Usually when Hip Hop or Trap music producers talk about making beats they are simply referring to an art form of creating instrumentals from scratch or sometimes with the use of sampled music.
The term beat in Hip Hop is synonymous with instrumental, backing track or back-beat. It just means the same thing in the context of Hip Hop music production.
Alternatively, instead of starting from scratch, a music producer can be inspired by a particular genre of music or a specific sound from a certain song that he wishes to incorporate into his music production arsenal.
In order to do that a Hip Hop producer will sample the part he likes from a certain song and mash it up with additional music production. For example, they might add drums to the sample, they can also add virtual synthesizer sounds and so on.
Why Sample Clearance is Important for Hip Hop Producers
The issue of sampling other people’s music is fine as long as the Hip Hop producer engages with the copyright holder before any official release is made to the market.
Copyright holders also reserve the right to block anyone from using their intellectual property if they want to. It doesn’t matter if the rapper and the music producer had already finished making the song.
The copyright holder’s permission is final and that’s one of the main challenges of producing music using sampled music because it’s never certain that the original copyright holder will grant you permission.
NOTE: Sample clearance is a time consuming process and requires patience. Furthermore, the task of contacting the current owner of the sampled music means legal fees have to be paid in the due process of doing so.
What Software Do Hip Hop Producers Use to Make Beats?
Contemporary Hip Hop music producers use Digital Audio Workstations (DAWS) software programs to make beats. On the DAW market there is a wide variety of software programs that is available and there choice is all about what DAW does a music producer feels comfortable with.
The following is a list of some of those DAW music programs that are often used by Hip Hop producers:
- FL Studio
- Presonus Studio One
- Logic Pro
- Ableton Live