In this video, I give a few tips for picking the right samples to use in your beats.
Feel free to drop a comments below and share your experience.
I’ve had some requests come in recently via my YouTube channel to make a tutorial explaining the idea of Low End Theory – a technique that many sampled-based Hip Hop producers use to create their bass lines and one that’s been around since the birth of Hip Hop in the early 80s.
I used this technique in a lot of my earlier production – But I don’t use it as much in my more recent beats, and later I’ll discuss some pros and cons to using it.
What is Low End Theory?
The idea with Low End Theory is to extract the original bassline from the sample that you’re using, and then “tweak” it in such a way that it is more prominent in your beat. That way if you’re aren’t skilled at creating your own bass, this will allow you to “beef up” your low end without actually having to compose a bass line.
What Do I Need to Apply Low End Theory?
- Low-Pass Filter (LPF) or Multiband EQ
- Basic Compressor (optional, only if needed)
Steps to Apply Low End Theory (as discussed in the video above)
- Duplicate your sample track.
- Apply a LPF or EQ to filter out the higher frequencies so you are left with the bass only. (Note: Unlike a filter, a multiband EQ will also enable you to emphasize certain lower frequencies if needed)
- Rename the track to something like “Bass” or “LPF” to let you know it is the filtered/EQed track.
- Apply basic compression if the bass line has varied volumes. The compressor will “smash” down or “compress” the bass to give you a more uniform sound.
- Lastly, apply a high-pass filter (HPF) to the original sample track. This will remove the low frequencies from the main sample, and now all of the bass is in your newly-filtered track! Since your low end is now contained in a separate track, you can do any additional processing (if necessary) to the bass itself without affecting the original sample (adjust volume, distortion, etc).
Keep in mind…
There’s no exact science to applying this technique. Depending on the sample you are using and the bass that’s included in it, you can be somewhat limited.
Pros to using Low End Theory
- It’s a relatively easy and straight forward technique to apply. I recommend trying some of the basic steps discussed above and experimenting with the overall processing on a trial and error basis.
Cons to using Low End Theory
- It can sometimes “muddy” up the mid to low frequencies – and it may be difficult to get the clarity you are wanting for your overall mix.
- You are limited to whatever bass line is being used in the original sample. This is why I highly recommend you learn how to compose your own bass lines.
All in all, this is pretty much the concept behind Low End Theory - extracting the bassline from your sample, and then tweaking it to your liking. Hopefully this offers some insight.
If you have any questions or have your own bass line tips to share, feel free to drop a COMMENT below.
I’m back with another sampled Hip Hop beat making tutorial. In this video, I break down the process I went through to make the instrumental “No Illusion”. Hopefully this will offer some additional insight into my beat making process, rather than just another re-creation video.
The full-length, HQ & untagged beat, “No Illusion”, is available for INSTANT DOWNLOAD at www.TCustomz.com
What’s up guys? I just finished up this new beat. And for this video I kind of want to break down the beat a little more and not just re-create it. But actually give some commentary and show the process that went into the beat.
Alright, so I started with the sample. That’s how most of my beats come together – find a sample first, or if I’m going to make a composed beat, start with a basic melody and then build from that. So here’s a little preview of the sample that I used. *Plays sample snippet*
So the main sequence from the beat used that part of the sample, and then towards the end I actually picked some more of the guitar and made another sequence with that. So I went ahead and chopped up the sample *Previews sample chops*
I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it or even what kind of drum pattern I wanted to do. So what I did first was I went and I found a drum break to start and just kind of give a foundation for the overall groove of the track and beat. And the drum break sounds like this. *Plays original drum break snippet*
You can probably hear the bass in that drum break, the bass starts coming in pretty early. So I ended up just using the first… not even the first bar. I ended up taking a piece from the earlier part and making it into a one-bar loop. And once I had the one-bar loop, I figured out that the tempo for the break was right around 87 BPM. So that’s what I set the BPM for on my beat. It wasn’t exact, so what I ended up doing was using the Ableton warp engine to kind of warp my main kicks and snares, and make sure the they’re on the grid and that everything lines up. And then just let all of the ghost notes and everything fill in between. So after I did that, this is what it sounds like. *Previews modified break-beat*
So then I started working with the sample. And overall, you’ll hear that I used the main melody as it was kind of in the sample. But I didn’t just loop it. I had to do a lot of precision work on the chops to make sure everything fit. And then you’ll hear some fill-in notes… that I kind of did a reverse effect on to fill in some gaps, because like I said it wasn’t just a loop. So here’s what the first sequence sounds like *Previews first beat sequence*
And like I mentioned, towards the end of the sample, I ended up chopping up some more of the guitar and that’s what I made my second sequence from. Here’s some of the chops *Triggers sample chops from pads on MPD32 controller* - And this is how the second sequence came together *Plays second beat sequence”
Once I had my two main sequences and the drum break going – the overall groove and structure for the beat – I went ahead and beefed up the drum sounds. I ended up running a parallel, or New York style, compression for the drum break just to kind of emphasize some of the main kick and snare notes, just to give it a little more substance. And then to make it stand out even more, I ended up layering a kick and snare underneath of the drum break to emphasize those main notes. So here’s the break *Plays newly processed drum break* – The snare snaps a little more… and bring in the sample. *Plays first beat sequence*
So next in line was a bass line. I just ended up making a pretty simple bassline, just to give it some low end. And so from that point, it was basically just to fully sequence and arrange everything out, and make it into sort of like a song structure – maybe give it a hook or something. I ended up using the first sequence overall, for the main verse – for the 16s, and then the second sequence was my eight for the hook.
