Music Production For Beginners: SOULFUL TRAP Fundamentals - How To Make BANGIN Beats In Any DAW | Kia Orion | Skillshare

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Music Production For Beginners: SOULFUL TRAP Fundamentals - How To Make BANGIN Beats In Any DAW

teacher avatar Kia Orion, Artist & Music Producer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Course Intro

    • 2. Flipping The Sample

    • 3. Adding Drums

    • 4. Bangin' Low End

    • 5. Secondary Melody

    • 6. Mixing The Track

    • 7. Mastering

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About This Class

This is a great beginner class for beginning producer and beatmakers

That said, I have a course that I recommend you start with, and if you haven't taken my other beginner courses (you can do that here)

In this course I'll walk you through every creative decision I made when crafting this soulful beat, and how you can apply this same advice right away into your own production. 


Do you wish you could make your own soulful beats to rap or sing to?

Now you can.

Making beats isn't rocket science, but there are some core concepts that took me YEARS to learn. 

And in this course I give you all the gems, no holds barred.

In this course I'll walk you through each step of making a trap beat and also how to Mix and Master it so it sounds professional.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: I'll be showing you in Ableton but the CONCEPTS I cover are applicable to ANY DAW. 

You don't need fancy plug-ins to make good music! 


Want free resources and producer coaching to help you level up even quicker? I got you. You can access all my free plug-ins and trainings by clicking anywhere on this link. 

Have fun! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kia Orion

Artist & Music Producer


Ay! I'm Kia. 

I'm an artist and educator who believes life wouldn't be the same without music.

Or tacos.

I realized that I was equally as passionate about teaching music as I was making it.

In 2016 I founded Beat School, an online platform and series of educational programs to help aspiring artists and producers learn how to make beats, accelerate their growth, and stay inspired. 

I'm originally from New York but these days you'll find me traveling around the world writing songs or playing beats on a rooftop somewhere.

I appreciate you stopping by, and if you'd like to get in touch you can DM me or shoot me an email at [email protected] 

