Beat-making is a modern musical art that not everyone knows how to do well. Even some professional beat-makers have a lot to learn. However, if you want to be making beats, there are some critical things you need to know about the process and the industry itself.
Making beats is a viable career in the modern music industry. Good producers need nothing more than a laptop with a DAW and a sample library to make amazing music. Take your time to find your own perfect setup and production process, and if you have the skill, beat-making will come naturally.
Making beats is challenging, but if you have the skill and the talent for it, it can be a viable career. Beat-making is among the fastest-growing areas of the music industry, and the best beat-makers have their tracks used by major artists internationally.
This article has every important thing you need to know about making beats, plus what to consider. Let’s get started.
Is Making Beats A Viable Career Option In Music?
Beat-making is among the lesser-known areas of the music industry. The invention of digital music happened a long time ago, but only in recent years have musicians realized that they do not have to create full songs; they can produce beats that can be used by other artists.
This area of the industry is still relatively new and unknown, but is it possible to make a real career out of beat-making?
The truth is that there is a career to be made in beat-making. However, it is a very intense industry, and it is still growing, which means that there is not as much money in beat-making as there is in other forms of music creation and production.
However, good beat-makers who produce high-quality, well-crafted beats that can be used to make world-class tracks are in high demand. In fact, there are producers and artists who will pay these beat-makers a lot of money to create good beats.
Making good beats at this level is something that only a handful of skilled people can do, so if you can get really good at it, you can make beat-making a viable career.
This process will take time, skill, talent, effort, and dedication, but it is possible.
Beat-making is among the fastest-growing areas of the music industry right now, and the producers that are getting in on the ground floor now will be those who become the most successful in the future.
Do You Need To Understand Music Theory To Make Beats?
A big question asked by many potential beat-makers is whether or not you need to know any music theory to make beats, and the answer is not as straightforward as you may imagine.
The reality is that all musicians need some form of musical understanding. Most musicians do not have much theory knowledge, but if you do not play any instruments, knowing some very basic music theory can make a real difference in beat-making.
It is not a requirement to know music theory to make beats, but if you have a basic understanding of timing, musical counting, and chords, it will go a very long way to making your beats far better and making them into something that can be used by high-end producers and artists.
If you do not know any music theory, do not feel like you have to learn some before making beats. It is best to begin making beats and learn the skills that you need along the way.
Music theory is not necessary for making beats, and there are several professional producers who do not have any music theory knowledge, but it can help you when you need it.
Do You Need Musical Skill To Make Beats?
While it is not necessary to have music theory knowledge to make beats, it is a requirement to have some form of musical skill. If you are not a musical person, making beats will be impossible.
You must have some form of musicality to make good beats. If you do not have any musical background, it is important to take your time learning beats, listening to other beats, learning from other producers, and listening to as much music as you can.
It is critical to have some form of musical feel to make beats that work well, and this is a skill that you can develop if you do not have it already.
Learning to hum simple melodies, tap simple beats, and feel your way through music is a critical skill for all beat-makers.
You can learn this skill over time, and the more you develop your musical skills and musicality, the better your beats will be and the more quickly you will produce them.
Even the most basic of musical skills, such as simple singing or even being able to tap your foot and keep musical time, is beneficial for new beat-makers.
Do You Need A Keyboard To Make Beats?
There are several tools required for making beats, and there are several tools that are nice to have but are not necessary for the process. Some new beat-makers see others using keyboards and wonder if they need a keyboard to make their own beats.
The keyboard that you may see producers using to make beats is called a MIDI keyboard. This is a type of MIDI instrument that can be used to trigger MIDI samples to play music, replicate instruments, or make beats.
MIDI keyboards are immensely useful for beat-making because they allow you to play your beats rather than program them, but you do not need a MIDI keyboard to make good beats.
Beats can be entirely programmed in a DAW timeline by manually inputting the triggers and samples into the track. This is a perfectly viable way to make beats, and you do not need any external instruments to make good beats.
Keyboards are not the only way to use a MIDI trigger, however, as you can use MIDI pads or samplers in the same way. Keywords are not necessary for making beats, but they can be a good tool for the process, and they can make things easier.
Can You Make Beats Without Knowing How To Play Instruments?
