The Basics – How to make beats
In order for you to make rap instrumentals, it is important that you understand the basics of the beat maker software. below is a screenshot of the btv solo software
Fig 1. This area is the pads. There are 12 pads available, which represents one octave and one octave is represented as 1 bank and there are 8 banks available. The pads 0,2,4,5,7,9,11,12 would be the white keys on the keyboard while 1,3,6,8,10 would be the black keys. The tempo button allows you to tap tempo. The roll button allows you to roll a particular pad. The hold button allows you to hold down a particular pad.
Fig 2.The transport bar. This area, which includes the following
- Mute: mute a track or pad (cmd+ Click or ctrl + click pc)
- Solo: solo a track or pad (option + click or alt + click pc)
- Record: Allows you to record the input from the pads
- Stop: Stop the track
- Play: Play the track
- Bank up/down: This allows you to move up and down octaves
- Mixer: This allows you to access the mixer for a particular track
- The buttons 1-8 are the tracks these allows you to place different kits on each track. To access the tracks 9-16 just hit the 9-16 button. Once this button is pressed the 1-8 buttons become the 9-16 tracks.
Fig. 3 this area is comprised of
- Song Mode
- Pattern Mode
- Kit Mode
- Instrument Mode
Song Mode allows you to construct a song. This is done by selecting the pattern, then applying it to the track. You can also loop your pattern as well, for example, if you have a four bar intro and you wanted it to be eight bars, all you have to do is loop it twice.
Pattern mode allows you to create a specific pattern you want, for example one of your patterns might be your intro the second might be the chorus.
Here in pattern mode you can utilize a vast amount pre-composed kits available or you can use a kit you constructed in kit mode. You can use a different kit on each track within pattern mode and there are sixteen tracks available.
Kit mode allows you to design your own kits, your kits can consist of anything, for example a bass kit, percussion kit, drum kit, lead kit. You can even import your own sounds into btv solo and use them. There are ninety-six different pads available for you to utilize to construct your kits.
The btv solo comes with five different effects for you to exploit. They consist of the following.
- Freak – Acts like a Phasing/Flanging
- Delay – delays the input from the output
- Verb – adds a reverberation effect
- Bang – acts like a high pass filter
- Blang – cosmetic change in
the beat maker software skin
The options menu consists of the following
- Edit – Allows you to edit kit, song, instrument or pattern mode
- Save – Allows you to save anything you have created in the modes
- Exit – Allows you to exit pattern, song, kit or instrument mode
- Undo -Allows to delete the last input entered form the recorded pads
- Ins/copy -Allows you to copy any of the modes
- Delete -Allows you to delete any of the modes
- Export -Allows you to export a pattern or song created
- System -Gives you access to the system menu
- Volumes – Allows you to adjust the input gain, input config and input pan
- Sample – Allows you to chop up a piece of music (not available in btv solo)
How To Make Your Own Beats
Now that I’ve discussed the mechanical workings of the btv solo beat maker software and you understand how it works, it’s now time to get stuck in on how to make beats. The process will be broken down in the following headings
- Creating a drum beat
- Making the bass line
- Creating the lead
- Creating the hook
- Creating the backing vocals
How To Make A Rap Beat
The drum kit I used for this track was the RnB-smoovv. I really liked the kick within this kit; I thought it was the perfect sound for this particular track. The beat was a four bar beat with bars 1-3 repeated and a fill for bar four. The next element I added was a snare and the kit used was the kangish-boom006. The snare was recorded on the offbeat as this adds a nice swing to the track. The last element I added to the drumbeat was an extra clap. This fattens up the drum pattern within the track.
Making the bass line
For the baseline I used the instrument preset called bass-finger-bass. For this track I wanted the bass to have a bouncy feel to it and in order to achieve this I created a baseline that triggered when the kick hit. The bass line is just a four bar loop.
Creating the lead
The lead for this track is a string sample I got from a lana del rey track. Because I have btv solo and not the full version I don’t have access to the sample function so I chop up the sample in audacity and then import it into btv solo. Once imported I then assign the samples to the pads then change all the pads to mute group one and then I’m ready to record my loop.
Creating the hook & backing vocals
The hook & backing vocals for this track is pretty much the same process as the creation of the lead. I used a vocal sample from the same track as the lead.
You’ve just finished. you now know how to make beats.