If you want to get started with making your own beats, you’re in the right place! When one is a newbie at this, it is a challenge to find the right kind of equipment. But enough experience (with a little trial and error thrown in) can be able to help you find the best equipment for you.
In this quick guide, we’ll show you what kind of equipment you’ll need to make beats. This will also include recommended items that we believe are the best on the market.
Making beats as a hobby or for getting your name out there in the music is quite a fun thing to do. Imagine you sitting in your ‘lab’ making beats that can get feet to tap and heads to bob!
You’re a mad scientist working on experiments that may get downloads on Soundcloud or exposure on Spotify. You may be doing this as a side project or honing your talents and striving to become a big name.
Either way, you’ve got to start somewhere. The first starting point is getting the right equipment.
What You’ll Need for Beat Making
Below is a list of equipment you’re going to need to make beats. We’ll give brief detail on why each piece of equipment is important. Let’s start:
This is an essential piece of equipment you need for your beat lab. You want a central base of operations—a place where all the magic happens.
Sure, you’ll need good beat-making software. However, it can operate better if a desktop PC is clocking in high-performance numbers.
Yes, you can make beats on the go. Getting a laptop that can perform well while you make some pretty awesome beats is necessary.
Laptops will take up less space than desktop PCs. Keep that in mind when you are continuously saving files. It’s better to transfer them to the desktop using cloud storage or some other method that allows you to transfer files from one computer to another.
If we had to make a recommendation for computers, we highly suggest an entry-level gaming computer as your desktop. The CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR Gaming PC is a good option, but there are alternatives you can get for under $1000.
- System: Intel Core i5-11400F 2.6GHz 6-Core | Intel B560 Chipset | 8GB DDR4 | 500GB PCI-E NVMe SSD | Genuine Windows 11 Home 64-bit
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB Video Card | 1x HDMI | 1x DisplayPort
- Connectivity: 6 x USB 3.1 | 2 x USB 2.0 | 1x RJ-45 Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 | 802.11AC Wi-Fi | Audio: 7.1 Channel | Keyboard and mouse
- Special feature: Tempered Glass Side Case Panel | Custom RGB Case Lighting | 7 Colors RGB Gaming Mouse
- 1 year parts & labor | Free lifetime tech support
For laptops, an Apple Macbook Pro may be the best option. If you prefer Windows, the ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop could prove itself as a viable option while keeping costs below $1k.
- Aspect Ratio:16:9
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6 Graphics up to 1585MHz at 80W TGP.
- Quad-core Intel Core 15-10300H Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.5 GHz, 4 cores)
- 144Hz17.3” Full HD (1920x1080) IPS-Type display
- 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | 8GB DDR4 2933MHz RAM
Digital Audio Workstation
A digital audio workstation or DAW is a program where you can make your beats come to life. You can create, edit, and manipulate your works. The equipment you choose will depend on the style of beats you want to create.
If there is one DAW we’d recommend, it’s FL Studio. You can create plenty of different beat styles such as Afro-Cuban, Trap, and so many different genres. You want a DAW that gives you flexibility and different genres of beats to work with.
MIDI Instruments and Pads
Whether it’s keyboards or pads, MIDI instruments are essential for making excellent beats (and some additional music as well). If you want to kill two birds with one stone, get a pad that gives you both a keyboard and a drum pad all in one.
Our recommendation is the AKAI Professional MPK Mini MK3. This has all you need in one keyboard. Plus, it has software to go along with it.
It’s a pretty good package deal for a newbie if you can get it.
- Music Production and Beat Maker Essential – USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual synthesizer control and beat production
- Total Control of your Production - Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution, range and modes
- The MPC Experience - 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style MIDI beat pads with Note Repeat & Full Level for programming drums, triggering samples and controlling virtual synthesizer / DAW controls
- Complete Command of your Virtual Instruments and FX - 8 360-degree knobs assign to all your music studio plugins for mixing, tweaking synth controls and more
- 1500 plus Sounds and Everything You Need for Pro Production – Complete Music Production Starter Kit including MPC Beats, 6 Virtual Instruments and 2GB of sound content
If you want to play music using your speakers (especially the larger ones), you’ll need an audio interface for that. This will also help if you want a cleaner sound.
As a newbie, you don’t want to spend a ton on equipment. Whether you are on a budget or not, try to start with the BEHRINGER Audio Interface. You get professional audio quality at just over half of what you would pay for compared to higher-end interfaces.
- 2-channel USB Audio Interface with 1 XENYX Preamp
- Instrument Input
- Phantom Power
Sometimes, you just want to plug in and experiment with your ears. There are plenty of headphones out there. Yet, at the end of the day, it comes down to which one gives you the best sound quality.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M20X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are our choice if you don’t want to spend a ton of money or don’t care for high-end brands like Beats by Dre. For just below $50, the sound quality of these headphones is quite solid.
- Advanced build quality and engineering Designed for studio tracking and mixing
- 40 millimeter drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
- Tune for enhanced low frequency performance
- Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
- Convenient single side cable exit Magnet neodymium Designed for studio tracking and mixing
Lastly, you want studio monitors that give you that rich sound quality. One of the best options is the Mackie CR-X Series, 3-Inch Multimedia Monitors. With 50 watts of professional sound quality, you’d be in awe of your works even if they aren’t finished products.
- Professional studio-quality sound
- Front-facing headphone jack auto-defeats speaker output
- Flexible inputs - 1/4”, 1/8”, and RCA
- 50 watts of clean, articulate stereo sound
- Hookup cables included
Factors to Consider When Finding Equipment for Beat Making
The price of your equipment should be looked at if you are on a budget. However, you’ll want to look at the value beyond that. If it provides you with the best quality and fits your budget, get it.
Sometimes, the most expensive option doesn’t mean the best in quality.
Performance matters when it comes to the equipment included. How good is the CPU performance of the PC you want? What kind of processor does it use?
How is the sound quality for the studio monitors you want?
At Home or On the Go
You can create beats at home and on the go. However, you’ll want the equipment that is fitting. For example, you can use your studio monitors for your home studio.
However, if you are on the go, a laptop, MIDI instruments, and headphones will be sufficient enough. Studio monitors aren’t that portable.
We hope this guide has been helpful to you. You can find the best beat-making equipment whether you are on a budget or not. However, it all comes down to excellent sound quality that will make your beats pop.
You can be able to build a sound lab and keep it under a certain price. Hopefully, this guide is a good starting point for you.