Monthly Archives: December 2015

What Kind Of Equipment Do You Need To Create Your Own Beats

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If you’re reading this post, chances are that you love hip hop music and/or you’re an aspiring producer who would love to know which kind of equipment you should acquire when it comes to creating your beats. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’re going to take a look at all the essential equipment you’ll need to create your first beat.

Before we being it’s important to note that you don’t need a boatload of gear in the beginning stages. As such, do not make the mistake of purchasing an abundance of gear and focus on crafting your new skill instead.

Here are the essential pieces of gear that you’ll need to create a beat.

1) Dedicated PC/Laptop

For you to make the most out of your equipment, you need a reliable laptop/computer. The reason being is that your computer will operate as the brains or center of your studio. When it comes to acquiring a computer, ensure that you acquire something that is strong enough to support a high-quality graphics card and that it has at least 4 GB of ram. As far as the operating system goes, it doesn’t matter if you purchase a MAC or Windows based computer because most music related programs are compatible with Mac and Windows based systems. Additionally, ensure that you utilize this computer for music production only.

2) Digital Audio Workstation

After you have acquired a fast enough computer, the next thing you’ll need is a digital audio workstation. A digital audio workstation is essentially a black piece of paper that hip hop music producers can utilize to create their beats on. It’s a computer program that is specifically designed to enable the recording, mixing, editing and mastering of files. By acquiring a digital audio workstation, you will be able to produce your beats. However, it is worth noting that every digital audio workstation has a unique interface. As such, you should plan on committing yourself to your chosen audio workstation. Some of the most popular digital audio workstations that have been used by popular rappers such as Soulja Boy (FL Studio) include:

* FL Studio

* Propellerhead Reason

* Steinberg Cubase

* PreSonus Studio

* Cockos Reaper

3) Virtual Studio Technology

After you have selected a good digital audio workstation, you’ll need to acquire a VST before your digital recording studio is complete. VST or Virtual Studio Technology is essentially utilized in combination with a digital audio workstation to simulate a full blown recording studio. Even though there is an abundance of professionally made VSTs out there, it’s highly recommended that as a beginner, you should utilize the free options that are available.

4) Quality Headphones

The last thing you will need is a pair of high-quality headphones. This can prove to be a more cost effective solution than for you to invest an abundance of money into creating an acoustically treated room that features expensive sound isolation pads, high-quality speakers, and bass traps. Even if you plan to invest in acoustic treatment for your room, as a beginner in hip hop music production, your main focus should be on crafting and honing your skills, before you move on to invest in more equipment. When it comes to buying a pair of quality headphones, chances are that you will not find a pair of studio quality headphones for under $100. Bear this in mind when it comes to choosing a pair of headphones that are affordable yet provide studio audio quality as well.

djTLMtv did a really great video on what you need to start making beats.  Check it out below:

How to Make Hip Hop Drums Sound Big

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The drums are an important part of making hip-hop beats, so much so, that it could determine the success or failure of a recording. Flat or mediocre sounding drums could wreck what would otherwise be a great production hence the need to have big-sounding drums. Giving your drums the loudness you require is not too complicated, and the following tips will show you how.

Take advantage of the recording facility

The room where your recording takes place is your first ally in your attempt to create the impression of loud sounding drums. The way your drums sound is influenced a lot by the acoustics in the room where the recording takes place and hip hop producers have always taken advantage of a the reverberations in the recording room to boost the sound of the drums. By placing microphones (also known as room mics) close to the drums, the reverberations in the room are captured, and this helps boost the sound of the drums.

Use a bass booster

There are plenty of bass boosting plug-ins that could help you boost the sound of your hip hop samples. Bass booster plug-ins are created to find out the absence bass frequencies in a recording and will automatically add them. Of course, you have the final word on how much bass you want in the recording but an important thing to remember is that excessive bass will not help boost the sound of the drums. The key here is to boost the bass with a measure of moderation.

Equalize the bass

For hip-hop drums to stand out, it is important that the bass frequencies are properly equalized. This is usually easy, but it is one little step that many people take for granted with the result that the sound of the drums gets muddled up, and the distinctive loudness you craved is never achieved. On your screen, you can easily determine whether the frequencies are properly evened out by looking at the shape of the curve. Properly equalized frequencies produce the shape of a hump – they peak in the middle and then roll evenly to the left and the right.

High frequencies can obscure your hip hop drum sounds and reduce their loudness, so it is a wise thing to try and bring the frequencies down. In addition to frequency reduction, you should also consider compressing the kick especially when the peak on your screen is not uniform.

Slow down the tempo of the song

When you slow down the tempo of a song, its pitch also goes down. The slower recording then sounds heavier than what you had originally when the tempo was higher. The sound of the drums is, therefore, more distinct and, in effect, louder. While this sound-boosting technique is easy to perform, you need to take care that you do not go overboard in tempo reduction – if you reduce the tempo, excessively you might end up with a sound that is totally different from your original recording.

If you need some more pointers, check out this video on mixing big hip hop drums: