If you’re pressed for time, or if you already know the basic concepts behind Beatmaker, then this walkthrough will get you started. You can always come back later to look up more detailed explanations as you need them.
We will take a quick tour across all controls of Beatmaker DOPE. After this, you will have a good basic understanding of our drum tool.
We assume that you have Beatmaker DOPE installed on your computer. Ideally, you have a MIDI controller connected, and if not, you can click the on-screen Interactive keyboard.
Make a sound and learn about the control keys
Start your DAW and instantiate Beatmaker DOPE. A default style will load, and that’s a good starting point. Activate the Latch button. Now you hit key C3 on your MIDI keyboard (or on the interactive keyboard) and Beatmaker DOPE will start playing a Verse pattern.
The Interactive Keyboard also doubles as a display for the MIDI notes Beatmaker DOPE is receiving. The keyboard is divided and properly labeled with the functions of the corresponding note ranges.
Move up the white keys to go from Verse to Chorus and other song parts.
Now try the black keys and notice how they behave differently. Intros play only once and then fall back to the previous Verse or Chorus, and so do Fills, while Breakdowns play while you hold them, and Endings finish off the song.
Please note, that the Intros can be half a bar, one bar or two bars long.
To gradually tweak the performance, turn the mod wheel up and notice how the overall sound gets less energetic.
- Move the pitch wheel up to gradually mute the kick drum, or down to mute the snare. This is great for intermezzos and lead-ins
- At the top of the Beatmaker DOPE window you can load presets. A preset is always a complete Beatmaker DOPE setup, i.e. it will change the grooves as well as the kits and effects. At this point, just go through different presets and try different Style phrases to get an impression of the musical and sonic palette of Beatmaker DOPE.
Tell your player what to play
Activate the Latch button at the lower center. Now Beatmaker DOPE will keep playing even if you don’t hold a note. Let it keep playing.
While the groove plays, go through the various Kits in the top left corner. Notice how they are descriptively named. Try hitting a drum (like e.g. SN1) and tweak the Volume, Pitch, and Decay.
Activate the various Mix modes in the upper right corner. Notice how, again, the overall sound changes drastically. Turn the Amount control about 75% up.
- Finally, try the Vinyl Drive, it simulates retro turntable noise & compression to add that retro dirt and punch we all love so much.
Beatmaker DOPE delivers all sorts of useful hip hop grooves in a very convenient way, but also adds the element of ‘’a drummer’s heart’’ . Unlike static loops, Beatmaker DOPE plays those grooves and lets you add movement and dynamics into your song. That is, you have not loaded one groove but a whole bunch of them, all made to fit within the same song.
Just like a live drummer, you can easily add intros, fills, breaks and increasing degrees of drumming intensity as your song builds. It’s all up to you, if you want your drum track to have a more static or more live feel.
Here’s the scenario. When you have an idea in your head and want to lay it down, the last thing you want is to struggle with sample libraries, loops, effects and MIDI editing, trying to create a convincing and powerful performance. What you need is a professional player, with all the right grooves, samples, and tweaks that performs your idea the way you want it.
Because all elements that make up the Beatmaker DOPE patterns are still accessible from the front panel, you can actually tweak or remove individual drum sounds from the grooves. Try to do that to a static loop...
Did we mention the time aspect? Building a drum track from the ground up takes a while. Choosing a style in Beatmaker DOPE and playing the various grooves takes seconds! We think you want to use your precious time on other details than getting started on the rhythm track.