Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Sonic Producer is an amazingly simple to use online beat maker loaded with over 2000 plus top notch sounds for making hip hop and rap beats. As a musician myself, with thousands of dollars invested over the last 10 years buying the latest samples, buying software X to record my beats, and more software to mix-down and add effects to my beats, Sonic Producer will save you time and money by giving you everything you need to make high quality rap beats in one easy to use package.
Sonic Producer is stuffed full of the hottest urban sounds, and all right at your finger tips. Sounds range from pianos, drums, basses, guitars, horns, hits and stabs, and many, many more.
Sonic Producer has an extremely state of the art easy to use interface that will have you making rap beats in minutes.
Sonic Producer Features:
Easy-To-Use Interface With BPM, Volume Controls And FX
Over 2000 of the hottest sounds for making any style imaginable
Drag and drop notes from the Keyboard and Drum Pad onto the sequencer
Easy to use toolbar that allows you to save, load and record projects
Easily adjust your beats tempo
Adjust volume levels in each channel in the mixer window
Saves your beats to high crisp quality MP3 format
Sonic Producer users can access to a member’s area where you can learn the art of production with video tutorials, and even step by step tutorials on how to play the piano and other instruments.
You can hook up with other beat makers and share your beats, download their samples and get feedback from other members
Sonic Producer beat maker is an online application, meaning it will work on any computer(PC and MAC) with any operating system that has an internet connection.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Rap beats article-How to make a tight rap demo on an even tighter budget.
The most successful rap artists in the business work with the most gifted and talented producers, programmers, musicians, and recording engineers to help them bring their vision into reality. For the up and coming artist, he or she has got difficult choices to make. Does one invest the time and money in all the equipment necessary to self-produce a CD, or do you buy ready-made rap beats and hip hop instrumentals off the internet.
A fully produced royalty free rap instrumental from the web can be a very cost effective option, especially if you are just putting together a demo to showcase your talent. These non-exclusive rap instrumentals can be licensed for very little cash, and usually can be downloaded in the form of a simple wav. file, Broadcast wav. file, or even an mp3 file. For those that have never heard the term “non-exclusive”, it simply means the source site is granting you a license to use that rap beat for your demo purposes. Some sites offer “exclusive” rap beats and rap instrumentals which can mean different things on different sites so read the fine print people! Usually an “exclusive” rap beat will cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, but once licensed, the site will remove that “exclusive” rap beat or hip hop instrumental from their on-site catalog, so only you can use it for your album. Pretty cool.
If fully produced hip hop instrumentals are the best option for you, then when checking out rap beats sites listen to the quality of the demos presented. Do the rap beats sound professional? How do the recorded demos sound? What format will the music be on once delivered? Will you have the tools necessary to convert the file into some other format if you needed to? It’s worth mentioning that in some cases, the producer that created the beat may in fact be a terrible recording engineer.
I would also tell anyone looking for just about anything on the internet to not assume that the first ten “beat-makers” are the best or most qualified just because they are in the top 10 for that query. Certainly visit and start listening to the demos on those sites, but I would also suggest you dig even deeper to the beat shops on pages 2, 3, and beyond. The reason for this is the guys that came up #41 for rap beats might be amazing producers, but horrible web designers. Seek and ye shall find.
You will most likely run across some rap beats beat and rap instrumental sites that give you access to thousands of rap beats after you pay their membership fee. Again, listen carefully to their production and their recordings to help you deciding whether that’s a good investment or not. What good is it to have access to thousands of rap beats, if the audio quality and production is not up to industry standard?
Once you have your rap beats chosen and downloaded, you have many options as far as audio software you can use to record your rap or vocal in. The majority of the big expensive software like Cubase, or Sonar, Acid from Sony, and others will have scaled down or home studio versions that can be had at a fraction of the cost. It’s also worth mentioning that there are some budget microphones available that connect directly to the computer via USB connection that don’t need a mic pre-amp.
In closing, with a small invest for the recording software and a inexpensive mic, and a handful of rap instrumentals or rap beats, an artist can make the demo of their dreams without breaking the bank.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Rap Beats Article-Compression 101
It's been said before that recording is an art form. Well, it's true. Recording, just like anything else takes lots of patience and practice. Most of the tools used in the recording process can be pretty straight forward. You buy a new multi-fx box, plug it in, switch on, dial in that hall reverb preset and....Yea baby, that's straight forward. Unfortunately, after purchasing your new compressor, you plug it in, switch it on and..........now what? Applying compression is a very subjective kind of deal. When compression is used correctly is meant to be a subtle affair. Sometimes the difference between a good recording, and a professionally polished one, is how the engineer applied compression to his or her tracks.
