Are you a fan of the popular phonk beat genre? Do you want to learn how to create your own beats using GarageBand? Look no further! In this guide, we will take you through the process of making phonk beats step by step, using the powerful tools available in GarageBand.
Creating music is a form of art that requires knowledge of music production techniques. This guide is aimed at beginners who are looking to take their first steps in music production, specifically in the phonk beat genre. GarageBand, the user-friendly software provided by Apple, is the perfect tool to get started in making your own beats.
Understanding Phonk Beats
Before we dive into the process of creating phonk beats on GarageBand, let’s take a moment to understand what phonk beats are and how they differ from other genres. Phonk beats are a subgenre of hip-hop that originated in the southern United States in the early 1990s. They are characterized by their use of chopped and screwed samples, heavy basslines, and a slow, laid-back tempo.
One of the defining features of phonk beats is the use of sampling. Producers will often take old soul, funk, or R&B tracks and chop them up into small snippets, which are then re-arranged and manipulated to create a new melody. This process is known as “chopping” and is a fundamental aspect of phonk beats.
Another crucial element of phonk beats is the tempo. The typical BPM range for phonk beats is between 80 and 100, making them some of the slowest hip-hop beats around. This relaxed tempo gives phonk beats their signature laid-back feel and provides plenty of space for the chopped samples to shine.
If you’re new to GarageBand, it can seem overwhelming at first. Don’t worry – with a little practice, you’ll soon become familiar with the software. The following is an overview of the user interface, tools, and features available in GarageBand.
The GarageBand user interface is divided into several sections:
|Control bar||Contains transport controls, buttons for toggling different sections of the interface, and the LCD display.|
|Tracks area||Where you add and arrange tracks for your project.|
|Library||Contains sounds, instruments, and loops that you can use in your project.|
|Editor||Where you can view and modify individual track regions.|
|Mixer||Allows you to adjust the volume, panning, and other settings for each track.|
GarageBand has a wide range of tools available for creating and editing music. Here are some of the most commonly used:
- Smart Controls – allows you to quickly adjust instrument settings such as tone and effects
- Quantize – automatically snaps MIDI notes to the nearest beat or grid line
- Flex Time – alters the timing of audio recordings
- Loop Browser – lets you browse and preview different loops and samples
GarageBand offers several features that make it a great tool for creating phonk beats:
- Sampler – allows you to create your own custom instruments using audio recordings
- Drummer – a virtual session player that can add realistic drumming to your project
- Automation – lets you adjust instrument settings over time, such as gradually increasing the volume of a track
- Plug-ins – add additional effects and sounds to your project
Tip: Take some time to explore the different tools and features available in GarageBand. You might be surprised by what you can do!
Creating a Melody
In phonk beats, melody is an essential element that creates a catchy tune and hooks the listener. A good melody can make the difference between a forgettable beat and a hit track. Here are some tips on how to create a melody in GarageBand.
Before creating a melody, you need to establish a chord progression. A chord progression is a sequence of chords played in a specific order. The chords you choose will greatly affect the mood and feel of your beat. In phonk beats, chords are often simple and repetitive, consisting of minor chords augmented with seventh and ninth chords.
To create a chord progression, open GarageBand and select the keyboard instrument. Click on the “Chord” button, which will display a list of pre-made chord progressions. Choose one that fits the mood you are going for, and drag it onto the timeline.
Once you have established a chord progression, it’s time to choose the right instrument to play the melody. In phonk beats, instruments are often sampled from old funk, soul, and R&B tracks. Rhodes pianos, electric guitars, and brass instruments are popular choices.
To add an instrument, go to the “Tracks” menu and select “New Track”. Choose the instrument you want to use and select “Software Instrument”. GarageBand has a range of virtual instruments to choose from, including vintage keyboards and horns.
Creating a Melody
Now that you have established a chord progression and chosen an instrument, it’s time to create a melody. The key to a good melody is to keep it simple and catchy. Start by playing around with the notes in the scale of your chosen key until you find a simple melody that fits the chord progression.
Experiment with rhythm and note duration, and don’t be afraid to repeat notes and patterns. Once you have a basic melody, try adding variations to keep it interesting. You can also add harmonies and counter melodies to add depth and complexity to your beat.
Tip: Keep in mind that less is often more when it comes to creating a melody. A simple, catchy tune can be more effective than a complex, convoluted one.
Drums play a crucial role in phonk beats, driving the rhythm and creating energy. Here’s how to add drums to your GarageBand project:
Creating a Drum Pattern
Start by creating a new Software Instrument track. Select the Drummer icon in the Library, then choose a drummer and genre that matches the vibe of your beat. Adjust the complexity and intensity sliders to fine-tune the drum pattern.
If you prefer more control over the drum pattern, select the Drum Kit icon in the Library instead. You can then use the Drummer editor or manually place MIDI notes in the Piano Roll to create your own pattern.
Choosing Drum Sounds
Phonk beats typically use drum sounds with a vintage, lo-fi feel. Choose samples that have a gritty, crunchy texture and experiment with layering them for a thicker sound.
Common drum sounds used in phonk beats include classic breakbeats, 808s, and vinyl hits. Browse through the Drum Kit Designer or Drummer instrument to find sounds that match your vision.
The groove is the feel of the beat, created by the interaction between the drums and other elements of the track. In phonk beats, the groove is often laid-back and swung.
