Over the years, the art of music making has evolved a great deal. With everything going digital these days, the music industry too is seeing a paradigm shift, with composers shifting from studios to the handy digital audio workstations on their laptops. From amongst the many worthy candidates in the market today, in the following Melodyful article, we select and list some of the best beat making software you can lay your hands on.
The Digital Editing System developed by the company Soundstream, back in 1978, is considered to be the first beat making software. This software could make edits to the music recorded on a hard disk, and even provide effects such as crossfade.
Digital DJs are in the house, and the party is about to get wild. Come 2014, and we are witnessing the birth of Digital Disco. The bulky DJ stations of old are being replaced with the lightweight, yet equally powerful Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software, running on laptops and tablets.
Over the years, the music scene has evolved a lot, as more and more big-time music composers and DJs have come to realize the musical potential of digital beat making software. The market too is now flooded with beat makers, ranging from the good, the bad, to the downright ugly! These days, it has become a colossal task to pick the right software for one’s unique style of music composition. To make it easier for you, we list 5 of the best beat making software in the market today. So, everybody, put your hands up in the air, because we are about to drop the bass with some of the best beat makers in the business.
Are you an aspiring DJ? Do you want to give your music a ‘Turbo’ boost? Yes? Then you need to check out the DUB Turbo DAW. Engineered specially for the beginner or intermediate producers, this software suite is highly intuitive and easy to use.
Like a good teacher, DUBTurbo doesn’t bombard you with all the complexities of music making all at once. Using a 16-track sound mixer, this software patiently teaches you the fine art of sound mixing. An automatic quantizer works in the background to maintain the tempo of your mixes.
You have access to a list of 2,000+ sounds and custom vocals, with the option of importing your own sounds to get your music just right. In addition to these, you have the facility of including other sounds, such as drums, guitars, keys, etc., into your mix. A 10-pad drum machine sequencer and a 4-octave keyboard gives the budding composer enough tools to master his craft.
DUBTurbo offers a lot for the very low price that it demands. Though it may not have enough customization capabilities for professional level music production, it certainly is a must-have for the newbie composer.
To say that the ACID is potent would perhaps be an understatement. Version 10 of this software comes loaded with features that are more than capable of dissolving the competition, especially in the video sound-editing department. However, there is plenty in store for the pure audiophile as well. The maximum sample rate has been jumped up to 192kHz, and the ACID also supports third-party VST instruments.
A new feature called event groups has been added, which allows grouping of audio and MIDI files across multiple tracks, so that they all move in sync with each other. Changes made to any one audio clip in the group―such as clipping or trimming―applies to the rest as well. The Beat-mapper tool automatically finds the tempo of an entire song, making it easy to remix. It also offers a good piano roll and grid time-line arrangement window for editing MIDI files.
However, Sony ACID Music Studio truly shows its mettle in the video sound-editing department. It allows you to add effects to individual audio events in the video, rather than to the channels alone. This is a very handy feature, which allows video makers to create their very own personalized soundtracks.
For audio creation, it presents you with more than 3,000 loops and 90 virtual instruments to customize your music, and is compatible with several plugins such as Dxi, VST, etc., giving it more digital versatility and virtual instrument support than many other competing software. Other useful features include audio processing tools such as Equalizer, reverb, delay, distortion echo, and other effects.
When it comes to beat making software, BTV stands ‘Solo’. It is completely different to most popular software out there. For one thing, its GUI layout is unique. It is as simple in terms of design as they get, with all the controls fitting inside of just one window alone. But the most obvious difference you will notice is the absence of tracks and layers found in most mainstream beat makers. This can be a major hurdle for those migrating from other DAWs. However, once you get accustomed to its unique approach, you will find several appealing features within the software itself, making it quite desirable.
There are more than a hundred pre-made loops and over a thousand professionally created sounds at your disposal. The software uses automatic quantization to adjust the tempo of your mixes. There is even a section where you can edit WAV files, and add effects such as reverb, delay, etc. The Beats-Per-Minute (BPM) button allows you to obtain the time signature of a particular song, and then create your own song with the same signature.
