Hip Hop tops the charts in the music industry today. But behind every famous rapper is a genius in producing beats. Many push their limits and experiment on new ways to make Hip Hop unique. These beats might look easy to create, but in reality, it takes years to master. Thus, to help you understand the process, here are some essential things you need to create Hip Hop music:
808 or the Roland TR-808 is a drum machine that allows producers to program rhythms. The 808 has the ability to generate sounds with the use of analog synthesis. Indeed, it is a programmable replacement for live drums. Today, the 808 has become popular in Hip Hop culture and it has become a tool for producers.
For a good sounding bass, one tip to remember is to achieve the right saturation. Make sure that the 808 bass has a heavy low-end. Feel it in your headphones or laptop speakers. Apply various saturation techniques to achieve this. 808s can be made from a sine wave. This has a low frequency and, sometimes, you might not hear it on your computer. Thus, saturation comes into the picture. Saturation is all about adding harmonics and distortion so the sound will be audible. Without saturation, the bass won’t be heard and this will not create enough energy for your music. Indeed, there are various plugins that you can try to make 808s sound awesome, making your music punchy and clear.
2. Appropriate Samples
Your Hip Hop beat must begin with strong samples. This can provide your beat with character, making it sound pro. Since you’re just starting, it’s best to use royalty-free music. Apart from this, you can start creating samples from weird noises inside your studio. You can utilize your resources and create magical sounds on your own. For example, trap drums can be used for Hip Hop productions. Listen to it and you will find that it shares the same characteristics as that of deep 808s, snares, and heavy kicks.
Nowadays, Hip Hop music incorporates hi-hats. Hi-hats are part of a standard drum kit. It is the combination of two cymbals plus a foot pedal. With hi-hats, it can create two sounds, which are the closed hat and open hat. The hi-hats are closed whenever the drummer’s foot is down. This enables the cymbals to press together. Whenever the drummer’s foot is raised, the hi-hats are open and the cymbals are not touching each other. On the drum set, there is a wide range of states for close and open hi-hats. Each state will produce a different sound. But if you play a closed hi-hat together with the open hi-hat, the closed one will win as it will stop the open hi-hat. Thus, hi-hats can’t be closed and open simultaneously. Indeed, hi-hats patterns are important because this makes the listener bob their heads to the beat. Because of this, it is important to know the right hi-hat pattern that will match the song.
In music production, loops can provide you with a groove and vibe. A loop refers to the repetition of a short section of tracks. Today, producers use software devices to create loops. As soon as you create a loop, make variations for the different track sections. If you have the same loop that repeats throughout the music, it will get the listeners bored. However, this does not mean that you have to find new loops or completely change the melody. You can increase or decrease the pitch, or switch a few notes. Indeed, the loops can create emotion and energy throughout the track. Here are some ideas on how you can customize loops:
- Change the Pitch: You can get unexpected and interesting results if you shift the loop to a higher or lower pitch. Results can turn out to be inspiring, whether you’re transposing or fine-tuning it.
- Adjust the Tempo: Indeed, tempo adjustments can make a difference in your music. Almost all the production software packages will let you adjust the speed of your sample. This is true whether you want to make it slower or adjust it double-time.
- Put the Loop in Reverse: With the aid of software programs, you can play a sample backward. Try it and see if it can inspire your music.
With the use of software, you can play with these tools. Add an echo, reverb, or modulate it. Experiment on the loops and see what will work best for you and your music.
5. Sound Library
Start building up a diverse and unique music collection now. It can be DVDs of recordings, software-based instruments, or keyboard synthesizers. Record your drum beats or use drum practice pads, purchase a sample, and start making music around those. Begin with that creative spark and you will develop it into amazing beats later on. See to it that you have all the things you need in your sound library. Keep it organized and maintain your files. Indeed, there is some work involved in building your sound library, but it will definitely pay off in the end.
The triplet flow is very popular today. In this musical principle, one beat is divided into three notes. This works the same way when you use the snares or hi-hats. Experiment with various triplet patterns and see how it can affect your beat. One pro tip is to use the triplet patterns in your transition. Transition refers to the passage of music from one section to another. It is a segue between two sections of one track.
Think outside the box and create beats that have never been played—though it’s not easy to create the right groove. Apart from making the right patterns, you must learn how to create a connection between the music and the listener. This is the tricky part, but it is always achievable. Give yourself some time to try new things that can lead to something exciting. Every Hip Hop producer is different, so don’t rush yourself.
The things listed above will not produce the music on their own—it’s up to you to come up with your own unique beat. But with the help of these essential tools, you can use your wildest imagination and unleash your hidden talents in Hip Hop today.