Beat Breakdown: Cypress Hill’s Rap Superstar – Part 1: Drums
In a series of beat breakdown and music tutorials, I will be teaching you, with this article, how to reproduce the drumbeat in Cypress Hill’s “Rap Superstar” with FL Studio 12.
This article only contains the tutorial for the drumbeat of “Rap Superstar.” I will show you how to compose the melody with the next article.
To begin your project, open FL Studio 12 and set the tempo of your new project to 94 beats per minute.
INSERTING DRUM SOUNDS
Now that your tempo is set, drag these five drum sounds from the sound inventory to the Channel Rack.
- Kick 1 – Packs > drums > kicks > 808 Kick
- Kick 2 – Packs > legacy > drums > HipHop > HIP_Kick_2
- Snare – Packs > drums > snares > Linn Snare
- Hi-Hat 1 – Packs > legacy > drums > HipHop > HIP_Hat_5
- Hi-Hat 2 – Packs > legacy > drums > HipHop > HIP_Hat_6
ENHANCING THE 808 KICK
Once those drums are in your Channel Rack, don’t start composing yet. You have to enhance the “808 Kick.” Left-click the tiny rectangle with “808 Kick” written inside it. When its window opens, go to where it said “Pitch / Range” on the upper right side, and drag the “range” number to 5 by left-clicking and dragging it up. When it reaches 5, crank the “pitch” knob to maximum, as shown.
Why should you do this? So the “808 Kick” plays a D to serve as a bass line for this song’s D-minor melody.
ADDING A KICK
Once your “808 Kick” is enhanced, put this in its Channel Rack display.
Now go to the Piano Roll of “808 Kick.” Copy the already-composed material into the next three bars, in order to repeat it for four whole bars.
You need to add more kicks. Between the bar markers 2 and 3, add kicks at these points.
(Make sure you have “1/4 step” selected in the magnet tool for true accuracy.)
Between bar markers 3 and 4, insert this.
(Don’t mind the second circled kick. Oops.)
Between bar markers 4 and 5?
(This is the same as what should go between the 2-3 bar markers. I circled them wrong. Oops.)
Now copy what’s in this entire Piano Roll and paste it in the Piano Roll for the “HIP_Kick_2.”
ADDING A SNARE
To add your snares, simply insert spots for “Linn Snare” on every even beat on each bar—all four bars. (Remember how the tiny scroll thing at the bottom lets you see the rest of the Channel Rack?)
ADDING HI-HAT 1
This is extremely simple but can be done a unique way. How? RIGHT-CLICK the “HIP_Hat_5” box in your Channel Rack. The drop-down menu that appears should give you the option, “Fill each 2 steps.” Click that.
By doing this, your hi-hat will insert sounds on each eighth note.
ADDING HI-HAT 2
To add your background hi-hats—layered within the first hat you inserted—simply LEFT-CLICK all 16 boxes in the line across “HIP_Hat_6” so each of them fills up. See?
Don’t forget to fill this up for ALL FOUR BARS!!
ADDING PATTERN TO PLAYLIST
Easy. Open the Playlist and insert the Pattern, which contains all your drums. Insert this Pattern—which is a four-bar loop—as many times as you want. I recommend once or twice. You should have only one pattern for your drums. This should leave room for this song’s melody, which I’ll teach you how to make in my next article.
Link each track in the Channel Rack to the Mixing Board. Remember how? Left-click every rectangle at the left of your Channel Rack (containing the track’s name) and choose a Mixing Board track to which you can assign it… by left-clicking and dragging the number in the “track” menu in the upper right of your window to any numbered slot in the Mixing Board. The numbers don’t matter.
Once you have all tracks inserted to the Mixing Board, adjust them like so.
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