So, I’d like to give you a primer on some hip hop and rap beat making making vocabulary words. A lot of people know how to make rap and hip hop beats, but they might not understand all of the terminology that goes along with it. These are really just some basic terms, but they may go along way in helping you make better hip hop beats. You’ll at least understand the framework within which you’re working.
Track – A track is what you record an instrument or beats on. The term used to have more relevance when recording was done on magnetic tape. Different types of tape had a certain number of “tracks” that ran along it, which were read or played by a stereo. Generally when using software to record your hip hop beats, one instrument or sounds at a time be added to a track. Whole beats, with all of its parts can be one added to a track. Or, parts of a beats, such as just a snare, or just the bass drum, will have its own track for mixing and panning (more on this later). Time Line – The time line will contain the tracks and moves from left to right just like you read a book. This is the progress of your beat, or your song. If you move to the right along your time line you’ll see a visual representation of the beats and music as it happens later in the song. Tempo – This is how fast or slow the hip hop beat or song you’re making is. Most beat making programs will have a way to adjust the tempo. This control on your software may be as simple as a set of “up and “down” arrows, or it could be represented as BPM, a numeric value that shows how many beats per minute your song contains. Mixing and Panning – A mixer is traditionally a piece of equipment that allows you to adjust the volume of certain parts of a song, or even whole sets of tracks. If you’re a DJ, you would use a mixer to fade the volume from one turntable to the next smoothly. the Panning of these tracks sends a signal to the left or right monitor (or speaker, or headphone) so that you can create a “stereo” effect. Save and Export – You might have The beats already saved, or you might still be programming and editing your tracks. Saving will work just like it does on any other program, but when you export it, you send it out of the program you’re working in so it can be used later in another program. For instance, you may save your rap beats to your hard drive, but they may not be accessible outside of your beat making program. You will have to export you song to MP3 format so you can edit it in another program or uploaded to the Internet for all of your friends and new fans to hear. professionnal beats