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HELP: keeping the listeners attention...


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#1 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:55 AM

After making beats and listening to beats for awhile now I was wondering what techniques you guys (who i'd admit to be better beat makers than I am) do to keep the listeners attention.

 

I noticed on JD's 1996 What Up Doe Sessions he would sort of lower the volume on the sample and bring it back up and I had never thought of doing anything like that before....but yeah, what are some of the things you guys do?

 

This will really help me out because I feel like my beats are a little too repetitive at times, but I know plenty of other beats that are just as repetitive yet still keep me interested.



#2 James Frank.

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:05 AM

I noticed on JD's 1996 What Up Doe Sessions he would sort of lower the volume on the sample and bring it back up and I had never thought of doing anything like that before....but yeah, what are some of the things you guys do?

 

what you're referring to is actually not the volume of the sample being turned up and down, but a low pass EQ filter on the sample being turned down to like 100-200 Hz (where the bass frequencies usually lie) and then turning it back up to like 10Khz (where the highs and mids lie)...sorry if that sounds too technical, but this is the lingo you've gotta learn if you wanna step your game up.  it takes a lot of practice and failure haha-- coming from someone who's failed way more times than succeeded.

 

but if you notice your favorite producers' beats, you'll realize that the one thing they all have in common is professional or at the very least semi-profesional quality of their mixes...and that takes time to learn.  i recommend watching YouTube tutorials and stuff to try and figure out the quirks of whatever system you're using to create beats, but as far as "keeping people interested" that's sort of another story.

 

things like variations on your patterns, even subtle shit like vocal cuts or sound snippets, are things that do get noticed by listeners, and the more you switch shit up bar-to-bar the more likely someone will stick around the whole way through.  also, on a last note, don't stretch your beat to 3, 4, 5 minutes if it's just a 4-8 bar loop...nobody wants to hear that shit anymore haha; unless you can somehow justify the song length, i would highly recommend trimming those beats down to like 1-2 mins.  i know if a song is like 4 minutes, i'll usually just skip right over it before even checking it out-- but maybe that's just me.  anyway, hope all that ^ helps.



#3 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:52 AM

Word, I wouldn't want to listen to my own shit if it was 4-5 minutes... All my tracks are a minute and a half tops.. maybe 2 minutes if i'm really feeling it. I do understand what lowpass is, I have used it on a few of my beats, but I am almost sure it was the volume being lowered on the track and not a muffled sound. You are right though, I do need to add vocal cuts or some sort of sound snippets. I noticed that being done a lot in Madlibs stuff and Doom as well. I'll just have to figure out exactly what I want to start throwing into the tracks then.... I got some mean Johnny Quest audio clips lol. 

 

Sometimes I switch up the pattern on the drums, but I'll only do it a few times here and there for maybe 1 bar, but i'm thinking I should start doing that for a bit longer so it gets noticed....

 

also finding more tutorials will def be a big help, I just went through all of the basic stuff so I'm not really sure what to look for now.... but thanks a lot for your taking the time to write a response. Much love.



#4 Dirty Cyclist

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:42 AM

I don't make beats, but I listen to them. What keeps me interested are time changes, random samples, and interesting combinations. I love when someone take a spoken word bit and integrates with a good beat and it makes sense against the lyrics...

http://www.thebeeshi...ng-with-j-zone/

 

The time changes on this intro are crazy (old school jazz):



#5 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:53 AM

I Love West End Blues... and good looks on the link, i'm going to check that out right now .... I've got to find some good comedy vinyl or maybe just find something online with movie quotes or w.e


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#6 BroKing

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 02:57 AM

let me rap on your beats breh


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#7 LeftFoot1st

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 08:01 AM

Maybe in the future... but right now, I'm just trying to perfect my sound... still got a lot to learn



#8 this is WACK

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 05:57 AM

the one thing that helped me more than anything on my beats was eliminating quantize. Getting a more human feel makes it more interesting for ears.  Also Dirty Cyclist is spot on.  Changes over time are what make all music interesting.


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#9 soulREBEL360

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 11:10 AM

... or just stop being wack


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#10 Beatronome

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 12:07 PM

Someone once said to me it's change-ups but dynamics as well that keep music interesting. So play with the volume, panning etc... Dude was into ambient stuff but still; what I do when I layer drums now and then is adjusting the volume on every layer randomly so they sound a little different every time. You might not really notice it, but I think it makes it sound less repetitive. Same goes for EQ'ing on samples, just make sure you don't mess up your mix.

Also: longer loops.

These are all extras though, in the end it has to be dope.



#11 mangoes cash

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:25 PM

Pop Structure.

#12 EdTheYounger

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 07:47 PM

Can be a two edged sword, if you don't do things subtle it'll just turn your stuff in to a mess... I like changing the same chop slightly. So I'll chop a sample up twice in the exact same spots but with minor variation. So it sounds like a human actually hitting pads to a certain extent. A half a second here and there of change in the patterns, maybe catching the start of the next transient briefly before the next chop
Hits in etc. each 4 bars I try to have at least 1 noticeable (but not rhythm changing) variation. Whether a vocal stab, a swallowed kick drum or a varied chop. Just don't go overboard, variations for me (and for most of the big names I listen to) are like seasoning on your beat, sprinkle it in moderation and it will bring all the flavor out!

One.

#13 Scottie Royal

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 06:33 AM

Something that I did when I first started out, but neglected over time and now started doing more of is adding drops. Very simple yet effective, pick the right spots for them and they will help. And you don't have to neccessarily drop the entire beat. I like to drop everything and then let one cool element shine through. 

 

Also like mangoes said, pop structure...what I'm getting from that intro/hook/verse/hook/verse/etc. It can be very standard, but I think it works.

 

Also something else I've learned, don't give your listener everything all at once! I had this problem of just giving everything right up front to the listener, years ago. Now I try to build up. For example the first time I play the hook, there might be 2-3 elements missing that will come through the second time my hook plays (maybe a big horn section or something).  



#14 archive

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Posted Yesterday, 10:30 AM

variations for me (and for most of the big names I listen to) are like seasoning on your beat, sprinkle it in moderation and it will bring all the flavor out!

 

i got a kick out of this, i always called it 'adding the bells and whistles'. everything said in this thread is super on point and it's something i constantly think about when making a tune although i need to learn to take the time and gather resources (vocal stabs, movie liners, one shots, whatever) rather than breaking up workflow mid way.

 

ps hi im new.






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