Hip Hop Production: What Do I Need?

We have an industry that rarely gives credit to producers but that doesn’t stop young people to aspire into making music/music production.  For this article and others in this series about music production and specifically hip hop production; we will be serving you some of the basics, howtos and guidelines to start your career as a music producer. Since this is a hip hop site we may limit references to hip hop acts or incidences.

Now real quick we noticed this month’s traffic to NuveyLive.org was coming from a number of you searching web  using keywords like; Ug Hip Hop Awards on NuveyLive, Last Breed Lyrics and most importantly – NuveyLive Hip Hop Producing.  To clear the air more details of the Hip Hop Awards can be found Here. Since we hadn’t put up a guide on music production but have an article about a beat maker vs a producer  you were directed here and we found it important to put together this article to answer any questions you had.

WHY? Because we are going to share with you what you need to begin music production and more importantly hip hop production.

Now lets start exploring read on and see what You can  find…..

A Computer – Desktop/Notebook/Laptop

Apple, Mac, Computer, Desktop, Monitor, Screen

No doubt we leave in a tech active world, where having a computer to do some things is essential. You need a good computer for you to think of producing music. The brand may not necessary matter, for any one just starting putting in mind your budget you need diligence as key. It should have good storage, a good processor at least 2.5 ghz. A RAM above 2 gb the higher the numbers the better and faster your system runs. Why? because you are going to run heavy applications and will due time you will connect a lot to this computer. About that later.

OR

Notebook, Laptop, Informatics

Whether you get a good desktop Pc / Mac or have a Laptop the purpose will be the same. The Desktop might not allow you to make music on the go which a good laptop allows that,  due its portability. However It comes with accessories.

A Music Maker Of Your Choice

Fl Studio Producer Edition 

Why I say ….of  your choice is that when you are choosing what to work with it may not matter. You have to try out each one of these till you find one that is convenient for you. With no doubt if your budget is too low you may even get pirate software to use (we don’t recommend that as a starter you may be tempted) Pirate software comes with risks. Personally when i was getting exposed to this field i got my hands on Fruity Loops, Mixcraft, Reason (Demo) and rested on Ableton which i find ease using. Nase Avatar will tell you how he is comfortable with Logic. Another person might conclude with Reason or Pro Tools. All these are Music softwares/Music Makers you install on your computer that should be in position to run them – if fails to it isn’t meant to do so.

HUL playlist
Screen Shot of Ableton Mixing a  NuveyLive Podcast

These softwares are loaded with plug-ins, digital instruments that will enable you to create sounds without some devices like a guitar, Keyboard or even cymbals. Now that you have a PC, installed software you need another equipment to help you connect instruments and other equipments   you may not be possessing.

The Sound card / Mixer

The soundcard / mixer helps you have a great sound experience and of course help you input and output through different devices. For example you will have to connect good studio speakers, a guitar or even  a Keyboard.

M Audio
M-Audio Sound card

A basic soundcard like the one in the image above can allow you to connect a microphone, speakers and other devices. You can find one with two channels for the start. If you wish to start directly with mixers and have the cash, you certainly can go for it.Radio, The Console, Mixer, Sound, Music, Dj, Mix

Good Speakers /  Good Headphones

This is what will put out the sound. Sounds obvious but well we wish to emphasize GOOD Speakers. When you are listening to the beats you have made or the vocals recorded, you need to have that.  If you are on a low-budget you can invest in good studio headphones to help you listen to the sound. There a number of good headphones that may cost you about shs 7o,000/=. And on the low if you are not able to afford an external  soundcard, you can rely on your computers  built-in  soundcard. So you can plug-in directly with the headphones. Headphones, Headset, Audio, Technology, Music, Sound

As a young producer (young for starter) your first six months are certain to be about beat making or even a little of producing. You have to get each of these equipments one by one if you are on a low-budget and if need is there be getting second-hand (if NEED Be). Laptop, Notebook, Technology, Music, Headphones

Lets say your relationship so far demands vocal recording, you will then need a microphone.

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers
M- Audio Studio Monitors

You may hear speakers being refered to as Studio Monitors and you surely know they are meant for studio type work.

The Microphone

This undoubtedly could be the last equipment to kick-start your music production all round. This is the level where you actually sort of come out of just beat making to actually recording people. Now you can have voices to the beats you have made. There a number of affordable microphones out there that you can get that is  compressor Mic ( and Dynamic Mic. This Link  HERE takes you to types of microphones.

Image from www.shure.co.uk

To conclude; you will have to prioritize what to get  first and in fact in the particular order we have broken down for you depending. But to kick-start your music production whether it is the bedroom studio these things are the basic and yet essential equipment you need.

All the best kick starting hip hop  production, catch you next time!

This is the first article In the Hip Hop production series we have put together for you. If you have any inquiry put it in the comment section and we shall here you.

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