If you’re the kind of person who is always drumming on the table, the steering wheel, your collar bone, and your kitchen counter, or you’re especially attuned to rhythms in every day life, chances are you’re totally obsessed with beats. It makes sense that you would eventually try your hand at making your own. Besides the ideas in your head, the fire in your belly, and the strength to get up and try again every time you’re knocked down, what else do you need? There are a few pieces of basic equipment that will help you extract the beats you hear in your head and make them into something that can be shared with the rest of the world. For more info on how to buy beats online, look into blastbeat.
- Computer. This is essential. This is going to run basically every other piece of equipment you have. Invest wisely. You’re going to need at least 4GB of RAM, more if you can afford it. PCs will generally be cheaper than Macs and have wider compatibility with the next piece of equipment that you need which is…
- DAW or Digital Access Workstation. If you’ve seen a producer in a studio sitting in front of a sound cockpit, surrounded by levers and dials and blinking lights, you’re starting to get the idea. A DAW is the desk where you’ll lay out all your tools. Some DAWs come with more tools and features than others, so you’ll have to choose the one that’s right for you. If you’re just looking to make beats, there are many free versions to choose from. If you also want to record, you still have free options, but may want to consider a paid version.
- External hard drive. This one isn’t sexy, but it’s a must. You’re going to pour your heart and soul into the music you’re creating, so don’t leave it vulnerable. You don’t want to be watching in horror as you trip and your coffee pours all over your computer. You want to be thinking ‘Man, I am so glad I have everything backed up on that external hard drive.’ You should really have one of these anyway, to back up your important documents and media you want to save, so just do yourself a favor and grab one with the most storage you can afford.
- MIDI keyboard (also called MIDI controller). This little slice of piano keyboard is how you’re going to get your beats into the DAW. The keys are weighted and sensitive to pressure, which helps you achieve nuance as you are making beats and get exactly the sound you’re going for.
- Audio interface: If you want to be able to record sounds using a microphone or an instrument, you absolutely have to have an audio interface. Monitors and headphones connect into the back of this tiny little box, while microphones and instruments connect from the front. If you already have a computer and the sound card isn’t up to your specifications, you may want to opt for an audio interface as they have built-in sound cards.
The last, but most important thing you need for beat making is time. Dedicate yourself to your craft, spend time getting to know your equipment, and soon you’ll be making beats you’re proud of.