What is a beatmaker? What does it mean to say you used a "beatmaker" to make beats? And how is a software beat maker used by people that want to mix a descent sounding song? The first thing to remember when dealing with a software beat maker is that the term "beatmaker" is slang and will not be found in the English dictionary. The second thing to remember is that like many terms used by musicians, the answer to what a software beat maker is might change depending on who you ask. For this article, a "beatmaker" or software beat maker will be described as a piece of software (not hardware) that is used to make a beat in the same way a drum machine would be used to make beats. The difference is that one is a piece of software (beatmaker) and the other is a piece of hardware (drum-machine).
This makes a software beat maker a little easier to wrap your head around. For instance, you can usually download a software beat maker or "beatmaker" before you purchase it. Of course, you will have limited access to some of the functionality and you may not be able to transfer or save your music, but it is a great way to find out if that particular piece of software makes the beats you want with the interface that supports your creative needs.
Second, a beatmaker is going to be a lot cheaper than an expensive drum-machine and you may get a descent software beat maker for about $30. That's a lot cheaper then the $200 to $1800 you might pay for a drum-machine. Unless you are a music producer, you are better off starting out with one of the cheaper beatmakers which have a lot of the main functionality you will need to get going right away. This also means you won't have to hook up any hardware which can be pretty confusing for novice musicians.
When shopping around for a software beat maker there are a few things you will want to look for. For starters, you will want to make sure it has the number of tracks that is right for the beats you want to make. Typically, 16 tracks is a great place to start, but you can probably do just fine on a 8 track software beat maker/sequencer. Second, you will want to make sure that it has a large library of sounds that you can use at your disposal right away. This is important because you never know what type of eclectic sound you might be into in the future, and also what sounds you may wish to add to your beat to make it more dynamic and unique. Basically, the more sounds you have, the more opportunity to make an interesting and creative beat that not only sounds good but is original, and you can't be too original these days.
Some software beat makers will have virtual piano keys which you can use to add synthesizer sounds to your beat. This can be helpful if you do not have access to a sequencer or music production station. Ideally, you would create a beat on the beatmaker, export it to mp3 and then copy it to your sequencer. From there you would use the beat as a simple loop and you would add the other sounds (piano, voice etc.) through the software sequencer. However, there are software beat makers that you can use to practically produce an entire song. Of course I don't know of any beat makers that will allow you to add vocals, so eventually, you will want to transfer your beat to a sequencer for final mastering and any vocals you might want to add.
A quick word of advice: try out as many software beat makers as you can before committing to one. This makes sense because you can always try out as many software beat makers as you want for free and then you will know what you like and don't like about different beat makers. In this way, you will find the virtual drum-machine that is perfect for your beats and will inspire you to find that perfect beat that every musician strives for. You never know, you may create the greatest drum beat in recent history with a $40 piece of software. Good luck and keep writing music!
Piper Washington is a Webmaster for SoftwareBeatMaker.Com. If you want to find out more about beatmakers along with additional information about drum machines and software music go to SoftwareBeatMaker.Com