Other useful features of this software include custom instrument creation, custom drum kit creation, on-board mixer and arranger, etc. Thus, using this software, you can arrange full songs using your keyboard alone. It allows you to sequence, customize and use sound banks, and mix and remix to create quality music for all the world to hear.
Sick of all the crappy music on the TV and the Internet these days? Feeling nauseous from the fact that you can make better? Well, then it’s about time you got a ‘Doctor’! Geared towards both beginners and advanced beat makers, Dr. Drum comes as one of the best software in this list. It offers a large number of options (much more than most other software on this list), and is designed particularly keeping in-experienced users in mind. But that is not to say that it is no good for the professionals. In fact, with its 44.1 Stereo 16 bit PCM and WAV format output, it is as professional as they get. Note that this is the same quality of audio that is used in radios, discos, clubs, etc.
To cure your musical sickness, Dr. Drum brings with it a completely loaded musical bag. It includes a 16-track sequencer, which allows you to change tracks with just a click or two from your mouse. There is also the option of adjusting the pitch and volume levels on each track. A 12-pad drum machine is available with a huge collection of high quality, exclusively mastered sounds to choose from. It even lets you add your own samples to the collection. Last but not the least, has a 4-octave keyboard which allows you to add pianos, synthesizers, guitars, FX, and many other sounds, completely eliminating the need for external MIDI files.
With so many options to choose from, Dr. Drum is a complete musical powerhouse. It has a neat intuitive user interface, and can export music in high quality WAV format, resulting in high fidelity and full sound. And to top it all, it is easy on the pocket, with the company claiming that it costs only as much as a dinner for two at any popular eating joint!
Descended from a long line of Fruity Loops software, and with a rich heritage of more than 16 years, FL Studio 11 is one of the best fruits, oh, I mean beat making software of our times!
It has come a long way since its inception back in 1997, and though its sound quality and quality of the software, as a whole, has evolved, the developers at Image-Line have made certain that even users from old times, those who were lost in the dense software jungle of beat making software, feel completely at home when they come back home to Fruity Loops.
It’s truly amazing how, even after so many years, the user interface on the FL Studio 11 still feels as familiar as it did back in the ’90s. It is still as easy and user-friendly as ever, and at the same time, it is quite capable of achieving professional level complexity, if one should desire so.
FL studio 11 comes loaded to the hilt, making it impossible to discuss all of its amazing features here. However, the following are some of the more notable ones.
- Multi-touch Support: Going with the times, FL Studio has provided the facility of multi-touch recognition, to make it compatible with modern-day touchscreens.
- Performance Mode: It can be used to trigger play-list clips during live performance, using a mouse, keyboard, MIDI-controller, and even touchscreens.
- BassDrum: A new BassDrum Plugin gives you a huge set of drum creation options, even allowing you to build over your favorite sample. It also sounds deep and warm.
- Effector: It provides 12 live performance-oriented effects, including delay, flanging, distortion etc., which can be controlled easily in the performance mode.
- Playlist: Support for 199 playlist tracks.
- Plugin Updates: The plugin picker allows you to choose from a list of updated plugins.
- Lifetime Updates: A one-time purchase of FL Studio License entitles you to a lifetime of updates.
FL Studio 11 is truly the most evolved beat making software in the list. Its variety of features, ease of use, professional levels of audio output, and last but not the least, a lifetime of free updates, make it the best DAW software of our times.
So, there you have it! 5 of the best beat makers out there. No longer is music making the property of the big-guns alone. All the amazing features now available in modern-day beat making software has ensured that quality music can be made anytime, anywhere, and by anyone. With a PC or a laptop in the bedroom, a little cash in the pocket, the right musical talent at heart, and a glittering dream in the eyes, anyone can attain musical stardom.