Best Beat Makers

The Ultimate Beat Making Guide For Beginners

How To Start Beat Making: Beginners Guide In 2017

Learning beat making 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, you’ll need two things.

First, you’ll need to develop an effective learning strategy. I know this sounds a little bit overwhelming. But, it’s actually easier than it sounds. Check out this post of mine where I explained this in details.

Second, you need to have the appropriate tools that will help you learn beat making quickly. 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.

 

Beat Making Has Never Been Easier…

 

Huge music producers like Kanye West use tools that are worth thousands of dollars. They have all that fancy equipment that isn’t accessible to everyone. However, thanks to technology, things have changed a lot. It’s now possible to create music with, almost, the same quality using just a computer.

Today, you can build a powerful home studio for only a few hundreds of dollars. I know that this sounds crazy.  But, it’s totally doable. I and millions of other beat makers have done it.

Another great thing is that music production software is becoming easier as time passes. Software companies are regularly developing their software. Thus, beat making programs become cheaper and easier to use.

So, it’s basically all within your reach.

You have no excuses.

It’s time to follow your passion.

And this guide is here to help you with that.

 

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 four beat makers which I believe to be your best options as a beginner.

This table below summarizes the best beat making software for beginners in 2017:

Best Beat Makers For Beginners In 2017
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FL STUDIO: My First Go-To Beat Making Software

I’ve been using FL Studiofor so many years now and it’s definitely one of the best beat makers ever made.

It comes with ton of features that allow you to create any kind of beats you like. Also, there are thousands of free tutorials that will teach you how to use every feature on the software.

Some people find FL Studio a little bit complicated at the beginning and it’s competely normal. However, if you find yourself stuck, maybe you can try BTV SOLO which is so much easier. But the latter doesn’t offer the same powerful tools to be honest.

BTV SOLO Review: Best Software For Complete Beginners

BTV SOLO is by far the easiest beat making software on earth. This software helped me at my beginnings to learn the very basics of music production.

BTV SOLO comes with a user-friendly interface and powerful features that can be enough for beginners. However, this software isn’t nearly as powerful as FL Studio for example.

Bottom line, this beat maker is PERFECT for those who have never used a music production software before. You find beat making hard? try this software. It will change your mind.

Other beat making software that I recommend

There are other beat makers like Steinberg Cubase Elements 8 and Propellerhead Reason 8 that are very good and I recommend them but more for advanced or at least average beat makers.

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 features.

Just remember that at your stage, more expensive doesn’t mean necessarily better.

Bottom line, FL Studio is the go-to software if you are starting beat making for the first time. If you think it’s complicated for you or want to start slowly, then I’d recommend BTV SOLO.

What matters at this stage is that you learn the basics. So, find the software that is more convenient for you and start making some music. You’ll get better with time.


 

Best Beat Making Equipment: Everything You Need

 

In addition to software, you’ll need to have the necessary equipment in order to start making beats.

There are tons of music production equipment out there. No matter what they are saying. You won’t need most of it. They may say that you need to buy it. But, keep in mind that they’re just trying to sell their products.

In this section, I’ll show you all the equipment that you REALLY NEED.

 

1. A Powerful Computer

 

First things first, you’ll need a poweful computer.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Mac or PC, but it should be a fast computer that can run smoothly your DAW. 

Your computer is the heart of your home studio. So, don’t go cheap on this one. A powerful computer is a mandatory piece of hardware. It doesn’t matter the brand as long as your computer can at least meet the following specs:

Processor: It’s the main factor that controls how fast your computer is. You’ll need at least a 3.0 processor that is at least a dual core. A faster computer will save you a lot of time.

  • RAM: At least 8 GB
  • Hard drive: A capacity of 500 GB is usually sufficient. But, I prefer going with 1 TB so you don’t have to worry about storage.
  • A screen of at least 12″ is ideal.
  • Video Card: It doens’t matter much.

I don’t want to leave you in the dark here. That’s why I did some research to help you choose your computer.

I went through dozens of reviews and as a result the following computers seem to be the best computers for music production.

Apple MacBook Pro

It’s with no doubt the most used laptop by music producers.

The MacBook Pro comes with an irresistible design as it’s the case with all of Apple products.

This beast comes with a 2.9GHz dual-core sixth-gen i5 processor and a 8GB RAM that ensures an outstanding performance.

Acer Aspire

Honestly, the first time I’ve heard about this computer was during this exact research. People are saying great things about this piece of hardware. It’s hard to ignore it.

If you’re looking for a PC with a reasonable price and powerful specs, then the Acer Aspire is a great choice.

It comes with an Intel Core i5 7th gen Quad Core 7400(3.0 Ghz) processor with 8GB of RAM. It can run every software on earth with ease. Speed problems is something you won’t have to worry about with the Acer Aspire.

HP Envy

HP makes great laptops. They provide steady performance and a great hardware that is built to delivers a great sound. I know this by first hand experience since I once owned an HP Envy just like the one on the picture.

The latest model of this great model comes with 12GB of RAM and Intel i5-6200U. A big screen of 15.6 inch 2-in-1 Full HD that is just awesome.

