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Tips to upcoming producers

R-Tistic

L.A. needs me!
What's goin on? I started doin beats back in 95, but I haven't made much in the last year since I've been DJing. However, I can still drop some words of advice to you all. I was with Black Wall Street for a min when Game first came out, and I have done tracks for him, G. Malone, Murs, Kam, and a few other cats. I might get back into it, but I am enjoying DJing a lot more now.

For those of you who've been producing for a while, what tips could you give? It can be about the creation, how you use or sell the beats, networking, or whatever.

Here's some pointers I could give...

-If you are just starting, I think it's fine to imitate your favorite producers in order to learn from them. I used to try to re-create beats that were already out, just to see how close I could get mine to sound. After a while, you have to evolve and develop your own style, because you don't want to be a rip off clone or "poor man's" version of any producer.

-Many companies, artists, A&Rs and the like tend to look for complete songs nowadays, versus just beats. People feel that there are a lot of producers that can make beats, but only some can make it a complete song...and some beats will never sound complete without the right rapper on it.

-Everyone has a different rate of producing songs...but whether you make 5, 10, or 200 a year, make sure you can tell which ones stand out the most. When you are playing beats for someone, they won't be impressed by the number of beats you have, but by the number of beats that catch their ear. It's nothing worst than going through 15, 20 beats, and having some one say "next..." after 10 seconds of each one...especially if that 21st beat is the best one, and they don't even want to hear any more after what you've played.

-Make sure to copyright your music, and learn the business side if you want to get serious. Do NOT let someone have your entire beat without filling out a contract, receiving money, or working out any terms...because you'll always get people to "guarantee to pay you when the album drops" or "they'll pay you after they record the track" and you can easily get played. It doesn't matter if they are from a major company or small time...make sure you work out deals before giving someone your track on CD, MP3, or whatever it is.

-Everyone feels different about this...but in my opinion, don't try too hard to make beats that are "hot", or that have a different sound than what you are used to, just to appeal to another region or fanbase. For beginners and intermediate producers, it's always obvious when they try to make their "club track" "dirty south track" "track for the ladies" "West coast track" or "reggae track"...and many of these tracks sound forced. Being diverse can be a great thing, but having your own sound and style is what is best. People won't go to DJ Premier for a 80 BPM bouncy Club track, and they won't go to Lil Jon for a sampled, East Coast throwback joint...so figure what you're best at and what style you want to aim for, and perfect that.

-Be careful when making trendy beats, because these have the shortest long term value. In 2001-2002, everybody had their imitation Neptunes and Dre beats...03-04, they had their imitation Lil Jon or Kanye West sped up sample Beats...04-05, imitation Scott Storch....05-06, their "snap" beats...and when you listen to these beats now, they sound hella outdated, even if they were good for their time. Therefore, if you don't get those beats out to somebody while that sound is hot, these beats don't have much shelf life.

-Instruments and drum sounds can make a song trendy or timeless...and live instruments will never sound played out, even if the style of the song may sound old or even dated. Synthesizers and certain drum sounds mark the era and time that a song sounds like, which can also make beats sound dated after a few years. The same way that you can recognize an 80's beat, or a 90's G-Funk beat as soon as you hear certain sounds, is the same way that a modern synth beat will sound in a few years.

-Be careful when using samples, because it can be a challenge to clear these tracks if you are dealing with a major. Some clearances can be in the high thousands just to clear...and that will come out of the money they would be paying you since you created the beat.

-Try to think as a rapper and artist, and help come up with concepts, hooks, and ideas for songs, and not just the beat.

-If you can't play the piano well, or if you would like to have someone play a live instrument, don't hesitate to find someone who specializes in playing that instrument. The role of a producer or even "beatmaker" is not just to create every element of the beat, but to bring it all together...and someone who specializes in an instrument can take a simple melody you may have to a completely different level.
 
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Cphollywoodsce

New member
Well Put! Learn apregiation, learn how to mix your beats right. Learn frequencies, because that can make the difference with an 808 and a kick track
 

R-Tistic

L.A. needs me!
^Yeah definitely...the drum pattern alone will never sound hot if it's not mixed right. A lot of commercial songs have the same 808 kick, but the way they hit makes a MAAAJOR difference when you compare them to amateur tracks.
 

