How do you know that it's time for you to be making your own beats?
Well, if everything around you bore you and you are in the need of some excitement then making your own music could be just the ticket.
But when you decide to take the plunge you may find yourself unexpectedly stopping – and why is that?
There’s a lot of things to think about if you are making your own music.
Starting with the equipment.
And then you must factor in your budget.
Perhaps you are just looking at the equipment that you want and worrying too much about their performance? Don’t worry, my article is here to help you.
I’ve taken all my research and know-how and compiled a list of what I think are the 5 of the best pieces of equipment you can buy right now if you want to start making your music.
And that’s not even the best part.
All the equipment on my list is for those who are on a budget or who don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Each piece of equipment you can get for under $300.
When you are looking for the best equipment to make beats it is tempting to just buy the stuff that costs the most.
Because that way you get all the best features.
But you don’t need to do that.
You just need to be passionate about doing this and to have the skill to be able to do it.
Fancy equipment comes second to that.
You may be surprised to know that those who have a talent for making their own beats are usually put off by the price and complexity of the equipment needed.
But there is enough inexpensive equipment available, as my list shows so that you can at least get the ball rolling.
After all, you can always upgrade later to more fancy equipment.
You just need to start somewhere and that can be a home or even a mobile studio.
Because making your own beats is a lot of fun you must remember that you will be spending a lot of time sitting at a computer.
Make sure you pick a comfortable chair and a wide desk when you do this.
Your health is important.
A comfortable chair swivel chair gives you lower back support and isn’t too expensive.
A wide desk, or table, just lets you easily set up your beats making equipment the way you want it.
When you start making your own beats don’t be put off by the fancy and expensive equipment used by the pros.
You must remember that when they were starting the equipment they used probably wasn’t as good as what you have.
Everyone must start somewhere after all.
As an example, Calvin Harris started making his own beats on an Amiga 500+ (a great computer), as it was a hand-me-down from his older brother.
You don’t need the latest and greatest and most expensive MacBook Pro.
Chances are the Windows PC you have already is probably good enough.
And don’t forget that the equipment you use and how fancy it is isn’t as important as the end product, which are the beats that you create yourself.
Let’s get started now with the equipment needed to make beats.
You need a MIDI keyboard to help you control the virtual instruments inside your DAW (see my DAW section below to learn more about what that is).
These are made to mimic a piano, you get the feeling of playing a physical instrument, but it is just the physical interface of your instruments in your DAW.
The keyboard itself doesn’t produce any sound.
It sends signals from the keys you tap to the software on your computer so that the right instruments or samples get played.
The realism of a MIDI keyboard helps you feel your beats as you create them.
They have weighed and pressure-sensitive keys, so you feel like you are playing an actual instrument when in fact you are playing a virtual one.
Below is my recommended MIDI keyboard equipment for making your own beats.
Akai Professional MPK Mini MIDI Keyboard
This MIDI keyboard is compact but still features 25 keys.
That means you can easily put it into your backpack with your laptop and be ready to start creating whenever you are inspired.
It has a USB to connect to your computer and comes with a ton of features playing and editing beats.
It has controls for dynamic pitch and modulation as well.
A full-size sustain pedal input jack and all of this is inside a slender build.
You get great portability with plug and play connectivity.
It also includes a free piece of software to customize how you want this to be set up, the power to it is from your computer, and it only weighs 1.6 pounds.
Beats Making Software (Digital Audio Workstation)
You need a DAW (digital audio workstation) if you want to start making your own beats.
The software you use is probably one of the most important pieces of equipment needed to make beats in general.
If you are not sure what a DAW is, imagine it as a digital table you can use that contains all the tools and features you need to make your own beats.
This software gives you the tools and features you need to record your own vocals or instruments.
You can also use it for tracking and mixing and other sound manipulation tricks.
It gives you all you need for an analog audio studio setup and much more.
Because your DAW is digital it resides on your laptop or computer.
That makes it portable and you can compose your own beats whenever the need strikes you.
Another benefit is that you can easily undo any actions whilst composing.
That means you can quickly restore any work that you may have accidentally deleted.
You can also cut, copy, and paste your actions, like a Word Processing program, which saves you a lot of time and effort.
Remember that some DAWs will only work on PC and some on Mac.
Let’s go through a few of the best DAW equipment for making your own beats.
Magix Music Maker
This DAW is for PC only.
If you don’t fancy paying for the full version there is a trial that you can download.
In the trial, you do get premium features that otherwise you would need to pay for.
Magix Music Maker gives you all you need to start making your own beats on your computer.
This includes 425 loops and sounds, 3 virtual instruments, 1 Soundpool (a large collection of loops and sounds from several musical genres) and 8 track samples with 8 different effects to play with.
You can even expand Magix more by downloading free kits that many producers offer.
Logic Pro X
This DAW is for Macs only.
Because Macs are known for their ease of use and reliability, they are also great for making music.
Apple includes Garageband for those who are new to music production, as well as Logic Pro X for the pros.
Garageband is free beats making software that is preinstalled on Macs and works on both Macs and iOS devices.
Garageband contains all the features and tools you need to get started.
You get an expansive library of instruments, voice and guitar presets, as well as drums and percussion sounds.
