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

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Music Production For Beginners: 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 (25m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Creating The Melody

    • 3. Textures

    • 4. Drums

    • 5. 808

    • 6. Mixing Your Beat

    • 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 trap beat, and how you can apply this same advice right away into your own production. 


Do you wish you could make your own trap 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. Intro: A ladies and gentlemen, what is going on as your boy key Orion, the man who is obsessed with making adult music in teaching you how to make your own. In today's course, I'm going to teach you how to make the beat for this song from start to finish that are made for the, haven't named the song yet, but this is, but it's going to sound like without the vocals obviously. Umami, fun. Stick around and we'll walk you through this entire beam. Start to finish, obviously without the vocals. If you want to know how to mix vocals, that is on another course. But this entire walkthrough course is also going to be a piece of a lot of the trainings that I do. If you're curious about those, you can go to beat school I have a free training in terms of walking through each individual piece of what goes into making a b. But if you're ready for this specific beat walk-through, grab a beverage of choice, set aside 30, 45 minutes, and let's jump into it. Okay. See you on the inside. Patient. 2. Creating The Melody: Okay, so the first thing is first setting up this project, going to take it one piece at a time. So I've muted the vocals, I muted the doubles, all my fancy things that go into making this a full tracked in. I want to talk to you guys how simple it really is to make a beat. And how important it is to find good instruments. And then letting those things brief. And that is like that took me probably that's the 10000 hour rule right there. Is that in a nutshell? But that takes a while to master. So I'm going to walk you through it, kinda start to finish how I end up kinda piecing this together. So I started with this pad, which this with the pad sounds like originally. And it's also at 95. I sped it up. So this is what this is the original instrument that I started with. And then it kinda loops from there. But I was like, ooh, that's cool. But I wanted a little bit faster. I started singing them myself and I had the melody for what I wanted the hook to be pretty quickly. And so it's like, ooh, let me actually speed that up. I wanted it to be actually 120, how I imagined it. And then so this is what it would sound like sped up. But if you notice mine look a little bit different than this one because it's right there. Make sure we're recording. I chopped it up and I reversed it. So this is what it actually sounds like without any effects. And just reversed. Ooh, ooh, that's cool. And then I added an EQ. So I took off some of the lows, some of the highs. And I added this retro color preset called no boring pads, which I just tweaked a little bit, give it a little bit of space, little bit of depth, but this is what it sounds like without the EQ. So sounds like with the EQ. Kinda grits it up a little bit, takes us some of the harsher eyes and I knew I wanted some Ada weights in this track. So I'm going to take out the lows to leave room for the low end. And then this is what it sounds like with the retro color plugin. So I like that as an end to be honest, all I had the way that I wrote this entire track was with that was a little, what does that eight bar loop, um, with some drums and then I end up expanding it out after that. So that is like the main, the main meat and potatoes at this track is that. And then we're going to jump into these melodies, these vocal melodies. But I'm actually going to come over here for that, here in a hot second, but that's the main, the main melody that's really driving this track is this. And if you notice, I didn't play that, I got that from Splice, I love splice. Highly recommend that. But if you have a good melody pad, whatever it is, that's really going to drive your entire track. So focus on that, get that right and the rest you can build it around it. 3. Textures: So if you followed any of my stuff before, you know that I am such a fan of simplicity, that that's really the real beauty in good production is in keeping it simple. And this, you want to just make a beat for beat sake and have it show off like you'll get your skills. But if you're making it for vocals and for me, I'm always making beats for myself. For vocals, you have to understand you're really just creating a bed or a texture for a mood for your vocals for the song. And so the next piece was after I had the pad. I knew I wanted, I wanted some other piece for the hook to differentiate the hook from the bridge, from the verses. And so I'd like to have, I don't like to play a lot of instruments out, but I really like, I'm a ninja with audio, so I really like to manipulate, warp, mangle, different audio. And so I, I found a audio sample also from splice in the same key, which is this one. And I was like, Ooh is in the same key. And so what I did was, as you can see, I took it in here, I chopped it up, and I also pitched it up to 12, which is pretty much an octave. And then I added all these effects to it. So I also cut off the lows, some of the highs. I added a bunch of reverb and some delay. And this is what we got from this. It's what it sounds like with the pad. And then as well, I did that same thing to this vocal chop. And this one again pushed it up an octave. And so this was all the vocals. This is all the melody in the entire, in the entire beat is just this. That's it. That's really it. You get, you get your main piece, some sort of other textures delineate between your, your verse, your bridge or whatever it is. And then you let your vocals do the heavy lifting. And again, oftentimes when I listened to beats from other producers, guys are just doing too much in a lot of it is about stripping it back, really just creating a bed for the vocals and the moving out from there. So that's it, That's the melody. Keep it simple. And then we're gonna move on to the most important part, the drums. 