The magic box
Compression for those that have never used one or even heard of the process, is a necessary evil I'm afraid. Compression enables us to control the dynamic range of a signal. Compression also fools the ear by increasing perceived loudness of a signal. By that I mean, it makes the softer parts of your signal louder, while making the louder parts quieter, thus making the signal more consistent. When applied correctly, compression helps us tighten our tracks, making them fatter, and with a more controlled dynamic range, helps us to weave all the track elements together in our sonic landscape. The problem though, is sometimes when running a signal through the compressor, by the time you really hear it working; you may already be in the danger zone of over doing it. Think about that one! Also, it's worth mentioning that a lot of engineers compress some instruments lightly on the way into the multi-track or DAW. Thus, by turning down the louder parts of your signal, and turning up the quieter parts, you can then increase your over all level to the recording device. The mixing engineer will be applying even more compression (trust me) during the mix stage. How much compression to add on the front-end will depend on the signal itself, (i.e. bass, voice, etc.) the style of the music, and the dynamic range of the signal being recorded. Hopefully the recording engineer will not slam the vocal or instrument too hard at the beginning of the recording process, as this will leave the poor mixing engineer with a possible train wreck and no options at the end.
When you think about it, the controls of a compressor are simply asking you, the operator, basic questions to help it, the compressor, fulfill your commands and desires. One of the first questions it's asking is "What ratio setting master?" If you are new to compression, and want a hotter signal going to tape or workstation, a safe bet is a 2:1 ratio to 4:1 ratio. There are very clinical in depth resources on the net for examining what the term "ratio" means, but the theory is, the higher the ratio, the deeper the squash. Speaking of squash, the comp/genie will now ask when to apply said squashing, so it's time to reach for the threshold control. Threshold tells the compressor "this is the point I need you to apply that ratio I told you about earlier." When the signal gets above the threshold, that's when the compressor will begin kicking in.
Shall we attack, my master?
Next, the comp/genie will ask about attack and release settings. I think this is where most folks get stumped because the controls on our comp/genie do in fact all inter-relate with one another. If I want to find my perfect attack time, I will start by setting my release control (yes, release) for a half second to a second just as a reference point. The attack control is the comp/genie asking the question "Once the signal goes above your set threshold Master, should I let some of the signal through before I start the squeeze?" In most cases the answer is yes! With the attack time set at the comp/genie's fastest setting, the instant the signal goes above your set threshold, the compressor will bite down with shark-like precision, which in the end can make the sound of the signal rather dull and lifeless. Keep in mind here; there is no magic setting, so you need to use your ears. By slowing down the attack, you let parts of you signal through (in milliseconds, so keep that in mind) before the comp/genie will finally kick in. The effect can be down right magical. You might have a gain reduction meter on your box. This meter will tell you when the compressor is working, and when it's not. You are safe if the loudest parts of your signal hits at no more than -3db of gain reduction.
When to let go.
I think we can all agree that there is a vast difference in the decay time of a sustained bass note, verses the tap on a snare drum. Therefore one release time will not fit all. The release setting is the comp/genie wanting to know when to release its death grip on the signal once the signal falls below our threshold. Again, you will need to use your ears. If the signal were to be quickly compressed, and immediately released, the result would sound very unnatural to say the least. If your signal is a bass guitar, then if your release is still between a half second and one second, depending on the style of the music being recorded, the release may be fine just where it is.
But where's the magic numbers?
Sorry, there are no magic numbers. But maybe there is a good starting point. For light duty compression patch in your compressor, let's start with a ratio of 2:1, have the musician play with intensity that he or she will be using during the recording. Start tweaking the threshold to where the gain reduction meter kicks in at no more than -3db of gain reduction only on the loudest parts the player is playing. For those that have to have numbers for the attack and release time, I might start with a 5ms attack and use your ears to fine tune from there. Release, I would still set at a half second to a full second to start but ask yourself, does this instrument have a fast decay, or a slow decay. After using your ears to fine tune, if it sounds right, then it is right!
Charles Outlaw under the name Outlaw Music Productions has composed and produced original music for Ford Motor Company, BMW, Compaq Computers, GTE to name just a few. For more info on hip hop instrumentals and rap beats please go to www.rap2beats.com
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The choices on the net for rap beats and hip hop instrumentals are staggering. With so many choices, how do you wade through all the beat sites to find the right instrumentals for your album or demo? What is clear to me is that just because the first 20 shops that pop up for the search term "rap beats" are on the page, does not mean these folks are good producers or engineers, or composers for that matter.
After finding some rap instrumentals beats, listen to the quality of the song first. Is the song structured in a way that will work for you? Do they list song tempo in case you need to chop it up in computer DAW. Next, how's the over all production of their rap instrumentals? If it's distorted on your computer's speakers, even if you’re listening to the lo-fi version, the version you download is not going to be much better.