Life is too short not to do what you lov... See full profile

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1. Course Intro: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another course with yours truly key Orion, I'm the man who is obsessed with making music and teaching you how to make your own. In today's course, I'm going to show you how to make so full modern. Boom bap, track each type of beats. You know what? Let's cut to the chase. This one I'm gonna teach you how to make. And you can see I'm taking three. And you can see. That sounds fun. Please stick around and I'm going to walk you through exactly how I made this beat. Now this is not a course. I'm going to teach you how to do the vocals, right? So you've got all these vocal takes down here and all this fun, fancy stuff for the vocals, but we aren't about that. This is going to focus on the production, just the beat. So I'm going to turn the vocals off. I'm going to walk you through this soil sample exactly how I chopped it up, wide chop that up the way I did, the different effects that I did to it in as well as the drums, the kicks it away space, all of that. Also I want you to know this is not Da specific meaning. I'm going to walk you through this enabled him because he's my dog choice. But the concepts, the ideas, the actual way that real nectar of this course is going to be for any DAW, you can do this NFL, you can do this in logic, you can do this in GarageBand if you wanted to. Actually know if you could do in a garage band and take them out. But any of your main doors you could do this in. However, there is nothing specific that is specific to Ableton. If I say bring up an EQ, if I say this is what I did and look at how we EQ this, then that's something that you're going to want to do in your own DAW, this EQ may look different than yours, but in EQs and accuse NICU, this could be this one. This could be a third party won through waves. It doesn't really matter. What matters is the ideas, the concepts, the arrangement, the creative choices that are made to make this be what it is. That's what you can take input into any DAW. So at that sounds good. Put us out maybe 30, 45 minutes. We're not going to go into super crazy gritty details. I'm really going to give you as much as I can in the shortest amount of time possible. So set aside a little bit of time, grab your beverage of choice, and get ready to rock and roll if you want to know how to make beats. I also have a free producer training at B school, the founder of beat school. It is an online platform that teaches people how to make beats, how to mix vocals, and how to be altogether better artists. So if that sounds good, you can head over. There would be school and land grab that free producer training after you watch this course and how to make banging sofa beats 5, Let's jump into it. 2. Flipping The Sample: So the first thing that we're going to do is figure out how to chop war and pitch this sample. Now, going to be honest, right? Good artists steal. Remember that good artists steal. So I'm not going to pretend like I came up with this idea completely originally, I stole this from a track on GCS latest album. It didn't record. This is 2021, he dropped his new album. And this is the intro to the song that I stole the idea from. Yeah, I was like, Oh, that sounds cool. So I did a little bit of digging and it sounds like it's maybe glitching a little bit. So I'm going to just change my buffer size. And so I found that, I went back and I found that original sample. And that's what I'm going to play for you. And then I listened to that two bars probably about a 100 times and figured out what I think he was doing. So it sounds like it's pitched up to me. It sounds like it's filtered to me. Now watch ears because it's going to be a little louder. This is the original sample. And with no effects or anything at normal speed. This is the original, right? So I was like, Ooh, that what that sounds like, it would be listened to G. G where you wet periods. So listen to this. Listen it is. Yeah. So that was like, Okay, but if we listen back to our original sample, Okay, that sounds, that sounds really similar, but I realized that we needed, but we need to do is chop it up a little bit. We need to chop it and we needed to pitch it, and we need to filter it a lot because listen to how much natural drums are in their sample. Even if we pull up our EQ. Let's duplicate this EQ. Let's pull this up and let's what's it called? What do I want? No, I don't want to answer it, but I just wanted this. I'm like, how do you go? You know, I'm going to open it on like how to go back to normal, Look at this Arabia for frequencies all over this thing. And so what I wanted to do was I wanted to, I wanted to carve out room for the low end for my bass drum, excuse me, for my, for my kick and my weight. So one of the car at the high-end for my vocals and other instruments that I might want it. Absolutely. We were going to pitch it up some. So here's our original sample. We ended up chopping it and pitching it. And so this is what it sounds like with no effects on it. This is just the chops. This is just how we end up chopping it up, check this out. I chopped it up different than g. Did. I just, I like that same sample, some of the similar stuff, but I just chop my own pieces out. So that's what I did, That was my chops that I chose. And then this compression have to worry about that just for the kick. But now look at how EQ, how heavy the ICU, this. So at an RC retro color, just to give it a little bit of reverb, maybe grid it up a little bit, and then a saturated. Also, if you notice, if we look at the actual waveform itself, I've pitched it up seven semitones. So this is almost like it's a little more than half an octave. 