4. Drums: Okay, so for the drums, I started with this loop. It was pretty much just a kick and snare. And so if we listen to the drums, this is, this is, this is what I started with. Was just these two. Come on. That was it. But if you look at these, Sue, I'll talk about mixing later on. I'm not really doing too much of these things. This isn't even on, so I don't even need this here. And then from there you kick and the snare is really a key piece. And then I added the high hats. And this is what the drum sound like without the kick. That's it. This was a hi-hat loop that I found. It was. This one obviously adds future soul, and this is from Splice. I certainly did plugged it and played it, and that was it. And then I but I knew I wanted more than that. So the these are kind of like auxiliary high hats that you can see I've panned to the left. So that way it adds a little bit more kind of a bounce and it just adds a little bit of exit. It's not something that necessarily be heard in the track, but there's something you're going to feel this, the hi-hat. And then I added these open hi-hats. Two. And this one is the end which I believe that pitch down. Yeah. So I pretty much look the same I hat, but on this one I just pushed it down. And then this is a reverse symbol. Is the add something kind of fun spice to the end of the bar. That reverse, I had added a little bit of reverb and delay, and that's pretty much it. So this is what it sounds like so far without our 800 eight, and it's this just r. This is just our beat without 800 eight for now. Now we're gonna talk about the next kind of give it that, what that really kind of basi low wind to complete this bad boy. 5. 808: All right. So the 800 eight I have here is a sonny Digital 800 eight and I'm just rolling off a little bit. Low wind have a compressor and distortion. So without any of these things, this is what the 800 eight sounds like on its own. And this is my 800 eight. Lot of distortion. And so as you can tell, pretty much what I've done is I've followed here in terms of the melody, just what is going on with our, if you listened to our melody, it's pretty much following just this exact same melody. And then the one thing that I did to make this interesting and this could actually probably a little bit more distortion and bring it out in the mix. But one thing that I did was I Where did it go? I automated the so if you listen to this automated, I just transposed it, but automated it so that it gets kinda growl, growl. And that's it. It's just the whole beat with our 800 eight growling everything together in our hook part of the song. And that's it. And that is with it mixed in mastered, which is really a key part of this entire thing, which is the piece that I'm going to show you next. But in terms of the actual pieces of the beat, we don't really have that much going on. You know what I mean? So let's jump into the mixing and the mastering piece, which is really pivotal if you want to bring out the real volume of a checking everything in and sit right in the mix. 6. Mixing Your Beat: Okay, so first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to turn off our mastering chain. And then I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna walk you through this step-by-step. I'm going to bring mix this entire track and bring everything down to 0. And the zone is 0. Take you through it one step at a time. Mixing this track. Yep, nothing splaying, right? So the first thing I bring in when it comes to mixing, really important things aren't my kick, my 800 eight, my snare, and my boat. Those are like what really make the track for me. So that's why I really focus. So first thing I do is I bring my kick in. Yeah, let me let me close my windows. I think it's pretty loud that they're not sure if you could hear that, but there's a lot of construction going on outside the crib. Alright, so first embryo is my kick and I'll play the track, bring my kick in. And as you can tell, because if you use splice and get good samples of splice, you don't need to add a lot of crazy effects to it because a lot of them already have been compressed a 1000 times, have all of these. They've already gone through the ringer in terms of effects. So if you start with good samples, all you gotta do is just EQ it a little bit. So I'm going to get this going. I'm shooting for probably around something like that, maybe negative seven, negative eight. And then I'm going to bring my 800 eight in. So here's what I do with my It'll wait. Again. It's a good idea to wait. I don't do too much too in terms of EQ, but I M, um, this is a lot of distortion. I love this. It's a free distortion plugin called camel crusher. Came up audio KML pressure, It's free. And then this compressor, I have this side chain, did it kick so that it ducks out of the way when the kick place. So I mentioned that off for now. But bring this in, I'll show you what I mean. So this is with the compressor now watch I would ducks out of the way when the kid comes through. So I want to max out at negative four. So I'm actually probably going to bring both these down a little bit. That's where I want to top out at, is negative four. Negative six I can do. Next. I'm going to bring my snare and I want this to be, I'm bringing this errand to be right before. It's like really punchy because I know when I add them, I mastering chain, this snare. When I added my master chain, it makes everything brighter, so it brings all my drums out, even my snare. So I'm not pushing my snare, a budget, my sneer like right below where I know it needs to sit right now because I know once I mastered the snares really going to pop and I might need to turn it down, but I'm just getting it in kind of a comfortable range. And then I bring all my hi-hats in just kind of all at the same time. Just, just kinda bring about see where they're at. And then I edit them all at the same time. So right now this is dialing these into taste. This is just what I'm feeling. What I want. I like these to both. I'd like you to sit in that mix. I don't want anything from me. I don't want any of these sticking out. So that's how I'm doing for I'm shooting for i now is I'm just going to mix them to feel kind of in my comfortable range. I've also, if you've noticed, I've pinned them every single thing I've panned because I don't want them all coming