Learning how to make beats on your computer is easier than ever. All you need is a computer, a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn. In this article, we'll see some important tips for any custom music beats maker. For beginners, if you start implementing these into your production workflow, you'll quickly start seeing the improvements they can make to your beats.
Choosing the right samples in any situation is one of the most important skills of a talented music producer. It sounds easy, right? but it takes years to reach the level where you know exactly what sample will sound the best for your beat and where to find it. You want to start building your own personal libraries of samples with only your favourite sounds, especially for drums. Make a separate folder for all your favourite kicks, shakers, 808s, percussion, instrument one-shots, and whatever else you can think of will make the production process much easier in the long run.
KICK & BASS
The connection between the kick and bass is important in any genre of music but specifically so in hip hop. You don't want the frequencies of the kick and bass clashing with each other, which means you don't want them playing at the same time. In addition to the tutorial, we've laid out the necessary steps to follow-
- Apply your stock compressor to the bass track.
- select the track as your sidechain input. This means that whenever the kick hits, it'll trigger the compressor to duck the volume of the bass track, leaving room for the kick to come through.
- Make sure you have a very fast attack setting, adjust the release to taste depending on the length of your kick, a 2-4 ratio, and adjust the threshold until you hear the kick blending in nicely with the bass.
HI-HATS ARE KEY
It's commonplace to find 16th note patterns for the hi-hats, while other hats are placed in the offbeats. The groove is achieved by the switch-ups from the basic pattern to 32nd or 8th note sections. Triplets are very effective in hip-hop, but we'll cover this separately in another section. Creating the best and right groove is not easy, though. On top of finding an ideal pattern, you need to give them a human feel.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The most important thing for a hip hop producer is to keep in mind that there will need to be space in the mix for someone to rap on. The vocal needs to be the centrepiece of the mix, and when there are many elements making the mix, it can create a lot of problems when trying to make a quality, professional sounding song. Focus Focus on trying to produce simple and minimal beats that sound amazing, without relying on drastic melody changes, long transitions or anything else that interrupt the flow. By listening to some of the most famous hip-hop hits, you'll notice that they usually have a few elements that make up the core of the tracks.
UTILIZE MELODY LOOPS
Sometimes it can feel daunting, if you're not in the mood and come up with a new beat, especially if you don't know music theory, trying to come up with melodies or chord progressions on the fly can take a while. There are tons of royalty-free melody loops you can download to help quickly provide inspiration to take in any direction you want.
In the end, music production is an art and these rules don't always apply in every situation but as you know- you need to learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. Start implementing these methods into your production workflow.