Best Hip Hop Beat Making Software And Equipment

If you are looking for the best hip hop beat making software and equipment to help take your production to the next level you are going to find this guide very helpful.

We have created the most comprehensive round-up of the best hip hop production equipment and software available, for every budget.

In the following guide you will see the best gear for:

  • making high quality hip hop beats 
  • creating high quality sounds
  • recording instruments/ vocals
  • monitoring, mixing and mastering your tracks.

No longer do you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get your hands on equipment capable of producing high quality hip hop music.

There has never been a better time to be a hip hop music producer.

As producers in this modern era we have direct access to state of the art beat making equipment and software which we can use to produce commercially viable music.

Back in the day producers had to pay ridiculous studio fees to hire professional production gear to hone their beat making craft. 

These days we can learn how to make high quality beats from the comfort of our own homes!

In fact, there has never been a better time to learn how to sell beats online for profit and to start make a living off your skills and passion for hip hop music creation.

If you want to become a pro beat maker here is the equipment and software that you will need to succeed:

Best DAW For Hip Hop Production Beat Making

Best Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) For Hip Hop Production - Is FL Studio Still The Best Beat Making Software?

There are a variety of options when it comes to selecting hip hop beat making software including:

  • Propellerhead Reason
  • Cubase
  • Ableton Live
  • Pro Tools
  • Logic Pro
  • Magix Music Maker (M.M.M is a very popular beat making program in Europe. It is a great FREE option for beginners on a tight budget>> learn more

Why We Think FL Studio The Best Hip Hop Beat Making Software For Beginners & Pro's

FL Studio is by far the best beat making software for hip hop production currently available.

Straight out of the box, FL Studio offers a range of virtual instruments, sounds and samples that will allow you to make bangin' beats and export them into high quality tracks, ready for distribution.

Everyone from beginner beat makers to pro producers are taking advantage of the power and creative freedom that FL Studio provides.

Other beat making software programs are great, but the work flow of FL Studio is simply superior.

The intuitive design of FL Studio allows you to keep your production style as simple or as complex as you desire

Take a look at the video below to see how one of the hottest hip hop beat makers in the game (Metro Boomin) makes his beats with Fl Studio.

There are a couple of different options to consider when purchasing FL Studio.

Basically, the more expensive "signature bundle" comes with more virtual instruments, plugins and sounds.

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If you want to learn the pro secrets to using FL Studio you should definitely check out this brilliant course . This course will allow you to level up your FL Studio production skills fast!

The FLuid course is by far the best FL Studio instructional course online. It allows beginners to get up to speed with the ins and outs of FL Studio, in an easy to follow step by step manner.

Advanced FL Studio uses can also benefit from the course, as it covers many advanced hip hop production methods and techniques.

Making Rap Beats With FL Studio

Which Hip Hop Beat Making Software Is Best For You?

Every producer has a different preference when it comes to choosing beat making software.

Often hip hop producers tend to stick with the software or hardware that they are first introduced to.

Once you spend time learning the basics of a system it is unlikely that you will have the motivation to start over and learn another.

If you are a beginner we highly recommend starting with FL Studio as it is the easiest to learn, and has the highest ceiling for growth.

Regardless of which beat making software option you choose, the most important factors that will determine your success as a hip hop producer are that:

  • you have a skillful ear and "feel" for hip hop music 
  •  you possess a true desire and passion to create unique sounds

There are many imitators in the hip hop beat making game.

Imitation will only get you so far. You must be an innovator.

At the end of the day, a truly talented beatmaker can make dope beats on the most basic software, as long as they have access to:

  •  high quality sounds
  • a powerful computer.

Even Grammy award winning producers like Timbaland still simply draw in notes and build upon very basic foundations.

When taking Timbaland's new course I was surprised to see that he uses Ableton Live as his beat making software preference.

Here is a video of Timbaland making fire beats with a modest Ableton Live setup.

