How Expensive is Music Production/Beat Making?

How Expensive is Music Production/Beat Making?

Have you ever wondered about the exciting world behind the music you love? Behind every catchy tune and infectious beat, there’s a fascinating journey of creation. This journey is led by music producers and beat makers who work their magic to bring music to life.

But, have you ever thought about the costs involved in pursuing a career in music production and beat making?

I am going to dive into the world of music production and beat making and explore just how expensive it can be to turn your passion for music into a full-fledged career. From the essential tools you need to the software that powers your creativity, we’ll uncover the various expenses that aspiring music producers and beat makers might encounter on their path to musical success.

So, if you’re curious about the financial side of making music, let’s embark on this journey together and uncover the true cost of pursuing your dreams in the music industry.

Bear in mind that I am going to cover all possible expenses that you could encounter. I will separate the expenses that are necessary from the ones that are not. The necessary ones will be written in green whereas the optional ones will be written in purple.

Bear in mind that this article will only talk about the beginners starting a beat making career as a hobby before turning it into a career. This article does not give advice on building a whole studio nor does it involve external costs such as marketing or other non-related music stuff. These topics will be covered in future articles.

Hardware

Let’s start with the basics. One of the most important elements of your ability to make music is hardware. The list is not long, especially when you take into account only the essentials.

Here are important hardware you should have:

  • Laptop/Desktop computer;
  • Headphones;
  • Speakers;
  • MiDi Keyboard.

Laptop – $1000

A great laptop is a must have if you want to have a career in music production.

It is obvious that you can’t make beats or produce songs if you have no computer. However, it is also important to remember not to cheap out when it comes to buying your rig or laptop.

I have already mentioned the minimum spec requirements for a laptop/desktop when I talked about all the things you need in order to start your music production/beatmaking career.

Headphones – $100 ~ $150

Good headphones are an essential expense when it comes to music production.

It is not necessary to spend $100 on headphones in the early stages of your music production career. However, it is recommendable not to cheap out on headphones either.

Headphones are one of the most important gear you will have, especially when mixing and mastering your tracks or while listening to your overall mix/master, which is why you shouldn’t spend less than $100 on a pair if you want to learn the process faster and cheaper in the long run. Faster because you will see your mixing mistakes right away and fix them and cheaper because you won’t need to upgrade your headphones later.

Speakers – $150 ~ $250

Speakers are great to have, but you shouldn't prioritize them early on.

Speakers are definitely cool to have – you can evaluate your mix and master from a different perspective or show off your music on social media in a more convenient way.

However, they are not required, as studio monitors (studio speakers that are designed specifically for studio purposes) only play a vital role as you progress through your career.

To sum up, you should definitely have them at some point in your career but not right away.

MiDi Keyboard – $100 ~ $150

MiDi Keyboard is not an essential expense but it can be useful later on.

MiDi keyboards are useful – if you already have or intend to learn how to play the piano. It would be extremely helpful in creating unique and dope melodies for your beats. However, ss speakers, you won’t need a MiDi keyboard right away, especially if you don’t have the required skills yet.

Piano skills are definitely not crucial for starting a career in music production and I would personally recommend practicing making melodies by drawing them in your piano roll before you start learning the skills and paying for a MiDi keyboard.

Software

Now, if the prices of hardware haven’t discouraged you yet, don’t worry. That was just a warm up. Software is a much more complicated matter when it comes to potential expenses as it depends on a lot of factors.

That said, I will try to give you as accurate a perspective as possible so that you know what your priorities are.

DAW – $300 ~ $400

DAW is going to be one of the most essential expenses in your music career.

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is basically the software you will make the music on. The price depends on the actual DAW you end up choosing, but I will use FL Studio for the reference. It’s signature bundle that I bought costs $299.

I actually spent more than $400 on it as I picked up additional stuff, but you don’t need to do it yourself if you don’t want to.

It is important to weigh your priorities and see which bundles are the best for you, as no one can do it in your stead.

All of that said, I don’t think you can get anything worthy for less than $200, even as a beginner.

Third Party Plugins (VSTs) ~ depends

Now, we are heading into a tricky subject of Third Party VSTs. It is important to mention that having those is crucial if you take making music seriously, but you don’t need to have them all. The range of cost is wide. Some of them cost less than $100 while some of them may cost more than your whole DAW.

I will give you a list of the most popular VSTs or at least the ones that I use and give you the price. You can choose the ones you think fit your music style the best and calculate your own potential expenses.

The best plugins I can think of are:

  • reFX: Nexus – at least $249;
  • Initial Audio: Sektor – $69;
  • Heat Up 3 – at least $99;
  • Omnisphere – at least $399;
  • xFer Serum – $189;
  • Image-Line: Toxic Biohazard – $59;

Conclusion

To sum up, regarding your essential expenses, you will need to spend approximately $2000 on stuff if you want to start making beats. If you already have a decent enough laptop while reading this, then depending on your priorities, $1000 may be enough.

Just remember that you will need to buy a third party plugin or two at one point, so consider those expenses as well.

When it comes to the ones that are optional, determine what you need and decide it yourself  .

There is no limit to how much you can spend. However, careful planning of your expenses and prioritization is of the utmost importance.