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Type Beats: What They Are and How to Start Making Them

Type Beats: What They Are and How to Start Making Them
Preview of youtube video

Type beats are an exciting trend in beat making right now.

Major rappers have even discovered up-and-coming producers just by searching for their own names.

You might be wondering how type beat producers approach their craft. It’s not as simple as you think.

Copying the greats is nothing new. But type beats are much more than just tributes—they’re part of a hidden economy all beatmakers need to understand.

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In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know about type beats.

By the end, you’ll understand the driving forces behind what gets your type beat heard and some helpful tips on making them.

What are type beats?

Type beats are instrumentals made to emulate the style of a famous artist or producer. Beatmakers typically sell them to artists who want beats in a familiar style to rap over. By putting a well-known artist’s name in the title, aspiring producers can make their beats more easily found in Google and Youtube searches.

These days they’re part of a beat making economy with multiple marketplaces specializing in connecting producers to artists to sell their beats.

Type beats came from the informal practice of artists communicating the sound they wanted by referring to a style that would fit for a specific artist.

Type beats came from the informal practice of artists communicating the sound they wanted by referring to a style that would fit for a specific artist.

But, when producers started making beats in the same style as a well-known rapper or producer, they discovered this tactic could get their track more attention.

How type beats can help you get heard

The economy around modern music production is extremely competitive.

Web searches can be a powerful channel for putting your beats in front of up and coming artists.

But getting your tracks to come up on the front page of a search is hard. If people aren’t searching for your name specifically, they’ll probably never find you.

Creating type beats is one way to put yourself in the conversation.

Enterprising producers discovered that using specific search terms in their titles could land them on the same results pages as artists with tons of traffic—and lots of their followers looking to get the same sound.

That’s the basic mechanic behind promoting your brand with type beats.

Where to find type beats

On the other hand, If you’re an artist looking for beats to rap over, you might be wondering where you can find type beats.

There are plenty of producers looking to sell their beats,

Here are the top 4 places to find type beats:

The first one may seem obvious, but don’t underestimate it. YouTube is steadily becoming a serious force in hip-hop production.

And since it’s built on the same search engine technology as Google, the titles and keywords around type beats will always bring relevant material to the top.

Beat marketplaces are another obvious source for type beats. These services host beats and profiles to help artists and producers connect.

But in most cases, these are paid services that may take a cut of any transactions on the platform.

How to make type beats

Let’s get one thing out the way first—the market for paid beats is saturated. As a beginner, it’s better not to charge for type beats until you’ve developed your skills enough to create a quality product.

Even so, analyzing the sounds in your favourite tracks and figuring out how to reproduce them is a good production exercise.

Analyzing the sounds in your favourite tracks and figuring out how to reproduce them is a good production exercise.

By learning how other producers made their sounds you can practice the techniques the pros are using and learn how to use them in your own work.

You won’t be able to get a perfect clone of every sound in the track, but capturing the mood and feel is just as important.

Here are a few tips to help you understand what goes into a beat:

1. Find the appropriate producer or rapper to emulate

You might want to rip into a Travis Scott type beat right away, that’s great! There’s no wrong place to get started.

But if you’re looking to get noticed, choosing to create type beats for only the biggest artists is a gamble.

There’s a lot of producers out there making Drake and Future type beats, so it might be hard to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re getting good at making type beats and want to make something serious, consider making a beat for an up and coming rapper or beat producer.

Someone who could be on their way to superstar status, but maybe isn’t quite yet there yet.

Chances are good that someone like this might not have too many people making type beats in their style.

2. Learn how the rhythm and tempo work

Many genres are defined by specific rhythmic patterns and tempos, trap music included.

You’ll never capture the same feel and vibe if your song is too fast and uses the wrong pattern.

Use your DAW or an online BPM analyzer to find the tempo of the beat you are trying to emulate.

Then get familiar with the rhythms they are known for using.

For example, does the rapper gravitate towards half tempo R&B style jams, or should you go with faster trap hi-hats?

3. Get familiar with classic sounds

There are some basic sounds that a lot of beats have in common. I’m talking about staples like the 808 drums and bass.

Sure you could use the 808s that came stock in your DAW, but consider putting some time into tweaking them to get the sound you want.

Most producers (including the ones you might be making a type beat for) use a ton of sound design techniques to get interesting, punchy, and booming 808s.

If spending hours playing with 808 kicks doesn’t appeal to you, there many producer-built 808 samples online that are sure to get the speaker punishing sound you want.

Speaking of samples…

3. ID the sample

A well-placed sample can give a beat an entirely new character.

To make an authentic type beat you may need to find a cool sample on your track.

Just remember that any sample you used has to be cleared.

Luckily you can find cleared and royalty-free sample packs online that were curated by some of the best producers in the game.

All you have to do is find a sick cleared sample made by a pro producer and turn it into something that suits your type beat.

Listen to the kind of samples used in the beat you’re trying to reproduce and search for similar artists, producers, or sounds.

4. Figure out any synth tricks

Programming synths is tough, but there are certain types of patches that pop up often in certain genres.

A lot of producers gravitate towards software synths like Massive and FM8 from Native Instruments.

Try to find a video of your favorite producer working in the studio and observe what synths they use.

If you can’t afford the gear they use, try to find a synth VST clone that gets you as close as possible to your producer of choice.

It’s amazing what you can do with a DAW, a few plugins, and an inexpensive MIDI keyboard.

5. Use the same effects

Signature effects can do a lot to establish the mood as well. Listen hard for any distinctive effects—especially on the vocals or samples—and make sure to include them.

Listen to whether the type beat should use slowed or sped up vocal samples, autotune on the verses, or chopped and screwed samples.

There are many effects that beatmakers use so keep your ears open, and get in touch with how different audio effects work.

6. Learn the types of chords and chord progressions used

The chord progression gives a song a lot of its identity. Understanding the types of chords and progressions used in a beat gives you the raw materials to create similar patterns.

Understanding the types of chords and progressions used in a beat gives you the raw materials to create similar patterns.

Here’s a hot tip, most big trap tracks are written in minor keys. Chances are the producer you’re inspired by uses minor themes too.

So, consider getting in touch with your minor scales and chords.

There’s nothing like an emotional and sad chord progression to give your track a real vibe.

From there you’ll have to do your best to capture the specific feel and mood of the beat with trial and error.

But the more you practice, the better you’ll get.

Preview of youtube video

Stereo types

Beatmaking is fun, especially because you get to put your name on the track and say I made that!

Sometimes, you want your tracks to find their place within a musical genre and that means getting inspired by the greats.

Type beat making is especially appealing because there’s the added excitement of potentially getting noticed by your favorite rapper or producer.

But don’t worry too much about the economy of making beats for other artists.

Just exercising your personal creativity and trying to making something cool is always so satisfying, it’s the reason why you do this in the first place!

 

 

LANDR

Various contributors from the LANDR team of music mentors.

@LANDR

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