As you will see, even though his process is quite simple in nature, it is obvious that is passion for making beats runs deep. His genuine passion for making hip hop beats is ultimately what allowed him to become a worldwide sensation.

Thousands of beat makers around the world have access to the same beat making equipment as "Timbo", yet most have fallen well short of ever achieving the same level of success.

When you watch producers like Timbaland in action you realize it is the ability to effectively layer concepts and sounds that separates the amateur beat makers from the pro's.

Timbaland's online course contains 15 lessons that gives rare insight into his complete beat making and song production process. When you sign up to his course you also get free access to Ableton Live which is pretty dope.

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Whether you use Ableton, FL Studio or any other beat making software, this course is definitely worth checking out.

If you want to step up your production game there is no better way to learn then directly from a multi-platinum selling hip producer like Timbaland.

Beat Making Software Instruments Sounds

Add-Ons: Best Sound Banks, Samples, Synths & Virtual Instruments For Hip Hop Beatmakers

Most professional beat making software such as FL Studio comes with a pretty dope collection of sounds, samples and virtual instruments.

However, if you want to make beats with that "industry sound" you are going to need to get your hands on some real high quality sounds, samples and instruments.

Choosing high quality sounds can save you hours of time and effort in mixing.

Remember, you can't polish a turd!

>> You can see the most recently released hip hop sample packs here

When it comes to sample packs and virtual instruments you usually do get what you pay for.

Most of the leading options are pretty expensive, but are a worthwhile investment if your aim is to making a living off of hip hop production.

UPDATE: If you are looking for high quality hip hop or trap samples be sure to take advantage of the massively discounted (50%) sample bundle packs below (limited time only). One of these bundles will provide you with enough samples to last a lifetime!

Here Are A Few Of Our Favorite Virtual Instruments & Sound Banks For Hip Hop Beatmakers:

Native Instruments Komplete 12:

  • Contains 14 premium instruments and effects – including MASSIVE, MONARK, and DRUMLAB, plus 3 Expansions
  • The essential collection: 14 products, more than 7,000 sounds, and over 33 GB of instruments and effects
  • Optimized for use with KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboard
  • Seamless integration with MASCHINE software and hardware
  • Works with any DAW

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Spectrasonics Omnisphere: 

  • Omnisphere is among the elite virtual synthesizer programs for producers, composers, and sound designers

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Do you want to master the art and science of using Omnisphere to create the most epic hip hop synths imaginable? If yes then take this course!


  • Serum is arguably the greatest synth ever created. If you listen to chart topping hip hop music you would have heard this awesome VST in action. If you want that big pro synth sound you have got to pick up serum today. Check out the bundle deal below!

Bass Master: 

  • Bass Master’s huge variety of source sounds provide the inspiration for a weighty, powerful bass tone perfect for bass heavy hip hop or trap beats.

UJAM Hustle: 

  • HUSTLE is your fixer for bass music styles like Trap and Grime. On the money for all types of modern urban style genres from Dirty South to Hip Hop to Big Room Bass Music, HUSTLE adds a wide range of basement-shaking grooves and gritty sounds to your production.

TRAP VST & SAMPLE BUNDLE DEAL: You can currently get UJAM Hustle + Bass Master + Sample Packs For A Massively Discounted Bundle Price (limited time only) >> Learn More About This Deal

HIP HOP VST & SAMPLE BUNDLE DEAL: You can currently get an assorted of top rated hip hop VST instruments + Sample Packs For A  Discounted Bundle Price (limited time only) >> Learn More About This Deal

Best Hip Hop Production Equipment List

Best Beat Making Equipment List - Essential Equipment For Pro Hip Hop Production!

There are many different options available when it comes to selecting equipment to make hip hop beats with.

Obviously, if you want to make quality hip hop music you are going to need to spend some of your hard earned cash on purchasing gear which will allow you to create, monitor and mix your tracks.

Essentially, the only 2 things you really need to start making beats are

  1. a powerful computer 
  2. some beat making software like FL Studio

With these 2 things you can start making quality beats today. As time goes by you can start to add more production equipment to your modest studio set-up.