Diamond Dog

NNY's Truth
I just wanted to say THANKS for this post. I've always been interested in producing, but never really knew much beyond the DJ side of it (sampling, mixing, etc). This is a great post for beginners and those who have thought about it, but weren't quite sure where to start.
 

bjobson

FIE TRAXX!!
Yeah i agree!!! This was a hot post my man. I appreciate that a lot. Definitely.

Check my myspace (myspace.com/fietraxx) and check me out and let me know what u think about my beats and stuff. Appreciate it
 

Shadik

New member
R-Tistic said:
What's goin on? I started doin beats back in 95, but I haven't made much in the last year since I've been DJing. However, I can still drop some words of advice to you all. I was with Black Wall Street for a min when Game first came out, and I have done tracks for him, G. Malone, Murs, Kam, and a few other cats. I might get back into it, but I am enjoying DJing a lot more now.

For those of you who've been producing for a while, what tips could you give? It can be about the creation, how you use or sell the beats, networking, or whatever.

Here's some pointers I could give...

-If you are just starting, I think it's fine to imitate your favorite producers in order to learn from them. I used to try to re-create beats that were already out, just to see how close I could get mine to sound. After a while, you have to evolve and develop your own style, because you don't want to be a rip off clone or "poor man's" version of any producer.

-Many companies, artists, A&Rs and the like tend to look for complete songs nowadays, versus just beats. People feel that there are a lot of producers that can make beats, but only some can make it a complete song...and some beats will never sound complete without the right rapper on it.

-Everyone has a different rate of producing songs...but whether you make 5, 10, or 200 a year, make sure you can tell which ones stand out the most. When you are playing beats for someone, they won't be impressed by the number of beats you have, but by the number of beats that catch their ear. It's nothing worst than going through 15, 20 beats, and having some one say "next..." after 10 seconds of each one...especially if that 21st beat is the best one, and they don't even want to hear any more after what you've played.

-Make sure to copyright your music, and learn the business side if you want to get serious. Do NOT let someone have your entire beat without filling out a contract, receiving money, or working out any terms...because you'll always get people to "guarantee to pay you when the album drops" or "they'll pay you after they record the track" and you can easily get played. It doesn't matter if they are from a major company or small time...make sure you work out deals before giving someone your track on CD, MP3, or whatever it is.

-Everyone feels different about this...but in my opinion, don't try too hard to make beats that are "hot", or that have a different sound than what you are used to, just to appeal to another region or fanbase. For beginners and intermediate producers, it's always obvious when they try to make their "club track" "dirty south track" "track for the ladies" "West coast track" or "reggae track"...and many of these tracks sound forced. Being diverse can be a great thing, but having your own sound and style is what is best. People won't go to DJ Premier for a 80 BPM bouncy Club track, and they won't go to Lil Jon for a sampled, East Coast throwback joint...so figure what you're best at and what style you want to aim for, and perfect that.

-Be careful when making trendy beats, because these have the shortest long term value. In 2001-2002, everybody had their imitation Neptunes and Dre beats...03-04, they had their imitation Lil Jon or Kanye West sped up sample Beats...04-05, imitation Scott Storch....05-06, their "snap" beats...and when you listen to these beats now, they sound hella outdated, even if they were good for their time. Therefore, if you don't get those beats out to somebody while that sound is hot, these beats don't have much shelf life.

-Instruments and drum sounds can make a song trendy or timeless...and live instruments will never sound played out, even if the style of the song may sound old or even dated. Synthesizers and certain drum sounds mark the era and time that a song sounds like, which can also make beats sound dated after a few years. The same way that you can recognize an 80's beat, or a 90's G-Funk beat as soon as you hear certain sounds, is the same way that a modern synth beat will sound in a few years.

-Be careful when using samples, because it can be a challenge to clear these tracks if you are dealing with a major. Some clearances can be in the high thousands just to clear...and that will come out of the money they would be paying you since you created the beat.

