Top 10 Beatmaking Tips from LA's Finest Producers
It can be challenging to figure out how to start making beats, even with all the information about beatmaking and music production at your fingertips. If you're just an emerging artist, you might find some tips, but those same tips might be too advanced for you right now. That's why this article focuses on making things simpler for you. Whatever beat genre you choose, you must understand the fundamentals and avoid planning too far ahead.
Here are ten beginner-friendly beat-making pointers from LA’s top producers.
1. Practice Making Beats
The adage "practice makes perfect" is something we've all heard a lot in our lives, and beat-making is no exception.
It's guaranteed that after a year of practising beat-making, even for just an hour a day, you will improve significantly from your initial efforts.
Beat-making appears to be so easy if you can just drag and drop ready-made loops into your sequencer. But it is not that easy.
These are the two main causes of the subpar beats from newcomers. Either they are taking the easy route and just dragging and dropping without even attempting to learn how to construct a beat, or they haven't practised enough.
So, if you want to surpass others, practice beat-making.
2. Don't Stress About the Effects
As an emerging artist, don't mess with the effects. At first, concentrate on creating beats. Later, you can use effects to improve your beats. Do not use effects while you are creating beats. Saved it for the mixing stage when you put everything together.
Using effects sparingly is one of the best tips when it comes to mixing. This is because your mix will never sound good if you can't get a good mix without using effects.
While effects are a great tool for achieving specific sounds in your beat, beginners should concentrate on building a strong beat first and save the effects for later.
3. Add a solid foundation
The beat keeps everything together. It is the most crucial component of your music.
Consider your all-time favorite song. Imagine it now without the bassline. What does it sound like now?
Adding a strong bassline to a fantastic drum track can be a challenging task, but if you succeed, your beat will sound amazing.
4. Take Time to Make Your Drum Sound Good
Drums play a crucial role in the foundation of the beat making. Drum breaks are great because you can use them exactly as they are or you can take them apart and use the break parts to re-program your drum pattern.
But that doesn't guarantee you'll have a sick drum loop if you just do that.
Somehow, you have to make it sound amazing.
It is best to start with EQ. It doesn't need to be fiddled with too much, but a little bit will help. A kick drum requires a small amount of high end to be lowered and a small amount of low end to be raised. Drums are great because you can make whatever you want, so have fun and be creative.
5. Begin with Simple patterns
The bassline is one of the most challenging aspects of creating beats. The strange thing about the bassline is that while it's always present and has a significant impact on your beat, it's often barely audible.
Look for a good-sounding bass. You can get bass-focused VST plug-ins from the market. However, before getting one, watch or read the reviews.
Once you find a bass sound that you like, start each bar with one of your two bass notes to establish a pattern.
6. Focus on Developing Loops Rather than Complete Songs
Many emerging artists don't realise that when they make a beat, it's really about the loops. In any musical genre, but especially in hip-hop, loops are what make up a song. Generally, you'll be working with loops that are 4 or 8 bars long; you can work with any length, but those are pretty standard. The trick is to take those loops and piece them together to create your entire song.
7. Determine What Beat You'll Need
The first question you should ask yourself when creating a beat is "What is this beat for?" You have to make a specific kind of beat if you're making one for a rapper friend. To accommodate the vocals, your beat will probably need to have a lot of open sections.
You can do anything you want when creating an instrumental album, but you should incorporate elements into the beat, such as a movie scene with dialogue.
However, you have an empty canvas if all you want to do is make a straight-up beat.
It will be very beneficial to you in the long run if you always keep in mind the kind of beat you're making.
8. Always Remove Before Adding
It is excellent advice as it can be used during beat-making and mixing. Your beat may sound great but once you add a bassline, you may face problems, such as you can have mud or may sound too bassy at low-end. In such situations, you can add EQ to eliminate some low-end.
9. Start with the beats, then move to mixing
Don't worry about mixing; just make your music. While it's true that mixing is crucial, as a beginner, you should avoid mixing at first.
Before you can advance and begin working on other aspects of beat-making, you must practise making beats.
For now, focus on creating beats and getting them to sound amazing. Mixing is a different skill and takes a long time to master.
10. Use Your Style
It's normal that when you begin, certain hip-hop producers will inspire you, but remember that while creating beats you must be creative and expressive. Though it's not necessary, you could create beats that sound exactly like those of a well-known producer. If you did that, people would just listen to other people's beats and wouldn't bother listening to yours.
You must therefore use your style. It's acceptable to be influenced by other people, but the secret to success is to take that inspiration and transform it into your beat.
LA's music scene is a creative melting pot where leading producers in the city have shared their priceless knowledge. For those who want to be successful in the always-changing field of music production, use these beatmaking pointers as a guide. Put on your headphones, launch your DAW, and start producing music!