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Following on from friday’s FORUM post, I thought I’d try and provoke a bit more amongst the producers, old and new, that read WIB. Jeremy/Kuroisoul dropped this a while back, and it’s a real interesting read. If you got something you think’d add to it, or something someone else would fine useful and helpful, post it up. A good resource for producing’s is invaluable, it’d be dope if the WIB community can build one up.

Instead of making an entire forum dedicated to this, I think I’ll just start a thread that we can all add to with our own insights and thoughts. In order to post, all you have to do is leave your thoughts, tips, ideas, etc. but you have to list the category of each topic you’re addressing.

Here are some of the categories we can address (if you have any ideas for more let me know):






One of the first things I did when I started making beats was listen to tracks and write down things I noticed in order to teach myself. I had a journal that I wrote in but eventually I just kept it in my head. I hope this thread becomes kind of like that for various beatmakers – a helpful collection of ideas and observations. Most producers would be hesitant to share any secrets or ideas, tips, etc. but if you are secure in what you do and your style and sound there is no reason to fear helping another person.

[Remember you can sign in to our forums using Youtube/Facebook/Blogspot/etc. accounts so you got no excuse not to! And hey, write something interesting enough we might turn it into an article for you.]

Comtinue Reading After The Jump…


Listen for a unique feeling & sound. If you don’t WANT to listen to it, don’t sample it.

Listen for distinct elements. and something that catches your ear. What makes the sample unique? Try to listen for unique feelings, not exact sounds because that unique sound is exactly what will make the sample hard to clear. You don’t have to worry about clearing the feeling in a song. If you focus on feeling, the sample becomes a canvas and not simply a “remix”.

Listen for sounds that are convertible to hip hop. Not all samples are convertible to hip hop even though they sound good. Sometimes it may sound good but during the beat making process it will come out corny if the sample doesn’t have a distinct hip hop feeling. (This is the hardest one to master)

Spend more time digging. Be discriminate in choices. Know where you are going with the sample ahead of time if you can help it. A lot can be done through experimentation but you will always feel like you are hit and miss if you don’t start to focus on a sound and where you want to take things.

Decide whether or not you are going to loop or chop before working with the sample. That changes the entire premise of how you will make the beat.

Not all samples create a song on their own. Sometimes your beats are just the starting point, to be completed later. In this case, know what you need to do later to “complete” the track and note it.

Identify each element in a sample, the beginning, middle, end, bridges, choruses, etc. Know the structure. This will help you to expand your beat later.

Is the sample strong enough on its own? If not, it is incomplete.

Some samples are driven by the bass but not by the sample itself, almost like an illusion. You can get tricked a lot by this easily and the sample will be hollow on its own without the bass.

Identify the time signature and tempo. Hip hop is best in 4/4 time signature.

It’s best to usually pitch up or down by 10bpm. Any more that that and it is 50/50 on whether or not it will sound good.

If 3/4 time, chop beat by beat and replay the chops in 4/4 time. If you want to loop a 3/4 time sample, prolong or delete a beat to make it 4/4 (example: J Dilla’s production of Pop’s Reprise).

Make sure equipment is prime for recording. Use what you have but try to have a highER quality setup if possible.

Samples must leave room for vocals. Listening to beats on your own time you might forget this and try to overproduce. Ask yourself, where do vocals come in?

This could become a goldmine for info, it’d be dope if you put something up.


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