Making Beats On A Budget: How To Produce Hip-Hop With Little Or No Money

Every day I’m amazed at the new technologies and innovations offered to musicians and artists.  It’s a no brainer that audio production hardware and software become more powerful by the minute.  What makes this even better is that music production is no longer limited to the privileged few, but now anyone with a creative itch can get started making beats in a relatively short amount of time with little to no money involved.

Since it’s not unusual for me to field a number of emails and questions about how to get started in Hip-Hop production, I figured that it would be best to provide a quick guide for beginners to get outfitted in less than a few minutes and for what amounts to pocket change.  Hopefully I can help save someone a little time, money, and frustration getting started.

For the sake of simplicity I stayed far away from hardware production just because hardware really begets hardware.  Gear lust is definitely something to be avoided at all costs and one of the main reasons for writing this was to keep as much dough in the pockets as possible.  Nothing on this list costs more than a week spent at a part-time fast food gig and the only equipment needed is a computer (check this article for some Dell insider secrets) along with a set of decent quality headphones.

Production & Sampling

FL Studio Fruity Loops Edition – Music production & sampling. (Windows)

Sony Acid Music Studio – Audio recording & loop based production. (Windows)


Multitrack Recording & Audio Editing

Audacity – Free Open Source Audio Editor. (Cross Platform)

Ardour – Free Open Source Multitrack recording, midi sequencing.  (Mac)

Kristal – Free Open Source Multitrack recording w/VST support.

Mackie Tracktion – Audio recording and editing. (Mac/Windows)

Adobe Audition – Audio recording, editing, multitrack. (Mac/Windows)

1,524 thoughts on “Making Beats On A Budget: How To Produce Hip-Hop With Little Or No Money”

  1. you forgot tou put Reason and Motu’s BPM on your list those are dope production tools and they don’t cost much.

  2. Wait… so all you need to start making beats is just a production, recording, and editing system?

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