The 15 Best Beat Making Software (Review & Comparison) Of 2020 – Our Top Picks Reviewed
Finding the best beat making software is essential to creating high quality music which you will be proud of. Your work is important and having the right tools is key. That’s why we’ve broken down and covered the 15 Best Beat Making software in 2020.
We aim to help musicians, artists and beat makers to make informed decisions when purchasing beat making and audio editing software, reviewing the newest DAW software’s and providing honest and researched opinions and reviews.
The Products We Reviewed – Click to go
3 DAW Software’s You Must See – Our Winning Picks
The Best Beat Making Software
1. Presonus Studio One 4 (#1 Top DAW Software)
Quick and easy drag-and-drop functionality and multi-touch support · Unlimited audio and instrument tracks · Incredible new virtual instruments
The latest version of Studio One by Presonus is a very popular DAW software. Many artists find themselves using the program for many years for songwriting and music arrangements. With Studio One 4 they’ve really added a lot more features and utilities for creating beats and grooves.
Regardless if you’re making music, mixing or even mastering it will take you from start to finish for all your projects. One of the key new features is harmonic editing, it automatically detects chord so you can change them and re harmonize your music. This can all be done from MIDI, you can plug in your keyboard or analyze a track to create your audio track.
You have everything you need to start making music at home with effects like, modulation, delay, reverb, EQ, distortion, gater, and so much more. You also have real-time time stretching so your samples can lock to tempo and be matched. You can even work with multiple track simultaneously and customize the graphic layout to your liking. Studio One is an extremely powerful DAW which you will truly love if you’re an artist at heart.
2. Imagine Line FL Studio (#1 Best Value DAW Software)
Mac and Windows Platforms · Flexible Browser and workflow features · Over 80 instrument and plugin effects included
Imagine Line FL Studio is great for making beats just about anywhere, with a basic set-up you can start making jams even on a bus headed to work. Use the step sequencer to loop your tracks and create beats using thousands of distinct pre-loaded sounds. This software truly is a DJ’s or beat makers dream come true.
There are hundreds of effects available, with MIDI keyboard you can draw in the keys and set each chord to create your musical masterpieces. The demo version or rather lite version is sufficient for you to start making hot beats. However we recommend the signature version for all your hit songs because of all the extra effects like automation on the master fader.
Many artists feel FL studio allows them to tap into their inner creativity. The Fruity Loops software is over twenty years old and the software still has its original layout but it’s improvement drastically throughout the years. There’s now 120 different mixer channels, 500 tracks, and grouping has never been easier. Tap into your imagination and craft your musical pieces with this excellent software that offers life-time free updates!
3. Ableton Live 10 (#1 Premium Pick Daw Software)
Mac and Windows Platforms · Unlimited Audio Mixing Software and MIDI Tracks · 5000+ sounds, 57 effects and 10 instruments
There’s so much Ableton Live 10 has to offer that we can barely scratch the surface in this article. To give you an idea of how prestigious this software is it’s the most popular DAW among famous electronic artists. Diplo, Skrillex, and Deadmau5 who are some of the most recognized DJ’s in the world all use Ableton Live 10 and it’s excellent for performing live.
There’s a famous quote saying, “All a kid needs is a laptop to make the next hit song” and that’s truly possible with Ableton Live 10. It’s one of the best DAW programs available with a price that’s very expensive. If you purchase the lite version it’s affordable. However the pro version is a little less than a grand, so start with lite and then upgrade to pro when you’re ready.
Many DJ’s believe Live 10 is the best DAW for new and advanced users. You can create, record, and mix your sounds together. You have access to sounds like synth, pianos, drums, guitars, and so much more. Launch as many clips as you want in a row and loop them all together. You can now drag and drop sounds for quick on the fly performances. You’ll never miss a beat with Ableton Live 10.
4. Propellerhead Reason 10
Windows 7, Mac OS X Platforms · Instruments and Effects Included · Three Player Devices Included
One of the most complete DAW’s currently available is Reason 10. You can now own the power of an entire music production studio in your computer. This DAW has unique features which really separates it from the rest such as its rack, which allows you to set up your studio with different combinations and effects.
You can customize your rack by dragging and dropping different instruments or effects and you’re ready to play. The instruments are all full-feature so there’s no need to buy more or upgrade. You have access to complete instrumentals like pianos, drum machines, samplers, synthesizers, and other fundamental sounds.
