I want to make a quick note to let you guys know that this kind of software can really make beats, or music for almost all different genres. I am just explaining hip hop beats in particular for this.
I’d like to first write out what you need from your beat maker software and then go more into detail for each.
- You need to have quality sounds
- You need to have a mixer to change volume and panning for the sounds
- You need to be able to sequence the sounds out into a pattern
- You need to be able to layer tracks on top of each other
- You need to be able to mix your tracks down to MP3 for exposure
Without quality sounds to work with you will rarely have any success making tracks. You could possibly get lucky tweeking one out just right but the odds are stacked against you from the get go. And that is not good. When you’re looking for sounds for your beat maker software you need to think about what sounds good now and what classic sounds they have. Because in music, just like any art form, it is constantly changing and you have to anticipate the fact that the sounds you love now might sound god awful 5 years from now unless you look at it from a classic sound point of view. Music of 80’s, retro synths, clean guitar and piano are a few examples of classic sounds that will in some way or another always be in style. The best chance is to go with the program with the most sounds or at least a lot.
The mixer is how you control the different aspects of the hip hop or rap beat maker software. The reason you need a mixer is so that you have control over the individual parts such as volume. For example, if the snare is so loud it hurts your ears no one is going to want to listen to your track. So you go to the mixer and turn it to just the right volume. It is called the mixer because it is how you mix the sounds together
Beat Sequencer Software
Most beat programs will come with beat sequencer software. If it doesn’t have it than you can’t do much more than loops. Not that I have anything against loops. I just need to have the freedom to move the kick, high hat, snare, bass, and whatever else to the right beat. If it’s locked in stone you can’t do. That is why a good, easy to use, sequencer is of vital importance.
Track Layering and Overdubbing
Track layering, or overdubbing, is one of the most important aspects of beat maker software. Most producers try to use less than 16 tracks so that the song does not get too busy. That is a common mistake for amateur producers. It takes a long time to master this.
But I am going to try to give you as many tips as I can to get your tracks up to par quickly. When layering tracks it’s important to put each instrument in it’s own sonic position. You can do that with panning and frequency ranges. Once you have everything in it’s own sonic position nothing is fighting and everything is perfectly audible. You can hear every part separately. I never consider a track finished until I have achieved this.
Mix Down To MP3
If you are trying to make a living off of creating beats or if you are just thinking about purchasing online beat maker software it doesn’t really matter because you are still going to want the ability to share your tracks with people you know. And the reason you absolutely must have the ability to turn your song into an MP3 via your audio software is because you can easily email an MP3 to any one with an email address.
Now, I wouldn’t recommend sending an MP3 this way unless you know them or they have requested it. But it can be a great way to send an artist a track to see if they want to get on it, or possibly even buy it from you. Also, emailing tracks is a great way to collaborate with other artists or producers that are across the country or the world.
I have a friend in Tokyo and we email tracks back and forth regularly. Either to collaborate or just critique. This business is all about connections and MP3 are your business cards. And sorry for that rant if you?re not looking to pursue music as an income opportunity.
Well, these are the main aspects of the software you need. Also, there is online beat maker software which enables you to work with a website online. This can be incredible because you have the ability to work on your tracks anywhere and also you have access to the vast online sound banks they maintain. I will talk a little bit more about this in my next post.