Before I spill the beans, I want you to know that I’ve been researching beat maker and sequencers for at least 4 months before making up my mind on what to settle with.
The online only sequencers tend to be loaded with mp3 sounds and/or you can loop one bar that’s it.! The bigger DAW’s are just too much for me. I just want to be able to make beats for now, not look after a whole studio or learn 4,523 buttons first. I actually already know a lil’ Cubase thanks to the small bits they taught at school, but even then you need a keyboard, soundcard, some VST’s, and a pretty good machine to not have to deal with latency or lag… anyway, I love Cubase but I’m not about to plunk down my whole paycheck to make music.
Once you’re done reading my top 7 thing I like most about DT, please do yourself a favor and visit the site – READ EVERYTHING on the site. It does a great job explaining the features panels, plus once you grab your copy you can also grab a one time ‘how to make money with your beats’ transcript and a sick compilation of beats that come with it, GRAB THEM when you buy! It’s well worth the few bucks if you want to make your own beats.
Ok, in no particular order:
1. Price! For $30, I got pretty much EXACTLY what I needed. A sequencer with a few thousands GREAT samples to arrange into beats, and an export at 44.1 – .wav – broadcast quality! I don’t care WHO knocks this thing, for $30 you can’t even buy a half decent sound kit or ONE beat, so the DT beat maker takes the cake here.
2. Samples – I said it above but it’s worth mentioning again. The samples that this thing comes with are luda! Most sequencers are pretty similar once you get to a certain level. However, it’s the sounds that make a HUGE difference in your final track. If you have weak sounds, you’ll have weak beats no matter what arrangements you lay your drums/samples in. That’s no way to make your own beats.
3. Versatility – I really like the fact that I can make a beat from anywhere in the world, just login, make my hook, and save the .dub file. Now I can send the file back home and simply open/keep working on it on my local machine. I have a PC, but when I went to my friends house who runs a powermac, I logged into my hotmail, got my source file, logged onto my members area, and BANG it opens/plays fine. So this takes #2, opens on mac, pc, or online with either as well.
4. Video Training – The training videos for this beat maker, like wow, it doesn’t get explained any better. I did 4 months of research to understand everything from quantizing to pattern building to snare rolls to different file and audio formats, to mastering/mixing down final tracks, to tracking out into other daws… . . and so much more. Once I got into my members area and saw the first few tutorial vids from the hundreds they have, I was farther along than my 4 months or research! They really know wtf they are doing and I learned really FAST (it’s really dummy proofed!). The video learning is fawwwwking awesome for any level producer, but especially the new guy/gal.
5. New kits can be added pretty easily, so I opened up my wav editor and made a set of 10 samples (I used some Michael Jackson, samples thriller, and some KRS-1, raptures delight), parsed the folders, and loaded up DT – ahhhhh there they are, now I can make my beats and patterns out of the sample kit I just made. There’s a bunch of other kits you can get for it from the site too, but I’ll tell you a secret: You can make kits VERY easily, and if you do grab some of theirs, grab the beatbox kit combo or vox combo, much more worth it than grabbing just one if you’re serious about making your own beats.
6. Navigation is worth mentioning. DUBturbo only runs on three screens, which is the way I like it really. Can’t do it all on ONE panel, and having 20+ for every function is silly too. DUB made it easy by intelligently laying out all functions over three simple panels. The main sequencer shell, the drum machine, and the 4 octave keyboard are all I need with my beat maker and with this setup my beats get made FASTER then on anything else I tried. Can’t say enough about those kits Even my crappy patterns turn out alright because they at least ‘sound’ hot .
and last but not least:
7. It gets HATED ON by some of the bigger studio owners, but I keep an open mind to that stuff. See, if you went out there and spent $xx,xxx on a full blown studio, mixers, computers, mics, cubase/logic/protools/vst’s, soundcard, a few years to learn it all efficiently, and were finally making some beats and starting to make some money from them.. .. . and all of a sudden this $30 sequencer/beat maker comes out with sounds and mixdowns that BLOW YOUR STUFF AWAY. ..
.. . of course you’re going to be pissed, jaded, think it’s ‘gotta be a toy’. No way can I replace all my stuff with one $30 gadget right? It MUST SUCK! I give dubturbo 5 stars for attracting heat and hate from the big dawgs. After using it, and trying many MANY other beat makers, you’d have to be NUTS not to see this software for what it really is – its a sequencer – with a few thousand sounds – at broadcast quality – the rest IS MOOT!
If you spent $xx,xxx on a studio, you shouldn’t be hating or getting heated about ANYTHING. It shouldn’t phase you, but DUB just urks ya doesn’t it – you can’t make the beats I’m making in 20min with your studio in a few hours hahaha… so yeah bring the hate!
OVERALL – 9.5/10
CONCLUSION – If you already run a studio/soundbay and are deep into your VST’s, cubase, logic, whatever, of course you’re not just going to drop it all for one new app. However if I already owned all that stuff, I’d STILL BE BUYING THE DUBTURBO BEAT MAKER.
Why? It’s the soundkits mostly. You can’t really buy 1000+ unique mastered urban sounds (or it would be in the thousands$$). It’s also the ease of use all around, what other software allows you to run remotely, on pc or mac, or locally on your desktop and share/interchange the files and kits with each other seamlessly?
If you’ve never ever made a beat or touched a drum or an instrument in your life, then I would DEFINITELY RECOMMEND YOU GET THIS! You can’t go wrong because on top of all the cool stuff I just shot out above, you newer guys who want to make your own beats will be learning SO MUCH without knowing that you’re actually learning it (the training videos and self intuitive interface get you learning basic and advanced beatmaking techniques in literally the first few minutes). You’ll learn chords, building real patterns, bridges, gap fills, simple melody structure, urban hook creation, just tons of stuff. I can’t cover it all here but most importantly you’re learning it while actually DOING it. Pause the videos, copy what you see, get that ‘AHA!!’ moment, and progress to the next level/more complex build.
There you have it, the only bad thing I can say about this is that I wish they made it into a VST for the next version. Can’t complain, but it’s on the wish list for their next release. Other than that DUBturbo is solid, standalone beat maker so you don’t need keyboards or soundcards or midi controllers or or or (Oh yeah – you can trigger the drum pads and keyboard keys with the keyboard you type on – hmmm that should have been in the top 7. It saves me lot’s of time being able to preview the sounds and keys using my wireless keyboard instead of clicking pads/keys after I change or edit bar of my music).
If it’s still going for $29 or whatever, GET IT, you get 2 months to play with it and if you don’t like it they have a full refund policy (I believe the software stops working once you refund). Get the lil’ add-ons they have too they cover the money side of the biz really well too once you make a few beats you want to sell.
I’m already on my 19th beat, made tons of hooks, loops, simply arrangements on top of the 19 and already sold a few leased licenses to 3 of them. In my first 4 months I was a lil’ lost and nervous to start with the wrong app and waste time+money learning the thing. Once I saw DUB it was an instant ‘wow’ – then it was ‘no way dude, this beat maker is $30, it must SUCK’ – and now it’s more like ‘WTF – THIS IS SIIIIICK just like they have on their site, the hype is warranted, it is indeed ‘sick’ despite my distaste of using that word in that context.. . . .
Hope this educated you enough to get you cracking out those beats and ideas by tonight. The technical side is what you’re doing now, research, making sure you understand what sequencers do, the beautiful creative side is what awaits you on the next few pages. If you can afford the $30, which I thought was dirt cheap, you can start making pro level mixes and broadcast quality exports in the next 10 minutes. Yep, make your own beats that fast with this sweet baby of a beat maker!