You have all the tools you need to make great music without having to spend more, with more customization than any other DAW program. You can even flip the rack around to change the modular cabling and rearrange the input/output just like if you have the real machinery in front of you. You can focus on making premiere music with all the tools you’ll ever need to hit it big.
5. Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio
Windows Vista, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows XP Platforms · Loop library includes over 7500 royalty-free loops
One of the flagship DAW programs currently available is Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio by Acoustica. Complete with a new sound engine you now have unlimited audio and midi tracks, but with better performing audio. Its features like these that make this program unique and highly effective.
Mixcraft 8 now offers real-time performance panel recording. It’s excellent for recording studios and musicians. This DAW specializes in recording with key features like melodyne essentials which is vocal-pitch auto correction technology. Just connect your MIDI or speaker to record and use the virtual instruments to jam out.
Many DJ’s agree it’s incredibly easy to use compared to other programs like Pro Tools. The tempo is spot on and you have access to over 7,800 sound effects and samples. There’s even a video editor so you can now produce your hot beats and then your music videos too. Upload your final projects directly to any social media from Mixcraft. It’s a complete powerhouse!
6. Band-in-a-Box 2018
Windows Disc Platform · 300 real tracks instruments in 38 Bands · 46 MIDI super tracks, over 400 MIDI styles, over 100 MIDI Soloists, and over 60 MIDI Melodists!
The creation tool software, “Band-in-a-Box” has been around for a few years. It’s an excellent tool with real sounds of your favorite instruments. With this program you enter chords, choose your style, and then it creates a backing track which is performed by a virtual band.
It’s so easy to compose and create your first song. The samples and instruments are recordings of real instruments, which is why this software is excellent for composers. You can open the software and with the simplest effort start building music. It practically makes the music for you.
This software has been around for over 20 years with new improvements added each year. You can start with the demo version and we’re certain you’ll be impressed with its performance. Many users claim it feels like you’re playing with a real band. It’s worth checking out for any record producer or composer.
7. Acid Music Studio 11
Windows 10 Platforms · New! 64-Bit support for complete creative freedom – Includes 2, 500+ freely customizable acidized loops
Acid Music Studio 11 offers a new user interface and is very beginner friendly to use. It has a darker look so it’s easy to work late nights without straining your eyes so you can maximize your production session. There are over 5gb of instruments and loops for free or you can quickly incorporate 3rd party plugins for more sounds.
One of the new key features is the ability to draw and paint loops. Simply click and hold down your mouse to start painting the tracks you’ve selected with the effects you wish to add. Now you can get started making your favorite music right away without struggling with a difficult learning curve.
Many DJ’s and music producers agree that Acid Music Studio 11 is very beginner friendly. You can sit down and almost immediately immerse yourself for hours creating music. Explore your creativity while paying a fraction of the cost compared to other DAW’s. We highly recommend this software for those wanting to get started producing music.
8. Avid Pro Tools 12
Mac & Windows Platform · Includes an iLok and Activation Card
You will love Avid Pro Tools 12 because of it’s cloud collaboration. You have access to a complete market place directly within Pro Tools to connect with other musicians. Sell your talents and musical pieces or collaborate with others to make something new.
The last thing you want is to work countless hours to create a musical masterpiece and no one hears it. Now directly from this DAW software you can get the exposure you need to start making an impact with your music. Aside from the cloud collaboration there are so many more unique features.
Many DJ’s love the Avid app store where you can buy the latest plugins without having to visit shady websites. With the cloud storage you can save your projects to work on later from virtually anywhere. Try out the one month subscription, if it’s to your liking you can subscribe annual or buy it outright. This DAW truly offers so much more than just composing, mixing and mastering.
9. Audacity Audio Editor
Mac & Windows Platform · Supported formats: WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3, OGG Vorbis
Audacity is a very popular DAW. The complete program is very basic meant for beginners needing a stepping stone to get started. It does not support MIDI so you can’t use third party plugin instruments, which is why we wouldn’t recommend it to advanced users.
You can use some third party FX effects but at the end of the day it’s a very basic audio editor which can be used as a beginner DAW software. The sound generator is sufficient for a new music producer to start making their first sound waves. If that sounds like you than we would recommend you try this software.
Audacity has everything you need to make your first beat and melody. Just press record and start playing your heart out. Since it’s free you have nothing to lose. However anyone who’s ever worked with a true professional DAW will feel there’s a lot of advanced features missing like MIDI. That doesn’t mean you can’t use virtual instruments to make your first practice songs.