Are the hip hop beats royalty free, or are you prepared for possible legal headaches later on down the line? Royalty free hip hop beats are a great way to go, as a royalty free track won't cost you much dough up front. These beats are also referred to as non-exclusive beats.
Exclusive beats are a great option if you have the budget, as these types of hip hop instrumentals are more expensive, but you will have a fully produced track that no one else has. The producer or beats shop, may still own the copywrite so read the fine print. Sometime all the producer or beat shop will want is credit on your album ("track produced by blah, blah, blah.com") with you keeping all the profits of the sales of your record. Not a bad deal really. Keep in mind exclusive beats are anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
What file format will the instrumentals be delivered on, mp3, wav? If mp3 is what you’re getting, is it a "cd quality" mp3? If you’re headed to the studio with your download, it might be better to have the file delivered as a 16 or 24bit wav. file as the sound quality can be better. If the lo-fi demo sounded good off the net, than ask the beat shop if they can send you a wav of the track the studio will more than likely prefer that. It may be a good idea to ask the studio to make a recommendation as to the file format
When starting out in the music biz, you need to be informed. I hope this info will empower you in making the right choices.
Disclaimer#1-WARNING LABEL-This article is not meant to cure or diagnose any sonic problems of your Hip Hop Beats or rap masterpiece, but is intended to give you ideas of possible troubled areas to look for, and hopefully help you self diagnose things in the future from and engineering stand point. Whoa!
Usually, when an artist comes in to our room, they might bring in a demo groove or Hip Hop Beats on CD, and the question will pop up time and time again, "Yo Home Skillet, why does my demo sound so muddy", or "Why doesn't it sound like a store bought CD? Disclaimer #2 This article is assuming that you are producing music in a decent room with maybe some treatments (i.e. foam) on your walls, using real studio monitors, in other words my brothers and sisters, I'm assuming that you can trust the room, and the monitors to tell you the truth. Nuff said! Moving on.
Are you with me so far?
When you're listening to your favorite rapper or hip hop artist on the radio, you can feel that kick, that pop of the claps or snare and, you are loving the bass drop, right? Folks, you hear those elements, and you think, "How do they get such a deep, deep bass and kick sound", "How do they juggle all the other frequencies so it don't sound muddy."
Are you ready for this?
Let's say you've got a simple kick and clap beat, with a tight hat, nice fat bass, maybe some bell sounds and some flo in the background. Don't touch the EQ just yet.
1. I'll begin by setting my master fader to its detent spot.
2. Listening at 85db, or if you got neighbors to keep happy, just go for as loud as possible without damaging your ears or the monitors.
3. At your optimal level of volume, start adjusting the faders of the kicks, the snare or claps, add the hats. Go for a volume that makes those elements feel right. Very Important!
4. Slip the bass in under the kick drum, till it feels good. Hopefully it's starting to breathe at this point. It's that feel thing again.
5. Add your bells and keyboards sounds. Is it happening? It's gotta feel right at your optimal volume. If it does not feel right, something will have to change in the arrangement.
6. At this point, I would take the master fader down to almost completely off just to listen at a quite level to see if you can still hear everything in the arrangement. Also listen for anything that might be jumping out of the mix. If it sounds good at this point Playa, your doing great.
7. Lets bring the master fader back to optimal position. In you workstation/mixer hopefully you'll have EQ available, so lets start with our bells. Now, your first thought might be that the bells are high pitched right, so let's add a ton of high end EQ. Big no no! Instead, let’s remove some, or maybe all of the dirty, dirty low end off of those bells. On such a high pitched instrument like those bells, there isn't anything really going on below 150 hertz, so roll it out Man! While your track is playing take it slow and let's start by rolling off with your low cut filter or maybe your bass shelving knob till the bells start to clear up. You may not need anything below 150 hertz. You be the judge. Use you ears. If it sound good, it is good. I said you may not need anything below 150hertz, but go higher if you think it sounds good. If you were using a piano instead of bells, try the same. By removing the dirty mud, you are really cleaning up your sound. Can you dig it?
You know you’re ready for this!
You can try this with the kick and snare, claps, and hats as well, just use caution and don't take out to much or it will sound harsh and very painful to listen to. Can you dig that? As far as the bass, depending on the sound of the bass itself, try cutting some of the really low garbage at the bottom first, then if it needs a little help try boosting a little somewhere around 100 hertz to start. Remember, when it feels right, then it is right.
I'm saving compression, panning, effects and limiting for a future article, meanwhile I hope this will help you get started in the right direction.
Hip Hop Instrumentals l Rap Beats