Are You Overproducing Your Beats?

Quick question, are you over producing your beats? Why is that horn going off? I got a question, let’s talk about it.

Music producers are you over producing your beats? That’s a good question to ask as you start to put your beats together. I think you know one issue a lot of producers have especially in the very beginning and honestly, there’s established producers who have this issue sometimes and it may be the reason why we don’t see so many placements for them as the years go on, is that they overproduce the record. Now, what is overproducing? How do you define it? For me I would say over producing a record is filling up a beat or an instrumental with so many instruments, so many channels that you don’t leave space for probably, one of the most important additions which are the vocals, vocals from the rapper, from the singer, you know are you adding so much to the beat to make it sound like this amazing piece of music? This amazing instrumental? Are you filling in too many spaces? Are you not leaving up enough space for the rapper to basically add their instrument which is their voice upon that beat?

It’s a great question to ask yourself especially as you’re starting to lease beats. I tell you like this, I’ve had beats that I spend so much time on, I spend so much time on. I had so many instruments to them, I’m playing chords here, I got a chord progression here, I got pads over here, I got synthesizers coming in every once in a while, and they’re literally stealing the show from the rapper that hasn’t even rapped over them and you got to think about it. When a rapper listens to a beat, if you ever been in a session, you 01:37 listen to a beat, and then they start mumbling some words like… 

Probably not like that, but they start mumbling words trying to figure out what to add to that beat? And they’re trying to figure it out. If you notice the beats that you’re overproducing, they’re probably not doing the mumble because they can’t even program, or process, where their vocals, are supposed to sit within that production. That’s partly your fault, as a producer you have to figure out ways that you know still satisfy the need to be musical, still satisfy the need to have a beat that’s not too simplistic, but at the same time have a beat that it’s just like yin and yang when it comes to the artist.

You’ve got to make sure that you are like peanut butter and jelly baby. You’ve got to make sure that you go in hand in hand and I think sometimes it’s not even so much a producer being so overly talented that they just have so many instruments and runs they can add to a beat.  I think sometimes producers who are insecure about their beat, feel like it just doesn’t have enough.

But I’ll tell you, in my experience I was getting to this, but I actually want on a little rant. But, in my experience there have been times that I have put so many instruments on a beat right. I told you all of these instruments that I put on the beat. And then I put it out there for sale in the leasing business, on my leasing website, and then come to find out it’s crickets, nobody wants to get the beat, right? Every once in a while, somebody come to get the beat. But, the beats with the limited amount of instruments, I mean like five or six instruments. Those are the ones that sell like hotcakes. And it leaves me like really? That took me 45 minutes in comparison in these 4 hours or two days of a beat. And you know I think that with the message of that is, is that, your customers are telling you, look leave some space for me. I need to know where I fit when it comes to the equation of the song. I need to know where my voice is going to fit. I need to know how this complements telling my story. You know don’t forget as producers, yes, we’re very, very important to a song.

Our instrumentals are very, there is no song without this instrumental right? But it is not our job to steal the show. We are here to complement. We are the background. We are the music behind it that really drives an energy, but the instruments can’t say any words. The words are there for that. You have to leave room for that instrument if you’re trying to sell beats. You know you can’t fill it in with so much thinking like man this beat it’s not done, it’s not done, it’s not done.  Yeah, you’re right it’s never going to feel like it’s done, if you don’t have any rapping over it, or anybody singing over it, no recording artist. That is the last instrument that needs to be added. So, when you think of things like you know, if you look at it from the perspective of you know how can I put this? Let me give an example, you putting a cake, together right? You put it in the oven right you get all the ingredients, put in the oven and you look at that cake and you look at the cake on the actual cake box and you’re like, it just doesn’t feel done. Well, what’s the last thing you gotta add to that cake? I don’t know maybe the icing. Well, then let these rappers be the icing to the cake. Stop trying to add icing on it. And then give them the cake and then they’re like this is dope, but I don’t know what I can add to that. You get where am coming from? I don’t know if you liked that analogy but it helped me out to understand that.

So, what I’ll say is really start to ask yourself instead of what I can add to this beat, start asking yourself what I can take away. It’s not always about trying to just beef up as many sounds as possible on a beat. Sometimes it’s about taking away, so that you can be even more efficient. The beat doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to be efficient. It needs to evoke an emotion. It needs to get people feeling like I need this beat because I got to tell the story. Whatever the story is, whether that’s about going and getting some Versace or some Gucci or whether that’s you know a story about you know a lost love, or whatever the case may be. It’s your job to help tell the story. It’s not your job to take over the whole story. You know, when you think about a movie, movies have directors, and co-directors, and producers, and executive producer, they all play their own role. You know the director is not all of it. So, it’s not up to you to try to be all of the creative process of the song, unless you’re rapping over the beat. Okay that’s something else different, but if you’re trying to provide this is as a producer to leasing artists that are out there. Artists who are willing to invest into your product. Do them a favor, and do yourself a favor. Don’t overproduce, leave room for them as well.

Once again this is Curtiss King of airbit.com. Have a good one.

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