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How to Make Beats: The Basics for Beginners

Making your own beats can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a little daunting if you don't know where to start. In this article, we will outline the basics for beginners, so that you can start making your own beats today.

Beats are the foundation of any good song, so it's important to get them right. But don't worry, with a little practice you'll be making great beats in no time. Let's get started!

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What do you need to make beats?

To make a beat, you will need a few basic pieces of equipment. Firstly, you will need a computer or laptop with some sort of audio editing software. Logic Pro X, FL Studio, and Ableton Live are all popular choices.

Some of the software can be expensive, but there is also some free softwares available, such as Audacity. Once you have your software set up, you will need some other basic tools to get started.

Some of the tools I've mentioned are optional, but they may help you finish your tracks faster and/or take them to the next level.

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1. Sample library

A sample library is a collection of sounds that you can use to create your beats. There are many different types of sample libraries available, but for beginners, I recommend starting with a Hip Hop/Trap sample pack.

These packs usually come with a wide variety of drums, percussion, and melodic samples that you can use to create your beats. Once you have a sample library, you can begin to assemble your beats.

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2. DAW

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is a piece of software that may be used to record, edit, and create your beats. There are several DAWs on the market, so you'll need to conduct some research to determine which is appropriate for you. However, this program will allow you to mix and layer many instrument tracks together to produce your own beat.

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How to make beats for beginners - Get access to a DAW

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It's important to have a basic understanding of how your DAW works before you start making beats. Otherwise, you'll likely become frustrated and give up before you even get started.

TOP TIP: I recommend reading the manual or watching some online tutorials to learn the basics of your chosen DAW.

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3. MIDI Controller

MIDI controller is an optional piece of equipment that may be used to create and play your beats. There are many different types of MIDI controllers available, so you'll need to decide which features are most important to you.

Some MIDI controllers come with a built-in soundcard, while others do not. I recommend getting a MIDI controller with at least 25 keys and 8 pads.

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4. Beat sequencer 

A beat sequencer is a tool that allows you to create, edit, and arrange beats.

There are many different types of beat sequencers available, ranging from simple and basic ones to complex and sophisticated ones. The type of beat sequencer you choose will depend on your needs and preferences.

Most beat sequencers do come built in most DAWs but do differ in design and feel. Make sure to try them out and see which one feels best for you. 

It's important to note that you don't need a beat sequencer to make beats. You can create beats using any type of audio editing software.

However, a beat sequencer can make the process of creating and arranging beats much easier. Even quantizing them to make sure your drum patterns are on beat. 

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5. Headphones

Headphones are an essential piece of equipment for any music producer.

They allow you to hear your beats clearly, accurately and without distractions.

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How to make beats for beginners - Invest in a pair of studio headphones

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The type of headphones you choose is entirely up to you. There are many different types and brands available, so it's important to do your research to find the right pair for you.

TOP TIP: I recommend getting a pair of closed-back headphones so that you can hear your beats accurately without the outside noise getting in.

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6. Mixing and mastering software 

Once you've created your beats, you'll need to mix and master them.

Mixing is the process of adjusting the levels of each track in your beat. This includes things like volume, panning, EQ, and compression. Mastering is the process of finalizing your tracks and preparing them for release.

There are many different software programs and tools available for mixing and mastering. Some of the most popular ones are Neutron, WavMonopoly Vocal Presets, and Ozone. 

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What makes a good beat?

There are a few things that make a good beat. 

First and foremost, it should be something that you enjoy listening to. It should also be well-crafted and have a good overall structure.

Another important thing to consider is the tempo of your beat. The tempo is the speed at which your beat is played. It's important to find a tempo that is comfortable for you to listen to and work with. 

Finding the right mix of variation and repetition is a crucial aspect of making good beats. The listener may become bored if there's no variety (and will most likely skip to the next song).

Producers need to find a good balance between variation and repetition in their music so that it is interesting but still easy for someone who doesn't know much about music to understand.

Finding a balance between technique and emotion is more crucial than ever in the realm of beat-making, where repetition can be overwhelming.

Finally, your beats should be original and unique. There's no point in making a beat that sounds exactly like someone else's. Be creative and experiment with different sounds and ideas.

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How to make beats in 7 steps

Now that you know the basics, it's time to start making your own beats. Follow these seven steps to get started:

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Step 1. Define your vibe

Before you start making beats, it's important to take a step back and define your vibe.

- What kind of music are you trying to make?

- What kind of emotions do you want to evoke?

- Who is your target audience?

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Answering these questions will help you narrow down your focus and make the beat-making process much easier.

It's a good idea to think about the mood you're going for before sitting down to make a beat, since this will help you with sound selection and determining the suitable BPM for your project.

Before you get started making a beat, think about the atmosphere you want to achieve. This will assist you in selecting the correct BPM for your project and determining the appropriate sound selection.

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How to make beats for beginners - Define your tempo and BPM

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A song's tempo can completely alter the feel of a beat, so choose a tempo that is appropriate for the genre and style you want to convey. It's also important to consider the target audience when choosing a tempo.

For example, if you're making a beat for a club track, you'll want to choose a faster tempo so that people can dance to it.

On the other hand, if you're making a beat for a more relaxed track, you may want to choose a slower tempo.

To help find you with BPM of the vibe you desire, find a song that is similar to what you want to create as a reference. Then place it into a BPM finder to find the tempo and start your beat from there. 

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Step 2. Create a bass line

The bass line is one of the most important parts of a beat. It sets the foundation for the rest of the track and gives it its overall feel.

Creating a good bass line is all about finding the right balance between simplicity and complexity.

