you to start with something easy to use but at the same time powerful and can actually help you produce awesome beats.
As i explained above, I find that BTV SOLO is the best option for complete beginners.
2. Moving Quickly from a DAW to Another
This is a common mistake you need to avoid because this only waste your time and probably your skills on beat making will develop slowly if you did this. What I’m telling you this is that by doing this you don’t give yourself the time needed to master your DAW or improve your beat making skills.
3. They don’t Practice enough
“Practice makes you better” is a proved rule in almost everything in life. So if you want to be really good producer then you need to practice daily and create as many beats as possible in order to improve your skills.
I hope i made things clear enough so that you have a good idea on the things you’ll need to start beat making.
Just remember that things would seem a little bit frustrating in the beginning but that doesn’t mean beat making isn’t your thing. It just means that you still making your first steps and that’s normal and any famous producer that you see today has been there in your same position.
So Don’t give up and keep trying until you become so good they can’t ignore you as Cal Newport says in his book.
Check Out The Best Beat Maker For Complete Beginners :