Beat making is one of the most powerful ways of making music. You aren’t dependent on other musicians to create a piece of music. You can do it all on your own. And with a laptop and good headphones you can literally do it anywhere.
At the same time beat making is one of the cheapest ways to make music. You can find good beat making software for under 50 dollars which is only a tenth (!) of the price of a big DAW like Ableton Live or Cubase. In this article I’m gonna give you an overview of two of the most popular beatmakers for under 50 dollars and discuss their pros and cons. Both programs are available for PC and Mac.

1. DUBturbo

DUBturbo has become the most popular beat maker software for under 50 bucks within the last years. For $ 39,95 you get a huge package consisting of the following elements:

  • DUBturbo beat making softwareBeat Making Software for Under 50 Dollars: Dub Turbo
  • A sample pack with 1900 sounds
  • The DUBturbo VST suite
  • Series of video tutorials
  • Works offline and online

It does not have:

  • Built in effects
  • On board sampling

The core element of the package is (oviously) the DUBturbo beat making software that operates in CD quality (44.1 kHz, 16 Bit). Main features are a 16 track sequencer, a 10 pad drum machine and a 4 octave keyboard. You can draw in notes and patterns with your mouse or use your computer keyboard to tap in drums and melodies. This is a great and intuitive alternative to the more analytical approach of dragging and drawing notes with the mouse.
DUBturbo operates online and offline. I always recommend to install your music software on your computer because you don’t want your beat making system’s performance depend on internet speed. Having said that the online option can be useful for backup purposes. You can store your projects online, so in case your hard disk crashes, your projects are still there. Also in case you don’t have your computer at hand you can still work on your beats from any other computer.

The DUBturbo sample pack constists of 1900 high quality sounds covering a good variety of instruments (drums, synths, saxes…even vocals).

The DUBturbo VST suite, which you get as a bonus, consists of five VST plugins which alone would be worth the price of the whole package. However that bonus seems a little inconsistent to me, as you cannot use the plugins in the DUBturbo software, but only in DAWs like Cubase or Ableton Live. To me it would make more sense to sell the VST package separately. But anyway, even if you have no use for the VSTs now, the DUBturbo software and the sample pack are more than worth 39,95 $. In fact a good sound pack of 1900 sounds alone cost that much bought separately.


2. BTV Solo

BTV Solo is derived from the award winning Beat Thang hardware that costs 699 $. The BTV Solo beat making software package comes for as little as 39,95$. Despite it’s low price it has the same sound and features as it’s hardware brother, except for the ability of onboard sampling. The software package you get with BTV Solo consists of:

  • BTV Solo beat making softwareBeat Making Software for Under 50 Dollars: BTV Solo
  • A sample pack with over 1000 sounds
  • On board effects rack with over 60 effects
  • The ability to connect a MIDI keyboard
  • Series of video tutorials
  • Works offline only

It does not have:

  • Graphical editing of notes and patterns with the computer mouse
  • On board sampling

The BTV Solo beat making software is unique in the world of affordable beat makers in some points. It’s a software clone of a premium beat making hardware highly acclaimed by star producers who have worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Drake, Outkast, Alicia Keys, Kanye West to name just a few.

Unlike other low priced beat making software BTV Solo has a huge palette of on board effects, which let you shape your sounds in depth. Another feature that sets it apart from it’s competitors is the ability to connect a MIDI keyboard. This can dramatically enhance fun and productivity.

The lack of drag and drop mouse editing of notes and patterns forces you to tap in beats and melodies with your computer or MIDI keyboard. Of course this is a restriction and some may not like it. On the other hand it forces you to

Both DUBturbo and BTV Solo are good options to start beat making and more than worth their low price of 39.95 $. They come with a huge collection of high quality sounds that alone are worth the price of 39,95 $. Both operate in CD quality (44.1 kHz, 16 Bit) which is a must and come with detailed video tutorials that help you get the ball rolling quickly, without endless hours of trial and error. Both programs allow to import your own sounds, but they have no on board sampling ability. You have to use another sofware like Audacity, if you want to sample your own sounds. (I’ll cover that in another article).

I personally have a slight preference for BTV Solo, because of it’s on board effects rack which dramatically expands your creative possibilities. However, if you don’t like to do without the ability to edit your drums and melodies with your mouse DUBturbo is the way to go.

If you have a hard time choosing which workflow and feature set might be the right one for you, there’s good news: You can try both BTV Solo and DUBturbo free of any risk as both software packages come with a 60 day no questions asked refund policy. After maximum 20 days you will know if you have fun creating beats with your software.

Get the ball rolling and create some awesome beats!

Like always feel free to leave a comment, like this article on facebook, or to contact me via the contact form, when you have questions.

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