Beat Making; what is it??
You’ve probably heard terms like “songwriter”, “composer”, and “music producer” before, but what exactly is a “beat maker”? It can get a little confusing and overly complicated, so I’m going to try and break it down for you: a beat maker creates music, or “instrumentals” using concepts and skills from songwriting, audio engineering, and music production.
If you turn on the radio right now and listen to just about any station, you will hear songs that most likely have drums, bass, chords, and lots of melodic elements; plus a singer/rapper on top of all of that. The “beat” that a “beat maker” produces consists of all those musical elements that accompany the singer/rapper.
To create beats, you use an app called a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW, which is really just a fancy way of saying music program. Some common DAW’s are Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Garageband, etc. etc. And, to make life easier, companies have been creating completely browser-based DAW’s like Soundtrap, which means you don’t even need to download a program to your computer, you can just go straight to the particular website and start making beats!
Some beat makers will build their beats entirely out of audio samples recorded from existing music, while others will record or create brand new instruments and samples using a DAW. Most of the time beat makers are using a little bit of both samples and new recordings to get a nice mixture of sounds and ideas; and, there are websites like Splice where you can download thousands of pre-made samples. In Splice, you can find anything from flute recordings to snare drum hits and everything in between.
Now you might ask, “where should I start if I have a desire to make beats?” Spy Hop offers a handful of different classes that give you a great opportunity to dive into the world of beatmaking, including Beat Making 101 (running March 9th through March 25th) and Beat Challenge (every friday from 2:30 to 5:30)! Beat Challenge is an easy-to-access, awesome way to learn new tips and tricks from mentors and other beat makers in the musical community. Plus, you’ll have a chance to grab new samples every week, and put your beat making skills to the test! Come join us, even if you’ve never made a beat before, we can get you started!