HipHop Instrumentals, what goes into each one.


The genre of hip hop has exploded over the last decade, creating a new aesthetic for youth to conform to, and a new type of “rockstar personality”, the rapper. Many names and songs have come and gone, some more permanent than others. But ultimately, many of these rappers are propelled to fame, and their producers left in the background. However, over the past few years, producers and beatmakers have started to get more recognition and respect for their influential work. In tune with this trend of producer recognition, here is a rundown of what producers/beatmakers do and what makes them so unique.

A beatmaker/producer is someone who makes a beat, they are very creative people by nature and the most successful ones are those who are most in tune with themselves. Beats are made in a software called a “DAW” which means “Digital Audio Workstation”. There are many DAWs to choose from, all with their unique advantages and disadvantages; some DAWs cost north of £1000, some can be downloaded or used for free, it's all about what suits the beatmaker. The most popular ones are FL Studio, Ableton, Reason, Logic and Pro Tools.

Various stages go into making an instrumental track, each can be quite detailed and some people just prefer to do only certain parts. For example, many people call themselves “loop makers” that just make melodies and send them out to people to program drums onto and mix. There are also engineers who focus on mixing and mastering services.

Simply, the production of a good beat can be broken down into 3 stages, but there can be more for more experienced creators. First comes composition, which is where melodies, harmonies, drum patterns and basslines are made and put together, the aim here is to create something catchy, evokes an emotion or just feels good, producers have to incorporate sounds from across the frequency spectrum to create full-sounding music, whilst also leaving space for a rapper. When you’re in the zone, it's really easy to go overboard with the sounds, but a beat is a template for a vocalist, and that is in the back of a good beat maker's mind always.

The next stage is the arrangement, this is where different parts of the song are recognised and separated ie. chorus, hooks, bridges etc. Producers will also arrange beat drops and add in SFX in this segment of production.

Finally, mixing and mastering - the most tedious and finicky part of the production process for most producers. Mixing is a process through which beatmakers level the volumes of each sound component of their beat, and add various effects to them, such as equalisation, reverb, compression, choruses, or time/volume modulation etc. Mastering a track is generally about loudening it and getting the volumes to a point where the quality of the track will be relatively the same when played on different media (car speakers, phone speakers, headphones etc). These are arguably the most critical parts of making a song and can make an amateur composition sound professional and enjoyable to listen to.

Interested? Well, you can pick up a free version of FL studio or a Trial of Reaper at the links below. If you are interested in listening to some beats, there are also some Soundcloud and Youtube links below.

FL Studio Trial:

Reaper Trial:

JCOG Soundcloud:


Khxnbeats Soundcloud and Youtube


Beaticide Youtube: