Ever since the dawn of hip-hop, beatmaking has become one of the great modern art forms. Before the days of crate-digging and sample flipping, being a music producer could be a pricey endeavor requiring the purchase of musical instruments, recording equipment, and much more.
Now, due to the development of technology and the growing popularity of hip-hop, the art of making beats is accessible to anyone with a laptop. With just a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and a keen ear for sampling, producers can provide the perfect backdrop for a rapper or terrific pieces of music in and of themselves. Thanks to legendary artists like J Dilla, DJ Premier, 9th Wonder, and many more, beatmaking is now a vital component of modern music culture.
In order to demonstrate the process of testing a sample using online beat makers, we've provided a step-by-step approach for using Tracklib's intuitive beatmaking feature.
Browse through our enormous library of Tracks and Collections until you find something you feel could work. If you're overwhelmed by the amount of content, you can always organize by genre, tempo, and even release date.
You might want to try creating a beat in the style of your favorite music producer or artist. Tracklib even offers Producer Collections curated by Frank Dukes, Rockwilder, STLNDRMS, Philanthrope, Just Blaze, J-Live, and EPMD's Erick Sermon, among others.
For this example, imagine attempting to emulate the style of hip-hop legend 9th Wonder.
First, browse our 9th Wonder-inspired collection.
Now, once you've picked a track, you'll want to listen for a perfect place to sample.
If you've found the perfect loop, you can begin the final step: using Tracklib's built-in drum machine.
Using the Loop and Beat menu at the bottom of the screen while playing a track, you can begin to preview your track.
First, you have to loop the selection. On the beat maker, you can divide your loop into 1, 2, 4, or 8 bars.
Now, with the position and duration of the loop established, you'll want to use our built-in drum machine. You have eight options for your genre of drum pattern (Classic Bap, Trap Essentials, Lofi Cruising, Simple Rock Beat, Early House, Heavy Techno, Simple Kick, and Hats Only).
The drum pattern may at first seem too slow or too fast but you can always change this using the tempo adjuster on the "Beat" sub-menu.
You also have the ability to apply various levels of "ducking" to your sample. This means the sample track temporarily lowers its volume as the beat hits a certain loudness threshold. It's a technique frequently utilized in hip-hop and house, usually achieved with a compressor plugin.
Finally, you can adjust the pitch of your sample over a range of 24 semitones.
Overall, Tracklib's built-in beat maker is a clear, intuitive, and highly versatile way to test out samples online.
Keep in mind that when you download the track, you download the original song or the selected loop to sample, not your online beat. This way, you can start working with the loop or sample in your own DAW.
As previously demonstrated, it is entirely possible to produce beats online. Furthermore, there are some excellent options out there.
This really depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for a fully-functional online DAW (digital audio workstation) in which to make beats, Soundation Studio, BandLab, or Amped Studio are some of the best on the market. If you're after a beatmaker with controllable drum programming, you may find success with the likes of Soundtrap or Splice Beatmaker. On the other hand, if you're looking for a wealth of original records to sample and the ability to easily preview them within a variety of genres, tempos, and pitches, Tracklib provides an unmatched service.
If you want to make high-quality beats using a free online beat maker, there are several notable options. Firstly, Tracklib's integrated beat maker is completely free to use. Otherwise, it's worth checking out Soundation Studio, Splice Beatmaker, or Bandlab. These are just a few of the many options. For a more comprehensive rundown, we've compiled an exhaustive list below.
Before diving into the list, it's worth remembering that some of these options are fairly equal in quality. So your preference will likely depend on layout and workflow rather than functionality.
As previously outlined, the unique strength of Tracklib's Beat Player is its capacity to use real samples from hundreds of thousands of original records. Though plenty of online beat makers allow users to program drum patterns or utilize virtual instruments, none enable such straightforward, wide-ranging sample usage. In addition, Tracklib's Beat Player functions through a clearly laid-out interface and allows for a high level of control over details like genre, tempo, and pitch.
Pro Tip: Using the "ducking" feature makes the sample feel fully integrated into the beat. This gives a uniquely dynamic preview of how your beat could sound.
BandLab is a free, online, collaborative DAW. With built-in virtual instruments, a myriad of effects plugins, and a variety of editing tools, users can create beats and other types of music with ease. BandLab is perhaps most remarkable for its collaborative capacity, which allows users to connect with other musicians and share their work for feedback and collaboration.
Pro Tip: Use BandLab's collaborative features during the mixing process. This allows for more control over the sound of your beats.
Another top-quality collaborative DAW for both beginners and experienced producers. With a varied and extensive collection of sounds and loops, a simple user interface, and 12 dynamic VSTs (drum machines, synths, etc.), it's easy to see why it's a fan favorite. Soundation Studio is perhaps the closest free, online alternative to your standard Digital Audio Workstation.
Pro Tip: Check out Soundation's user-friendly keyboard shortcuts. These can help streamline your production.
Designed by Spotify, Soundtrap is a freemium online music studio that is useful for producers who are just getting started. Thanks to a clear layout and an easy learning curve, Soundtrap is a favorite among beginners. Additionally, producers can access projects across multiple devices thanks to its unique cloud-based storage system. With top-notch automation controls, stock sounds and loops, and some killer audio-editing effects, Soundtrap is well worth a look.
Pro Tip: Try using Soundtrap's top-shelf Auto-Tune function on your vocals.
Splice's Beatmaker is an online beat sequencer that provides access to the platform's extensive library of high-quality sounds and samples. Users are presented with a sequencer in which to import sounds from the library. Producers can adjust the tempo, program their drum pattern, and add a wide range of melodic samples from the selection underneath the sequencer. Splice Beatmaker remains a fan favorite thanks to its straightforward user interface and its easy-to-use drag-and-drop controls.
Pro Tip: Use Splice's "Featured Beats" sub-menu on the right side of the page to browse a pre-made collection of beats by established producers.
Amped Studio is an undeniably impressive competitor to the online Digital Audio Workstations on this list. Additionally, it has the unique ability to support third-party VSTs.
This is an intuitive, MIDI-enabled, online beat maker that allows users to collaborate and share their tracks.
Audiotool is notable for its unique modular interface and its potential for online collaboration.
Sample Stitch allows producers to replicate the sample-flipping techniques of artists like J Dilla, 9th Wonder, and Kanye West.
Snap Jam is a high-quality music production service, notable for its capacity for online collaboration.
This addictive drum programmer allows you to craft drum loops using letters on your keyboard.
808 Cube provides an innovative and addictive way of making beats using a Rubix Cube. It's well worth checking out.
Genius Home Studio is a fairly standard beat sequencer with the added bonus of being able to record vocals.
Signal MIDI Editor allows for the use of an exterior MIDI input.
Roland 808 & 303 Studio gives producers a well-designed way to combine customized drum programming and a customizable bassline.
This is a slightly more difficult DAW which - once properly understood - allows for surprisingly complex musical compositions. It's well-suited for electronic music producers.
Drumbit is fairly limited drum sequencer with some helpful genre-based presets.
Here is another simple but engaging drum sequencer with some varied presets.
Oriented more towards children, Chrome Music Song Maker is the perfect music software for parents or teachers.
A worthwhile online DAW with a customizable—if slightly confusing—interface.
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