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How To Make Beats On Your Computer - A Step By Step Primer To Getting Your Beats On And Poppin!
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How To Make Beats on Your Computer   -   A Step By Step Primer To Getting Your Beats On And Poppin!

Making beats has become the "in" thing to do, I remember once upon a time (back in the early 90's) that if you had an MPC and a turntable, everybody in the neighborhood would want to hang out at your crib, and learn what it is that the "beat machine" you had acquired from your dad or uncle could do. MPC's were very expensive, around $2k at least, so your average child in the hood probably had never even seen, or even knew about what a MPC was, or what it could do. The need to learn how to make beats on your computer was non existent.

That was my situation where in which I was fortunate enough to obtain an MPC of my very own, and certainly, all of my friends would want to come over my house and "make beats" and try to rhyme a lil bit. This was all in good clean fun, and it kept us off the streets. Maybe I have my mama and Akai to thank for my humble beginnings.

Fast-forward to 2013, a day and age where there are an average of 3 computers per household (2 per adult, 1 per child) and you generally have the tools where anyone who is interested can have a full fledged recording studio, all within the comforts of their own home by using their personal computer and their choice of beat making software.

Technology has advanced, so we no longer need live instrumentation, turntables, or MPC's to make beats and get into music production, sample libraries are sounding extremely realistic nowadays, so there is actually no way for anyone to determine whether or not a particular beat was made on the computer; other than the fact that pretty much all music is made with the use of a computer, almost totally in whole or partially. Best believe that there was a computer involved in the process somewhere along the lines.

So, lets discuss what it is that you will need to get your music on and popping, and to get that recording studio clicked up and ready to rock at home. You'll be on more than one in no time! Word to Drake and Wayne.

A Computer (Obviously)

I'll go as far to say that any computer built or purchased post - 2008 will be an aptly equipped machine to operate beat making software upon, especially if that machine is a Mac. Mac computers in my opinion are extremely stable and a better option for those looking to invest in creating a production studio, simply because they are plug and play with virtually all music production software applications. Not so much with the PC's. There are thousands of threads online arguing this point as to which platform is better for production, i.e. the Mac or the PC, so if you care to read for argument sake, look it up. I'll just say that a Mac has suited my needs very well, and I have an IMac that I bought in 2005 that I still use to this day to make beats, it works perfectly. Can't say that I have any PC that has lasted more than 2 years, even the expensive ones.

Beat Making Software

The choices and selection of different software brands are plentiful here, so choose wisely! You have Reason, FL Studio, Logic Studio, Pro Tools, and Ableton Live. There are a few more, but these are probably the most popular amongst the audio production community, and for good reason. These software titles all hold these necessary features:

  • MIDI Sequencers to arrange your tracks
  • A Vast Sound Library
  • Mixing Tools
  • Editing Tools

As long as these features are present, then you are good to go with any of the aforementioned selections. Choose wisely according to your level of experience and budget.

Some Headphones and A MIDI Controller

You will want the MIDI controller (keyboard) so that you can play chords and melodies, and create drum patterns with your beat making software. It's much easier to do it this way than if you were to try and tap out those beats on a computer keyboard. Any MIDI usb keyboard will do, 49 keys is preferrable so that you can play chord progressions easier. So if you know a little music theory, or are willing to practice and learn some music theory, you can and will be well on your way to making all kinds of beats with your computer. You need the headphones so that you won't have to listen out of your laptop speakers, and you can get a better mix and representation of what you are hearing.

I found some little known about headphones that I absolutely love; they are the Behringer HPX1000 model, and I caught them for only $10.00 with free shipping from Sweetwater online. Now if I didn't know any better, I would think that I was listening to my Bose or Sony headphones, they are that good. So, if you're on a budget, those $10 headphones will do you right. I'm satisfied ten times over.

If you want to learn how to make beats on your computer, the next thing after you acquire the necessary mentioned tools would be for you to practice, practice, practice! No new software program or shiny new tool will make you the next hottest producer around; only your drive and determination will do the trick for you. The more you practice, the better you will become. Period!

Get to making those beats on your computer, practice regularly, and watch your skill level rise like never before. You owe it to yourself to create your own lane in this game, the world awaits you,... Better Beats Ahead.


Street Talk

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