With 65 videos and counting, this playlist is a true treasure trove of studio insights and production tricks for producers, beginners, and professionals alike. Mostly concentrating on current productions in the realm of hip hop and R&B, you can also find UK dance, grime, and scoring episodes. Native Instruments lists our top five selection of deconstructed videos, showcasing some of the biggest production talent around.
Orchestral workout songs
Sisters and musical partners Chloe x Halle deconstruct their song ‘Warrior’, sharing a detailed walk-through of instruments and recording techniques used to create it. Taking the main chords and singing melody as the starting point, the harmonies were transposed an octave lower and layered with additional synths in the upper register. Before mixing in big orchestral strings and keys the production duo include organic percussions, drums and a subby low-end melody. The whole arrangement is then rounded up by a singing duet from both of them.
Scoring process for Marvel’s Black Panther
The Swedish film and TV composer Ludwig Göransson might be best known for his scoring work on Marvel’s Black Panther movie, but more notably for his heavily p-funk inspired production on Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’.
Before starting the actual scoring work, Göransson explains, he felt the need to first go to Africa and do research to get a feel for the nuances and colors of the film. Having this experience he felt ready to start working on the actual film music.
For the ‘Wakanda’ piece he explains his approach of combining recordings of talking drum polyrhythms with 808 bass drums and orchestral ensembles giving it an authentic live character.
Music box sounds and b-parts
Canadian turntablist and producer A-Trak had an early career start and was in fact the youngest to ever win the DMC World DJ Championship in 1997. Fast forward to 2018, he is now one of the busiest producers and beatmakers around, spanning all types of genres, running the Fool’s Gold record label, and being nominated for a Grammy for his collaborative efforts with Armand van Helden under their Duck Sauce moniker.
In this video Alain Macklovic a.k.a. A-Trak walks us through the creative process of his song ‘Believe’ featuring Lil Yachty and Quavo. The harmonic basis and starting point for the beat is a music box sound from KONTAKT player beefed up with multiple layers of other synth and piano sounds so it cuts through in the mix. Continuing with drums and a slightly distorted sub bass the arrangement then switches into a b-part with additional percussive elements and an additional bass sound.
Ben Jayne’s simple beat recipe
Ben Jayne takes us through the production for Rich The Kid’s trap hit ‘New Freezer’ that ended up having a feature contribution by none other than Kendrick Lamar.
The Harlem, New York based producer essentially keeps it simple on the production side. By only using five sounds in total this beat is a great example of simple but yet effective beat making.
Synthesized guitar sounds and just a single bass tone every bar form the harmonic foundation of this instrumental. Triplet hi-hats, and 808 bass drum and snare is then added to round the whole thing off.
The london sound at heart
With ‘What If I Go’, Brighton based Mura Masa produced one of the biggest UK dance hits last year accumulating over 40 million streams on Spotify alone.
For Genius Mura Masa shows his process of creating the song from start to finish. Beginning with an old-school drum break and added rhythmic synth chords, he goes on to layer additional percussions and claps on top, incorporating ‘real world sounds’ as well as steel drums and layers of sampled and pitched vocal chops. A sidechain effect on all the layers is triggered by the straight bass drum. Rounding up the song and actually giving it the recognition factor, he recorded Bonzai’s [now known as Cosha] vocals, giving it that distinctive UK club vibe.