12 would be a full octave. So this is what it sounds like now with the EQ and everything rock and roll in. This is what g sounds like. So as you can tell, I just, I stole a lot of ideas from G. It's a lot of the same, excuse me, a lot. Yes, the sample, but also a lot of the ideas for the queue, the pitch, everything in between to actually get what I want it. So that is kind of our hook is this part, is this. But this is what our verse sounds like. So then I chopped up new stuff because I want, I don't want it to be that same loop over and over and over. So then I chopped up different pieces. So this is what it sounds like for the verse here. A lot of that base in there too, right? I wanted to cut that out. So that's kinda what we did is I got a lot of different chops. These aren't super, I'm not chopping a ton. These are pretty much as four bars. I'm chopping at a time that are found in the song that I liked. Another thing that you do, can-do, to even this out, as you can tell, I've lowered this one in this one by about three decibels, both of them, because they're both a little bit, they were both a little bit too loud. So that's kind of some really easy kind of volume automation that you can do. Automation. It isn't really automation, just kinda turning pieces down, but everything kinda sound cohesive if there are parts your sample that are louder or softer than others. So long story short, what do we do? We pitched it. We dequeued the crap out of it. We credit it up a little bit. And then we did a little bit of leveling in terms of the volume, but these aren't reversed. These aren't a bunch on a ton of chops a little bit here and there. And for the most part, we wanted to create space for the rest of our vocals, the rest of our instruments, the rest of everything else for the beat. So that's the main sample. You get a good sample, rock and roll in and then we build the rest of the track around it. Let's jump into it. 3. Adding Drums: Okay, so let's jump into the drums for this track, this is what it sounds. This is what the hook sounds like. No vocals. Pretty simple, pretty simple. I bring in a shaker at this point and a few more instruments if you listen. But for the most part, this is pretty simple. Our drums, I, again, I still allowed these ideas from GI tract. We have our main snare. This is what the drum sound like, just solo. Super simple. We have our regular scenario and then we have this second snare with a bit of reverb on it. For the hook, I would see only. And then we also have this shaker, open hi-hats, this cowbell development of a modern vibe. The grant ONE with our kick and are adequate, super-simple. So when it comes to the drums, let's check this out, right? So for the most part, with drums, as you can tell, arrangement is really key. I'm not doing anything super crazy here. I'm just bringing in our regular snare. It's kind of a crappy sound and snare, I don't have any effects on it. Second snares, this one with our reverb only for our hook. These high hats paint a little bit to the right. Super simple pattern. And then this cowbell pan to the left, open I had in the shaker pan to the left as well. So again, you don't have to get super-complicated with your drum patterns. You can get it if you listen to let a boy wonder, lot of Hit boy, they do some really cool, fun, fancy stuff with their drum patterns. But because the sample had so much going on in the sample also has drums in it. Listen to this, right? If you listen to these, listened to this sample, you'll hear they're like there's a snare, There's other little dummy pieces in it. There's a snare. So there's a lot of drums in the sample already. And so I didn't want to add too much to it. I just wanted to get these drums get kinda something rockin and just something I wanted a beat baggage kinda taught my talk on. And so if we look at these, each of these, there's an other than this open I add, there are really no effects on any of these. A little bit of EQ on that high hat. But other than that, drums are really straightforward. And again, as you can tell, it, just arrangement is really key when it comes to drums. I don't have that many drum tracks use put together a couple different tracks, and then you bring things in and out at different times to kind of signify that it's a hook or a verse or a bridge or different parts your track, okay, moving right along to the low end. 4. Bangin' Low End: When it came to the low-end for this, I knew I wanted some eight awaits to bang. So I got this omega I got by Ronnie. This is the 800 eight by itself. That alone makes someone a wrap. So the kick, I chose a good kick. I'm doing absolutely nothing to this kick, this Super Mario kick other than pulling off a little ON, then nothing to it. Because if you get good samples from spliced is what I mean. This is not just specific. You get good samples from Splice. You don't have to do anything to it because they already sound great. And then you'd have to work on your mixing. This 800 eight. What I did, I like to spice my Ada weights up and have a little bit of distortion. Distortion I made a waste. This