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  • The Digital Verses Conventional Music Debate

    If your a musician, or perhaps even an avid music enthusiast no doubt at some stage you have either had, or overheard the digital verses conventional music debate, which of course despite having different nuances, generally boils down to...

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Drum & Beats Machine Hardware Basics

When most people are starting out with digital music production there starting out point is generally from the software point of view, using industry standard digital music production software to produce music on there laptop or desktop, even mobiles and tablets sometimes these days, however if you have been involved with the software side of things for a while now and looking to diversify your sounds and resources you might be starting to look beats machine hardware..

The hardware approach to beat production, is a little bit more advanced and as with most things, a little bit more expensive, however if beats machine hardware is really something your interested in, I am going to offer you a piece of honest controversial advice…

Learning to understand how to use digital audio workstation software is one thing, there are an abundance of learning resources online for you to truly educate yourself and start producing music at a high standard of quality at a very cost effective price, however when it comes to things like beats machine hardware, because things are often far more technical and involved, finding both specific comprehensive material that relates to the hardware you want to use, let alone trying to wade through all the bias and marketing clutter of hardware sales pages themselves can be a little more difficult.

So, when your looking to step into the hardware side of beat production, your best bet is to start talking on a personal level with producers who are experienced with hardware based digital production on social networks, and if you can, maybe actually take it offline and catch up with them for a really detailed understanding, who knows maybe they might even offer to help you get set up and understand it all.

In addition to your musical peers, while there are an abundance of online stores offering beats machine hardware at a much lower cost than traditional offline retail stores, however the one thing you don't get with that discounted price is the experience and face to face information that comes from someone who really knows the ins and outs of the piece of hardware your looking at and everything else required to use it…

The worst thing that you can do when moving into the hardware side of digital music production is rush in, drop all your cash on something you heard someone talking about online, or saw a product sales page for at a really good price, only for it to arrive and you to discover you needed a different type of sound card, fire wire ports, XLR Cables or some other piece of additional expensive hardware to get the best results from the beats machine hardware you just purchased.

Most people in the digital production space would agree, if you truly have just started out with digital music production, your best to stick with the software approach, by no means are you limited by this, there are world renowned producers and musicians who strictly only use software because they prefer the approach, but if you are interested in adding further layers of musical diversity to your music, or wanting to begin to experiment in different directions with your beats, understand that the hardware side of things, is significantly more expensive and by comparison more complex, so if you are resolute that it is the direction you wish to follow, arm yourself with both patience and knowledge in addition to your cash.

Also take into consideration, technology is advancing exponentially these days, and the same is true of digital music production hardware, so as best you can, make sure when you are making your hardware selections you choose something that is going to last you at least for the next few years into the future and the next technological jumps…

But if all this talk of beats machine hardware has got you thinking about drums, you might be interested to know there are some killer drum machines available on the market at the moment all with their own pro's and con's…

  • Beat Thang

  • Boss DR-800

  • Tempest

  • Machinedrum

  • Alesis SR18

  • Boss DR-3

  • Akai XR20

  • Zoom Rhythm Trak RT-223

Some of these drum machines are pretty well developed, offering a lot of functionality, are they the only piece of hardware you will need? Not at all, are they even appropriate for what you want to do? That question you can only answer through doing your knowledge, assessing what it is you want to achieve, and what you need to do it, then finding the most cost effective price for you to obtain your gear.

If your serious about incorporating beats machine hardware into your digital production tool-set, ask lots of questions, do lots of research and price check before you part with your money.  

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