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Rocker from way back getting into producing Hip-Hop, where do I start?

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Rocker from way back getting into producing Hip-Hop, where do I start?

Postby Dolmetscher007 » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:45 pm

I was using Logic Audio Platinum 4 on a 933mHz PC with 256 MB of RAM back in 2001. Now, I have ProTools LE through an Mbox on a 4 year old Dell w/ a 2.4 gHz Pent IV w/ 2.5 GB of RAM.

At any rate, my question isn't about hardware. I'm in my 30's and grew up on AC/DC, Guns n Roses, but then got into Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Melvins, and such. But have recently been into a lot of My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, M Ward, Wilco etc.

BUT... the biggest thing that has happened to me has been that in the past 2 years, I have been absolutely obsessed with Hip-Hop. And now that Jay-Z has put out The Blueprint 3, that is all I can pretty much listen to.

Now, I'm a drummer from way back, and have more rhythm than a chorus line. And I know that I could doodle around with sounds, samples, and sequencers and I just know that I could produce some awesome tracks. My only problem is that I have no idea where to start.

Is there some like "All hip-hop producers use XXXXXXXXX software to make tracks?"

I have access to Ableton Suite. A friend of mine has it, but it seems to be to be more for like live DJ'ing, in that it easily switches between beats, hooks, and it can speed up, slow down, and synchronize a million different things to all play perfectly together. While all of that seems great for DJ'ing house parties etc, I don't see how the beats, hooks, and sounds get generated to begin with. And he isn't into all that either.

Anyone know where I should start reading?
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Re: Rocker from way back getting into producing Hip-Hop, where do I start?

Postby franciskimberley » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:29 am

Maybe a few years back everybody used MPCs or somesort of hardware sampler/beatmachine, now loads of hiphop producers use loads of different stuff so (unfortunately, in this case) there's no "this is what everybody's using" answer.

Many hiphop producers use protools but mainly as a recorder (for their hardware) and mixer, not so much as a beatmaking device, although this may change with the introduction of the new drum machine in PT9, and I don't know if you can get that in PT LE.

If you have access to Ableton I would recommend that. It can handle VST effects and synths and is as capable at production as any other sequencer. In fact it's loop led way of working would probably suit hiphop quite well, I imagine. To make "beats" (hiphop instrumentals, basically) you will need a sampler, or something that is capable of chopping up and then playing back the chopped samples in the order of your choosing. Ableton will undoubtedly have something that fits the bill. I dont know Ableton so yu'll have to read the manual. If there really is nothing maybe have a look at Native Instrument's Kontakt. It may be daunting and a bit complex but it's powerful and you'll probably never exhaust it's possibilities. Also, don't forget a good turntable or cd player to sample from.

Ive been involved in with hiphop for a number years and while there's still an element of "scene" snobbery involved with the tools used in beat production don't let that dictate your choices. I personally use FL Studio as it does all that I need and is supersimple to boot. All my hiphop friends have different setups so just go with what you got as it seems pretty good for what you wanna do! Compose in ableton and mix in protools? Or maybe do all in ableton? It's not as exciting as saying buy an MPC but you got all you need already.

However, a personal recommendation of mine would be to get d16 Group's Decimort plugin. It's a VST so you can can't use it PT without a wrapper of somesort, but it will make your stuff sound wicked. It's a lofi/bit reduction plug that just works beautifully. Makes everything nice and rough round the edges, which can be incredibly important in hiphop. It costs less than a boozy night out so you got nothing to lose except a hangover!
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Re: Rocker from way back getting into producing Hip-Hop, where do I start?

Postby Dolmetscher007 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:21 am

I forgot to mention that I also bought BFD2 from fxpansion.

That was a sizable investment for me a couple of years ago, and I have NEVER gotten it to work.

I tried for a month to fiddle around with it, but I never really wrapped my head around it. It is all acoustic drum samples. I think I could probably use that to get started, even with hip-hop, I can't imagine that I can't make some sick beats with that thing.
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Re: Rocker from way back getting into producing Hip-Hop, where do I start?

Postby jaminem » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:47 pm

Big Money wrote:I forgot to mention that I also bought BFD2 from fxpansion.

That was a sizable investment for me a couple of years ago, and I have NEVER gotten it to work.

I tried for a month to fiddle around with it, but I never really wrapped my head around it. It is all acoustic drum samples. I think I could probably use that to get started, even with hip-hop, I can't imagine that I can't make some sick beats with that thing.

The principle of BFD is quite simple, if you load a kit on the first tab, then go to the 3rd tab to load a pallette and filter the hip hop ones, choose what you want (you can audition them) load it up. now there will be 10-12 'grooves' mapped to the keys of your keyboard starting from C3.

Create a VST instrument track in your host and assign BFD to it, open that up and draw in notes against the appropriate keys to get the groove to play back.

simple!
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Re: Rocker from way back getting into producing Hip-Hop, where do I start?

Postby Shingles » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:12 pm

I hate to say it as a Roland MV user, but:

Get an Akai MPC.

Just a 500 will do, and you may not use it a whole lot for serious, final takes, but it will get you into the mind set.
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