Are you new to beat making and don't know where to start? Perhaps you are a seasoned veteran but your friends and colleagues persist at converting you to a user of their favorite program. Wherever you find yourself, this post is for you. There are many programs available to you at your disposal, varying in cost, quality/features, and time (as in learning curve and how quickly you can create with it). You must first accept this reality: you cannot have your cake and eat it too! Why I don't know..it makes sense that if you have cake you would and should eat it but it is what it is. Accept that you can only have 2 out of 3..cost and quality but no time: cost and time but lack of quality; or time and quality but at a high cost. You must determine which aspect you are willing to sacrifice first. Think about it....Now that you have that in mind, let's begin! Fruity Loops, Pro Tools, Logic, Reason, Maschine, Garage Band, and more...so many options how do I choose? First thing is determine your computer..Mac or pc..but let's assume you already know that and dive in! after using all the programs that I have listed above, based on cost, ease of use, and quality and quantity of sounds (instruments and loops) I would hands down go with Logic Pro X! One set price at $199 so you don't have to worry about knowing if you got the full version or not. It is also compatible with AU format plug-ins which has the same options as VST. It comes with over 20,000 audio and MIDI loops, many of then very useable..just ask Rihanna, Wale, and Usher! Logic also comes with about 10 (give or take a few) virtual instruments with a very useable preset library that is very easy to use. Logic is half the cost of Reason, less than half the cost of Pro Tools, and $100 less than FL Studio. The learning curve is not sharp at all..the evidence? I introduce my 9th grade audio students to Logic, not reason or Pro Tools and in just 4 weeks they have a portfolio of completed beats. Fortunately I have Reason, Pro Tools, Logic, and Maschine in my home studio and I use then all for different purposes. If I was just starting out on a budget I'd go Logic but with money not a factor or limit I'd go with maschine for its hands on and quick approach.