Arts & Entertainment, Music

Building Beats: Tim’s Process


Lesson time 13:02 min

It's essential to establish a workflow that serves your personal creative process. Tim talks you through his digital rig and reveals his process for selecting the sounds that he uses in his music.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Personalize Your Workflow • Finding the Right Sample • Building on a Two-Bar Loop • Resampling the Loop


The way I laid my Push out is I just took a lot of-- I just made drum rack 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ASR, 10, 10, just make 'em all-- put all my drums in a rack. And then after I make my drum rack, I try to pick my favorite ones, the same way I did on my ASR. I try to move the same way that I move on my ASR. I don't organize my drum racks to, say, oh, this sound, that sound, because it kills my freedom. I don't have, like, oh, all the kicks on one row. Nah. I just put them all-- like, I grab-- if it's 128, whatever these pads are, I just grab, boom, until they fill all the blocks up. Then I move on. And I name that batch Timbo 1, Timbo drum rack 2, Timbo drum rack 3. And then as I'm producing, I find my favorites out of that. And then on your template, you can put your favorites, and go to a preference to say, save your template. And you just save your template, and it comes up with all your favorite drum racks. I don't label, or, like, I label like, if you see up here, Timbo drum 1, Timbo-- Team Timbo 2-- it's the same. These are all the same three up top, three that I just duplicated. Then you got Timbo 1 over here, then Timbo Big Drum Kit. That's the only names I do. You know what I'm saying? I'm not going to sit and say big kick 1 or supersonic kick 2. Nah, I just put them all on one. And, like, how it says 36, 5, I'd know that's a drum rack. I know that's a drum rack. You have to label to things that you know that fits how you're gonna remember things. And just, for me-- and when I don't-- if I put drum rack with the big bass, it'd make me always go to the drum rack with the big bass. But if I put, like, 4, 5, 6, I don't remember what 5 have in it. And I just take the sounds from the ASR-10 that I always made all these hits and create different, you know, ambience out of 'em because the computer, the Ableton allows you to expand on what you already created in life. So I don't necessarily say, oh, this kick can go in-- nah, i just load them all up and play them back. I load up Drum Rack 5. And it's right here. Drum Rack 5. And there it is-- all the pads. And this is how it's laid-- I don't know what's on the pads. So as I load it up, I will just-- [DRUM BEATS] And it gives you with-- by me not knowing what's up here, it makes me more creative. So I'll just-- [DRUM BEATS] I just start. And now, there it is. But I didn't know that was on this drum rack. I didn't know that. I'm like, ooh, this kick sound. [DRUM BEATS] See. There you have it. This is my organization. This is, to me, organized. But to somebody else, to you, you have to create your own organization. This is mine. This is-- I know I like the element of surprise. I load my rack. I push buttons not knowing what's going to happen. That's beautiful. [MUSIC PLAYING] You know, it's so many ways that I start, you know? One time it could be the percussion. Sometime it could be just a metronome, like, you know, just a metronome. A...

About the Instructor

Grammy-winning music producer Timbaland takes you behind the boards to teach you his process for creating iconic tracks with artists like Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, and Aaliyah. In his first-ever online class, learn how to collaborate with vocalists, layer new tracks, and create hooks that stick. Step into Timbaland’s studio and learn from one of the industry’s most innovative hit makers.

Featured Masterclass Instructor


Step inside the production studio with Timbaland. In his first-ever online class, Tim teaches his process for creating infectious beats and making sonic magic.

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