Making a rap beat in Reaper
February 11, 2012 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Walk me through making a simple rap instrumental in Reaper using free VSTis.

I'm using Reaper (the music software), and would like to make a rap instrumental.

Here is what I know:

- how to use the piano-roll style MIDI entry
- how to set BPM
- a few settings

Here is what I have:

- just the VSTis which came with Reaper

Here is what I want to do:

- find the right (free) VSTi instruments
- understand how to configure them to get a rap-style sound
- understand anything else I need to know to make this sound decent

All the tutorials I can find assume I already have some expertise tweaking synthesizer settings, which I have absolutely none of. Explain like I'm five, because I may as well be.
posted by LSK to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Don't mess with synths right now. I think you oughta download some sample sets from a place like crate kings. You won't need any additional VSTis to make a beat that way. You can just arrange the samples in audio tracks. Start with the drums. Once you have a drum track that sounds like hip hop, you have a lot of options.
posted by chrchr at 3:42 PM on February 11, 2012

Seconding that hip hop is all about samples.

Get all the free samples from Chris Randall, particularly the full metal 909. Then get his free compressor, Rough Rider.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:13 PM on February 11, 2012

The answer depends on the style of rap. If you're interested in 90s New York hip-hop, then you need to start listening to a lot of music and find samples to loop and chop. If you want to make contemporary radio stuff, you'll need to learn some synths.

Either way, you'll need good drum samples. BitTorrent sites are full of 'em if that's within your morals. Make sure to get samples of the 808 drum machine, it's the single most used sound in hip hop (although some sub-genres abstain from it entirely). Use good, big speakers so you can hear the bass.

Post a few songs that you want to sound like. That will help narrow down the instructions.
posted by scose at 4:50 PM on February 11, 2012

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