Making Some Actual Beats
So once you know what you want to use to make beats and songs you need to setup the computer, install the software and hook up all your equipment.
There’s too many different types of software/hardware for us to get into it in detail on how to set it all up, but you’ll be able to find tons of tutorials on YouTube about this stuff.
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Basically what you’ll be doing is this:
- Hook up audio interface to computer & install software drivers
- Install beat making software, connect any hardware controllers
- Install virtual instruments, sound packs and other sounds
- Open your beat maker and go to Settings/Preferences to setup controllers + sounds
- Start making beats!
That’s a very simplified version of how you set it all up, but read your manual, check YouTube and you’ll be fine.
Using Your Beat Making Equipment
And there are other different aspects to your DAW too – the sequencer, arrangement window, mixer and more.
They all work together to let you create a full beat. When you’re learning how to make beats and songs, it can all be overwhelming. But we break it down in our full email beat making course (sign up at end of post).
Sampling vs. Playing Live
If you’re making electronic music you have a couple different ways to go about it. You can make sample based music, or you can play musical instruments from scratch.
Sampling is something that has been around for a long time and very much popularized by Hip-Hop music.
It’s where you take a short snippet of another song (just a few seconds) and then chop it up and assign each “chop” to a different pad/key on your MIDI controller. You can then trigger and play back the samples however you want to come up with a brand new sound loop.
You can get as creative as you want with it, but there are some copyright issues you should be aware of if you plan on releasing that song publicly for sale.
The other way to make beats is to just play live from scratch. You’d load up an instrument (like a piano or a synth) and use your keyboard or mouse to come up with a fresh music loop from nothing.
You can either program the notes into your sequencer with a mouse, or play them from a midi controller. Either way, you’re not taking someone else’s song and chopping it up to create new sounds. You’re playing an instrument from scratch.
You don’t have to worry about copyrights with this approach like you do with sampling (unless of course you re-play another song exactly).
Both approaches are great and come with their own unique pros and cons. If you’re a good producer, you’ll learn how to do both.