Beat-making software has become much more affordable in recent years. As well as major players like Dr. Drum, Logic Pro and Cubase, smaller firms have also released beat-making software for both PC and Mac that are available as free online downloads and yet offer a surprisingly advanced list of features.
So, how do you decide which beat-making software is right for you? In this post, we explore the 5 essential features which separate the best beat making software from the others.
1. A large and diverse collection of stock sounds.
Why use is beat making software if you don’t have the ingredients of a good beat to start with in the first place? Any good beat making software will incorporate a wide range of instruments that cater to the beat requirements of different genres of music. The more diverse the repertoire of the software is, the more variation and nuances of music you will be able to produce. Music is the small sounds as well as the big – make sure your beat making software caters to both. The beat to Lady Gaga’s ‘Just Dance’ was made entirely of the stock sounds on Logic.
The last thing you want to end up doing is having to spend hours, if not days or even weeks trying to figure out where each button and menu is. Unfortunately, any beat making enthusiast knows that no two UIs are alike, and that some seem to have been put together by computer engineers who have no idea how beat making actually works. Of course, any new software might be intimidating initially – we strongly suggest that you look at pictures of the interface and visit the forums dedicated to each beat making software before taking the plunge. That is imperative to give you a good idea of whether it suits you.
3. Ability to output your creations in your desired format.
There’s no point in making the most fantastic and addictive beat on your software, but not being able to share or sell it. Most of us spend hours at our consoles mixing, matching, adding, removing and tinkering with our beats because we want to share our musical creations with the world (and hopefully make some profit off of it along the way). The ability to export your files allows you to collaborate with other beat makers, learn from each other and come up with even better beats.
4. Free tutorials.
Learning is good, especially if the lesson is quick and lets you get back to what you enjoy most – making beats.
As important as a good UI in terms of learning about your beat making software, tutorials help newbies and advanced beat makers alike learn from others who are experts with the certain software they’re using. This saves you a lot of time and, more importantly, allows you to pick up trips and tricks that you might otherwise never have discovered.
5. Free upgrades.
What’s the point of spending you hard-earned money on a beat making program only to have a new version released a week later? Beat making software is constantly evolving, and with each evolution comes a series of features that most users would find useful. Software makers that appreciate their clients include the ‘free upgrade’ option in their programs.
Remember to watch out for all these features the next time you are thinking of downloading a beat making software program for your PC or Mac and you’ll never be short of great beats!