WOW. It really is amazing how far we’ve progressed when it comes to creating beats. With the advent of the online beat maker, literally anybody can become a beat creator, cranking out professional quality beats in a minimum amount of time, using only their computer. But as with most innovations, there is a broad spectrum of options to choose from, with many being sub-par, and others being outstanding. Here are the Top 10 things you should ALWAYS look for in any online beat maker:
* A sleek, user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate. If the setup makes no sense and you can never find what you’re looking for, you’re going to get frustrated quickly and could end up abandoning your project.
* An efficient sequencer (I know that sounds like a fancy technical term, but it is basically just the screen you use to make your beats). You’ll want one that improves your workflow by utilizing fast shortcuts, simple drag n’ drop action, etc.
* In-depth video tutorials and customer support. You want to get started immediately, and should not be left to fend for yourself once you’ve purchased the product.
* The ability to use your computer’s keyboard so no other equipment is required. Unless you want to be carting around controllers and drum pads, you want a software that allows you to tap out the beats right on your computer’s keyboard.
* A melodic component (instead of just percussion). Creating beats using just drums is awesome, but you also need built-in synthesizers so you can add that nasty bass line or catchy high lead.
* A multi-octave keyboard. You’ll want to be able to reach the highest highs and lowest lows working with both your drums and synth sounds, so aim for at least a 3-4 octave range.
* High-quality, professionally mastered samples. It is cool to have old-school, “808”-style sounds on hand, but you need modern-sounding samples so those retro ones aren’t your ONLY options.
* High-performance software. You need something that can handle all those high-quality samples and all the processing demands that go along with the tracking, editing, and mixing.
* TONS of built-in sounds and drum kits. You never know what you may be in the mood for creating, so you want a large sound bank to choose from, preferably with the ability to increase or upgrade it, and ideally to even import your own sounds.
* The ability to export your slamming beats in the higher-quality WAV format – NOT just mp3s. If you want to sound like a pro, you have to use what the pros use — simple as that.
With so many low-quality options on the market today, it really pays to take the time to do your research and find a beat maker that meets your needs. When you find it, you’ll be cranking out pro quality beats from the comfort of your own home, and having a blast in the process. Whether making beats for fun or to sell professionally (yes, they sound that good!), you are now limited only by your own talent and ambition. Good luck, and have fun!