In this tutorial you will learn how to make a beat in BTV Solo in 6 easy steps and learn the software’s most important functions.
1. Get into Pattern Mode
After opening BTV Solo switch to pattern mode by clicking the “Pattern” button, which is located on the upper left besides BTV Solo’s screen. Pattern mode is where you create and edit patterns or loops.
Create a new pattern by clicking on the soft button labeled “New”. Soft buttons are the buttons at the bottom of BTV Solo’s screen. They are called soft buttons because their labels and functions change in accordance to the mode BTV Solo is in.
2. Choose a Drum Kit
In BTV Solo’s browser open the folder “Solo Kits” and choose a kit by double clicking on it.
Now you can play the kit by clicking on the drum pads with your mouse or by using your computer keyboard, letters A to K and W to U. The small letters (they are really small) below and above the pads show by which computer key they can be triggered.
Step through the different banks of a kit by clicking the Bank up/Bank down buttons on the right of the user interface. A bank in BTV Solo represents an octave.
The current bank is displayed at the right in the BTV Solo screen below the BPM display.
Another option to play the kit is via a midi controller. In an upcoming tutorial I’ll show you how to connect a midi controller to BTV Solo.
3. Set the Tempo
When you have found the right kit it’s time to set the tempo for your beat.
When you click the record and the play button you can hear the metronome playing at the default tempo of 120 BPM. You can change the tempo by clicking and dragging the displayed BPM number.
If you cannot hear the metronome click on the left or right arrow soft key to access the soft key labelled “Click”. Set it to “Rec Only” or “Rec & Play” depending on wether you like to hear the metronome in record mode only or also while playing back.
Leave all other buttons at their default settings for now.
4. Record Your Drums
Now it’s time to record! With the Play and Rec button still active play something with the drum pads. I suggest you play kick and snare first. After four bars you can listen to what you just recorded. If you don’t like it click the undo button or simply press cmd+Z (Mac) or ctrl+Z (PC).
If you like what you recorded you can add hihats or percussion (or whatever you like to add) by simply staying in record mode and playing more sounds.
Quick tip 1: You don’t have to hit stop to switch between record and playback. By clicking the record button while playback is active you can fluidly change between practicing and recording.
Quick tip 2: When you have difficulties recording a pattern because the song tempo is too high, record the pattern at a lower BPM setting and then return to your initial tempo.
5. Record More Tracks
Click on track button 2 and select another kit or instrument. Instruments are located in the folder labelled “Solo Instruments”.
Then repeat step 5.
When you’ve finished your second track record the third and so on. You can record up to 16 tracks.
6. Save Your Creation
Don’t forget to store your pattern by clicking the “Save” button or by pressing cmd+S (Mac) or ctrl+S (PC). After typing in a name click on the soft key labelled “User”.
To find your pattern in BTV Solo’s browser, exit edit mode by clicking the Exit button. Double click the folder “User Patterns” and…tadaaa…there is your pattern.
Double click to play it back. Get into edit mode to make changes.
In this tutorial we have only scratched the surface of what’s possible with BTV Solo. Apply what you have learned, follow more tutorials and you will get deeper into the many creative possibilities this beautiful beat making software has to offer.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me via the contact form or leave a comment in the comments section.
Also if you like the tutorial tell your friends and like it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
Stay hungry, be creative and keep learning.
For more information on BTV Solo go to www.btvsolo.com
For video tutorials on BTV and Beat Thang go to www.learnbeatthang.com
Read the BTV user manual (Unfortunately the BTV user manual is no longer available)