straight down the middle because then they have to, they're all competing for the same frequencies where this wave of the pan, when it makes an interesting into, it makes it easier for them to be heard in the mix. But if you look at these, I don't have any real effects on any of them except for that reverse high hat. But this is the same compressor I'm using to decorate the way that kicks if you listen to this. Just because I liked the way that it sounds when my ads are kind of glue to the kick. But I'm going to mix these in now to taste. I'm also not, this is not a part where this is an exact science because I know once we bring in are our main melodies are samples, as well as mastering. These are going to start to change as well. So again, this is, I'm just getting these in a loose, this isn't like an exact that has to be negative 12 baba, baba. I'm just getting a regular field kinda just ballpark in it. I'm just pushing everything up. It's going to get in the ballpark right now. Bringing in our main pad. Same compressors, the high hats and 800 eight to the kick little bit, the side chain compression. Again, I'm just wanted these to be textures and I'm keeping an eye over here. It's negative around negative four. So what we want to be, It's too, I'm not I'm I'm not bumping them up too much because they're really high patients. They can get annoying really fast. So but I want them to, I want them to come in. And again, you'd feel there's a difference when it's the hook, a little bit of energy. But you don't really want this to be like in your face because the hydrogen that was going to knowing fast. This one I have louder because it's only one. So I just wanted to kinda come in and they just kinda lingers. Feels good to me. Negative 4. Now we're going to jump into mastering it. 7. Mastering: For mastering, can you see my stuff? You've seen that I do it all pretty much the same the same things over and over. Because I tried and true and I like them. So here's the deal. First thing I do is a little bit of EQ. Look how simple that curve is. Boehm, something super simple right there, little bit of boost in the highest, nothing too crazy. Second thing I do is distortion plugin. This is the FAB filter Saturn and I have it split band. So that means everything below 800 pretty much not affect at all. Everything above 800 is getting one decibel boost. But check this out because it's mastering it to the whole track that goes a long way. Listen to the difference in these two. Without it and with it. We're not listen to headphones. You're not gonna be able to tell the difference, but it really just shows like a brings everything, just visit that brings it to life a little bit. Next thing I do is a compressor to kind of glue the whole track together, and I'm looking for 11 negative one dB of gain reduction. Next, symptom really likes against a whole track. You don't want to have a ton on here. And we're going to get a little bit of volume from this two, which by the input drive is three. So we're getting some volume out of that and it just kind of bringing everything together. Now you're going to want to watch your ears. This is where we're getting most of our volume from. I used to use a limiter to get most of my volume, but now I've used, I just used this soft clipper. You can also use a soft gripper in Ableton if you go to Audio Effects and you use your saturated or we can click on soft clipping. And then you can kind of change what did what I like about this is when you look at this, this button right here, the slope, all you're doing is you're changing it from pretty much this kind of soft sign or an analog clips. Yeah, it's kind of a rounded you're just changing the curve. How hard that that curve is. So that all that, oh, this is just a fancy soft clipper, but I like this one. So watch your ears. This is the difference between these two in terms of volume, because look at this, we're bumping it up five dB. So watch your ears. Maybe go around. I've said everything was going to pop out now affect the snares a little too loud. So I'm going to just bring it down a little bit. I'm now filling my Ada weights, getting a little lost. Little thing. Sometimes it's not always the volume, it might be the perception of it. So what I'm going to do is turn up the distortion a little bit and see if maybe brings out our a to wait a little bit before adding volume to it. The last piece of this last two pieces. This is a loudness meter, meaning it'll tell you kinda where the average is. I'm not gonna go into all of these, but there's a free loudness meter. I recommend getting these because it'll tell you kinda loves where you're integrated, love SAR. So that would before you upload to streaming platforms, you can know where you're at. And then the last piece is this FAB filter profile to where I wanted to push this up a decimal or two, just so that it catches the peaks. I don't my whole track peeking through here to get the last little bit of volume out of this track. That sounds good to me. That sounds good to me. So that's kinda where we're at. That's the whole beat. And then I've got all of these vocal tracks and that was it. That's a whole, another beast, a whole nother tutorial whole, another video for you all. But for now, don't worry about it. We're going to just take my word for it that I spent time X in the Senate, they turned out okay, but that is in a nutshell, going to be how you make a beat from start to finish. For vocals, again, this isn't to show off production. This is just for vocals. You want to keep it simple. You want to start with a main melody or main pads, something that you're going to build the track around. Make sure drums really come through your drums or knock-in, you gotta heavy low wind and start around mics around the pieces that are important to you. So for me, that's kick 800 eight snare and vocals. But that's if Herbie attractant for everybody. And then get your volume out of your mastering chain. And yeah, that's Track. Thank you for sticking around as always, if you have any questions, you can find them my way. Kia at key, check on my other tutorials here on Skillshare. I've got a ton and mixing vocals, production, everything under the sign. And again, if you want that free training, you can go to Beats one Appreciate you sticking around, checking a minute. Piece.