We will take a look at the best beat making equipment shortly, but firstly let's take a quick look at the recommended specifications for music production computer.

Beat Making computer

Choosing The Right Computer For Making Beats

Even the biggest hip hop producers in the game favor making beats on a computer rather than old school hardware devices.

Basically, if you want to get serious with your beat making you are going to need to get yourself a computer that can handle the high demands of music production.

You have 2 things to consider when it comes to choosing a computer to make beats on:

  1. Do You Want To make beats on a laptop?
  2. Do You Want To make beats on a desktop?

Most professional beat making software and equipment is designed to operate on both laptops or desktops, with either Apple or Windows operating systems. 

Often desktop computers are a more affordable option than laptops, when comparing devices with the same specifications.

However, even powerful laptops are more affordable than ever.

Laptops offer music producers and beat makers the option to make beats while at home in the studio, and also when out travelling the world. 

Minimum Specifications For A Music Production Computer:
  • Intel Quad Core Processor
  •  Minimum 16 GB of RAM
  • 256 GB Solid State Hard Drive (to run software)
  • Minimum 1 TB hard Drive (to store sample and sounds)

Hip Hop Beat Making Controllers

Making Beats With Music Production Controllers (FL Studio Alternatives)

More and more top-tier producers these days are tending to use use FL Studio in combination with a MIDI hardware controller for making beats (we’ll take a look at the best midi controllers soon).

Unfortunately, many brands of midi controllers have compatibility issues with certain hardware, software and computer system configurations.

These compatibility issues can lead to glitches and sometimes even computer crashes and subsequent loss of data.

Brands like AKAI and Native Instruments have come up with their own solutions to this problem by creating rock solid all-in-one midi controller systems.Note: Akai make some great gear but when it comes to choosing a all-in-one music production controller for hip hop you can't go past Native Instruments Maschine range.

These systems contain a MIDI controller ( in the form of a drum machine/ drum pads) that are specifically designed to work with it’s own software, samples and sounds. They have their own sequencer and can also be loaded with external samples and integrated with software such as FL Studio for even more flexibility.

Take a look at the videos below to learn more about this innovative beat making gear:

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Do you want to master the art using Maschine to create dynamic hip hop beats? If yes then take this course!

Although NI Machine comes with some wicked sounds we highly recommend combining it with Native Instruments Komplete for access to all the sounds you will ever need to produce world class beats. These sounds can really boost the enjoyment of your finger drumming sessions.

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If you want to learn how to play keyboards or pads like a pro you should definitely check out the new online program named Melodics.

It works like guitar hero and you can learn finger drumming and keyboard playing with lessons from some of the worlds best artists and producers. >> You can sign up for free

You can take a look inside the program in our full Melodics Review

Best Audio Interface For Making Beats

Choosing An Audio Interface Suitable For Hip Hop Production 

An audio interface can be thought of as an external computer sound card, which connects via USB, that is designed to be able to handle professional audio production work.

Even the most powerful inbuilt computer soundcards will struggle to handle the audio processing demands of music production. 

If you want to make world class beats you are going to need to invest at least a couple of hundred dollars into the purchase of a decent audio interface.

Audio interfaces provide many usual functions in the studio including:

  • providing high quality sound reproduction
  • providing the ability to connect MIDI hardware controllers 
  • providing the ability to record vocals via a microphone or other instruments such as a guitar
  • providing the ability to connect headphones and studio monitors so you can monitor and mix your tracks

There are many poor audio interfaces on the market and only a few are worthwhile recommending

Before you purchase any audio interface you need to consider whether you will require the option to be able to record vocals or instruments in the future. 

Most beatmakers will only require a  2 channel interface. However, if you think that you may want to be able to record vocals or multiple instruments in the future you will be better off purchasing the 4+ channel variety.

