What is a Beat Maker?
Unless you are in the industry, it can sometimes be confusing to know what all of the different titles mean, and what they do. Most people believe that a beat maker is the same as a producer, but the roles are actually quite different, but what are those differences?
What is a Beat Maker? A beat maker is a person who makes the beat of the song, pretty straight forward! A beat maker can create beats for specific artists, or they can develop rhythms just because they enjoy the process of creating. A beat maker can change the direction in which a song goes by adding in new sounds or instruments. Beat makers can use traditional instruments or machines to compose songs.
While music producers can bring a song to life, a beat maker has the ability to change a song in the blink of an eye completely. Let’s talk about what beat makers actually do and how they are vital to the music industry.
What is a Beat Maker?
A beat maker is in charge of composing a song and creating the beat that many of us love to listen to again and again. Beat makers can create a beat for a specific artist who may have a new album coming out, or they can create beats that they share across social media channels, or sell to others so they can use them. Many beat makers are also sampling existing songs and reworking them.
Some beat makers choose to use real instruments because of the sound that they give off. It can be challenging to replicate acoustic sounds with technology, but that has not stopped the music industry from utilizing machines to create beats without taking up as much room in someone’s studio or time setting up all of the equipment necessary. Those who work on the more technical aspect of songs since they use so many different machines to add or adjust sounds.
A lot of beat makers have been able to perfect their skills on their own through a lot of time and effort. If you have the drive and passion for dedicating to the craft, beat making may be easier than you think. You can also take lessons from professionals in the industry, or even find a mentor to help you along the way.
Although they are often confused, a beat maker and a music producer are not the same jobs. Beat makers focus on creating the “backbone” of a song, while music producers are more focused on the song as a whole. Beat makers do not often work directly with artists, but that does not keep some of the top beat makers from sometimes doubling as music producers.
What Exactly is a Beat?
A beat in a song combines different instrument sounds to create a “backbone” to a song. It also acts as a time unit to a song by using different sequences to differentiate between different parts of a song. Sequences are then combined to form the rhythm of a song. The speed at which a beat is in the song can also help you to determine the tempo of a specific song.
Beats are found in almost every genre of music, but the rise of Hip Hop, R&B, and Pop have all taken beat making to a new level. Beat makers are in higher demand than ever before since new artist is coming out every day.
Sample Beats vs. Original Beats
When it comes to creating beats, there are two ways that are the most popular. Creating original beats is when the maker is creating everything from scratch. They are combining every aspect of a beat into one sequence. This can be done by using the instruments acoustically, but a machine can also do it. Machines are a popular way of creating beats now due to their better economic costs, which are much more affordable than having one of every instrument you need.
On the other hand, sample beats have become a popular way of creating new sequences. Sampling uses beats or audio sequences that already exist in the music industry. Beat makers can take a snippet of a song they have been hired to adjust or enjoy and can add new instruments to change the tempo or beat into something brand new. Like creating original beats, this can be done with instruments or on a machine. One negative aspect of this is that a beat maker may require the license to the song in order to publish the song or make any changes.
How Can You Become a Beat Maker?
A lot of the best beat makers are those who put the time and dedication into learning the craft on their own. Playing around with different sounds and rhythms can help you eventually become a beat maker. There are those who believe that some people are naturally born with the gift of creating unique beats, but it something that you can be conditioned to understand.
There are great tutorials online that not only explain different sounds and how to combine them together, but there are also tons of computer programs you can use to play around with different tones to combine them into a sequence. If you have a basic understanding of timing, then you would probably make a great beat maker!
Another great tip is to study those who you look up to. See what makes them different than everyone else. Read articles, watch interviews, and make sure that you have familiarized yourself with their work. Doing this can help you find out what you like about them, and you can apply that to your own style. You may also end up finding techniques that you may not like.
If you are looking for a more traditional approach, you can take designated courses through higher education learning centers such as colleges or universities. Before committing to this way of learning, you may want to talk to a professor or educator in the program to make sure that it is right for you. There are also smaller schools that are dedicated to the recording industry, which may give you more what you are looking for. Check out the Recording Connection website to see what they offer their students, and who their current mentors are.
What Do You Need to Have to Become a Beat Maker?
The truth is that all you need is the desire to create beats, the time to do so, and the creativity that the industry so desperately needs as society evolves. There are a few other equipment items that you can add to your collection that will not only help you make beats much more comfortable, but you can also create better beats and perfect your craft as well.
Some of the most basic equipment includes a great computer and a good set of headphones. A computer is essential because you can find specific programs that allow you to create new beats, or you can utilize the collection of music you have. A computer will also help you store the beats you create to use at another time, or to send off to the next big hitmaker! High-quality headphones are not only more comfortable to wear for a more extended period of time, but they also make sure you are not missing a single sound or beat and that you are hearing your project as clear as possible.