10. Steinberg Cubase 9
Award-winning 32-bit floating-point Steinberg audio engine · Simultaneous playback of 48 audio tracks · Over 40 audio effect processors
Steinberg Cubase 9 is one of the most exclusive DAW’s available and is only rivaled by Ableton. Many famous DJ’s use Cubase as their preferred software because you can customize everything. There’s hundreds of features and configurations meant for advanced users.
If you’re a beginner this software will be intimidating as it has a higher learning curve, but the payoff is well worth it. You can tap into your inner creativity and edit you tracks to bring your imagination to life. There are hundreds of hit records which have been produced with Cubase. That’s why many DJ’s believe Cubase 9 is the most complete DAW available.
The price is costly but it’s well worth the investment. Fine tune your musical masterpieces with every audio editing tool you would ever need. Most users are using this software in professional studios or at home in project studios. Now you can have the same capabilities as a real recording studio.
11. Motu Digital Performer 10
Mac/PC VST3 Platforms · 5GB Instrument Library · DAW Software with Audio Recording
The award winning Motu Digital Performer 10 is a complex DAW made for audio and film post production. You can do it all recording, editing, mixing, arranging and so much more.
This program is a professional musicians premiere choice for composing music, live performances, post production, film soundtracks, and mixing alike. With a one time purchase you own the licensing to this software without having to pay a costly monthly subscription. Many DJ’s if forced to choose between Ableton, Cubase, and Motu would choose Motu as their choice.
We really like the preloaded 5gb sound library because it offers a selection of high quality samples, instruments, synths, loops and presets. This top level DAW originally was a Mac program before being converted for PC as well. So you Mac users will enjoy a seamless integration and jaw dropping fast performance. Focus on your music, with all the tools you’ll ever need.
12. Bitwig Studio Music Production
17 entirely new devices · Re-conceptualized modulation system with 25 brand new Modulators · Fades and crossfades
If you’re an electronic artist than you will appreciate what Bitwig Studio has in store. This software has a lot of similarities to Ableton Live and stacks up well against the competition. This complete digital workstation allows you to track and back tracks with MIDI, with unlimited audio and effects tracks.
Plugins are important and allow your DAW to branch out to even more unique sounds. Bitwit is able to integrate with all 3rd party plugins, allowing you to use samples from Native Instruments or Universal Audio to maximize your musical options.
Many of the DAW’s work the same, with similar tool sets. So it comes down to the user to bring out their inner talent to compose a masterpiece with the tools hand. Bitwig is refined to provide you with the tools you need to reach your true potential. The sound tweaking capabilities of Bitwig are very exciting.
13. Native Instruments Komplete 11 Software Suite
Brand-new synthesizer · 45 products, over 13,000 sounds, and over 155 GB of instruments and effects
Some DAW’s are designed for live performances like Ableton Live. Well Native Instruments Komplete 11 was made for music production. With more than 170gb of content and over 25,000 sounds you literally have a sound library to work with for years.
Some of the newest features which music producers rave about is the award winning sampling engine “Kontakt 6”, and “Massive X” which is one of the best virtual synths on the market. There’s an array of unique sounds which will leave you impressed and spending hours sampling loops.
Komplete 11 has all the tools you need to complete any production for any genre of music. This action packed DAW comes in four different version at four drastically different price points. So you can start off small and upgrade to the final version when you’re ready to fully invest. Bring the music in you to reality with Komplete.
14. VEGAS Pro 15
Formats including HEVC, ProRes, MP4, XAVC and more · Video editing with ACES 1.0 support · Multitrack video & audio production
Vegas Pro 15 is a video editing software which musicians use to edit their music videos or edit their music into a video. There’s a lot of different video editing programs available, but Vegas is known for producing professional video and audio quality with simplicity.
If you are not currently working on professional video editing than you most likely don’t need the pro version. However if you want fast hardware integration, an advanced collection of video effects, and multi-track editing abilities you’ll need Vegas Pro 15.
The base software is very reasonably priced considering it’s meant for production companies. Aside from video, its audio editor comes with many different effects and auto correcting features. It’s truly a swiss army knife capable of handling you complex video and basic audio needs.
15. WavePad Audio Editing
Windows and Mac Platforms · Edit, Effects, Record and Converts
WavePad is an audio editing software made strictly for music production. You can clean up your unfinished musical projects with sound analysis and audio restoration. Recording engineers claim WavePad gives complete control to polish audios with the many effects and audio tools.
Many producers use the audio mastering tools to accomplish a more professional finish. WavePad is essentially an audio editing software for finalizing your song after you’ve created it in a DAW but need to edit the audio just a little more for the final touches.