We have established that you do not need external instruments to make beats, but is it possible to use MIDI instruments to make beats, and to make the process of making beats easier, even if you do not know how to play any instruments?
The instruments used for making beats are MIDI instruments. These instruments can be seen as triggers rather than instruments, which means that all they are is a series of buttons that trigger samples for specific time durations, enabling you to play your samples rather than inputting them manually.
This means that you do not really need to actually know to play the instrument as an instrument to use it as a MIDI controller or MIDI trigger for beat making.
A MIDI keyboard is essentially the same thing as a MIDI pad. The triggers are just laid out as the keys are on a piano to make it easier for people who play the piano to use.
You do not need to use a MIDI keyboard as a MIDI instrument, as there are several pads, triggers, samplers, and other devices that simply have an array of buttons that you can program to trigger the samples in your DAW to make music.
A MIDI instrument can be used for this as well, but you do not have to understand how to play the physical instrument to use this functionality.
Can You Make Beats With Only A Laptop?
Now that we have established that you do not need to use any instruments to make beats and that you can use instruments that you do not know how to play for the same process, is it possible to make beats with only a laptop?
The good news for all new beat-makers is that you do not need anything more than a laptop to make beats.
However, the laptop that you use must be a good one. Slow, outdated, or poor-quality laptops will not do well for beat-making.
Any laptop that is capable of running powerful DAW software, storing large sample packs, and processing heavy musical timeline creations will be good for making beats.
You can use only a laptop and a good DAW to make excellent beats, and no external equipment is required.
Samples and sounds can be manually input into a DAW timeline and adjusted for length, timing, pressure, infliction, and other note qualities. When these samples are placed correctly, they can be made into excellent tracks with nothing but a keyboard.
The only drawback here is that using a laptop only is a very slow process for making beats because every sample and sound must be input and manipulated manually.
Playing your beats with an instrument or pad can be far easier and much quicker, but this is not required for good beat-makers who have the time to manually input samples.
What Do You Need To Start Making Beats?
If all you need is a decent laptop to make beats, is it worthwhile to invest in any other hardware or software? What do you really need to start making beats?
It is true that making beats can be done with nothing but a laptop, but there are several other pieces of gear and programs that can make the process far easier, more streamlined, and much more fun.
To begin making beats, a basic setup should include a good laptop, a good DAW, and a good sample library and DAW plugins.
External gear for making beats includes good studio headphones, studio monitors, a MIDI controller such as a keyboard or a MIDI pad, microphone and mic accessories, and an audio interface.
With this gear, you can make any type of beat, including those that are made by recording your own samples. You can even use your spoken voice to make your beats or bring in musicians to create sounds and make melodies for your beats.
This gear is considered very basic for beat-making, but there is nothing that you cannot do if you have it. Nothing else is required, but there are other nice-to-have items that can be added along the way, such as sound treatment panels for your studio space and shock mounts for your microphones.
Is It Hard To Make Beats?
We now arrive at a question that all new beat-makers ask at some point: is it hard to make beats?
The unfortunate reality is that making beats is not always easy. There are easy days, and some tracks feel like they make themselves, but there are days that feel very difficult, and there are some tracks that fight their way into full form.
The physical process of making beats becomes easier with time, practice and knowledge. Learning to use your software and hardware better, learning musical skills, understanding musical functions, and learning to improve the sounds that you produce to make the entire beat-making process easier over time.
However, beat-making can be very difficult, even for seasoned producers who have extensive experience. The process is always different, and sometimes things that worked for some beats stop working, and you have to find new ways to produce.
Beat-makers have to be adaptive and change their methods for everything that they do. This can be very disheartening at times and is very challenging.
With that said, while making beats is hard, it is also tremendously rewarding. The process of making a track and seeing it grow into something unique and special is like nothing else.
Every beat-maker stays in the industry for the love of the music that they create, and this makes even the most difficult day worthwhile. Making beats is hard but worth it, and the joy of it is only made better when the commission for your work comes in.
Making beats is a process that is constantly changing, and the steps are different for every producer. Good beat-makers can make a career for themselves in the industry; the most talented producers only need very basic equipment and skills to do so.
If you are interested in making beats, the only thing you have to do is start. Get a laptop, download some software, and make something. You will quickly find your own production process. Making beats will become a creative outlet as well as a source of income for those who can weather the music industry.