Beat Making Hardware vs. Software
When producing your own beats, there are two routes that you can take in regards to equipment: software and hardware. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, and in the following sections, we’ll shed some light on them.
Understanding Beat Making Hardware
Beat making “hardware” is considered anything that you can hold in your hand- sequencers, samplers, drum machines, sound modules, and keyboards. They are physical devices that, when connected to a software program, can produce a variety of sounds. One of the main advantages to using hardware is the ability to drum out beat patterns using your fingers and hands.
In short, you will develop a lot more “feel” for your tracks and as a result, they will sound far more natural. Although your beats might not be 100% spot on, they will incorporate the human element and this can make all the difference when attempting to create your own beats. You’ll be able to generate grooves and riffs on-the-spot quite easy using MIDI devices such as samplers
Other Advantages of Using Hardware
Another huge reason to invest in beat making hardware is that sounds are instantaneous. As soon as you push your device’s button, a sound will be played. With no lag time, you can be rest assured that your beats will be accurately placed within your track.
This can be a problem, especially when you have multiple applications open at the same time. Your computer may lag and you will find that there is a slight delay when trying to produce detailed music. In regards to pricing, hardware can be moderately expensive. For instance, the Maschine by Native Instruments can cost more than $500.
Advantages of Using Beat Making Software
The first benefit is that you can create your own beats and songs for a fraction of the price than that of beat making hardware. For example, certain versions of FL Studio cost $100 or less and will contain all of the same features as a regular MIDI device.
The only downside to using software is that it can take away from the human element when starting a sound wave all day. It can leave you uninspired and sap your musical interest. For this reason, it is recommended that you use software programs combined with hardware programs when producing in your own studio. This will allow you to benefit from both routes and you will be able to produce far better sounds as a result.
There are a lot of websites online where you can download programs for free. And while they may not be as good as paid ones, they will get the job done and keep you up to par on your skill. As a general rule of thumb, hardware programs could be considered superior to programs that are 100% software based. But before you invest in them, make sure that you have the budget to do so as hardware can cost you upwards of thousands of dollars.