A good software beat maker is going to have a few things in common with any good piece of software. For one thing, it is going to be easy to use. This may not seem like that big a deal, but when it comes to creative expression, this could be the most important thing to look for in a beat maker.
A lot of song writers want to have as many bells and whistles as possible, but sometimes this can cause more problems then it is worth. For instance, if you want to make a quick beat and don't want to create different sound envelopes for re-verb, chorus, distortion or other effects, you are better off using a simple software beat maker since laying down a solid beat would be priority number-one.
With a simple software beat maker, you can easily spend less than $50 and start writing beats from your computer in minutes. Also, it is usually very easy to export the beat as an mp3 file (obviously more expensive music software will provide many more export options), and then you could simply copy and paste the beat into your favorite sequencer and use the beat as a loop. This gives you much more control then using a sample loop because you have much more control over how the beat sounds. In other words, the beat you make on the beat maker is yours and yours alone and ready-made for your original song. If you so desired, you could even add other effects to the beat from the sequencer or cut-and-paste different parts of the beat to get some very interesting and original sounds.
The reason many people like software beat makers has to do with the way they allow a song writer to quickly add a bass drum, sneer or hi-hat to different parts of the time-measure without needing hardware like pads or keyboards or heaven-forbid, a real drum-set. In this way, a software beat maker allows a song-writer to quickly create a beat that fits the type of song they are interested in writing. Some song writers are better at making great hooks with synthesizers or other piano based hardware and simply want a quick beat in the right time-signature to get them started. A $40 beat maker is ideal for these types of song-writers, especially considering the fact that the cheaper the beat maker, the more simple it will be to use; more money usually means more bells and whistles.
The nice thing about software beat makers is that you can usually find a few that can be downloaded on to your computer which you can then play around with. This will allow you to try out different beatmakers, usually on a "free" version that will not allow you to export the song, or have other limitations like allowing only a few samples to be used or not being able to save the beat. However, if you make a great beat on a beat maker after a few minutes of using the software, chances are the beat maker is worth purchasing because this is a great sign you can flow creatively with this interface. When picking out a software beat maker, you should always make sure the interface is user-friendly and has at least a limited number of effects to suite your song-writing needs.
The bottom line is that there may not be one software beat maker that does everything you want, but you will find that for very little money you can download and use one that has almost everything you want. A drum beat is the backbone of a song, and so making a good beat on a good piece of software should be important to you. Just remember that you won't have to break the bank to find a solid software beat maker that will have you making quality beats before you know it.
Piper Washington is a Webmaster for SoftwareBeatMaker.Com. If you want to find out more about beat makers along with additional information about drum machines and music software go to SoftwareBeatMaker.Com