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A Guide to Making Fresh Beats with Spire Studio

by Charley Ruddell, iZotope Contributor September 5, 2019

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Don't forget to download this article's Spire session file directly to your iPhone or iPad, and explore our final mix in the Spire app! Spire Studio hardware is required for projects to open on Android devices. 

What was once a small circuit of like-minded producers sharing work with each other, beat scenes and beat-making culture have been propelled into the mainstream with the aid of streaming services and social media. It’s now easier than ever for an up-and-coming producer to share their beats with the world and receive immediate feedback. From Soundcloud and Spotify playlists that boast millions of streams, to beat-specific social media profiles with hoards of followers, beat-making has dominated online music culture.

Making beats in 2019 is all about immediacy and convenience. With cutting-edge products rapidly hitting the market, producers are always looking for the next best tool to add to their kits. With beat-making tools like MPCs and MIDI software in higher demand, more companies than ever are making their prices more affordable. 

Spire Studio is an ideal tool for producers who either lack a studio setup, or find themselves inspired while on the go. If you’re mobile and armed with your Spire Studio and MPC or synth of choice, turning a spontaneous idea into a fresh beat is not only simple, but guaranteed for top audio quality. No extravagant studio set up is required to be creative and authentic with the Spire Studio. 

Making not just a beat, but a fresh beat in 2019 is all about layers, textures, and a strong backbeat. With Spire’s recording features, let’s build a beat from the ground up and examine how to use the effects to your advantage. Grab your favorite beat-making tools, and let’s get to it.

There are dozens of tools to help you make loops, like this MPC from AKAI Professional.

Start your beat with a loop

When you’re beat-making, keep the drums and percussion going in a loop so you can hop in and out of experimentation with other instruments. Ultimately, you’ll want a beat that is able to loop forever—but more importantly, a beat that you won’t get sick of. 

After you establish your drum loop, record it dry into Spire. Try to line it up with the metronome tempo—this will make recording the other tracks easier. 

Next, find some samples that you have stored. Vocal samples always make for a more interesting beat. But before you start tracking your samples, try using one of the Spaces to add some depth to your sounds. The example below is running through the Acoustic Shaper.

Add bass

The next thing you’ll want to do is fill in the low end. A popular bass sound right now is a deep, subby signal that matches the rhythm of the kick drum. Try finding a sub bass patch on your synth of choice that will get the job done. 

When you find your sound, run it through Spire’s bass amp for some added oomph. Keep the presence and blend turned up about halfway and throw on the boost. 

Create layers

Now that you’ve established a strong rhythm section, it’s time to layer in some more textures. You’ll want to have a small variety of sounds to work with. Try finding a higher pitched bell or chimey sound, a lower, more growly sound, and something in between. These are just off-hand examples that show why variety is important.

Be sparse with your synth sounds so that the rhythm can take the spotlight. Chime in with your higher sounds sparingly, and use your lower sounds on strong downbeats. 

For the high sounds, Spaces like Intimate Space Vibes and Warm Space are great options for filling space with natural sounding reverbs and delays. The lower sounds can either use the Bass Amp or just plug direct in. 

Here are some synth sounds added in using the recording effects. 

Throw in some spice 

Now that you’ve got a bona fide fresh beat in the oven, throw in some spice to make it pop. This could mean something as small as a cowbell hit every other measure, or a shaker softly mixed in. In the example below, an extra hi-hat track comes in after the first two bars to reinforce the drum loop.

Conclusion

Tracking a beat in Spire Studio takes next to no time to create and always comes out feeling fresh and professional. Remember to start with a drum loop, add a bass line using the Bass Amp, layer in some synths using Spaces, and throw in some extra spice at the end. If you’re armed with your favorite tools, making a fresh beat in Spire Studio can happen anywhere at any time. Happy writing.

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