is without it. It's cool. This is whether it's just disrespectful. This one's actually not even all that is respectful, but I just wanted it to have a little bit of grit to it. Again, grow enough some of the low-end, this compressor is just so that its side chain that it kicks when the kid comes through. It doesn't ducks out a little bit. You can tell its side chain to the kick. That's it. And that's the low end for the most part. There's one place where later in the verse, I do bring in this base, which is a, I loved this mini V3. It's the Minimoog emulation from arteriolar basal use preset with a little bit of tweaks. Just if we listened in this part of the song. The last part. That's it. That's your loan for the most part, you kick your base. Actually me kick it away, have a little bit of base here and they're based in the face and then drums. And that's it. Next we're gonna talk a little bit about texture. And then we're going to jump into the real, the real way that you make attract like this come through and that's in your mixing and mastering. Let's do it. 5. Secondary Melody: All right, So if we look at this, I didn't want to add some. I had this at first. I had a three instruments in here at first, this is what I had. These are all the instruments that I had. But then I realized I was like, man, that's a lot. That bell sound. I didn't like that bell sound. I didn't love that organ. And so I ended up scrapping it all. I only kept this key stab. It's around the sphere. And I've just EQ to do a little bit. Still kind of a crappy sound. Sounds kinda cheap. But that's a whistling Suzuki. I just wanted to have a little bit of this is in the second half of that, in the second half of the hook, I just wanted to have a little bit slightly differentiated sound and that was it. Now, quiet, that is, That's it. And then other than that, just a, just a sample rock and roll in a really simple be. I think good production is simple. Simplicity is the key. You don't want to overproduce, don't want to do too much. And then the real way that you get a beat like this to stand out is in your mixing. And that's going to jump into next. 6. Mixing The Track: So again, I was comparing this track to G. G, Where did you go? And so this is GI track. And I use this as kind of a roadmap for mine. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Rapid setting fields. So if you listened to G, He doesn't have any hi-hats in there really. It's just the sample, a little bit of base and his vocals. And so I pretty much kept it that same way. I was like, I was like, the real keys are nouns when you make a beat and then it's distributed backstroke things back in only use what you need to. And so let's talk about the mix for this. So when I'm makes again, this is not anything crazy. You have a mixing board on whatever day he ran, I promise. Let's walk through this one step at a time. So when I'm mix, I like to the first things that I focus on, my kit, my 800 eight, and my snare, and what I'm shooting for over here. So this is my master channel actually it's turn off. Let's turn off our mastering chain. When I'm mixing, I'm shooting for like negative four, negative three to negative six total. That's where I kinda wanted to peak at because then I know I'm going to be mastering it, turning everything up. So that's what I'm shooting for. So let's take it one at a time with our low-end already coming in pretty high at 4.7. Let's see, you'd have in the theater snare in. And again, I want to it the hook, so I have all my instruments going. So I actually have both of my snares, obviously, and these are set at slightly different levels. Again, at this point nothing is paint, everything is coming straight down the middle. I have the set so that my main snares a little bit louder. And then there's echo stands a little bit softer. And then our hi-hats, cowbell, open and shaker. With these. I don't want everything going straight down the center because I want to carve out space for these things. So every single one of these next instruments is going to be panned a little bit. That's what these mean. But mobile, boom, whatever DAW this mean, this might be an L to an R, whatever it is, and check this out. So this is with our hi-hat cowbell. Open I hat shaker. Things pan just the slightest bit, right. We're coming at 425. So you have a little bit of wiggle room for the sample. And this is then pretty much everything together. Okay, quick point. So if you notice, we were getting we are getting into a little bit hot territory for me, which is like negative three and some change, Check this out. And as I, that's a little bit hot for me. But I realized again, this side chain compressor, again, this is a little bit advanced, not advanced, but it's not super beginner. Don't worry about this too much. Just I wanted to make a note of it. This is almost the exact same chain compression that I'm using for my 800 eight. So that way when the kid comes through the sample, if we listened to it, is ducking out of the way. And what's interesting is with this slight change of side chain compression. So I changed this to the kick. We don't go pass for again. Kind of goal. And then let's bring everything in together. So we're at negative four. And so now I say, that's when I'm listening to this mix. Again. You want a reference track that's attract that you A-B your track to the track, you'd need to have a roadmap. And so I was constantly going