How To Use BTV SOLO By Norbz

If you already have BTV SOLO music production software by Dallas Austin, or perhaps you’re thinking of getting it, this beginner’s tutorial video should come in handy.

It features music producer and creator of DUBTurbo beat maker, Norbz, who quickly runs you through the basics. Take the time to watch it, or you can read the transcript below the video instead.

Click Here To Check Out What BTV SOLO Can Do Now


How you guys doing? I’m about to walk you through BTV SOLO, assuming I’m in your shoes, the new guy, who’s never touched music production before, you don’t own a MIDI controller keyboard, you don’t have any instruments and you haven’t really played with (music) tools much.

We’re going to build a beat, using nothing more than this keyboard right here. So you have a desktop computer, or a laptop, MAC or PC, any OS version, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to walk through making professional, high quality, 44.1 stereo beats, ready for stereo use in studios, broadcasts scenarios and whatnot.

Again, if you have no experience, no theory built-up yet, you just know how to bob your head, that’s all you need to do and tap your fingers. I’m going to show you how to build amazing beats with this thing.

If you have the MIDI keyboard, you can hook it up to this, you can import your own instruments, your own samples, you can auto-chop and edit .wav files. It’s really versatile…As a workstation, beat maker, melody creator, hit maker…it does a lot of stuff. So let’s go and build a beat right now using just the keyboard.

How To Make A Beat Using BTV SOLO

Ok, so let’s just assume you guys just installed it, running it for the first time and you as a beginner don’t care about the advanced features. You just want to know how to make a beat really quickly.


Everything can be controlled using just your computer keyboard, or an external MIDI keyboard. Click here to see it now.

Make sure you’re in pattern mode, and just click new. That’s it. You’re on a blank canvas. Nothing will work yet because you have to assign sounds to it. On the left you have virtual kits and virtual instruments…So let’s click on virtual kits which are your drums and double-click on anything, and you’ll start noticing, you have sounds trigger by your keyboard.

Now, this is laid out just like a musical keyboard, one octave. So the ‘A’ is your first C, and go up once to the ‘W’ which is your sharp, and literally, go through your octave [presses different keys on his computer keyboard] just like you would on an actual keyboard.

The banks here [points to right side button], go up and down eight times, so you have a full 8-octave keyboard at your fingertips. If you have a MIDI controller that’s 8-octave, you have full control. Because these are drums, not a piano or a violin…when you bank up, it’s just more drums. Bank up again, more drums or a sound that’s keyspanned for the rest of the banks upwards. Phenomenal.

All these guys here [points to sound library on the left] have a tonne of sounds within them, equating to just endless amounts of combinations. So let’s now, just record a beat really quickly.

Laying The Foundation

This gives up our metronome (see highlighted button the image on the right). You’ll see it flash when I hit record, you press play, or your space bar – on/off, and Ctrl+R is your recording. You have a minus 1, which gives you a 1, 2, 3 and you’re recording on that 4th count in.

Metronome & Play Buttons

The highlighted buttons are metronome (regulates timing with a tick) and play (begins recording).

BPM (beats per minute) you click, hold and drag with your mouse up or down. So find a BPM that you like, find a kit you like, get yourself triggered up and ready, and you can practice with your fingers. I’m going to use my left hand and one finger only to give myself a bit of a handicap here, to pretend I am brand new to this stuff.

1, 2, 3 and [starts tapping the keys (for the drums) to the metronome]…It’s a 1/16 quantize which means it’ll snap it into place at 1/16th, and it’s four bars…[continues to play a beat]…and then we’re going to quickly save it. Click save…and name it whatever you want. Press user, and that goes and dumps it into the user banks and patterns (in the sound library).

So now we can just keep building. I’ll find some more sounds I like. I want to use some hi-hats in there, press record and then it goes through it again [activates metronome and then begins to play hi-hats over the previous drum pattern channel].

If at any point you don’t like what you did, just press undo. It’ll undo what you just recorded and you can relay it again.

The Roll & Pitch Bend

Roll Button

The roll button (highlighted button on right-side) adds a repeated and continuous sound to the beat.

Now I’ll explain to you what the roll does really quickly. You like something and you want to roll it up or down, here’s what you do [assigns a sound a key]. Record. Play [plays the track, and then hits the roll button which continuously plays the selected sound over the track].

…and that quantizes at 1/16. I can trigger it off and it’ll be natural, but if it is on and I hold, it will repeat it for whatever the quantize is at up to 1/64.

…and now what we’ll do is play it again, and on that 4th, we’ll pitch bend it. This is your pitch right here [points to horizontal line just beneath the screen display]. Very easy [plays the beat, then drags the pitch bending to the left, which deepens the sound of the roll].

So, just keep laying more sounds, and find more instruments and put them on other channels…I’ll do one or two more, and then I’ll wrap this up.

Adding More Channels

You’ll notice how my graphic keeps changing up, and you can do that with the ‘blang’ button. You can even design your own skin and import it, if you want to get yours all customized.

Adding Channels

A new sound/drum pattern can be assigned to each channel (the numbers above the main keys).

Sometimes, you’ll also wake up from your zone and be like “you know what, that sounds horrible, I hate that, but I like my drums” for instance. So all you do is press Ctrl, mute the layers you want to mute. Once they’re highlighted, they’re muted.

Now we’re going to go to layer 5, and do something different [assigns a bell sound to one of the keys]. I’m going to lower the tempo a little bit, and let’s just say I want to get into a different creative zone, you can easily do that [plays the beat again and constructs a melody over it using the new bell sound].

I’m going to put my BPM back up to 99, I’m going to get one more layer here [activates layer 7] and we’ll go for a nice bass [begins to lay a bass melody over the beat].

It’s that easy guys. Next [activates another channel, assigns a string sound to a key and plays a melody over the beat again]. One hand.

“A lot more functions and features are awaiting you guys, and the more advanced you get at this, the more you see the versatility of the software. So if you’re a beginner, you’ll love this beat line production curve that we take you through, and intermediates to pros, you guys will really appreciate the advanced features and portable versatility, appetizing with your other studio components really easily and adds another core layer of creativity to your production toolbox.”

“Thanks for watching, and if you’re on the fence about grabbing one of these, there’s a 60-day refund policy on top of the price drop, so now would be the best time to grab one of these if you’re looking for one of those best bang for your buck deals.” – Norbz

If you want to start making beats or become successful at it, then you're going to need some great music production equipment to enhance your skills. Take a look at the following:

  • Top 10 Best Studio Headphones
  • Top 10 Best MIDI Keyboards
  • Top 10 Best Studio Speakers
  • Steps to Take to Effectively Sell Music Online Course