The interface has a low learning curve and is easy to adapt to. After you’ve uploaded your audio files you can effortlessly begin to edit them until the final results are ready. This software is a must have for after you’ve finished crafting your music on a DAW but need to edit it to fine tune the final results.
How We Chose The Right Beat Making Software On Our List
Owning the power of an entire recording studio is now possible for anyone who has a computer. You can now make your music with the same tools famous producers use if you just buy the same programs they use.
The focus of this article will be to fully educate you on what is a DAW program, which are the best available and most popular, and how to fully prepare your computer for compatibility with your new virtual studio.
While there are plenty of DAWs out there which can make all kinds of music, how good are they at putting together beats and drum loops? Beats are crucial to all kinds of music style and genre, and while plenty of people will be looking for beats making software to lay vocal tracks and raps over, these suites and software standards are actually more adaptable and flexible than you might think.
But what should you be looking for in the best beat making software online? There are plenty of things to consider, meaning it’s always worth reaching out to an expert for guidance. Luckily, we’re here to help break things down for you.
What’s a DAW?
If you’re wondering what DAW means it stands for, “Digital Audio Workstation”. It’s your audio playground. A studio within your laptop which lets you record and edit your music however you choose with all the tools you need.
You have access to every tool a large studio has from just your laptop. Record different tracks simultaneously, mix, and master with access to hundreds of plug-ins to customize your music like a real studio from the comfort of your home.
Which is The Best DAW Program?
This is not a question which can be answered directly because there are three different types of DAW software. The first type is for DJ’s and live performers, the second is for recording studios and musicians, and the third is for beat makers and composers.
All DAW software can be used for performing live, recording, and making beats. However they’re each specifically designed to focus on just one of the three specific categories. Regardless of which category you fall into, you will find the best available programs reviewed below.
What Hardware Should My Computer Have?
When you’re importing and exporting your music frequently the last thing you want is for your computer to load slowly. Maintaining fast performance is key to being productive with whichever DAW program you decide to use.
There’s a couple things which you can do ensure optimal performance which we’ll cover for you. The most important thing is to upgrade your RAM, this is your working memory which allows your computer to run faster.
Most laptops and computers have a slot to add additional RAM. If you currently have 8gb or less we recommend you upgrade to at least 16gb, which will ensure your computer is ready to tackle all of your musical projects without ever lagging.
Should Get The “Lite” or Pro version
Most of the DAW programs come in two different versions at two drastically different price points. Lite is an introductory version of the software at a very cheap price but lacks a lot of the more advanced tools and effects. While the pro version is the complete program with no hindrance but at the full price and can cost up to hundreds of dollars.
You’ll have to decide which version you would like at the end of the day. Many producers like to start with the lite version and get a feel for the program to see if it matches their needs. If the lite version is good enough most producers will upgrade to the pro version or if they weren’t satisfied, find a new DAW all together to test.
Look for Free Trials
If you’re really unsure what you’re looking for in terms of the best beats software online, you should look for a DAW that offers you a free trial in the very least. This way, you can be sure that you can get used to a beats package without having to throw too much money at a service. You’ll likely find that most beats software packages have some form of entry-level service, meaning that you might even be able to use certain DAWs for free altogether.
However, free services often come with limited functions, meaning that in the long run, it will be worth you investing in a paid service. The best features, sadly, come at a price. However, in our collective opinion, the best software is always worth paying out for.
It’s also a really good idea to look for DAWs and beat makers which are designed to work hand in hand with specific controllers. Controlling beats and music production through hardware is always likely to be the easiest way to manage your music – as this at least means you won’t have to muddle around with controlling the DAW suite at the same time.
Always look for a controller which adapts to various pieces of software in the first instance. This means looking for a device which is open to multiple suites and workstations, not just the odd Serato account.
System Compatibility and Demands
This is a tricky one to shop for. Ideally, you should wish to look for a DAW or beat making software which offers little in the way of demand on your PC or Mac. However, the simpler the software, the more you are likely to risk fewer features than competing suites. Therefore, be willing to strike a balance.
The best thing you can do is shop for a system which is likely to give you full access to beat making software you may have your eye on. For example, you may wish to buy a DJ laptop with plenty of RAM and with a solid sound card, as this will offer you the most functionality in line with your beats package.