Quite a few people who make beats say that using Maschine is one of the best tools that you can use as a beat maker. Maschine is a program that uses different hardware and software and essentially creates a workstation at your fingertips that allows you to play around with different beats and production tools. Even if you cannot get your hands on Maschine, there are other programs such as Pro Tools, Fruity Loops, and Logic that can all help you create beats.
For those who are looking to use sample beat in their projects, you can either find a program that allows you to use snippets of songs on a computer, or a turntable can help you utilize your record collection to find the perfect sample. Having an audio output is essential to be able to use this type of equipment.
4 Tips to Be a Better Beat Maker
If you are serious about becoming a beat maker, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you along the way. Not only do you need to understand what it is you are trying to do, but you also should be focusing on filling a void in the industry. Here are four tips that can help you become a better beat maker.
- Find Your Own Style
The most crucial part of becoming a great beat maker is to be different than what is already out there. If you find a beat maker than you enjoy, try to see where the industry is lacking. This can help you not only stand out from the crowd, but you can also find your own style of beat making. Finding your personal style can also be understanding what makes different genres more interesting and combining them together.
If you are already creating beats, you can see if there is something you put in every song that you create. That may be part of your style of beat making. This could be a specific sequence to help listeners identify your work, or to leave it as a sort of signature on your songs.
- Understand Different Instruments
Beat making is all about combining different instruments to create new and unique music sequences. While you can use different instrument settings on most of the popular software programs, knowing what each instrument is and what it should sound like will go much further. Even if you are unable to play a particular instrument, you can read books or watch videos online about how they are played.
Even learning the cultural and historical aspect of an instrument may be just the information you need to apply it to your next beat. If you have a music store in your area, you can simply go in and play the instrument to hear the sound it creates. Some smaller retailers may even offer the ability to rent portable instruments that can help you practice at home.
- Take Time to Learn the Craft
As with any skill, you are most likely not going to be successful overnight. Unless you are a musical prodigy, learning the art of beat-making is going to take some time. We all have busy lives, but if you are serious about becoming a beat maker, then you want to make sure you are taking the time not only to get an understanding of the music industry, but you also want time to play around with your software and create beats just for fun.
If you are using some sort of software, you may want to check for any online tutorials that can help you learn the program without having to waste hours just clicking around. Most of these videos are easy to find online, and you may even pick up a few tricks that you would not have known otherwise.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions or Find a Mentor
Diving into the beat making world can be scary. There are far more technical aspects than a lot of people consider going in. If you are lucky enough to have friends or family in the industry, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get help. Not only will it save you valuable time that you could be practicing or creating, but you are also likely to come out with a better understanding of what was holding you up. You could also ask someone if you could shadow or have them as a mentor to learn the ins and outs of creating beats.
Is a Beat Maker the Same as a Music Producer?
Beat makers and music producers are two of the most common roles in music that gets confused. Many people think that they are the same role, but each is vital to the end result for any great song. Beat makers create the beat that we hear, but they are not always creating a beat for a specific song or artist.
Music producers sometimes come in before or after a beat has been chosen to help give the song direction. They are more likely to work with a specific artist and play a more critical role in the actual creation of the song, including lyrics, keys, and creative choices. Music producers are more likely to get the recognition for the creation of a popular song than a beat maker.
Differences in Being a Beat Maker and a Music Producer
|Beat Maker||Music Producer|
|Organizes the sound of a song||Focuses more on the big picture|
|Can use acoustic instruments or machines||Can hire beat makers to work for them|
|Does not always work with an artist||Combine different aspects of a song|
|Has the ability to also be a music producer||Can have an influence on the direction|
|Uses original beats or uses sample beats||Works with all aspects of a song|
The most crucial difference between a beat maker and a music producer is that a beat maker is working more on the technical side of a song. They often do not have a specific customer or melody in mind when they are creating a beat. Many music producers find the perfect beat for a song, or they may even hire their own beat makers in order to fit in with the style of music they work with, or a beat maker that works well with a particular artist.
Beat makers utilize various equipment, including different instruments and software programs, to create a beat. While a music producer may be able to appreciate a beat, that does not mean they have the technical training or even the ability to create a beat out of nothing. Music producers are more focused on the larger picture of building a song and helping with the creative direction it is going.
Can a Beat Maker Ever Also Be a Music Producer?
While it may be taboo to ask, the honest answer is yes. Some beat makers have a more significant role in the music they create and who they give it to. If the beat maker is providing more to the actual song than just giving it a tempo, then they are essentially helping to produce the music, which makes them a music producer.
One thing to keep in mind is that while some beat makers can be music producers, not all music producers have the ability to be beat makers. Beat making involves the ability not only to use instruments or technical equipment, but there is also the creative process that comes with creating beats than some people are able to do.