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Beat Making Equipment For Beginners
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Beat Making Equipment for Beginners

The steadily growing amount of beat making equipment for beginners on the market can easily be overwhelming. In this article we’ll discuss what kind of equipment is essential and what pitfalls to avoid when setting up your first beat making system.

Keep it simple

Wether you want to make beats with dedicated hardware like an Akai MPC or a BKE Beat Thang, or with a computer and beat making software: Keep your setup simple!

Complex studio soft- or hardware can easily overwhelm a beginner. A simple setup will help you keep focused on making music instead of getting lost in a jungle of options.

Expand your beat making setup one step at a time as your skills improve.

What does a simple setup look like?

A beat making setup can be as simple as that:

  • Beat making hardware + Headphones or
  • Computer + Beat making software + Headphones

Due to its greater flexibility the majority of professional beat producers use software these days.

And for those who already own a computer (I assume most people do), software is the cheapest way into beat making.

Is a high end computer required?

Your computer doesn’t have to be a high end machine. Often times a halfway decent three to five year old computer will do the job. A look at the system requirements of the particular software you’re interested in will clarify that point.

Vital beat making software features

There is plenty of free and cheap beat making software with diverse feature sets out there. So let’s have a look on three features proper beat making software must have:

  1. The software should be installed on your computer. While online beat makers are great for having some fun and playing around, you don’t want the performance of a serious beat making system to be dependent on the speed of your internet connection.

  2. Good beat making software must be able to handle WAV-files in studio quality (44.1 kHz, 16 Bit or higher). When compressed audio files like MP3s are used to make beats, the end result will never have the same sonic impact and depth as with WAV-files. A good sound can only be achieved with high quality source material.

  3. A diverse collection of high quality sounds (WAV-files in 44.1 kHz, 16 Bit or higher) should be included with the software to be able to start making beats right away.

Headphones and/or speakers

Ideally you already own decent speakers and headphones. While headphones are good for detailed listening, it’s a lot less fatiguing to listen on speakers over a long period. So it’s a good idea to change between headphones and speakers from time to time.

Having said that it’s totally okay to start with what you already own, even if it’s just a pair of ear buds. You will know when it’s time to upgrade.

Midi keyboard for fun

While a midi keyboard is not essential to start making beats, it can seriously increase the fun. Plus it’s a more intuitive way to come up with musical ideas, than drawing melodies and drums with the mouse.

With some beat making software it’s possible to use your computer keyboard like a midi keyboard. This isn’t as comfortable as a real midi keyboard but it’s a good option for beginners with a limited budget.

It’s easy these days

Only little equipment is required to start making beats. Whether you prefer beat making hardware like an Akai MPC or a BKE Beat Thang, or beat making software, the only piece of equipment needed in addition is a pair of speakers or headphones. A midi keyboard can increase the fun and is an intuitive tool for coming up with musical ideas.

With huge and growing amounts of beat making equipment on the market it’s vital to remind yourself of keeping your setup simple. This will help you keep the focus on making beats.


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