This wasn’t a crazy complicated beat in terms of the number of sounds that were used – sample, drum break, kick and snare, and bass – but I spent a lot of time trying to get my chops right. I don’t like my chops to be sloppy. And then definitely having that second sample sequence breaks up the monotony and doesn’t necessarily require you to add a lot of crazy extra instrumentation or anything like that.
So that’s pretty much it. That was pretty much the process for this beat. I hope that offers you all some insight. Again, drop a comment and let me know what you think. If this was helpful – if I talked about something that you want more details on, drop a comment and let me know.
I’ll catch you guys in the next video. Thanks for watching! Peace. *Final beat plays at end*
I was digging through some soul records and found this dope Motown sample. This beat has boom bap style drum work with my own flavor on the sample chops.
The beat is entitled “Long Way Back”, and the full-length, untagged instrumental is available for license w/ Instant Delivery at www.TCustomz.com.
Please take a second to Comment, “Thumbs Up” & Subscribe if you enjoyed the video. Thanks!
The TCustomz Beat Tape Vol. 2 is currently #1 in the Underground charts at Beat Brokerz! This isn’t a new project, but it is still resonating with many Hip Hop heads and recording artists.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this project, it was created specifically with the artist/emcee in mind. This release contains eight authentic Hip Hop beats (mainly soul-sampled) for the price of one. That’s less than $4/beat. Yeah, I know… it’s pretty much a steal.
And if that isn’t good enough, you can scoop up both the TCustomz Beat Tape Vol. 2 AND Vol. 3 (13 instrumentals in all) for only $3/beat. That way any rapper (no matter your budget!) can easily afford enough instrumentals to create an entire project! You can preview both projects below:
If you like what you hear, you can purchase these high-quality beats with INSTANT DELIVERY here.
In this Ableton Live tutorial, I explain how to pitch (or transpose) a sample by mapping a global macro to be used with an Akai MPD32 or other midi controller. The great part about using Akai products (MPD32, MPK49, etc) with Ableton Live is that you instantly have access to a “local” midi map which you can use automatically. Watch the video below for a more in-depth explanation.
Drop a comment and let me know if this was helpful in any way. Or drop a request for an upcoming tutorial you would like to be covered.
TCustomz.com, your #1 source for authentic Hip Hop instrumentals & drum kits!
Back again with another beat making video. This time I am creating a sampled Hip Hop beat, entitled “Hiding Place”, using two samples, Ableton Live, an Akai MPD32 & MPK49. As I mention in the intro, the main sample that I use for this beat is one that I almost passed on.
A Tip for Sample-based Producers: When you dig for samples, make sure that you thoroughly listen to the songs you are considering sampling. Skimming over your sample library is an easy way to miss out on some great sounds to use in your beats. Just because you don’t find what you’re looking for in the intro, doesn’t mean you won’t find that gem you’ve been looking for later in the song.
I made this beat with The Alchemist or Evidence in mind. Any true lyrical emcee would slaughter this!
Beat Title: “Hiding Place” - Full-length/HQ/Untagged Beat available at www.TCustomz.com w/ Instant Delivery!
This is a quick beat making tutorial showing you the different effects that I add to most of my sampled beats. As I mention in the video, I have talked about many of these effects before in some of my other Ableton Live tutorials, but I wanted to make a video dedicated to this.
In this video I discuss the following:
1) Pitching your Sample: Once the sample is chopped (in this case I am using an Ableton Live Drum Rack), the first thing I like to do is find the appropriate pitch and tempo for the sample. Using the transpose is an excellent way to achieve this.
2) Adding Attack to your Sample: Using an attack is recommended for most sampled beats, especially if you tend to chop your samples on an existing kick or snare drum. Adding a small attack to each of your sample slices will allow each one to quickly fade in once it is triggered. This allows space for you to create your own drum track over top of the sample without conflicting with the original drums.
3) EQ / Filtering your Sample: Filtering the bass out of your sample with a high-pass filter (HPF) is also recommended to allow room for a new bass line – unless, of course, you are planning to use the bass line from the existing sample, using a technique like low end theory. For this particular beat, I added a multiband EQ so that I could also remove some of the high frequencies from the sample.
4) Widening your Sample: Widening is technique used to take advantage of the stereo field. For more information, check my video tutorial on how to widen your sample.
5) Adding Delay / Reverb to your Sample: Lastly, I talk about adding delay and/or reverb to your sampled instrumentals. These are great effects for blending your sample chops together and making them more cohesive.
If this tutorial was helpful, please make sure to check out the Official TCustomz.com YouTube Channel (don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE). You can also “LIKE” the TCustomz Facebook Page and “FOLLOW” @TCustomz on Twitter.
TCustomz.com, your #1 source for authentic hip hop beats & drum kits!
Over the past month, a hand full of my instrumentals have been doing really well in the beat brokerz charts!
Three beats in particular, “Game’s Not the Same”, “Always” and “Misery” (track 5 on the TCustomz Beat Tape Vol. 3) have hit the #1 spot in either the Old School or Underground categories, and “Misery” has been dominating both Old School AND Underground for nearly the entire week!
None of these rankings are a result of paid promotion either! The Beat Brokerz charting system is based predominately on sales, so the fact that these beats have consistently been topping these sub-categories’ charts (even though I’m not quite top 10 in the main chart) is pretty awesome!
I also just realized I am a Top 10 producer there as well! – again, based on sales.
Shout out to the folks at Beat Brokerz for putting together an awesome music licensing community!
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- Sample Hip Hop Beat Making Video – “Forever” (prod. by TCustomz)
- New TCustomz Productionz Facebook App!
- Sampling Tip: How to Pick an Appropriate Sample for your Beat
- Low End Theory – How To Filter a Bass Line for a Sampled Hip Hop Beat Tutorial
- How to Change the Default Ableton Live Template Set (Tutorial) & FREE Custom Set