Written by my boy, morbid. ;) Big ups to him.

Ok well alot of questions i see is about software, like what software is the best etc. Well there is no software that is the best, its basically what you prefer and what you are good at. So I will discuss some software that you can get that will help you make beats.

Fruity Loops:
Now My Favourite Software for making beats is fruity loops. Fruity loops is easy to use once you know what your doing and can be used to make some pretty tight loops. I would recommend it to the begginer. You can get a demo of fruity loops at http://www.fruityloops.com/ and its not to expensive but will still set you back a bit of money.

Acid Pro:
Well, I havent used Acid Pro myself, but I have heard great things about it. It is sposed to be as easy as fruity loops. Im not sure where you can download a demo but you can out there somewhere, try searching on google.com

Cubase is more for advanced producers because it is hard. I have tried using it but nearly killed myself in confusion. But I have heard songs made with Cubase and they sound nice, so Cubase can produce some good sh*t

Adobe Audition(Formerly Cool Edit Pro):
Well this program is basically used for cutting beats, and arranging your loops to make a full song. I use it myself and i find it very effective. You can download a demo of this at www.adobe.com

There are many more Programs you can use like Reason and Kontakt. Just search for them in google if you want to check them out. But I would recommend just Fruity Loops and Audition.

Samples are what you use to make music with your program, If you download Fruity Loops you will find that it comes with alot of Samples so you can make a beat right away. A sample is an instrument usually played once so that you can make your own drum loop out of it or something a rather. You can find free samples on the net, or you can buy a cd with samples. An Example of a sample is a hihat being hit once. You then can place all your samples out and put them in an order using fruity loops or something, to make a beat.

Loops are different to samples because loops are drums playing and are already made beat. Say a sample has something like this in it:
A Loop might have:
Kick HiHat HiHat Snare Kick Kick
I dont use loops but you can also buy them on cds or download some for free.

Ahhhh My favourite in making music. Soundfonts are hard to explain, but let me try. Soundfonts are used with your soundcard. Now basically a sample can only play whats on it, and can not go any longer. Now lets use a violin for example. If i have a violin soundfont, i can make one note play for 2 seconds then the next not play for 1 second. Thats why soundfonts are very usefull. To use soundfonts in fruity loops you need Fruity Loops Soundfont Player. Soundfonts end with a .sf2.

The Noobs Guide To VSTs:

What are VSTs? :
VSTs are plugins that can do all sorts of stuff. But the special thing about VSTs is that the plugins can be used in lots of different programs that soppurt Vsts, like FL5 and Cubase. The plugins range from Drum Machines to Synths.

How to Use A VST in FL5:
Well I found out that this is actually quiet easy, you install the VST that you downloaded or bought and then usually where it got installed to there will be a DLL file, that has the name of the VST on it. Copy this file and paste it in C:....../Image-Line/FLStudio5/Plugins/VST/ So now when your in Fruity loops it will tell fruity loops where the program is so it can open in Fruity Loops. Now open up Fruity Loops if it wasnt already opened and go to channels, up the top. Then click on add one, then more. A box will pop up with all you VST and DXi plugins. Down the bottom there will be a button saying "Refresh" or something like that. Click on it and choose the one that says fast scan. The VST should now be in the list marked in red. Double click it and it should load up, now do as you wish with the VST...

The tempo is how fast the beat is playing. The tempo is measured by BPM(Beats Per minute.) I Might write a guide on counting BPM later, but all you need to know is that Most hip hop, rnb songs have a 70-120 BPM. Even though it may vary. I like to keep mine at 90.