Bottom line, this is my first recommendation for people looking for a pc laptop to use for music production.

 

2. Sound Samples and Instruments

 

You’ll also need to have some instruments to play with. These instruments are used in the beat making process as a foundation for your beats.

Most beat makers agree that a good beat is a function of the sound instruments used to create that beat. That’s why it’s important to purchase high quality and unique samples.

There are many sources to get hold of music samples. Some of the beat beat making programs offer them included such as BTV SOLO (It offers +1000 samples) and Fl Studio (+100 samples).

There are some websites where you can find no royalty music that you can use for free in your beats. For instance, FreeSound.Org is a good place. Besides, there are many more platforms that offer paid and high quality beats created by fellow music producers. For example, the Beatport community is a popular one.

However, I recommend that you don’t give too much focus on sound samples yet. You’re a beginner and your first goal is to learn the basics first. It doesn’t for you now which samples you use. Free samples offered by software or those available online are more than enough for you at this stage.

By the way, luckily for you, I happen to offer FREE BUNDLE of +800 drum kits and sound samples. Click here to download it.

 

3. Headphones and Studio Monitors

 

An important part of beat making is listening. You need to check the quality of your work before exporting it. That’s why you need tools that will help you listen to every possible detail in your beats.

There are two choice in front of you.

There’s studio monitors and headphones.

Personally I have both at my home studio. I do think though that you need to have at least one of the two. If it’s got to be one or the other, then go with the headphones.

But if you have enough budget, I’d highly advise to have both monitors and headphones in your studio.

More importantly, stay away from cheap equipment. It will cause you unnecessary headaches. Trust me. I’ve been there.

Let’s start with the studio monitors. Here’s what I recommend.

Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors

The YAMAHA HS5 Powered studio monitor is a great gear. It delivers a clean and smooth sound that kicks every competition. It’s not an expensive monitor but the quality is certainly better than what you pay for.

That’s why I highly recommend that you get a pair of these monitors.

This monitor comes with 2-Way bass-reflex bi-amplified and 5″ cone woofer. A good frequency response of 54Hz-30kHz. Alse there’s an 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification.

I totally recommend this monitor. It’s a great value for the money you’re paying.

M-Audio AV42 Studio Monitors

Everybody on the music production community seems to praize these monitors. They offer an outstanding sound accuracy that beats the competition.

The M-Audio AV42 monitors have a reputation of long durability and resistance. They are not certainly a high end equipment but they offer a great quality that is sufficient for most of music production purposes.

In comparaison to the Yamaha monitors, I’d say that the latter is  certainly better. But, you can go with these ones if your budget is very limited.

The value-for-money ratio you get when purchasing these monitors is great. I totally recommend them.

Now, let’s take a look at the options you have for headphones.

There’s a wide rang of headphones in the market that come with different features and prices. For me personally, choosing headphones was one of the hardest things. They all seem alike.

Gladly for you, I did all the work.

Here are my go-to two headphones which I think offer the best value for money.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

I think you probably have already heard of these headphones. I mean, who hasn’t?

I’m talking about the Audio Technica M50X. These headphones are superb. The quality of the sound they provide is an industry standard. They are sturdy and can last for years.

They come (as you see in the picture) with a circumaural design contours around the ears to ensure total isolation from the noise surrounding you.

Plus, the price is affordable. If this is the first time you see these headphones, I think you’ll be surprized by their unreasonable price.

Sony MDR7506 Professional

The second headphones I recommend is the Sony MDR7506. The sound precision and overall quality is amazing. And they are totally comfortable for the ears. You can wear them for hours with no complaints.

People have said great things about this particular model.

I have a friend of mine that LOVE these headphones. I’ve tried me too more than once. They are great. The accuracy of the sound is perfect compared to other headphones of the same price range.

Bottom line, these headphones are going to be excellent to be added to your music production studio. The price is affordable and the quality is undeniable.

You’ll totally love them.

If you wanna read more reviews about studio headphones, you can visit my detailed guide about them that I made a few weeks ago.

Read here: Best Studio Headphones In 2017

 

4. Audio Interfaces: More Important Than You Think

 

That’s something that is being left out most of the time by beginners.

There’s a misconception that audio interfaces are just for musicians.

That’s totally wrong.

As a music producer, you’ll want to be able to have as much control as possible over your sound. Without a decent audio interface, that’s not possible.

An audio interface is essential for recording purposes and also to control the signals when using your studio monitor. The sound card that comes with your computer won’t provide a high quality sound.

So, I hope that I made my point clear when it comes to audio interfaces.

Before moving to my recommended audio interfaces, there’s one more thing you need to know. Audio interfaces come with different connection types and you need to understand them. I explained them on a previous post here: Understanding Audio Interface Connectors

Your budget for audio interfaces shouldn’t surpass 200$ no matter what.

Here are three models that I recommend the most.

PreSonus AudioBox USB 2×2

This is my first audio interface that comes to mind when someone asks for a recommendation. The Presonus Audiobox is very popular among music producers for its high quality and affordable price.