Here are a couple of our favorite Audio Interfaces which  have a proven history of quality manufacturing, and contain high quality pre-amps that ensure you get a professional sound when monitoring and recording: 

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Beat Making Speakers

Choosing Monitoring Equipment : Studio Monitors & Headphones

If you want to produce commercial ready beats you are going to need access to a speaker feedback system that provide a clear and "true" representation of your sound.

Your two options for listening back to your tracks are:

  1. studio  headphones
  2.  studio monitors (pro studio speakers)

Novice beatmakers may get away with monitoring and mixing beats through cheap commercial headphones or even a stereo system.However, if you plan on mixing and mastering your tracks yourself you will need to invest in some professional studio monitors or headphones.

Studio monitors and high quality studio headphones are specifically designed to give a "true" representation of the sound that is produced.

Professional studio monitoring solutions do not "color" the sound. Neither do they boost the bass or other frequencies like other popular headphones you will see for sale at your local electronics store.

Having a true representation of your music production will allow you to make better hip hop tracks. You will have an easier time mixing on the fly, which may shorten the time it takes you to complete a track.

One of the best ways to learn how to get your sound to that pro level is to listen to professionally mixed and mastered tracks through studio monitors and compare them to your own tracks.

Recommended For You: Learn The Mixing Techniques Of 3 Grammy-Winning & Grammy-Nominated Hip Hop Engineers In This Brilliant New Course

Here are a couple of our favorite Studio Monitor and Studio Headphone options for hip hop producers:

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Choosing A MIDI Controller For Hip Hop Beats & Keys

MIDI controllers are devices that connect to your computer via USB which let you physically control the sounds in your music making software, sampler or virtual instrument.

If you want to be taken serious by other artists and producers it is of great value to be able to display some basic live playing skills on your MIDI controller of choice.

Clicking on your mouse to add sounds on your computer screen is a very uninspiring and geeked out way of hosting a music creation session with other artists.

However, jamming out live drums on a MIDI controller pad, playing live keyboard and manipulating effects via control knobs can inspire any production session.

Here are a few of our favorite MIDI controllers:

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Microphone Options For Recording Beat Ideas And Rapper Vocals 

If you are just new to the beat making game you probably don't need to worry about buying a studio microphone just yet.

However, having access to a decent microphone can be handy for much more than just recording other people vocals.

Many professional hip hop producers use a mic to record beat and instrument ideas with their mouths. They may record and layer these ideas into tracks within their DAW, and then go back and recreate the sound with instruments and samples.

Multi platinum producer Timbaland is one of the most well know hip hop creators to use a mouth generated sound recording process to lay-down the foundations of  his instrumental tracks. 

He explains this method and his entire hip hop production process in his recently released online course.

You can't skimp on price if you want to buy a decent studio microphone for recording artist's, but you could get away with a cheap podcasting style mic just to lay down your own ideas "Timbo" style.

Here are a couple of studio microphones that are highly respected and well received by the music industry leaders:

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Don't Let Your Lack Of ( Or Abundance Of) Beat Making Software & Equipment Hold You Back

Don't forget that at the end of the day the ideas in your head are more important than any production equipment that you may have... within reason.

You will at the very least need a decent computer and some beat making software like FL Studio or even free beat making software like this great program.

These days we have access to incredibly powerful equipment and software that producers could have not dreamed of just a decade ago.

Honestly most producers living in this era face the problem of having too many beat making software and equipment options, rather than too few.

"I have all the tools and gadgets. I tell my son, who's a producer, 'You never work for the machine; the machine works for you." Quincy Jones

Check out this video of DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill making a beat on a sampler back in 1993. Back in the day, you could only sample for a few seconds at a time. However, these kinds of tech limitations didn't hold these legendary producers back from making classic tracks that have withstood the test of time.

Hopefully this roundup has made it easy for you to narrow down your choices of the best hip hop production equipment and software currently available.

We continue to update this page regularly, so make sure you come back to check out our updated beat maker gear recommendations soon.

Please leave a comment below detailing your experiences with purchasing equipment and software for making hip hop music.