January 6, 2016 electrocore

Composition and processing of hip-hop beat

Hello, friends! Today we will make composition and processing of hip-hop beat. High-quality drums is the part of great hip-hop beat! For example, we will make beat on FL Studio.

Searching the idea

Idea is the basis of the music composition. Beginning from this point is not solving of all problems, but one of the methods. In our example the main idea is recorded guitar sample. Load it in DAW – you can use any DAW you like.

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Pic. 1
Guitar sample

Rhythmic base

Set project tempo to 86 BPM and make 2 bars pattern of drums based on kick and snare. Pattern with 2 bars is the classic variation of grooving hip-hop drum beat.

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Pic. 2
Rhythmic base

Kick and snare

Our trivial kick and snare sound boring and uninteresting, that is why we need to apply “layering” technique on our drums. Correctly chosen one-shot samples is the big opportunity for our future composition and allow to make real high quality sound.

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Pic. 3
Drums layering

Hi-hats pattern

Let’s make hi-hats! It is the most difficult part. Humanizing of our performance is the way will allow your drums to sounds like real-played studio record by little micro differences of velocity and placement of notes in hi-hats pattern. Use different quantize-templates (FL Studio) or make your exclusive schemes for more exclusive beat! Plain and homogenous pattern is not our way.

We made 2 patterns of hi-hats: first pattern made of sixteenth notes – pulsing rhythm (pic. 4). Second pattern creates some “off-beat” feeling, adding groove to hi-hats (pic. 4(1)). Very useful feature is the “ghost notes” – quiet notes, that creating living impression in our hats and more interesting sound of drums at all.

Also we added “ghost notes” on the every 2nd snare and as result we get pretty good drum loop pattern with percussion.

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Pic. 4

for rap mc rapper untagged Pic. 4(1)

Drum loop

But that is not all! Our drums whatever sounds not so bright and interesting, so we add the drum loop, preliminarily filtered it: cut all low frequencies up to 600 Hz. In FL Studio you can just use standart VST effect plugin “Fruity EQ 2”. This brings to our drums more life and thickness!

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Pic. 5 – Drum loop

Compression of drums of hip-hop beat

Now add some compression in the drums. Bass drum needs to high value of “attack”, let’s set compressor’s “attack” about 20 ms and short “release”. Also we boost area near 120 Hz (through EQ) for adding some power, and 3 kHz for adding “body” to our drums. Reduce frequencies near 300Hz to remove “turbidity”. Snare is also need to compressing and reduce slightly at 270Hz and remove up to 70Hz (we no need sub bass on the snare), then we add near 1 kHz. In hi-hats we need to remove all the garbage frequencies up to 900 Hz. After all we send all drum instruments into the group channel, add a little compression and some high frequencies.

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Pic.6 – Kick

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Pic.7 – Snare

Audio-chopping and bassline

Last step is the audio-chopping of our guitar sample and writing the bassline. For this I used “Trillogy”, but you can use any other instrument for making bassline pattern. Congrats, you are on the finish line!

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Author – ArtIss

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