After a long study of the instrument and sleepless nights spent composing the music masterpieces, the artist decides that it is time to write down the ideas. Is it necessary to rush to the studio, or the musician can start creating the beat and then try beat mixing and mastering at home? Of course, you can do everything yourself and in the article, our readers will learn everything about how to make their own beats!
Introduction to How to Make Beats
So, it’s worth understanding the concepts to create a great beat, as beginners often confuse beat and rhythm. First and foremost, a beat is a basic unit in a music system that you perceive as a “ripple” in a track. And rhythm is literally the organization of music in time, a combination of different notes of differing duration.
It may take an understanding of the notes to make music beats, but the basic requirement is still perfect pitch, a sense of rhythm, and of course a little talent. So, if you are going to become a beatmaker, you do not have to be a professional musician, it is enough to:
- purchase all the necessary equipment (computer/laptop, DAW, sound card, and headphones);
- launch the basic DAW software.
Then you can start working. For most genres, the method of creating the music “foundation” in beat-making is suitable. Thus, the basis can be made with the instruments sounding in a low-frequency register, or purely rhythmic (bass or drums). Drums are often the key to timing a track, while the bass is often responsible for the notes that define and reinforce the order of the chords.
However, let’s take it all in order: firstly, we should figure out the choice of equipment and software, and then describe the main tips from professionals in creating a quality beat.
Music Software Basics
Users can now find plenty of different DAWs, but choosing software is easier than it seems. Digital audios workstation is nothing more than a technical tool for material producing which must be simple, convenient, and flexible. Some of the best options for making music beats:
- Apple GarageBand (for macOS, free + 2,99$ for additional functions);
- Apple Logic Pro X (for macOS, 199$, has a huge content library);
- Cakewalk SONAR (for Windows, free, has a large library of samples, full version of XLN Addictive Drums 2, a set of quality plug-ins and effect emulations);
- FL Studio (for Windows, macOS, 99$, presents a large selection of instruments, synthesizers, effects, and plugins aimed at creating electronic music);
- MAGIX Music Maker (for Windows, free, offers virtual instruments and MIDI as well as basic automation functions).
Thus, a beginner should make a choice based on the compatibility with the computer/laptop software, as well as the convenience and price of DAW. If you have already downloaded the program, but don`t find the desired effect, it doesn`t matter, because most software allows you to install additional plugins.
Music Equipment Basics
It`s also important to understand what kind of equipment you need for beat music production. In addition to the PC, you will have to spend time and money searching for a high-quality sound card. Various options:
- MOTU M2 — 192 kHz, 24 bit (excellent sound, LED display for information output);
- PreSonus Studio 26c — 192 kHz, 24 bit (has a special A/B button allowing the engineer to work with two mixes in parallel);
- Steinberg UR22C — 192 kHz, 32 bit (has a DSP processor with a set of effects);
- Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen — 192 kHz, 24 bit (offers an AIR mode that enhances high-frequency reproduction);
- Audient iD14 MKII — 96 kHz, 24 bit (has preamps that sound significantly more expensive than competitors` ones, and ADAT for channel expansion).
If you plan to record beats from live instruments, and not only use effects, then you will also need to purchase a microphone (a condenser one is the best option for a home recording studio). These microphones have a large diaphragm and low electrical noise for the purest possible sound.
How to Make Your Own Beats
Using such software and equipment, the musician can first determine the speed of the composition and create the main repeating motive, and then harmoniously integrate the rest of the sounds. Some specialists work in a different way: first, they create a rocking drum part and then they work with the melody and other sounds. There is no specific sequence of actions.
However, there are a couple of practical tips from a professional:
- if you play a particular instrument, try to start writing the beat from it — this will create a strong and comfortable frame of the track;
- pay attention to the generation stage (creating a “wireframe”) without going into details of any particular batch;
- if you are stuck at the stage of arranging the beat, then to start, start immediately filling the entire timeline with material, and then adjust the fragments step by step.
After the main musical ideas are recorded, the process of mixing (equalizing the balance of the instruments’ volumes, automating effects) and mastering begins — such actions are aimed at improving the quality and clarity of the sound of all instruments.
Thus, to create your own beat, you should acquire the minimum necessary equipment, download paid or free DAW software, make a “frame” of drums/basses, and then fill the track with other instruments and effects. The final touch, as we said, is mixing and mastering — that’s all!