Making Rap Instrumental Beats Quick Tips
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1. Sampling is key
Download some other songs (or if you got any old vinyl, you might try hooking your turntable or record player into your cpu), then load em up into cool edit pro (look for that mp3 addon!!!). Then, you gotsta chop some sounds out of it; loops or notes, it doesn't really matter, whatever sounds good. If you sample songs with drums in them, its real tricky, cause when you put your drums down, you gotta make it match so be careful. Cool edit's got madd effects that you'll probly want to apply to your rap instrumental beats samples.
2. Drums are a must
check http://www.phatdrumloops.com/, and download some drum rap instrumental beats loops. Then, you can use them directly or better yet, chop em up and make your own. Look for a program called Recycle; it can chop up drum loops (or notes or whatever) automatically. At first you'll probably want to just use the drum sample directly, but after a while you will wanna start using you own sequences.
3. Fruity Loops is a sequencer.
Now, the samples that come with fruity loops are frail like a fiend's physique, and fruity loops was made primarly to create dance music; for hip hop/rap instrumental beats, it's strength lies in its sequencing ability. Add the directories that you have your samples in to the menu on the side. Then, you can start makin music! Id start with the drums (they gotta be bangin) and then move on to bass (download some bass sounds and some bass drums too). Keep in mind: every element of the song should be kept in different pattern section (the little keypad things at the top). Lets say that you make a simple drum sequence in the 1st track, and you want to give the drums some variation. to do this you need to go to the 2nd track, then copy the drum sequence from the first and change it up (mabye a second handclap, a second snare, more hi hats, etc). To make it play like that, you need to go to the play list view, highlight 3 bars of track one (it really helps to name the tracks like 'drums 1', 'drums 2', 'bass 1', 'piano'). Then, highlight the second track for the forth bar, highlight loop, and press play. You should hear your 1st loop 3 times, and then your 2nd loop. Do the same for the bass, instruments or whatever. (btw, you can select sections from the playlist view by holding down ctrl or alt and copy and paste them) There might be a way to quantize (record the notes you play from your midi keyboard) with fruity loops, but if there is i don't know. And I don't really use cubase, cause it screws up Reason, so i can't help you there.
4. In general
Sample everything; TV shows, classical music, you name it. mix and match, amplify, boost or cut the bass/treble. Basically: experiment Variation makes the song; throw in a little something here and there to juice it up or it gets boring. Depending on what your making, you should keep the intro around 20 seconds long (12 bars i think), verses 24 bars, choruses 8 bars and outro can vary. Practice makes perfect. Your first stuff might sound awful but you kinda get a feel for what goes where after a while. Hope this stuff helps, just keep in mind that the most important thing is having fun; if its fun, and you like doing it, you'll be ill as ****. You can't persue good music, its gotta ensue. Oh yeah, if anyone with a hardware setup reads this: You are entitled to front. If you dropped a grand on an MPC you are probably serious (or spoiled out of you mind), so i hope you can drop some rap instrumental beats knowledge too.
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