The Secrets To Making a Successful Beat Tape - Part 2: chordandjocks

Making a beat tape is every producer's dream; but navigating this territory can be tricky and knowing how to give it the momentum it deserves can make all the difference. In this series of articles, we speak to producers who have had incredible success with their beat tapes and ask them to share their insights into the process, from concept realization, visual worlds, right down to promotion.

In this part of the series, we spoke with chordandjocks

By Eimear O SullivanMusicngear Editor

Article photo - The Secrets To Making a Successful Beat Tape - Part 2: chordandjocks


Beat tape definition: Instrumental productions created by a producer/beat maker, which are compiled into an album.


Musicngear: What are some important things to keep in mind when creating a beat-tape? 

I would suggest making it your own kind of beat tape. If you were wanting to listen to a project, how would you want it served to you? All at once? Or pauses in between each course? 

I always reference some of my favorite beat tapes when crafting a tape. There are so many different ways to do things now, it’s just finding your unique flavor and sticking to that until you’ve mastered your style, then try others! 

We eat with our eyes first, so having attention-grabbing artwork is a must. Keep this in mind with all visual elements of your project, the titles of each track included. Think of length as well when it comes to your tracks, and the tape as well. Some physical formats have limitations.


Musicngear: What does your overall creative process look like for creating a beat tape?  

Article photo - The Secrets To Making a Successful Beat Tape - Part 2: chordandjocks As far as my gear, I use a Roland OG sp404,  Serato studio, and a Novation Launchkey midi controller. 

I’ve been sampling directly from vinyl in my DAW, chopping samples, and sequencing beats in Serato Studio. I then use the 404 for compression and effects. Most of the time, I start with getting a sample pattern first, then doing drums after that. I actually compress as I’m crafting the beat, messing with samples to see how they interact with each other when compressed together. Just experiment with your gear!


Musicngear: For producers who are interested in creating a beat tape, what are some strong beat tapes you recommend they listen to? 

Here is a list of tapes that I’ve studied:

Stlndrms - Veggie Tacos, Odyssey of the Mind

Green Assassin Dollar - MOOD BEATTAPE

Toonorth - Car Tunes Vol. 2

fushou. - revelation.

AKTR - Lala

Dibia$E - Baker’s Dozen, Sound Palace


Do you create a beat-tape around a certain theme/concept? (and if so, how do you execute this concept so it translates to the listener?)

I actually did for the first time recently with my JORDAN tape. 

Well, my name is Jordan, and MJ (Michael Jordan) has always been the goat to me. I wanted to theme the release around his contributions to the game and his brand. I incorporated famous quotes from MJ as song titles, sampled in game commentary from historic moments, and used footage of him dominating to put the listener in a sense of full 80s-90s nostalgia. 

It’s all about having a well-balanced theme but making it your own. I used vinyl only for this project, selecting samples from 80s and 90s r&b records. The sounds of the crowd cheering, the faded footage, and sounds of the time period all play into the retro feeling from the tape.


What is your process for promoting a beat-tape once completed? 

As much as we don’t want to focus on it, social media is very important to artists now, especially beatmakers. There are so many of us now, that you have to consistently promote your music for it to stick out. 

One tactic I’ve found that works well is continuing to post your music, even months after the initial release. Not flooding timelines, but being consistent keeps you relevant to listeners. It’s so easy to forget about music because you can easily find your next favorite. Using the main platforms: (Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, etc) is essential to staying relevant. Also, tap into music blogs like the Bandcamp Beat Tapes of the Month. Play your music live, whether it’s on the internet or in public. You have to find ways to get it to the listener. 

Connect with chordandjocks
Bandcamp / Spotify / Instagram / Twitter

 

In this series: Part 1: The Secrets To Making a Successful Beat Tape: City Girl

About Eimear O Sullivan

Eimear Ann O Sullivan is a multi-genre music producer, audio engineer and vocalist. After receiving a Masters in Music Technology from the CIT Cork School of Music, she went on to operate as a producer under the name Blakkheart. Her releases have received critical acclaim from Ireland's biggest music publications, such as District Magazine and Nialler9, alongside receiving heavy commercial radio airplay. She currently works in Cork recording studio Flashpoint CC. Previous clients of hers include the likes of Comedy Central’s Dragony Aunt star Candy Warhol, rapper Darce and Outsider YP. (Photo credit @Fabian Boros)

Contact Eimear O Sullivan at eimear.o.sullivan@musicngear.com

About Music Production

In this section of the blog you will find recording advice, tips and tricks from fellow artists and music producers.

Interested in writing a story for this section as a guest or joining the Musicngear team as a Contributing Author? Contact us at info+newauthor@musicngear.com