Experiment with the quantization settings to create a more humanized, off-beat feel. You can also adjust the velocity of individual drum hits to create a more dynamic rhythm.
In addition to standard drum sounds, consider adding percussion instruments to your beat. This can include shakers, cowbells, and congas. Use them sparingly to add variation and depth to the rhythm.
Experiment with panning and EQ to place each percussion element in the stereo field and give them their own space in the mix.
Manipulating samples is essential to creating a unique sound in phonk beats. Using GarageBand, you can use a variety of effects to transform your samples and create a distinct sound. Below are some tips to help you get started.
GarageBand offers a wide range of effects such as reverb, delay, and distortion that can be applied to samples. Applying effects can change the sound of the sample and give your beat a unique character. Experiment with different effects to find the right sound for your beat.
When applying effects, it is important to use them in moderation. Adding too many effects can make the sound muddled and hard to distinguish. Start with one or two effects and adjust the settings until you achieve the desired sound.
In addition to applying effects, you can also edit samples to create a unique sound. GarageBand allows you to reverse, chop, and pitch shift samples, among other techniques. These editing techniques can transform a sample into something entirely new.
When editing samples, be careful not to alter the original sound too much. A sample that is unrecognizable may not fit well with the rest of the beat. Keep in mind the context in which the sample will be used and adjust it accordingly.
To keep your beat interesting, it is important to add variety to your samples. One way to do this is by using different samples throughout the beat. You can also try layering multiple samples together to create a fuller sound.
Another way to add variety is by incorporating different types of samples. For example, you can use vocal samples, guitar samples, or percussion samples to create different textures and sounds in your beat.
Overall, manipulating samples is an important part of creating phonk beats on GarageBand. By using effects, editing techniques, and incorporating variety, you can create a unique sound that stands out from the rest.
Mixing and Mastering
Once you have finished creating your phonk beat on GarageBand, the next step is to mix and master it to achieve a professional sound. Mixing involves adjusting the levels and panning of each element in the track, while mastering involves applying final processing such as EQ and compression to achieve a polished and balanced sound.
A crucial aspect of mixing is to ensure that each element has its own space in the frequency spectrum. This can be achieved by using EQ to cut frequencies that clash with other elements and boost frequencies that need more presence. For example, you may want to cut some low end from your melody to make room for the bass, or boost the high end of your drums to make them more present in the mix.
Compression is another important tool in mixing, which helps to control the dynamic range of each element and create a more consistent sound. A common technique in phonk beats is to use sidechain compression on the melody or other elements to create a pumping effect that accentuates the groove.
Once you have finished mixing, the next step is mastering. This involves applying final processing such as EQ, compression, and limiting to achieve a polished and balanced sound. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a loudness level of around -6dB to -4dB RMS, which is loud enough to compete with other tracks but not so loud as to cause distortion.
Before exporting your track, it’s a good idea to do some final checks to ensure that everything sounds as intended. Listen to your track on different speakers and headphones to make sure that it sounds good on a variety of systems, and pay attention to any issues such as clipping or distortion.
Overall, mixing and mastering are crucial steps in creating a professional-sounding phonk beat on GarageBand. With some practice and experimentation, you can achieve a cohesive and polished sound that stands out from the crowd.
Exporting Your Beat
Once you have completed your phonk beat in GarageBand, it’s time to export it. GarageBand offers several export options; it’s up to you to decide which one works best for you. To export your beat, follow these simple steps:
- Go to the “Share” menu on the top right corner of the screen
- Select “Export Song to Disk”
- Choose the format you want to export your beat in; we recommend MP3 or WAV
- Select the location where you want to save your exported file
- Click “Export”
Depending on the length and complexity of your beat, the exporting process may take a few minutes. Be patient, and don’t close GarageBand until the exporting process is complete.
Once your beat is exported, you can share it on different social media platforms to get feedback from other producers and your audience. Some popular platforms for sharing beats include SoundCloud, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. Be sure to include relevant hashtags and tags to make your beat more discoverable.
If you’re serious about music production, we encourage you to share your beats with others, even if you think they’re not perfect. Sharing your work will help you get feedback on how you can improve your skills and take them to the next level.
As you continue to create phonk beats on GarageBand, you may encounter some questions or challenges. Here are a few frequently asked questions and their answers:
Can I use copyrighted material in my phonk beats?
No, it is illegal to use copyrighted material without permission from the owner. To avoid any legal issues, it is recommended to use royalty-free samples or create original material.
Do I need to clear samples before using them in my phonk beats?
If you plan on releasing your phonk beat commercially, it is recommended to clear any samples to avoid legal issues. It is important to do your research and understand the legal requirements for sample clearance.
Why does my beat sound muddy or cluttered?
This could be due to overcrowding in the mix. Try to avoid using too many sounds at once and make sure each element has its own space in the frequency spectrum. You can also use EQ to adjust the levels of each element and create a more balanced mix.
How do I get feedback on my phonk beats?
Sharing your beats on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and SoundCloud can be a great way to get feedback from other producers and fans of the genre. Joining online communities or forums dedicated to music production can also provide valuable feedback and constructive criticism.
What should I do if I’m having trouble with a specific GarageBand feature?
If you’re having trouble with a particular feature in GarageBand, try searching for tutorials or guides online. The GarageBand community is vast and there are many resources available to help you troubleshoot issues and learn new techniques.