I’ve been interested in looping and editing together loops in the free program Audacity. I found this article helpful for beginner beat/music makers.
There are a lot of different tools that music producers use to make beats.
You will find that the traditional hardware equipment from the past are still used, but with all the latest software programs available dedicated to making beats you won’t have to spend thousands anymore.
For instance, if you are a new producer who wants to make beats, you can go online and find great music making software for as little as $100, or even build a home recording studio without blowing your cash on one keyboard.
That’s why producers today utilize a mix of affordable software programs and hardware equipment to make top notch beats.
Mixing the two can be the best, but if you’re going to get to a point where you’re making amazing beats, you’ll need to look at having the right equipment.
That’s where this quick and dirty checklist is going to come into play.
This is a list of items you’ll need to start making beats, even if you don’t have a big budget to get it done.
9 Things You Might Need To Make Beats
Computer – Mac or PC (Ok, maybe Linux)
If you’re going to get serious about making beats, you will need a strong computer.
Today, there’s very few studios that don’t have a solid computer system in place.
You will need to work with either Mac or PC, with few exceptions.
If you want an honest opinion on the matter, go with a MacBook Pro, and beef up the RAM and Hard Drive, and then invest in a second hard drive to boot.
If you’re going with budget, then get a PC that has a lot of hard drive space, and RAM.
Don’t settle for anything less than 4 GB of RAM and even that’s a bit low.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
DAW is an acronym that you will find all over the place, and it stands for digital audio workstation.
It’s a solution that lets you turn your computer into a full blown recording studio.
The more expensive options can run you tens of thousands of dollars. However, there are some really good producers out there who use software like Fruity Loops, aka FL Studio to make beats with.
For around $99 you can get started there.
This is where things get a bit more complex.
You’ll want to invest in a USB audio interface.
Don’t worry, this is not going to break the bank as there are some options that are lower than $100 out there. This can help with audio compression and relay to your computer’s DAW.
MIDI keyboards aren’t expensive, and they can help you get the right tone, sound, and even play a few little riffs.
Not sure about this?
Consider Dr. Dre’s classic “Nothing But A G Thing”, and you’ll hear a MIDI sample thrown into the mix. MIDI keyboards are great, easy to set up, and aren’t full keyboards for a reason. Get one of these.
You need to get a dynamic, condenser microphone. Do not skimp on this.
You want to have clear audio if you’re going to do any type of vocals, and you need to make sure that you invest in pop filters, as well.
Good mics are going to save your audio profiles, especially if you are working with an MC.
Don’t just throw on a pair of earbuds, you’re going to need studio level, monitor headphones.
Get ready to spend upwards of $100 to $500 on these things, and make sure that they are noise cancelling, and isolating.
Remember, you’re making beats, not just listening to music. This means that you will need to hear every sound, every pop, hiss, and more.
Drum Sampler Machine
Unless you’re going to play live drums for your beats, you’re going to need to purchase a drum sampler.
These are simple to use, and can let you move forward with all sorts of drum sounds.
Don’t go with the most expensive one you find, focus on an inexpensive model, and look around.
You’ll be surprised with how many of these are floating around auction websites and pawn shops.
Go high end with this one, and don’t skimp on the costs. Studio monitors are going to help you get those mixes to the next level.
You will want to get a high quality option that isn’t going to break your budget. We recommend listening to music through the monitors before you make a decision to purchase.
There are great studio monitors that sound great and are extremely affordable like the KRK Rokit 5 or the M-Audio BX5.
There are also high priced studio monitors like Yamaha HS 8 and Tannoy Reveal 802.
Sounds and Audio Files
You need to have a collection of sounds and samples to make beats sound more professional. The more sounds you have, the more beats you can create, and the more inspiration you will have.
Don’t just listen to one type of music, dig deep into the chronicles of music history and listen to soul, jazz, punk, hardcore, metal, and so much more.
Any music type that uses drums, bass and trumpets can be your new hit record.
You just have to listen, and get inspired.
The more storage space you fill up with recorded sounds, the higher the chances are that you are going to end up with the next great beat in your head.
These items are just some of the basic things that you need to start making beats. If you absolutely don’t have any money to pick these up, it’s ok.
You can go with simple options such as Audacity (Free), and royalty free sounds.
Mixing those together, you could start to make beats for free, and then work your way to getting all the equipment you need to push out professional level beats.
Simply put, this is not as complex as it may seem, but as you learn, make sure that you invest in better equipment.
Just keep pushing your creativity, and you will make your own beats just like the top selling music producers do.