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How to Make Beats – Part 3: Learn Your Setup

  1. Fade

    Fade

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    * This is part 3 of an 8-part series of articles on how to make beats. Mostly aimed at beginners, even experience beat makers can benefit from these articles.

    Part 3: Learn Your Setup

    Learn As Much As You Can

    Whether you have software or hardware, you need to learn it inside out.

    One of the most important parts of your setup will be your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) because it's where you will bring all of your ideas together to mix your beat. You might have a program such as Maschine or FL Studio, which you can definitely create an entire beat with, but I always recommend that you also have a full-fledged DAW to work in.

    The DAW is very important because its sole purpose is to have everything in one spot. You may think that by making beats in the Maschine software, that you're creating an entire production but you're not. In a DAW you have lots of tools at your disposal that software like Maschine doesn't have. It's difficult in Maschine, for example, to arrange clips and do transitions. It does have something similar, but nothing like an actual DAW.

    Plus, most DAWs have tons of effects! This will make it so much better for you when mixing because you can do some cool stuff with your tracks that you might not be able to do in beat making software.

    As for hardware, you need to master that as well. One of the best things you can do is just press buttons and turn knobs and see what it does! Once you do that, you will start to figure a few things out, but then you need to start reading...

    Study Everything

    The manual is one of the most overlooked things ever when it comes to software and hardware in the recording studio.

    I get it. Manuals are boring. It's so much easier to Google something and find a quick answer, but it's always best to read the manual because it will always give you all the information you need to get started.

    Sure, there will be times when you will want to do something with your software or hardware that you might not find in the manual, but most of the time the manual has everything you need.

    One of the downsides of searching online instead of reading the manual, is that you can easily get ten different answers to your question. This can be confusing, especially if you're just starting out.

    So, read the manual!

    Why Study and Learn Everything Before Making a Beat?

    I look at it this way:

    If you learn your setup inside out right from the start, before you even attempt to make a beat, then you will be extremely comfortable when you finally do make a beat.

    It makes total sense, doesn't it? Look at it this way:

    If you've never been to a gym and want to start lifting weights, what do you do?
    1. Go to the gym and pick up the first weight you see.
    2. Learn as much as possible about weightlifting.
    The best thing you can do is to learn things first. Then once you hit the gym you'll have a general idea of what to do and won't look like a newbie going to the gym for the first time (and possibly hurting yourself).

    I'm not saying you can hurt yourself in your studio (unless you somehow strangle yourself with MIDI cables), but you get my point!

    Further Reading About Beat Making
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018