Not knowing how to structure their beats, is a very common problem for all beginner music producers. Beatmaking is not a complicated process, but ii requires devotion, patience and determination.
It is a constant process of learning and through creation, every beatmaker gets the opportunity to experiment and test different methods of producing music and apply them on his beats.
Understanding rap beat structure
Proper rap beat structuring, is one of the main problems beginner producers face because it needs a certain level of experience and lots of practice. We have compiled a list of things (starting with the proper equipment and studio setup) that will help every producer start making beats and structuring them along the way.
First of all, you need to focus on your equipment. You are going to need them in order to be able to start working on your beats. Here is a list of the basic equipment that you need:
- PC (Personal Computer) / Laptop
- Studio monitors
- Audio interface
- Midi keyboard
- Drum pad controller
These are all necessary to start making your own beats, and you can search online to find and buy the ones that suit you best. There are excellent equipment available in affordable prices, and assuming that you have a certain budget to invest, this will not be a problem for you
Secondly, you can acquire some additional equipment that will help the music production process even more if your budget allows you to, but this is not a necessary step and you can do it later. In case you have the ability to purchase the additional equipment, we have compiled a list of what you are going to need:
- DJ mixer
These are some of the additional equipment that will come very handy, especially after you start gaining some initial experience on music production, and you start becoming more able to experiment with new methods of making beats.
A very important part of music production is the music software. There are many Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) available for you to choose from, although this makes the procedure a little more complicated than it should be.
The best way to determine which DAW suits you best and serves your needs, is to preview and test them all. You can check out their interface, their work process, the plugins and effects they have to offer.
This way you can make sure that you purchase the right software with which you will be able to work efficiently. Below, we have a list with some of the most powerful DAWs available in the market:
- FL Studio
- Pro Tools
- Ableton Live
These are all excellent music software that are going to make the beatmaking process convenient and entertaining. What is more, they all have their own plugins and effect generators, so make sure that you test them all to start getting familiar with their capabilities.
Plugins and VSTs
Plugins are very important tools, essential for the mixing and mastering process of your music productions. Although all Digital Audio Workstations come with their own plugins, there are a few vital ones that will help you take the quality of your music to the next level.
Here is a list with some of the most useful plugin series and bundles:
- Izotope Ozone
- Waves Complete Series
- T-Racks Series
You can use these plugins inside your music software, and in combination with the manual plugins that your DAWs will provide, you will have acquired a great number of tools to work with and process your sounds.
Loops, samples and sounds
In order to make the most out of your beats, you should search very carefully and obtain the highest-quality sound packages you can. Even though you will be able to tweak and improve your sounds with the plugins that you have, you can make the mixing process much easier if you start your beats with loops and melodies that already sound great.
No matter how powerful DAWs and plugins you have, you will never be able to have crystal clear music productions if you use low-quality sounds.
It is essential that you search hard and find trustful sources of sound and loops packages, preview them according to the genre and style of music that you create and purchase the one that you think are appropriate to use in your projects.
Knowing how to play one or multiple instruments is an amazing skill for every producer. You can make the basis of a music production and then start creating riffs and melodies with the instruments you play in order to make the sound of your beat more natural.
Two of the most efficient instruments when it comes to electronic music production, are the guitar and the piano. These two and especially the piano, are the most effective ones because they can be used in multiple different ways, like taking a midi keyboard and loading it with any sound you want to create fascinating loops.
Some of the instruments that you can study and learn how to play, are the ones listed below:
- Acoustic guitar
- Electric Guitar
Being able to study and learn one or more instruments will be very beneficial for your beats and will help you gain great levels of experience as a producer.
Soundproofing the room
Making your workroom soundproof is one the essential step you need to take in order to improve the quality of your listening environment. It vital that you use soundproofing materials on the walls like foam panels to avoid sound reflections.
Furthermore, you need to cover all the hard surface of the room with soundproofing materials. For example, you can put a carpet on the floor, or cover the closet with a blanket.
These are very simple but extremely effective methods to soundproof your room and make it easier for you to focus on every single detail of your music productions.
Start making the beat
After you have set up everything properly and you have acquired all the necessary equipment, music software, plugins and sounds, you need to focus on creating the actual beat.
