There is a new wave of beat making techniques available to anyone right now with the correct equipment. This equipment is something that you might have in your pocket right now or can easily acquire.
Back in the golden days of early hip-hop beats were made in either samplers live instrumentation or a DJ spinning the beat on a turntable. As electronic music and hip-hop and rap evolved side-by-side, drum machines and electronic equipment came on the market and allow producers to program their own beats. This was a good thing, and everybody knows about drum machines and what they can do.
Then along came computers and audio production software that allowed people to make their own hip-hop beats on their computers with or without synthesizers and drum machines. But just as music equipment like drum machines and turntables, can cost a ton of money, so can computers and music-making software.
But today, almost everyone has an iphone, or at least an iPod touch, and many people have an iPad. There are very inexpensive, powerful programs in the form of apps that will allow you to turn your iphone or iPad in to a great quality, virtual music production studio.
The great thing about this new trend is that if you are working with one piece of musical equipment, like a drum machine, you may need two or three more pieces to polish the sound or add the effects you want, or do sampling or add instrumentation.
With iphone and iPad apps you can have several pieces of virtual music equipment that each do something very well, but probably cost less than the price of a cheap dinner. But that's not even the really interesting part, there are now companies that make synthesizers and keyboards that let you plug for iPad or iPhone in so you can literally play the app with your hands on real keys or drum pads.
The great thing about these new synthesizers that use iPads and iPhones is that since you might already own and iphone or ipod touch, or iPad, the keyboard itself is not the expensive part. You already own the expensive part, and you simply plug your ipod touch or iphone in and let the engine of your device power the app and the keyboard's hardware.
It's so brilliant and simple that it just might be a new trend in music production and beat making. This technology is very new, and it hasn't really shown any signs of slowing down. New software companies are making more and more new apps that are run on the iPad or iphone, or ipod touch, so you potentially have access to more and more new musical software as it is being developed!