Being able to make high quality beats anytime and anywhere (and earn money) is certainly the supreme dream, but sooner or later everybody’s got ta step their video game up and setup their own beat studio. Sounds quite easy but there’s a lot more to consider than you think and it’s pretty simple for somebody brand-new to get swallowed up by all the different variables at play. Never ever fear! Today we’re going to talk about the fundamental elements that make up a basic beat studio and in a subsequent post, we’ll take a look at advanced strategies to take it to the next level and turn it into a full on home recording studio. In the meantime, let’s guide you safely through the overload and show you what it takes to make your own beat studio.
When one hears the term ‘timeless’, it amasses a couple of different responses. The term ‘timeless’ in terms of Hip Hop implies any album or single that not just separates itself from the bunch, but it does so in such unique and counter-cultural fashion.
In cases like the late, great Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s eccentric debut Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, ODB’s “intoxicated design” methods were different in lots of, lots of elements. When you initially heard him with his different and rugged antics on “Secure Ya Neck”, he was clearly one of the standouts on that track, as he was on cuts like “Da Mystery of Chessboxing” and “Shame On A Nigga” from another landmark album, the Wu’s Go into the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The album is now considered a ‘classic’ since of how various and versus the mold it was.
Another album that represents this is the previously mentioned Madvillainy by Madvillain, a duo comprised of underground icon MF DOOM and extremely renowned producer Madlib. The two of them together presented among the most unique and enigmatic recordings Hip Hop has ever heard, merely because of the same wacky formula that made ODB’s launching so remarkable. DOOM is a lyrically capricious emcee and blended with Madlib’s beats that are oft times left-of-center itself, the result was an album that differed from anything out in conventional Hip Hop. Madvillainy was one of those albums like De La Soul Is Dead, Outkast’s delightful Aquemini, and Ghostface Killah’s masterful Supreme Clients, which all require several listens before you grasp their odd structure and very innovative landscapes.
There are numerous organic and technological aspects that could affect the quality of your final product. It’s not practically the equipment you use and how well it performs but how well you perform, not just as a manufacturer, however a purchaser too. To understand this completely let’s take a quick look at the flow of audio and the different routes it could take in and out of your computer system. It’s all about Input, Process and Output. Like this:
Let’s call it: A day in the life of producer/rapper, MC Air-Knee-Body (or MC AKB for short). He likewise has a MIDI Controller plugged into a 2nd USB slot that he used previously on when he was composing his beat but today he is going to tape-record a verse for his track. From there it travels through the USB cable television into your computer where the audio is immediately transformed from an analog to a digital signal and added to the track.
Any signal from the MIDI Controller would go directly into his computer. Here’s where the enjoyable begins for him as he modifies and blends his tracks (most likely using the 4 essentials we talked about in this post here) to get all of it sounding fantastic. The audio then takes a trip out into the world through his headphones or speakers so that he can hear the end result clear and loud.