Beatmaker vs Producer – What are the Differences?
Beatmakers are people that create song arrangements and rhythmic parts of music within hip-hop and rap genres. The term music producer is much broader and can span all types of musical genres.
Beat Makers are also usually more concerned with creating the rhythmic parts of songs, and as such, they may often sell their beats to other artists or be commissioned to create them. Beats in this case, are not necessarily just the drum tracks. They generally also include bass lines, samples, synths, and other rhythmic elements that make up much of the musical elements of a track.
Music producers, on the other hand, may be responsible for the overarching creation of a piece of music. From start to finish, a producer can oversee all aspects of a song.
Both beatmakers and music producers sometimes work together. There are even times when the same person does both. However, a beatmaker and a music producer are two different jobs with different profiles.
Note: people sometimes use terms like these interchangeably, and some people perform both roles, so be sure to keep this in mind when communicating with others in the music industry!
What Do Beatmakers and Producers Work On?
Since a beatmaker’s job is focused solely only on making beats, they are only concerned with drums. They do this either digitally via beat making software like FL Studio, Logic Pro, or Ableton Live (these are referred to as DAWs).
Beatmakers also concern themselves with other rhythmic parts like bass, synths, and effects. As such, they may use keys, MIDI equipment, and digital pads to make music.
Producers are the driving force in a song or an album. They are responsible for conceiving and executing the entirety of the music. They either come up with the initial idea or give their creative inputs to craft an idea brought to them. Then, they see what instruments are needed, and accordingly arrange musical artists, including beatmakers, to make it all happen.
Producers are the cohesive force behind a musical project, bringing every element together. They may also extend their talents to audio engineering, mixing, mastering, etc. They also take on the logistical side, managing back and forth communication with clients, labels, and between different artists.
What Genres Do Beatmakers and Producers Work In?
Beatmakers are almost exclusively found working in rap and hip-hop genres. They may also wander into R&B, pop, and even certain electronic dance music genres if there is a relevant crossover.
The beatmaker’s job often starts and ends at making beats. They often put out packs of beats specific to genres. Or in cases where they are approached by producers or artists, beatmakers make beats specifically for a song.
The term music producer, on the other hand, isn’t tied to any one particular genre. Since every kind of music needs an expert to help artists elevate their ideas or achieve the desired sound, music producers provide their insights to artists from all genres, including metal and jazz.
A producer is a highly creative and experienced person that can be considered a director of a musical project. This is particularly true in hip-hop, pop, R&B, and EDM music.
In metal or jazz genres, where you have bands making their own music, producers can be thought of as consultants that help with sound, mixing, and other technical aspects to help execute the band’s vision.
Differences in their Creative Process and Workflow?
There can be a huge differentiation in the creative process of a beatmaker and a producer. First, let’s begin with how each of them finds work.
Since all a beatmaker needs to do is make beats, they work by themselves. They can do this in a home studio, a professional one, or simply on their regular computer. Once they make beats or packs, they then put out their work through social media or on their website, where an artist can buy their work.
Another way, which often works for well-established beatmakers, is that they may be hired by a producer to make beats specifically for a song. The beatmaker listens to the songs, hears what the producer wants, and then ultimately caters to his needs.
The producer’s creative process starts well before the song reaches the recording part. It starts with an idea and a vision.
If the idea is the producer’s own, they seek musical artists to help execute that idea. The producer will then decide which instruments should be included or who they want to sing that song. They will facilitate communication between everyone so that it all comes together in unison.
If the producer isn’t mixing and mastering himself, then he will find the right people to do the job. Once everything is done, the producer will take the song to record labels to put the music in the market.
However, a producer sometimes may not always have such a big role. Particularly when they are working with bands or orchestras as the members already do most of the work. All they need is expert fine tuning.
In those scenarios, a renowned producer is headhunted by the artist. Whether audio engineering, mixing, or mastering, the producer gets a gist of what the band wants and takes the song or the album to a whole new level.
Many roles in creative industries are often vague since one person can handle multiple tasks. That being said, a beatmaker makes the beats that are used in hip-hop, rap, or pop settings. They do it either on their own and subsequently sell them online. Or they might be approached by a producer to make beats for a specific song.
Producers are the directors or composers of the music industry, particularly in the hip-hop, pop, and R&B genres. However, their talents also extend to other genres including metal, jazz, funk, country. Basically, wherever required.
Producers ideate the songs, help them nourish, and do all the fine-tuning before the final release. Producers may or may not play anything but it is their vision that gets them the gigs.