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The best beat making software for music production from Native Instruments

Beat making software has revolutionized the music production landscape, offering aspiring musicians and seasoned producers a powerful toolset to craft their rhythms and melodies with precision and creativity.

But when it comes to making beats, not all beat making software is created equal. We’ve rounded up all of the best beat making software on the market to help you find the right tools for your own productions.

These virtual instruments, drum kits, synths, and sampled instruments will empower you to bring your musical ideas to life, experiment with different sounds, and produce professional-grade beats that will resonate with audiences around the world. Explore a world of musical possibilities and take your productions to new heights with the endless possibilities that these tools offer.

The best beat making software for your productions from Native Instruments

1. Maschine

Maschine is a versatile and comprehensive music production ecosystem that combines the benefits of hardware controllers with powerful software capabilities. It’s been widely adopted in the music production community due to its intuitive beat making workflow.

The Maschine software offers a wide range of features for making beats. It can operate as either a standalone beat making software, or be used as a plugin within most popular DAWs. The software comes with a huge library of sounds and samples to make beats with, but there’s also a wide range of expansion packs available which provide additional sounds, samples, and presets to help you expand your beat making arsenal.

The Maschine beat maker software integrates seamlessly with any of the Maschine hardware controllers. There are currently three different Maschine controllers available: the standard Maschine MK3, the simplified Maschine Mikro, and the expanded Maschine+. Each controller features a grid of beat pads to provide hands-on control over your beat making process. When you combine the software with one of the Maschine hardware controllers, it allows you to make beats in a very tactile way.

Maschine seamlessly pairs some of the best beat making software with the best beat making equipment on the market, which is why it’s earned the number one spot on this list. And, even though Maschine has an incredibly intuitive workflow, there are still plenty of tutorials to help you get the most out of your beat making experience on the Native Instruments YouTube channel. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive beat making experience, Maschine is the way to go.

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2. Battery 4

Battery 4 is a beat making software and a percussion sound design tool, all in one. It's designed to be a versatile and comprehensive software instrument for beat makers, as well as anyone else who needs to work with drum and percussion sounds in their music production. Battery 4 offers a humongous range of features that make it an extremely powerful tool for creating and manipulating drum patterns and sounds.

Battery 4 allows you to load samples in various file formats and then map them to the beat pads on a graphical grid. You can then trigger these beat pads using MIDI controllers or your computer's keyboard, making it easy to create drum patterns and sequences on the fly. Battery 4 comes with quite a substantial library of factory presets and samples, covering a wide range of genres and styles. But there are also plenty of expansion packs that provide additional drum kits and sounds for further sonic exploration.

The variety of built-in effects, such as EQ, filter, distortion, and reverb, can help you further shape and enhance your drum sounds. Plus, you can use the sample slicing function to cut up looped samples and rearrange them on the grid, and even time-stretch each sample to fit your project's tempo without affecting its pitch.

Battery 4 is one of the best beat making software options for creating, editing, and manipulating drum and percussion sounds. Its intuitive interface and easy integration with DAWs make it a popular choice among beat makers because it enables them to craft really unique and expressive drum patterns and rhythms. If you want a powerful (and very user-friendly) drum beat maker, Battery 4 has everything you need to start making some really great beats.

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3. Massive X

Massive X, although not technically a software for making beats, has earned its place on this list because of its ability to produce an extremely wide range of electronic sounds you can use for beat making. This synthesizer comes jam-packed with presets for drums, basses, leads, pads, etc. But, should you need more sounds to inspire your beat making process, there are also several Massive X Expansions to choose from.

Great for creating beat elements for nearly any genre under the sun, Massive X is a great addition to any beat maker’s toolbox. Plus, it has so many cool features to help you craft your own signature sounds! For a complete walkthrough of this software, take a look at this video.

With incredible versatility and sound design capabilities, Massive X is a fantastic tool for adding unique and creative elements to your beats.