-Try to think as a rapper and artist, and help come up with concepts, hooks, and ideas for songs, and not just the beat.

-If you can't play the piano well, or if you would like to have someone play a live instrument, don't hesitate to find someone who specializes in playing that instrument. The role of a producer or even "beatmaker" is not just to create every element of the beat, but to bring it all together...and someone who specializes in an instrument can take a simple melody you may have to a completely different level.

Good stuff my dude
 

LLManagement

New member
R-Tistic said:
-Many companies, artists, A&Rs and the like tend to look for complete songs nowadays, versus just beats. People feel that there are a lot of producers that can make beats, but only some can make it a complete song...and some beats will never sound complete without the right rapper on it.
Probably the difference in placing your beats. Just getting a hook done can make a huge difference because it gives the song a direction.

Also, try to lock down your local market before trying to become the next timbo. Trying to go from a nobody to a platinum producer isnt something that happens overnight but with the right drive and work ethic it can happen.

Having a "sound" to your production is cool, but at the same time keep in mind that people get sick of a certain sound after a while(ie. neptunes)

Basically just keep working and have the patience and if you have the talent everything falls into place. Networking is probably the most important thing you can do. start small and work your way up.
 

BEATBANGER

New member
As a former producer (I still dabble in it when I feel inspired), I can tell you this...

I attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and majored in Audio (and Video) Production and Recording. WHAT A RIP OFF THAT WAS!!!! It may have changed since then but back then, we couldn't even touch the console until the last semester and that was during our class project. We spent most of our time in the classroom learning the history and marketing of music and I recall having a final exam that was solely based on the 32 different types of microphones and their uses... yeah for real! That was the entire final!! LMAO!

I agree w/everything RTISTIC posted but to add to it:

- Formal training is "ok" but not needed!!!

- Don't delete your projects if you can help it. Go back to it later to either add to it or change it up.

- Read up on the program you're trying to master and find out what everything does and how it should be used. This makes it a lot easier in the long run vice diving head in and getting frustrated!!!

- I learned on (and still use) a BOSS DR 5!!! The shits portable and anytime I'm inspired, I can pull it out my back pack and lay down what's in my head.

- You don't have to aim so friggin' high to make tight ass beats man. Some of the best shit comes from the cheapest equipment or software. Real talk!!!

- The CD's you send out, make sure you put all your contact info and only burn SNIPPETS of the hottest section of the beat. I used to only burn the portion where the meat of the beat meets the gravy and it was no longer than 00:01:30 in length. That way, they'd want to hear the rest of the shit.

- Like demos, packaging should grab people's attention from the stacks if you shipping them out.

RTISTIC, we never got to meet when I was living in LA but you know our paths crossed via another site, I know you didn't know this about me but a few people did. I helped launch Def Jam Japan and was one of few African American producers living in Japan at the time so they looked to me for beats and what not but we never got to do further business because there was so much contractual stuff going on with the launch of it.

I've since retired and decided to launch my magazine and relaunch my website. Actually, the whole reason I started my website was to bring all the pieces together. As a producer who was new to Cali, I searched the net for people that I needed (writers/singers/emcees etc. etc.) and decided to make a forum like this one. I evolved it into a website to promote only un-signed urban artist and was trying to make it the URBAN ITUNES but strictly for un-signed acts so that we could get paid. Then came that damn Myspace and I had to go back to the drawing board.

The magazine will cover topics such as this. I will post more as it comes to me but these are my top pointers.

Fuze
 

The Biologist

New member
wow that was worth reading. As an upcoming producer that is good to know. All of my fav, prod/artists have thier one unique "move" or several and I think it is important to develope that within yourself instead of "trying to br the next so and so"
 

DJ Kooshie

New member
Thanks for taking the time to post, I'm not a noobie producer, but I would consider myself more intermediate...I'll never be "pro." There's just way too much about music to learn. And it's constantly evolving.
 

Kontagiouz

New member
Tips on Recording, mixing, songwriting, copyright

Definitely great post all the way around. Anyone got questions about copyrights or recording and mixing tips, check out
hotbeatsandhooks.com


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