Essential Gear Needed to Make Beats

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What’s Important in a MIDI Keyboard

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Recommended MIDI Keyboard

A Midi Keyboard is The Main Hub of Your Studio

It’s where all the activity lies when composing your beat.

You can play, stop, and record your music all from the MIDI Keyboard itself.

Now, a MIDI Keyboard is probably the most confusing piece of audio gear when starting out.

I remember thinking to myself, “Why did I just buy a $300 keyboard with no sounds in it?”

And that’s because a MIDI Keyboard is designed to work with your DAW, and control the sounds within the DAW itself.

Now as I described in the video, there is a threshold level where your dollars no longer go towards quality, but many times unnecessary features. (Many times which don’t even integrate with your DAW; they only work with some DAWs, etc.)

So to keep this short and sweet, over my years here’s what I’ve discovered is necessary in a MIDI Keyboard.

  • Quality Keys
  • At Least 49 Keys (Allows for More Flexibility.)
  • Transport Buttons (Play, Stop, Record, Etc.)
  • Pitch Bend + Mod Wheels for Creative Playing/Fooling Around

Anything in addition to this you are going to start paying for unnecessary features.

However, sometimes you’ll have to pay a little bit more to get a certain feature, such as quality keys.

Another example is the drum pads. I thought this would be a cool approach to making beats when I got my MIDI Keyboard, but I actually never use them.

The reason being the drum pads on these MIDI Keyboards are actually assigned to a note value. You then have to make sure this note value is assigned properly in your DAW to play your sample/slice. (Too much tinkering when you’re flowing with beat creation.)

I like just a MIDI Keyboard because instead of being restricted to however many pads your MIDI Keyboard drum pads limit you to, a 49-Key MIDI Keyboard would allow you to have 49 slices, opening a much wider opportunity for creativity.

I’d personally suggest to you purchase a MIDI Keyboard to be used as a MIDI Keyboard.

If you want drum pads, look into a Maschine or an Akai MPC.

Again, when purchasing your gear, are you wanting to create sampled beats, or compose original compositions?

Sampling is more leaned towards these drum pads because of the integrated software that comes with them. The software also allows for easy slicing/chopping and quick loading of drum banks.

Keep it simple and don’t be swayed by the marketing! Trust me!