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4. Karriem Riggins Drums

Karriem Riggins Drums is one of the newer additions to the Kontakt Play Series. This Kontakt instrument features drum kits and one-shot samples created by world renowned drummer and hip hop producer, Karriem Riggins. Available to use in the free Kontakt PLAYER, this software serves as the perfect tool for making rap beats with a jazz flair.

With this beat making software, you can compile your own drum kits or browse through the wide range of presets, loops, and groove patterns included. You can also use the swing and tightness controls to dial in however much “Sway” you’d like your beat to have, making this a killer tool for crafting head-nodding hip hop beats.

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5. 40's Very Own Drums

40's Very Own Drums is another great beat making software in the Kontakt Play Series. Packed full of high-quality drum sounds developed by Noah “40” Shebib, this Kontakt instrument comes with 15 individual drum kits you can use to make your own hip hop beats. Each of these drum kits also contains 16 groove patterns that can be manipulated and edited in any DAW with the MIDI drag and drop feature.

If you’re in the market for hip hop beat making software, 40's Very Own Drums is a perfect fit. Every kick, clap, and hi hat has been perfectly mixed to ensure your beats are nice and crisp. Plus, it pairs perfectly with the 40's Very Own Keys Kontakt instrument to help you capture the signature “underwater” sound commonly found in 40’s productions.

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6. Empire Breaks

Perfect for programming boom bap hip hop beats, Empire Breaks is another Kontakt Play Series instrument full of solid snares, crisp hats, and kicks that pack a punch. Each sample in this drum beat maker was recorded from original live drums and then re-sampled to give it that golden-era vibe.

With this beat making software, you can choose from one of the included kits, or build your own. In addition, you can use one of the 480 groove patterns included, or drag and drop the MIDI for a groove directly from Empire Breaks into your DAW to customize it to your liking.

If you’re looking to capture that 90s-style, Empire Breaks is perfect for making rap beats with that classic, hip hop sound.

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7. Stacks

Stacks is yet another amazing beat making tool in the Kontakt Play Series. Full of sampled leads, strings, horns, and basses, Stacks accurately captures all the building blocks of 2000s-era hip hop and can be used within the free Kontakt PLAYER.

All of the sounds included in Stacks were created by sampling (and then resampling) in order to give each sound that old-school vibe. And, just like all the other instruments in the Kontakt Play Series, Stacks comes with the ability to control any of the great-sounding presets with its intuitive interface.

You can hear the sound of Stacks in this video by Beau Tyler. You’ll clearly see that it’s the perfect choice if you want to make rap beats with an organic, dusty texture.

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8. Deft Lines

If you’re looking to make drill beats, Deft Lines has everything you’ll need—including twisted samples, gliding subs, orchestral Stacks, and muted keys. Packed full of genre-bending, hybrid textures, this Kontakt Play Series instrument is the best way to go for making both UK drill and US drill.

Deft Lines runs inside the free Kontakt Player and comes stocked with over 150 presets geared towards that cutting-edge, drill sound. Plus, with the built-in sequencer, you can quickly create ideas and then modulate them over time using the six assignable macro controls.

With lots of warped strings, eastern flutes, bass slides, and plenty more interesting sounds and textures, Deft Lines is the best beat making software to help you craft the next best drill beat.

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9. Glaze

Glaze is yet another incredible Kontakt Play Series instrument that you can use to make beats for pop, R&B, hip hop, and more. This vocal-driven instrument allows you to easily add vocal chops, riffs, and runs to your beats — without having to worry about them being in the right key. All of the vocals are mapped to scales to create natural sounding patterns and sequences.

Glaze comes with plenty of glossy vocal samples, all created by recording a wide range of live vocalists. Plus, even though it’s loaded up with 148 killer presets, you can also easily create your own to add unique vocal flavors to any beat.

Go behind the scenes of Glaze, and then get your copy if you’re looking to add a touch of high-gloss, vocal vibes to your beats.

