I accomplished my latest goal and bought me a new laptop which is powerful enough to run a complete digital studio. I want to learn the things about beatmaking which I don´t know yet and show you how someone like me can succeed at making quality beats (and how you can begin to make your own beats…). This website´s focus is to review several different software solutions on the market for you, which aren´t too expensive and deliver good performance. I compare several Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs).
For now, I decided to go with Fruity Loops Studio 11 and I am ready to give it a try!
Oops, I forgot: the software solutions that are available to make your own beats make it very easy to start, but there is still a littlebit of Hardware and Plugins that you need.
What´s on the list?
- studio monitors or headphones, or ideally both of them
- a keyboard-style midi controller to compose melody
- a pad-style midi controller to compose percussion
Both of them don´t need to have a sound engine.
That´s the hardware, and You need
- basic effects plugins, such as EQ, compressor, limiter, reverb, delay
- virtual instruments according to your genre that your DAW doesn’t have
- an audio interface
- a DAW
Why do You need those and What are they?
- Reverb: a so called reverb unit is a function that puts the right amount of reverberation to the sound. Reverberation is not the same thing like echo.
- Equalizer (EQ): an Equalizer allows you to cut or intensify certain frequencies of your given sound sample.
- Compressor: a compressor reduces the overall gain of a given sound. For example when you have a live gig and the dynamic range of the music is to big to be recorded. Then a compressor might for example turn the input signal of every two decibels the sound increases into an output of only one decibel in increasion.
- Limiter: a limiter is used at the final stage of mixing a piece of music for example to have the maximum loudness.
- Delay: as the word indicates, delay function puts a certain amount of delay to a given instrument and makes the music sound more rhythmycally exciting
- Virtual Instruments: a virtual instrument is like a plugin, it is a kind of software that acts as a sound module. Today, there are very realistic sounding virtual instruments available, and you can choose from a variety of different styles.
- Audio Interface: an audio interface is a device which transfers audio data from a foreign source to the software of a computer.
In short, the two hardware items that are mentioned above are needed because it´s way easier to compose and come up with ideas when you use MIDI devices. You dont have to be a piano expert, but recording directly from a keyboard makes it more fun.
The Software you have read about right now is the minimum requirement for mixing and producing your own beats.