This is a great piece of software to start making beats with before you progress to the more advanced software.
And that is what leads me to talk about Logic Pro X.
This is a natural progression from Garageband, and it is used by many professionals.
You get powerfully more complex tools that you can use for mixing, recording, editing, and delivering the beats that you create to a worldwide audience.
You can even use your Garageband project files with Logic Pro X.
You also get remote control access from your iPhone or iPad using the Logic Remote software, the ability to play touch instruments and other key commands as well as being able to control your Logic studio directly from your iPhone.
You need a way to sample and experience the beats that you make and that is where studio headphones come in.
It is an absolute necessity that your headphones are studio quality.
After all, given that you will be spending money on all the other equipment that you will be using to make your own beats you don’t want your own beats to be let down by substandard quality headphones.
You need to invest in a pair of studio headphones that deliver you crisp and clear sound.
That’s why below you can find the best pair of studio headphones that I recommend you buy for making your own beats.
The sound quality and fit of these studio headphones are fantastic when you consider just how affordable these headphones are.
Made from high-grade materials, you get superior audio clarity and great sound isolation.
That makes these great for making your own music, especially beat mixing.
The sound quality, as you would expect from Audio Technica, is clear and smooth.
This occurs right across the octave range.
That means you can listen to your beats and pick up every little detail as you equalize, mix, and master your beats.
They are also noticeably light which makes them extremely comfortable.
After all, you don’t want a pair of studio headphones that are too heavy if you plan to wear them for a long time.
They have contoured earcups that ensure a tight fit that is secure for maximum sound isolation.
This lets you sample your beats as it was intended, in their purest form.
Wearing a pair of these means that you really can’t hear anything else, the sound isolation is that good.
It also comes with a soft carry pouch, so they are protected from getting scratched when not in use.
You can adjust them fully so that you get the best and most comfortable fit for you.
On the left side, you will find a single left side cable exit with a snap-on adapter.
And the design of these is collapsible so you can easily pack these away and store them safely.
The icing on the cake is a long cable to give you extra reach.
Remember that at the beginning of this article I said that all the beats making equipment you could get for under $300?
You may be wondering just how can you get a computer for that price?
That assumed that you already have a computer that you can use.
That can be a Windows PC, newish, or old, it doesn’t matter.
But remember, if you are lucky enough to have the budget for buying a new laptop, go for one that has a large screen.
You don’t want a smaller screen that can make you feel uncomfortable staring at it for a long time.
The audio interface is the device you use to connect your audio input to your audio output.
It’s a crucial piece of equipment for making your own beats.
Especially if you plan to record vocals or instruments.
It’s a little box that turns all your efforts into the beats that you hear.
You use it to connect monitors and headphones from the back of it and microphones from the front.
The greatest feature of any audio interface is the ability for it to cut sound latency.
That is the sound delay you notice between audio input and audio output.
It uses a soundcard for this, and this helps to ensure a flatter and more consistent sound.
This means that with an audio interface already having a soundcard you would not need to then also buy a separate soundcard on top.
Here is my pick of the best audio interface you can get right now.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
This is one tiny audio interface when you look at it but don’t think just because it is small it is not powerful.
This is an audio interface designed to last you a long time.
This is thanks to it being wrapped in a rugged metal case that will absorb most of the punishment from whenever you decide to take this with you when you are out on the road.
It’s a very efficient device for digitizing your live instruments so that you can incorporate that into your beats.
It’s essential equipment for making your own beats in other words.
It weighs just two pounds, so it is light and compact enough for you to be able to simply throw it into your carry bag.
You get a large dial that you use to control speaker volume, halo indicators to show recording signal strength and award-winning mic preamps.
It also has a direct monitor switch so you can listen to your beats without needing to put them through your computer first.
Its robust anodized aluminum unibody chassis will guarantee that this lasts you for many years of music-making service.
And the best part is that you can get going straight away with this right out of the box.
It is that simple to start using.
Studio monitors are something you won’t need right away.
But I have included them as something for you to think about in the future.
Starting, the studio headphones will do the job.
All the beats making equipment on my list is with portability in mind.
But as you progress and take your beats to the next level you will need to invest in a pair of studio monitors.
Below is my recommendation for the best pair that you can buy right now.
Tannoy Reveal 502
These monitors look great and provide you with fantastic sound quality.
They hold their own even when compared to more expensive options.
Tannoy is an old and trusted brand and has many local fans when it comes to music production.
You get a strong build quality, but they are quite heavy, weighing 12 pounds.
They are 5” in size and are best placed to be permanently in your studio.
They are not portable, but you will be impressed with the sound.
With these, you do not need an external amplifier.
You get a mini-jack cable connection so you can connect these to your favorite music player.
They also offer great sound isolation for many different musical genres.
If you already have a computer then check out Garageband or the trial of Magix Music Maker to get started with the minimum of fuss.
Using these your total beats making a budget will be just under $300 which isn’t bad at all.
Just make sure to focus on these five essential pieces of equipment for making your own beats and you’ll be golden.
I hope that you have found this article and my recommendations useful for the equipment you need to make beats and now you are ready to go out there and make your own – have fun
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API