How to Make a 90s Hip Hop Beat




Introduction: How to Make a 90s Hip Hop Beat

Hello world,

i'm 90sflav, i will explain to you the base of sample and beatmaking in order to create a simple hip hop beat.

For this, the needs are relative. You can do it with a Akai MPC, a Boss SP-x0x.. or with a DAW (FL Studio, Reason, Ableton..). You can also use freeware software like Audacity, Hydrogen, LIMMS, Ardour (Linux software).
In this tutorial, i'll use two things :

- Boss SP-202 for sampling, cuts and filters.

- FL Studio for sequence the samples.

Why this choice? Because unlike other machines, the Boss SP-202 is one of the most easier and cheapest machine on the market!

So in first step, lets digg' in the creates!

Step 1: Audio Sources for Sampling

The main compositions of a piece of hip hop are:

- A sample of base (or more generally, but we will use one for this tutorial)

- A rhythmic sequence (a drum beat)

So you have to search in first time a short sample from a music in order to loop it. The solutions here are almost infinite, you can sample from old cassettes, vinyl records, internet, CDs or mp3, movies, radio or even your own instruments!

There are no real limits ;)

Step 2: The Samples

Before going further, I want to clarify that for those who have no samplers, you can do it only with Audacity. Despite of this, you will have your sample for looper it in the sequencer, but you will not have grain and so special filters machine (unless using VST).

For know how to record with Audacity, you can follow also this Instructable!

So, let's turn on the Boss SP-202! I plugged it to my audio source (here is used a cassette deck) in "Line In" in order to save the sound who comes into it.

On the picture, i'll just use the REC button and a free Pad number for save my sample, and i already cut it with the "mark" button (but it's possible to do it after with FL Studio or Audacity)

If possible, your main sample must:

- Contain no voice, singing, drums (essentially)

- Sound volume should not be too low or too high

- Should not be too long. A period of 6 to 12 seconds to start are sufficient. Do not forget that your sample is going to be looped, so your melody sample must be properly between the starting point and end

- If you want it to be typed 90's, looking for a sample in jazz, soul, samba sources (vibraphone, piano, jazz bass are the good instruments)

Exemple idea!

You can also sample your own drums from drums breaks! (so you have to cuts each drums parts, in hip hop we use mainly the Kick, the snare, and the Hit Hat). If not, you can download drums kit direclty from internet (google is your friend), use those in your DAW or from your drum machine.

Step 3: Importing Your Samples to PC

After you finish to sample your vibe sounds, and drums (snare kick and hhh, and other sound effects if you want), you need to export them in your PC folder.

For this you still can use Audacity or also Reaper, Edison, etc.

I advice to use the Anaolog LINE IN of your audio card (blue plug - cf picture), or better, an USB audio card.

Correctly name samples, they must have their meanings, then you're going to lose you there!

Step 4: Opening FL Studio

First, consider what consists FL :

1) Your resources (sound banks, instruments etc). Here you can drag your folder with the samples that you recorded earlier stages.

2) The time progression. You can change the value in clicking on it.

3) The tempo. In Hip Hop, the tempo turn around 90 BPM. It depending also of your sample and what you want to do like beat (something smooth and slow ? (70 to 85 bpm) - Something of fast and banger ? (85 to 100 Bpm).

4) Control of the panels, the mixing tracks, sequencer, etc.


- I use FL Studio 11, but the V7 and 9 are very similar

- Also do not forget to install the ASIO4ALL drivers and configure it by defaults in the preferences

Step 5: The Bases

Start by taking the first basic settings :

1) As i said, you have to import your sources folder where are located your samples

2) Click on song

3) Adjust the tempo to 90 Bpm

4) Click on the playlist track logo

Step 6: The Beats Stems

So, here i made my full beat.

Like you can see on the screenshot, i used 12 differents tracks!

1) The 3 first tracks are my differents Hit Hats, but for start you can use only one on every eighth.

2) The 2 seconds tracks are my drums (kicks and snares)

3) The 4 afters are my main vibes samples

4) And the 3 lasts are the "Automations clips" of the samples, in order to control the volume enveloppe of the samples in the time.

You can also check youtube due to the incredible numbers of tutorial video about all kind of tips!

If you need clarifications, answers or suggestions, do not hesitate to say in the comments. I hope I was clear enough for my first tuto, and my English is quite understandable!


Step 7: Video Result

The video exemple!

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    1 year ago

    Please send tutorial video


    6 years ago

    It looks clipped according to thdb meter. Other wise it was good.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, just a quick beat! If not you can check my prods on soundcloud - 90sFlav !