Online Beatmaking: The Producer’s Guide to Making Beats Online

Beat Making
Online Beatmaking: The Producer's Guide to Making Beats Online

Venturing into online beatmaking presents a canvas of both rewards and challenges.

For one, producing beats can serve as both an enjoyable hobby and a money-making side hustle, but it can sometimes be a headache to navigate through the jungle that is beatmaking. 

Between all the tools and software available, new trends seem to pop up every week and it can be challenging to keep up with the times and technology. 

Crafting beats has become increasingly popular in the past decade,  much thanks to the accessibility of online beatmaking tools. 

But where should you start, and how should you best take advantage of the many opportunities that are out there?

In this guide, we’ll explore the realm of online beatmaking, examining the advantages and obstacles in the craft. Discover how making beats online, particularly through cloud-based DAWs like Soundtrap, can streamline the learning curve and enhance the overall beatmaking experience.

What is online beatmaking?

Online beatmaking is a process of crafting beats using digital tools accessible via the internet. These platforms offer a virtual studio environment, enabling musicians and producers to compose, edit, and collaborate on beats entirely online. 

One of the biggest advantages of using online platforms to produce beats is the fact that every sound you create and change you make is stored in the cloud. This makes it possible to access your beat projects from anywhere and from any device.

It also spares your hard drive from having to store endless amounts of audio data. And if your computer crashes and you lose all of your stored files, your music is safely stored in the cloud which allows you to restore everything you were working on before the mishap.

Soundtrap, among other online platforms, simplifies the beatmaking process with its user-friendly interface and an extensive library of virtual instruments and premade loops and samples. 

Here's Johnny's process for making beats.

Here's Johnny's process for making beats.

What is needed to create beats online?

Embarking on online beatmaking requires a computer or tablet with internet access and an online DAW. Browser-based platforms like Soundtrap eliminate the need for complex software installations, making beatmaking more inclusive and approachable. This simplicity allows users to get creative with minimal equipment, encouraging a broader audience to explore their musical potential.

Once you have access to online music-making software, the tools you should explore within that software are as follows: 

A drum sequencer

This tool allows you to pick out drum sounds and pre-made drum kits. Depending on the beat genre you’re producing, like hyperpop, trap, lo-fi, or chiptune, you should pick drums that fit that style.

The drum sequencer lets you program your chosen drum sounds on a grid. This is where the backbone of your beat is made, so make sure you get creative and program a drum groove that stands out and moves the room. Check out Soundtrap’s drum sequencer, called Patterns Beatmaker, to learn more.

MIDI instruments

MIDI is the digitalization of musical sounds. This allows you to pick any virtual instrument and play it, sequence it, and edit it.

Soundtrap has a full library of virtual instruments that you sequence using the studio’s piano roll. This is where the chord progressions, melodies, and bass lines are created.

Loops and samples

Pre-made loops and samples are great when making beats. Not only can they be used as a starting point for the kind of vibe and melody you’re going for, but you can also use them on top of your beat to add texture and flavor to your production.

Beatmaker vs. music producer

Though often used interchangeably, “beatmaker” and “music producer” represent distinct roles. A beatmaker traditionally focuses on crafting instrumental beats for artists to perform over, emphasizing rhythm, composition, and melody in the production phase. 

A music producer is a bit broader. This person can of course be involved in the music-making process, but a producer usually oversees a more comprehensive production process, including planning, arranging, and mixing or mastering of a song. 

Online platforms such as Soundtrap provide tools for both beatmaking and advanced production, allowing users to navigate these roles seamlessly within a single interface.

7 steps for creating a beat online

Crafting a beat online involves a series of steps. You can read a full breakdown of the online beatmaking process here. The most common steps to create a beat are as follows:

  1. Create a drum groove
  2. Create chord progressions
  3. Come up with melodies
  4. Add a bass line
  5. Incorporate samples and loops
  6. Structure your beat into a song
  7. Mixing and mastering

Platforms like Soundtrap guide users through these steps intuitively. With drag-and-drop functionality, real-time collaboration features, and an extensive library of loops and samples, users can find a logical flow throughout their production journey until they achieve their desired sound.

Here's 10 drum patterns to know if you want to make beats.

Here's 10 drum patterns to know if you want to make beats.

How to sell beats online

For those looking to monetize their beatmaking passion, and maybe turn it into a legit 9-5, many online platforms offer opportunities to distribute and make money from beatmaking. LANDR, for example, offers online music distribution to streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. This is a way to get your beats out to the world and earn money from music streams. 

Another platform where beatmakers share and distribute their instrumental beats is Beatstars. This online store allows beat producers to showcase their creations and license their beats to artists and collaborators. 

Additional online tools for making beats

In addition to online DAWs like Soundtrap, there are various complementary tools online for beatmaking. From virtual synthesizers and drum machines to sample libraries and mastering services, like LANDR and others.

Integrating these tools into your beatmaking process will make you a more skilled and versatile beatmaker. It’s rare that beat producers only use one tool that fills all their needs. That’s why you should explore many different outlets and tools to find a workflow that best suits your creativity and aspirations.

We hope that this blog post has inspired you to start your beatmaking journey. Remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to making beats. You’ll need to find your own path in this industry, and before you know it, you’ll be making beats online like the greats.

Anton Berner

Anton Berner is a music producer, audio engineer, and songwriter from Stockholm, Sweden. He's produced music since the early 2000s and his expertise is in vocal mixing and sample-based beat production. Anton is also the SEO and Content Manager @ Soundtrap and manages the blog and newsroom there.

@Anton Berner

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