You don't want your bass line to be too simple, or else it will get lost in the mix. But you also don't want it to be too complex, or else it will overshadow the other elements in your beat.

Finding that perfect balance is the key to creating a great bass line.

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a bass line.

First, you'll want to choose a bass sound that compliments the rest of your beat. If you're not sure what kind of sound to choose, start by experimenting with different bass sounds until you find one that you like.

Once you've chosen a sound, it's time to start creating your bass line. A good way to start is by finding a simple melody that you like and then building upon it.

Once you're happy with your bass line, it's time to move on to the next step.

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Step 3. Add drums

The drums are another important element in a beat. They provide the rhythm and keep the track moving forward. When choosing drums for your beat, it's important to find a balance between simplicity and complexity.

You don't want your drums to be too complex or else they're won’t be room for the artist to flow over it. Finding that perfect pattern is key to a perfect beat. 

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing drums for your beat.

First, you'll want to make sure that the sound of your drums compliments the rest of your track. If you're not sure what kind of sound to choose, start by listening to other tracks in your genre and see what kinds of drums they're using.

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How to make beats for beginners - Add drums

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Once you've found a few tracks that you like, try to mimic the sound of their drums in your own beat.

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing drums is the tempo. The tempo is the speed at which your track is going to be played.

You'll want to make sure that the tempo of your drums compliments the tempo of the rest of your track. If you're not sure what tempo to choose, start by listening to other tracks in your genre and see what kind of tempo they tend to use.

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Step 4. Add melodic elements

The next step is to add some melodic elements to your beat. These can be anything from a simple piano melody to a more complex synth line.

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How to make beats for beginners - Add melodic elements

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The important thing is to choose sounds that compliment the rest of your track. Again, start by listening to other tracks in your genre and see what kinds of melodic elements they're using.

Once you've found a few tracks that you like, try to mimic the sound of their melodic elements in your own beat.

One last thing to keep in mind when adding melodic elements is the key. The key is the note that your track is going to be played in.

You'll want to make sure that the notes you use for your melodic elements are in the same key as the rest of your track.

If you're not sure what key your track is in, a good rule of thumb is to start with the root note of the chords you're using.

So, if your chords are in the key of C, your melodic elements should also be in the key of C. This will help to keep your track sounding cohesive and prevent it from sounding too random.

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Step 5. Fill in the gaps

Once you've added all of the main elements to your beat, it's time to fill in the gaps. This is where you'll add things like ambiance, effects, and transitions.

The goal here is to make your track sound polished and professional. 

Again, start by listening to other tracks in your genre and see what kinds of beat fills they're using.

Once you've found a few tracks that you like, try to use similar sounds and atmospheres in your own beat.

A good way to add ambiance to your track is to use a reverb plugin. Reverb is an effect that simulates the sound of a specific space.

It can add depth and dimension to your track, making it sound more atmospheric. To add a reverb plugin, simply insert it into an unused channel in your DAW.

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How to make beats for beginners - Use plugins

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Then, send a little bit of the signal from each of your channels into the reverb plugin. This will give your track a sense of space and make it sound more polished.

The last thing you'll want to do is add some transitions. Transitions are elements that help to smooth out the transitions between your different sections.

A good way to add a transition is to use a crossfade. A crossfade is an effect that fades one sound out while fading another sound in.

To add a crossfade, simply insert it into an unused channel in your DAW. Then, send the signal from one of your channels into the crossfade plugin.

This will allow you to fade out one section of your track while fading in another. This will help to make your track sound more smooth and professional.

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Step 6. Finalizing the beat

Once you've added all of the basic elements to your beat, it's time to start finalizing it. This is where you'll add things like variation and fill-ins.

The goal here is to make your track sound more interesting and unique. One way to add variation to your track is to change up the melody.

Try adding new instruments or sounds to the mix. You can also change the rhythms of your drums, or add effects like reverb and delay.

Fill-ins are another great way to add interest to your beat. These are usually short, percussive sounds that help fill in the gaps between the main elements of your track.

Adding fill-ins can help make your beat sound more polished and professional. Experiment with different sounds and rhythms to find what works best for your track.

When you're happy with your beat, it's time to start adding and mixing vocals or other instruments. This is where you can really start to get creative and make your track your own.

Remember: There are NO rules when it comes to making music. So go ahead and experiment until you find a sound that you like. With a little practice, you'll be making beats like a pro in no time!

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Step 7. Mix and master your beat

Once you've finished adding all of the elements to your beat, it's time to mix and master it. This is where you'll adjust the levels of your different tracks and add effects like compression and EQ.

The goal here is to make your track sound as polished and professional as possible. Start by listening to your track and see how it sounds.

Are the drums too loud? Are the vocals too soft? Adjust the levels of your tracks until they sound balanced.

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How to make beats for beginners - Mix and master

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Then, add effects like compression and EQ to help shape the sound of your track. Compression will help even out the levels of your track, making it sound more consistent. When you're happy with the way your track sounds, it's time to export it.

This is the final step in the process, and it's where you'll save your track as a file that can be played on any media player.

To export your track, simply go to the File menu in your DAW and select Export. Then, choose the format you want to export your track as and click Save.

That's it! You've now learned how to make a beat from start to finish. With a little practice, you'll be churning out professional-sounding tracks in no time!

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Start making your own beats

The best way to learn how to make beats is to just jump in and start making them. Experiment with different sounds and rhythms, and don't be afraid to try new things.

The more you practice, the better you'll get at it. And who knows, you might just come up with the next big hit!

We hope this article has given you a basic understanding of how to make beats. If you're ready to start making some serious music, check out our other articles on production and sound design.

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We're here to help!

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