This interface comes with USB connectors and it’s compatible with most computers (Mac and PCs)

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

What I love the most about this model is the clean and superb design. It’s certainly a device that provides excellent sound quality while being beautiful at the same time.

I totally recommend this. You can get it for less than 200$ as well.

Steinberg UR22 2-Channel USB 2.0

The Steinberg UR22 is an incredible audio interface with thousands of fans that say great things about it. It’s mostly more populer with Youtube singers.

The reason is that it provides an excellent sound for live performances.

 

Actually, I wrote a few months back a guide about audio interfaces. I reviewed the best models that you can get for less than 200 dollars.

You can read full reviews here: Best Entry-Level Audio Interfaces

 

5. MIDI Keyboard Controllers: Do Your Really Need Them?

 

A MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) keyboard looks mostly like a piano. It’s simply a device with bunch of buttons and knobs.

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).

MIDI keyboards are a lot of fun and open up so much possibilities for any beat maker. It enables you to unleach your creativity and make a music just the way you imagined it in your head.

Depending on which virtual instrument you’re using, a keyboard creates endless possibilities for sounds and effects. Having a MIDI controllers is certainly something that will help you make better beats easily.

But, which keyboard is the best for me as a beginner?

There are dozens of options at least. But, let me make things easier for you as it is the whole purpose of this guide.

The MIDI keyboards that follow are my best picks for people who have never used a MIDI keyboard before.

Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII

This beautiful keyboard is easily the most popular low-entry MIDI keyboard in the world. You just can’t talk about keyboards without mentionning the Akai Professional MPK Mini.

There are two reasons for this huge popularity. One, it’s super great value for an affordable price. Second, it’s super easy to use as it’s an USB plug-and-play kind of devices.

This keyboard comes with a software to help you have a total control over you your MIDI. I won’t get into the whole pack of amazing features that this product offers. But, I assure you that this is no-brainer deal.

M-Audio Keystation 49 II

M-Audio is a leading company in musical instruments. They produce great gear that proved over the years its high quality and longevity. The Keystation 49 is no exception.

This MIDI is USB connection plug-and-play device. It comes with a light design and easy portability. You get included Ableton Live Lite software which is a great thing.

Bottom line, this product is a good value for the money even though I would recommend sticking to Akai Controller as it provides more control possibilities.

Akai Professional MPK261: High End Keyboard

If you’re thinking about going bald and get yourself something more powerful. Then, I would totally recommend that you go with the Akai Professional MPK261.

This is a high end MIDI controller that comes with 16 Pads / 8 Knobs / 8 Faders which gives endless possibilities. This keyboard provides a premium piano look-alike style with natural feel that is similiar to live performance. That’s something you can’t possibly get with entry-level keyboards.

VIP 3.0 digital instruments control software is included with this device. Long story short, this is an amazing top-of-the-shelf MIDI keyboard that worth every penny.

 

What Else Do I need To Start Making Beats?

 

NOTHING.

That’s your answer.

I’m not saying that’s all that you’ll ever need. But, at this stage, as a beginner, that’s all you need for now.

I don’t want you to waste more time than you should on pondering between different gear and software. Because, to tell you the truth, there’s not much difference between them. At least for a person at your stage. The real difference is your skills not the gear your play with.

Reading more reviews about the best beat making equipment isn’t going to make you a better music producer. That’s why I urge you to focus on learning beat making instead of trying to aquire the best gear there is.

That will come later when you will prove yourself as a beat maker and have a steady income from it.

For now, stick to what matters.

The equipment and the software that I mentioned in this guide is all you need to start making awesome beats.

So, JUST DO IT!

 

Now I Have The Tools, What’s Next?

 

Long story short, a lot of practice.

That’s what you need to be doing in the next 3 to 6 months in order to become a decent beat maker.

It’s going to take a lot of work but the reward is totally worth it.

Besides working hard on developing your skills, here are a few things that I’d recommend.

  • At your stage, it may be a great idea to read more about my thoughts on learning strategies for beat making. I believe this article will help you a lot during your first months of beat making: How To Become A Decent Beat Maker
  • In this post, I talk about the things I wish I knew when I was starting out with beat making. I think it will be very helpful for you: Beginners Tips I Wish I knew Before
  • If you’re considering starting an online course to help you kickstart your skills, then I can help you with that too. Here are 3 udemy courses that are totally worth it: Music Production Courses For Under 30$
  • If you’re looking for Fl Studio tutorials, I’d recommend trying the membership website Beat Generals which provide excellent and easy to follow tutorials. Here’s my full review on their service: Beat Generals Review
  • We all spend a lot of time on our phones, right? This time try some beat making apps. They are a great way to learn and have fun at the same time. Beat Making Apps: For Android For IOS
  • Wanna learn more about the business of selling beats? Beginners Guide For Selling Beats
  • Also, subscribe to my newsletter to receive weekly advice on how to become a better beat maker. Plus, you’ll get instant access to +800 drum kits and sound samples. Join us here.

 

Before you go, keep in mind that things will 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 totally normal. We all been there.

 

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