Loops and Samples
While there are plenty of beats creation suites which let you craft your perfect beats from scratch, it is always worth having a library of samples and beat loops to fall back on. Therefore, services such as FL Studio and even Apple’s Garage Band service are likely to be very appealing. Not everyone likes working with samples, however, they can prove invaluable even when you are looking to create unique soundscapes and tunes.
Therefore, take a look for beats making software which includes plenty of sample libraries built-in, or which at least gives you access to downloadable bits and pieces that you can load in and craft to your heart’s delight.
Ease of Use
This is a big one. Of course, all DAWs, beats software included, need to be easy to use. It’s a given. However, there is such a thing as too much simplicity. Beats software and DAWs which are too simple might not offer you the depth that you are looking for in terms of creativity.
Therefore, look for beats making software which offers up simple tutorials, and intuitive interfaces. Some people may be put off by busy screens and interfaces, which means it’s worth looking for something clean and straightforward, yet scalable with enough extra features and pieces for you to take advantage of as you grow your career.
As mentioned, beats are not just for rap music. They are used in a variety of different genres of music and soundtracks alike. Therefore, it makes sense to look for beats making software which will adapt to your own changing tastes. Opting for software which is far too niche is only going to end badly. The best value beats packages will allow you to expand your repertoire if you want or need to, which means you should never have to worry about sticking to the same genres and styles as time goes by.
Subscriptions and Licences
If you are serious about investing in a beats making software package, do look at subscriptions and licencing. Licencing tends to be a great option if you know that you will use your software for years to come. However, if you prefer a more straightforward, ad hoc approach, you can set up a subscription to pay monthly or annually.
There are pros and cons in following either option. Subscription services are likely a great choice when it comes to weighing up your options. However, a licence is a sure-fire way to make sure you always have the right to use such software for years to come. Consider your future usage, and make sure you choose a payment plan that’s suitable for your budget.
Hardware and Instruments
As well as controllers, some beats making software suites allow you to plug instruments into your PC or Mac and to benefit from added features. If you’re likely to want to create your own samples and tunes over the top, it makes sense to look for a beats DAW which will welcome guitars, microphones and more.
Ultimately, the best beats making software is likely to be flexible and affordable based on your needs and future production career.
What is Beat Making Software?
Beat making software does exactly what you expect it to. It’s an advanced drum machine, of sorts, and a lighter version of a music creation and mixing suite. As you might expect, this style of software focuses exclusively on creating beats and backing.
Beat making software is commonly used by hip hop producers and those looking to record raps over the top. However, beat software can be a fantastic asset to all kinds of genres of music. If you have a beat in mind, or if you simply need a nice rhythm to rock along to in the background, you’re going to want to look for leading beat making software.
Can I Make Beats for Free?
Yes. There are some suites and software models available for download which will allow you to create and record simple beats for free. Many of these are based online. However, do be aware that free software of any kind is likely to be less flexible and less powerful than paid models.
Therefore, you may find that some free beat makers give you the bare minimum in terms of technology and flexibility. Some will expect you to pay extra if you really want to make use of all its features. In our collective opinion, it makes much more sense to opt for a free trial of a leading beat software brand instead.
What is the Best Beat Making Software?
While there are plenty of software choices out there which exclusively offer beat making, you will likely find that some of the bigger music production suites offer you the best beat production. For example, many producers choose to work with FL Studio, which is available on a scalable basis. What’s more, it’s easy enough to set up an iPad with Garage Band for free, only choosing to pay for specific loops and beats when you want to.
What works for other people won’t always work for you, meaning that it is always worth looking for beat making software which appeals to your specific wants and needs. Therefore, do be ready to look at the specifics of various pieces of software and suites available on the wider market. Check user reviews, too, and see if there are people who are likely to hold the same opinions as you.
How Do Rappers Make Beats?
Making beats is a process that takes a lot of time and dedication. It is more than just lining up a metronome and expecting it to do all the work for you. Therefore, many rappers depend on beat makers and software to ensure that they are able to craft incredible, intricate patterns and beats which are unique to their own brand and style.
Different rappers make different beats in – you guessed it – different ways. The way you use beat software is likely going to differ compared to how other people use it. Therefore, don’t be afraid to follow the beat of your own drum – literally.
There are many DAW programs on the market, even though they are similar there are many key traits which make each one unique. Whether you’re a live performer, recording studio or a composer you will find a digital audio workstation listed above that’s right for you.
A lot more goes into it than just buying a DAW, you need to have ingenuity and talent to be able to operate your software to its maximum potential. Over time your beats and songs will become more complex but until then keep practicing and uploading your music to track your improvement overtime.