When there is a term called beat maker thrown around, the question always remains “does music producer make beats?” When people jump into music production everyone does different things some people go into sound engineering and become experts at it. Some people start with making beats for rappers and they call themselves music composers. This article is not written to throw shade on anyone who identifies themselves as anyone of these terms.
Let me tell my story first. I started as a beatmaker making beats for rappers and putting it all on beat stars. Within a year I started to do vocal mixing, mastering, and started to complete songs. After a year of doing this, I started to get into the market of stock music licensing and become a music composer writing music for a motion picture. How do I identify myself now? , am I a beatmaker, music producer, or a music composer.
Well, this is how I introduce myself,
Hey, I am Maslin JE, Keyboardist, music producer, and composer.
Yes, a music producer makes beats for rappers, songwriters, and singers to use the beats. When a beatmaker starts to involve in the complete music production process which includes mixing, mastering, and in-studio work of working with a singer he is called a music producer.
Let’s look at the process that goes on beat making
- Layering the drums
- Get the chords
- Pull that top melody
- Let the 808 gods rain
Layering the drums
The first step in putting together a beat as a music producer or a beatmaker is to lay the rhythm that’s going on in our heads. It’s easy to get lost in this stage .stay focused and get the rhythm out to the digital audio workstation.
Once you have done the kicks and snares, it’s time to add the high hats. Add triplets and have space if you can tune them to pitches do that as well.in simple words add dynamics to it.
It’s time to add some perc layers. This can be anything ranging from shakers, random noises from your room .fill in the tight places.
Now is the time to add a small atmospheric soundtrack in the background of your beat. If you ask how to get this, all you have to do is go to a place and record the noise on your phone. When you mix it in the beat just lower the volume below -40db and that will work. The sweet spot is you should know that the noise is there but you shouldn’t be able to tell, hey that’s noise.
Get the chords
Getting the chords right is the next step as a producer or beatmaker to take things to the next step.
As soon as you hear the Rhodes or a chord patch running over your drums your beat will come to life immediately, there is no question in that at all.
Adding chords might be a hard task for you if you have no idea about music theory. Nowadays there are lots of plugins available which gives you chords based on the vibes that you need and they even sweetly provide them in the form of midi files which is extra sweet.
As the chords start to roll, if you layer the chords even more with two or three layers of different sounds and mix everything and get something new out of it, go ahead.
Experiment and Experiment more.
Pull that top melody
It’s time to add the only thing that normal human ears will give more attention to in a song. The melody is an important part of the beat that you have to pay attention to. I love to have my melodies short, repeatable, and easy to hold on to it. This allows connecting with the listener without complicating the story of the song with multiple melodies in them.
The less is more is so evident in this case.
As a beatmaker, you are always put in this position to bring the best out of the beat and sometimes it happens sometimes it doesn’t happen. Give your best.
Let the 808 Gods rain
When you ask a kid, “what is the first thing you notice in a big truck?” you will get the answer as “tires”. Just like that, the 808 is the actual powerhouse of the beat that holds everything in place. If you take the 808 out of the game you will lose almost all the energy that you have in the song.
808s are used in various ways and are manipulated to create even new types of beats as well. Getting yourself into the groove with the 808 is key in perfecting your beats.
Add a saturator to the 808s and with a limiter to spice it up.
This is where things will start to get interesting because in this step of the process the beatmaker or the producer is trying to make the beat sound good and perfect for the listener’s ears. You can simply put this step as polishing the sound for the listener to appreciate and enjoy the amazing craft that you have put together.
Some people consider mixing songs as a harder job .yes it is harder but if you take the right approach towards it you won’t find it harder at all.
Usually, beatmakers don’t mix the songs much at all. Music producers take the time to mix the songs. as I said before this can’t be applied to all people who make beats some beatmakers love mixing as well. They put in the time to mix their tracks.
The final step of the beat making process. If the beat is to be sent for a producer to record a vocal, the beat is sent directly at the mixing stage. If the beat that has been made is made to be an instrumental then the process of mastering the beat starts here.
Mastering is nothing but pushing the mixed song to its limits to make it sound pleasing to the ears and convey the emotions it’s set out to convey.
it doesn’t matter which title you hold. What you put out into the world matters. Make your creation to be helpful and inspire you to do great things in life.
As said before a producer and a beatmaker are nearly the same people with a bit of difference in the way that they work.
If you are interested check our article on how to choose your first midi keyboard here