What is the best software and programs to use for making Hip Hop instrumentals and rap beats? I would love to be able to tell you that I personally felt there was only one production software that was essential for hip hop music production but I can’t do that. I use a number of tools when working on producing beats. The main software that I tend to use is Pro Tools. I believe that this is the best all-around production software on the market for PC users. Pro Tools is very user friendly once you put some work into learning the shortcuts and features. Great shortcuts lead to effortless operating of the software and the best features on the market will help you achieve the best final product you could ask for. Pro Tools has a fantastic hands on midi piano roll for controlling and editing midi recording with all of your audio instrument plug-ins, a great set up for its mixing window including easy additions of plug ins and instruments as well as a perfect set up for adding multiple buses and routing other channels through them. If you are looking to produce originally composed beats then pro tools is absolutely the way to go. The only downfall is that you will need to have a specific audio interface that is compatible with the Pro Tools environment to be able to use it (such as the M Box 2).
When working with a sampled beat I then choose to us FL Studio. FL Studio (otherwise known as fruity loops) has been under quite a bit of controversy in the production world. It is not perceived as a professionals production tool. I don’t understand this because FL has some great and very advanced features. Some of these features are great for sampled instrumental productions. For example, FL Studio allows a time stretch feature that allows you to take a sample and stretch it over single of multiple beats or bars. This can be very useful when working with sampled beats because you may now stretch your samples to match the tempo that you are currently working with. The instrument plug ins are not the greatest and the stock sounds are horrible, but if you are willing to invest in drum kits and vsti plug ins you can make some great music with FL studio.
The last piece of software I would like to talk about is the program I use for cutting up all of my samples. This program is Sony Acid Pro. Acid pro makes it very easy to import an audio file and slice it into multiple samples you can then import into Pro Tools or FL Studio. Another good function of Acid is it’s time stretch feature enabling you to change the BPM of your track. This works wonders when you are trying to remix an a capella to a beat and makes it very easy for you to match the tempo’s for the best sync.
There are many aspects to my production equipment when I step into my studio. I use live instruments, synth keyboards, VSt’s and Vsti’s, and much more. When it comes down to software there are only three main elements. Pro Tools, FL Studio and Sony Acid Pro are what I choose. With a bit of work, a lot of focus, and a passion for music, these 3 programs can send you in the right direction to becoming a Hip Hop Instrumentals producer.
Below is a link to 16DollarBeats.com which is my rap beats selling site where you can listen to some instrumentals that I have made with the programs I have listed in this article.