You have to decide on you genre, your music production style and listen to lots of music in order to obtain a better understanding on how the already established beatmakers made their productions. Listen to them carefully and note down everything that attracts your attention.
The purpose is to have a general idea of how beatmaking works, gather some information and start applying the knowledge you gain on your own beats.
No producer was born successful. Hard work and determination are two key factors that will help you achieve the best results and start developing your own techniques and styles.
What is more, you can watch beatmaking video tutorials on youtube from other music producers who share their perspective, read available guides online and take part in discussions in relevant forums to share your opinion and ask for advice from other beatmakers.
Do not be afraid to experiment and apply everything that you learn to your own beats. Take action and test different methods of creating music.
One very important thing of creating your own beats, is the structure of the music production. We have gather some tips to help beginner producers start structuring properly their beats.
Beat Structuring Tips
You have to understand that creating an interesting introduction for your beats is one of the most crucial moments when it comes to music production.
Some listeners tend to be very impatient and want to be impressed fast. Therefore, you have only a few seconds available to capture their attention and engage them for the rest of track. This can be achieved by creating an intriguing intro that will distinguish your beat between all other beat.
You can do this by creating a subtle intro melody of your main loop and fade it in slowly to prepare the listener for the main part. You can also add small sound of the main body of your production to give your audience a taste of what is coming.
On the other hand, you can make an impressive and loud intro that will attract everyone’s attention quickly. Use some of the heavier and loud instruments of your beat and make the main melodies of your beat stand out from the beginning.
Both ways work extremely well, but you have to decide which one to use according to the mood of the beat and the feeling you want to transmit to your audience. For instance, if you want to make a soft melancholic beat, you should focus on using the first style of intro to avoid making the beat too loud.
The main part
The main part of your beat is where most of the instruments of your beat are combined together, including any potential verses that artists may want to add to your beat.
What is essential for the main part, is to be able to combine all the loops and melodies together harmonically. In addition to this, you must make the main loop, the bass and the drum loop to stand out from the rest of the instruments to maintain a stable and clean beat.
You can achieve this by lower the volumes of any secondary melodies and effects and cutting down the frequencies that block the main loop to sound as clear as it should.
Make sure that you compress and add dynamic to your bass and drum loop, so that the beat sound more balanced, especially considering the lower frequencies. Make changes and variations to your loops so that you keep the beat interesting and add any essential pauses prepare the listener for the next parts.
If an artist is going to add a verse to your beat, make sure that you cut down the frequencies of the main and secondary loops that his voices uses, in order to emphasize the vocal part. This can be achieved with equalization or by simply lowering the loop volumes down.
When it comes to the hook part, you have to be able to make the main loop stand out even more by creating additional melodies that will accompany it.
You can usually achieve this by creating louder riffs that will enhance the rhythm of the main loop and they will help the listeners understand that the part of the hook has just begun. A nice way to add up to an already beautiful melody is by adding vocals or synth riffs into the part of the chorus.
You could also changes the melodies that you already have, and create different variations to alarm your audience about the chorus part, make the beat less monotonous and keep the beat changing constantly to avoid losing interest in your beat.
What is more, you can add percussion to emphasize the hook, or change the basslines and drumloops to make it more dramatic.
Small pauses and bridges are essential, especially when it comes to long tracks. Bridges are also considered essential for tracks that do not consist of many melodies and use mostly the main loop a bassline and a drum loop.
You can use bridges as pauses between the main parts of a beat and the hooks, between different verses if there are no hooks to the song or to distinguish one chorus from another when there are multiple ones.
To create a bridge, you can either filter or change your main loops so that you make them sound different from the main part, or add any effects to make them more abstract.
When creating the outro of a beat, you want to structure it according to the general feeling of the beat.
For instance, if you create an uplifting and loud beat it would be a good idea to use an abrupt closing for the beat to keep the intensity feeling intact until the end. On the other hand, if you make a smoother or softer beat, you should consider removing the instruments of the production on by one so that you close the beat in a subtle way.
These are some basic steps of structuring your beat. You can apply them, test the waters and see which fits better to your own beats.
Practice will help you build better and more efficient structure methods for your beats!