Beat Maker / Music producing starter kit

Posted 24th Oct
Hi guys

My husband wants to pick up an old hobby again after 15 years but a lot has changed!

He wants to make sound tracks, 'produce beats' but isn't the most tech savvy person.

He has a laptop and it seems what he needs is:

Decent headphones
music software

Any recommendations please?? Budget ideally less than £400 but I'm stabbing in the dark here... most important thing is we get him him what he needs to start up his hobby.
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Likewise it’s been a long time since I was involved in music production (professionally), I’m a bit out of touch with up-to-date software and techniques but I think that Acid Pro and Fruity Loops (FL Studio) are still available - they are or were pitched at the less technically gifted people and so have free/trial versions available to try out.

As for headphones you simply cannot beat the progressional grade Sennheisers, that being said unless you are wanting to minimise noise he’d be better off buying some monitor speakers - Richer Sounds often sell a pair of JBL monitors for roughly £40 - £50, those deals are regularly posted on here.
I have found the Garageband software included free on Ipads to be excellent for this especially when paired with a Wireless Bluetooth keyboard such as the Akai LPK 25 Wireless.
I know an Ipad is quite a large expense however if the beat making was just a phase you would still get plenty of use out of an Ipad unlike some expensive software options for PC.

I have found the portability and flexibility of the Ipad allows me to be more creative as it is really easy to set up and requires very little technical knowledge to get started.

I'd recommend watching some videos on Garageband to see how good it can be.

Check out the video below demonstrating a wireless keyboard on an Ipad.…sr4
What genre does he want to make beats in? As suggested above, Fruity Loops and a pair of Sennheisers can be a good place to start. Also you should bear in mind that when you buy most hardware controllers & Midi keyboards you'll usually get a "lite" version of some software included, for example my Novation Launchkey Mini came with a key for the Lite version of Ableton Live which is enough to get you started making tracks, and also to see if it's the software for you. Akai also do a range of entry level controllers that are good for those starting out. Another route to consider is going with the Native Instruments Maschine hardware & software system, depending on the type of music you want to make and whether you want something you can jam with in a "live" setting.
I went down the ipad route and spent quite a bit of money on daws, synths etc and wish i hadnt bothered now. Might want to look at a Native Instruments Maschine micro Mk2 (just sold mine on feebay for £95 with software) as upgraded to the mikro mk3 (gotta love amazon pay over 5 months). So easy to get into and lots of tutorials on youtube etc.

Just a warning though..if you do get a second hand Mikro Mk2 then please make sure they are willing to give you the Transfer ID and software that came with it (painless process if they get in touch with Native Instruments) as the hardware without the software...well its an expensive door stop.

I love Maschine 2 Software that comes with it and its so easy to use.
What make of laptop does your OH have?

Only asking as some manufacturers are only exclusive to MAC.

Basic startup: sequencing software (pro tools / logic audio or something similar), midi controller keyboard, VST drums and synths, possibly an external soundcard.

For headphones I use and have used Sony MDR V700 for many years.
Thanks guys...

He has a HP laptop

He has a very broad taste in music but will likely produce garage, uk drill, dubstep and hip hop beats.

We don't have a mac or iPad so will have a look into it although would rather not.

Fruity Loops sounds familiar.

I am going to look into each and every suggestion on here thanks!
wsian8624/10/2019 15:05

Thanks guys...He has a HP laptopHe has a very broad taste in music but …Thanks guys...He has a HP laptopHe has a very broad taste in music but will likely produce garage, uk drill, dubstep and hip hop beats.We don't have a mac or iPad so will have a look into it although would rather not.Fruity Loops sounds familiar.I am going to look into each and every suggestion on here thanks!

You'll be absolutely fine just using a Windows laptop.
If running on a Windows OS you could look at Cubase / Presonus Studio One / Pro Tools / Ableton Live / Propellerhead Reason for sequencing (DAW) software.

For drums, something along the lines of Novation Battery / Arturia Spark / Ableton Live drum rack (for use with Ableton Live sequencer). There's plenty of drum VSTs with samples from Roland 606 / 808 / 909.

I've always used Jomox hardware for drums but having a quick google it seems like you can get Jomox software samples. Jomox is perfect for downbeat / hip-hop beats.
If you don't want to spend stupid money on DAWs whilst your husband gets to grips with what he can do then there are a couple of freebies.

You'll have to google them:

Cakewalk (was quite expensive but now free) I'm currently downloading that one as we speak
LMMS (people say a bit of a learning curve)
Traction (supposed to be the easiest to use)
Reaper (60 day trial and people give really good reviews about it)

Or like i said, especially for making dupstep, hip hop, sampling you cant beat a second hand maschine mikro mk2 for the price as that is what they are designed for.

I've only just started myself so know what a minefield and information overload it can be.

You can also purchase Gigabytes of sounds off feebay for around £10.
Edited by: "amancalledsloane" 24th Oct
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