2 May 2013
Who is a beat maker?
A beat maker is a composer of music or better yet a person who create instrumental beats for singers to write songs to. A beat maker is not producer .They are not necessarily involved in the process of recording and arranging the final product. Why is this so? Well, a beat maker just creates and sells beats. How to get started?
So with all that said how do you get started as a beat maker? If you know how to play an instrument youâ€™re halfway there, if not you have a lot of work to do. There are two things that a beat maker needs to know to get started:
- You need to know how songs are structured
- You need to know how to create these structures from scratch
Why? If you are able to listen to a song and recreate the structure, and keep the basic elements of a genre, you are a skillful beat maker. Your ears are your helper at this point.
How to develop your skills?
Understanding music and its structure is a part of the technical skills needed. The other is knowing how to create these structures. Donâ€™t be scared you canâ€™t play piano efficiently. You donâ€™t need to be a highly trained musician to make beats. All you need to know is how to recreate what you are hearing in your head. The focus is the end product.
Start by mastering each song element. Drum patterns are the easiest to master. Listen to your favorite songs in the genre you want to make and recreate the drum patterns. Then go on to the bass line, then the melody until you have made everything. By doing this youâ€™ll be training your ears to listen for each instrument.
As a challenge to start you on your journey, when listening to your favorite songs try beating on desk or any surface for that matter, the drum pattern youâ€™re hearing. Youâ€™ll get a feel of how to make those types of beats.
What you need to start making beats?
Your beat maker tool kit will consist of the following:
- DAW – Digital Audio workstation
- Midi Keyboard
- External Sound card
- Various Vst instruments.
I will further breakdown various options for each category in anther article.
Do you need all of these to actually start? The answer No. I started with a copy of FL Studio 3.4, some crappy computer speakers and moved up from there. The key thing is to just start practicing.
30 April 2013
How do you get started?
To get started as a music producer you need to understand the role of a music producer. A music producer is a creative project manager. Such a person organizes the artiste music project. They may also contract the relevant professionals to get work done. Some of the tasks for hiring may involve the producer getting songs written for the artiste. They may also create or find persons to create instrumental for the song. The producerâ€™s role may also involve coaching the artiste while recording songs. For all itâ€™s worth the producer may be the engineer for the project in its entirety.
Modern producers have their own studios. Having your own studio will give you more time to work with singers on their project. You are the one responsible to get the best out of the artiste for the project. You will be the one to select the songs to be released. Also securing deals for the release and promotion of the project is another task undertaken. Most producers have their own labels, so they self release the artistâ€™s project as well.
So what do you do?
So in understanding the roles as a producer you will need to put together your team to work alongside you. Your team doesnâ€™t have to be large. But there are some key personnel that will help you as a producer. They are musicians & engineers. Depending on your skill you may be the one doing everything, creating the music and engineering the project. There is nothing is wrong with that.
If you intend on having your own label, you will need to expand your team. You will need a Publicist/Marketing manager to plan and execute promotional activities for your musical project. An accountant is needed to keep your finances in order. A booking agent is required to ensure that your artiste is consistently performing and making money. A lawyer is also needed to ensure that your contracts are in check.
So with that overview these are the skill sets you will need:
- Good time management skills
- Audio Engineering skills
- Songwriting skills
- knowledge of vocal coaching
You donâ€™t need all, but you need to master at least a couple to make it as a producer. You donâ€™t need to be a musician but you must be able to choose good music for your artiste. You donâ€™t need to be an audio engineer but must know what a good mix sounds like. You donâ€™t need to know vocal coaching but must know when an artiste is singing properly and to the best of their ability.
To conclude your role as a music producer is more of a project manager and mentor of artiste. Your ears and knowledge of music will be your best asset.