back and forth between my track GPS track where it says kicks it, whereas mine sitting Where's his base? Whereas my bass going back and forth. And when I was happy with this, then I said, we weren't peaking where negative four, we are plenty of headroom. We're going to push this over and start mastering. So again, a couple of key concepts. Start with your most important instruments. First, kick it away. Snare, vocals or whatever is important to you. Number 2, you don't need a bunch of fancy effects on your stuff. Just use good samples and then get them to sit in a mixed volume wise where you want them. And third, if you don't want any everything coming straight down the center, use painting to carve out space for things. So everything has its own little place where it feels like it's sitting. That in mind. We're gonna move on. I'll show you how we master this bad way to get to the next level. 7. Mastering: Okay, So Roma mastering chain, I don't get super fancy with, it. Might look like I got a bunch of stuff going on here. Don't worry, we really don't. Here's what we're gonna do. I'm gonna walk you through this one piece at a time so you can see what each one of these things does. The first thing we're gonna do is little bit of EQ. I boost the slightest bit and the highs. And again I'm rolling off some low in with a little bit of mid-side EQ, not a huge deal. Don't worry about it if you don't know if that is Google mid-side EQ. Again, not a big deal. The thing is when it comes to mastering, you wanted to do a lot of small changes because It's your whole track, so it's affecting your whole tracking. Things get out of whack really fast. So a lot of small changes, right? Next thing I'm doing a little bit of distortion and the high-end, if you see any met tutorials, you know that I love this thing pamphlet the Saturn, about one decimal worth of boost above 800 hertz. Nothing below. That's why I like this, because you can split up in these bands only above one, right? You can also add other bands and stuff too. It's just a really cool distortion. But so this is what it sounds like one piece at a time. You notice with that assertion, the high end, it brings everything just a brightens everything up a little bit. Next, some sort of a compressor. Again, these plug-ins, it does not have to be these plugins use what you have. The plugins don't matter. It's how you use them. This is a T-Rex classic compressor and I'm just getting a little bit of compression about negative one, dB gain reduction, little bit of glue, little bit of volume, nothing too crazy. And that the new gradient, this is where you're going to want to watch your ears because we get a lot of volume at it is this is our T-Rex classic clipper. The reason I like using this Clipper, it's because as the slope, but you could also use with any type of soft clipper that you have. You can do this in able to offer their glue compressor. It has a soft clipping feature. You can do this. I know there's a soft Clipper in Fruity Loops. Again, it doesn't have to be this one. This just happens to be a plugin preset, excuse me, plug-in pack that I have. So I like using T-Rex stuff, but here is what it's like without it and with it watch ears, there's going to be loud again, we're bumping this up by five decibels. That's loud, right? Things allowed and even now open, I am saying it might even be a little bit abrasive. And then last but not least, not quite last, almost last is this pro L2. I'm boosting only a decimal and a half on this limiter, I'm not getting a ton of volume here just a little bit. And if you watch, It's just catch and peaks. Right? So some kicks and some snares. And then this is the last piece. This is the you lean loudness meters is a free plugin. This is just seeing what you're left with are integrated laughs are because when you upload to Spotify, think there's as negative 13, every streaming service has a different sort of range that they shoot for. So just make sure that when you are, That's the overall volume of your track that you can only get from averaging if to play the whole track front-to-back. You can't just get a little a little snippet like I just played, you got to do, you've got to play the whole track front and back. Let this read it and it'll tell you the overall loves for that track. And I can dive into too much here because that's a whole nother thing. Google it, but this is a free loudness meter. I recommend it. I use it on every single track so that they didn't gentlemen. And I think what goes at 3040 minutes or less is how you put together a soulful boom batt, kinda track, track from start to finish. And again, some key concepts. You get a good sample. Eq it out, leave room for your other things. Grid it up a little bit. Keep it simple with your drums. Just make sure you choose good drum samples. Don't get too fancy. Fresh fly and funky. Iv room for your vocals and other announcements if you want to, again, if you want more production tutorials, if you want my axis, my entire producer Vault, it's a bunch of free goodies as well as my free producer training. I'd recommend going to be school, checking that out, guys, thank you for tuning in. And as always, if you have questions fire in my way, I'm at Qia Orion everywhere online or KIA at key is my e-mail. Thank you so much for tuning in as always best to look any links I mentioned you can find in the description below, appreciate shell, check in the next one piece.