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10. Sway

If you’re wanting to make soulful, expressive hip hop beats, look no further than Sway. Ranging from synth pads to guitars to electric pianos to classic bells, this beat making software gives you a bit of that gritty hip hop flavor with each one of its 150 presets. Plus, since it’s another Kontakt Play Series instrument, every preset in Sway is totally adaptable for you to easily discover and dial in your own sound.

Developed in collaboration with Emeric Zubar (a.k.a. BLAKE), Sway runs within the free Kontakt PLAYER. With its customizable effects chain and the ability to edit sequences to your liking, Sway’s got just what you need to bring that grainy, analog sound to your beats.

If you’re looking for the best software to make hip hop beats with a laid-back feel, Sway’s selection of mellow sounds is sure to spark loads of inspiration.

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11. Rudiments

Rudiments is one of the newest Kontakt Play Series instruments for making beats. It comes with loads of high-quality drum samples (and an intuitive user interface) to help you lay down beats quickly, easily, and enjoyably! Great for hip hop, pop, and trap beat making, Rudiments is your one-stop-shop for drums that are punchy, crisp, and versatile.

Made in collaboration with Snipe Young, Rudiments contains several handpicked drum kits—each with 16 different drum patterns you can easily edit in any DAW using the MIDI drag and drop feature. Plus, you can customize any kit with the hefty library of organic and synthesized drum samples included.

Great for making beats in just about any contemporary genre you can think of, Rudiments is one of the best beat making software options if you’re looking for versatility. Listen to Rudiments in action in this product trailer and then grab your own copy of this do-it-all beat maker!

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12. Borough Chops

Borough Chops isn’t a beat making software all on its own, but it does serve as the perfect expansion pack for recreating that 90s, east coast aesthetic in your beats. In this expansion pack, you’ll get 290 loops, 480 one-shots, 50 kits to use in Maschine, 56 kits for Battery 4, and 5 Massive presets to help you channel the sound of New York hip hop during its golden age.

The distinctive sounds of Borough Chops use processing from renowned sampling equipment, resulting in a mesmerizing blend of horns, soothing chords, and bass that's perfect for your beats.

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13. Backyard Jams

Another great expansion pack for beat making is Backyard Jams. This pack’s style is somewhat of a hodgepodge blend of retro funk and West Coast hip hop, making it quite versatile for creating all types of beats. With 44 Maschine kits, 49 Battery 4 kits, 405 loops, and over 200 one-shot samples, Backyard Jams is sure to bring that sunny, backyard vibe to your productions.

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14. Young Phantom

If you’re looking for extra sounds to create drill beats, a subgenre of hip-hop featuring different rhythmic motifs, darker musical stylings, the Young Phantom expansion pack is the tool for you! It has plenty of dark and atmospheric samples, plus loads of sliding subs that help to define the drill genre. With the 52 Maschine kits, 64 Battery kits, 21 Massive presets, 142 one-shot samples, and over 400 high quality drill loops, you’ll have all the sounds you need to produce hard-hitting drill beats.

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15. Komplete 14

Komplete 14 is a comprehensive software bundle that includes most all of the beat making software listed on this page. While it isn't exclusively designed for making beats, Komplete 14 does include a wide range of instruments, samples, and effects that can be incredibly useful for beat making and music production in general.

Komplete 14 comes in several versions (Select, Standard, Ultimate, and the Collector’s Edition) and all of the beat making software included in Komplete 14 integrates seamlessly with Native Instruments’ line of Komplete controllers (such as Komplete Kontrol M32 or Komplete S-Series MK3 keyboards).

If you’re wanting to stock up on a ton of great beat making software all at once, snagging one of the Komplete 14 bundles is a great choice.

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Start using beat making software

The list above provided plenty of beat making software options to choose from. As for what’s going to be the best beat making software for your productions and workflow—that’s for you to decide! Take your pick and start making some beats today.

Explore beat making software