Music & Entertainment

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.

Teaches Producing and Beatmaking
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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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...

Find your beat

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.


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

Lots of great insight and experience from a awesome producer. Great job on putting it together with all the content and the way it was presented.

Great to see music creation through the initial step of emotion, followed by technical craft.

I loved watching how Tim and his co-producers got to certain sounds. To see a glimpse of their workflow, what they think of and how they manage to do things was eye opening.

Sounds more like a motivation course than a real music one and it's good because it helps you establish the good mindset whatever type of music you try to enter on. Real inspiration and from a guy that I admire since years now it feels great . TY for this opportunity



I keep coming back to this for inspiration, even after having watched it a few times. There is a magic here from Tim that comes through. This is what Masterclass is all about.

A fellow student

I love it when he fiddles around and gets creative with the sounds and then just looks at the camera and smiles when it's playing back. That's what you call living in the moment and enjoying what you do.

Andrew Stephen L.

I’m wondering how to develop my drum loops..I see you doing that in lesson 8 that’s great ! 😎

Andrew Stephen L.

This is exactly what I needed right now! Thanks Brahs! I just made this track on LogicX... though since I made more Mastered versions ... and I still wouldn’t mind doing it one one time.... but I’m a painter 👨🏻‍🎨 as well 🎨 and I know sometimes it’s best to lay the brush down and get a new canvas... I’m writing a new album of more proper songs but this is a jammed guitar solo 🎸 just played over a drum beat and a chord progression...but then I added the bass at the end...I realized it would have been way easier to do that first ... it was sheer laziness that I would have to go pick up my bass guitar from the next from the next room - whereas I had my strat right there to play 🎸 😂 I just put it up for fun for my insta followers a couple of days ago... for improv soloing it’s kinda ok 👌🏻 and anyway we know-keep having fun like you say man and make the next and the next and they get better! My new album is going to be called “Quite Good” that’s what they say about my guitar skills lol 😂 I always wished they might say something better but I’m embracing it now as part of the journey to greatness! Haha 🤣 and hey I guess they used to say I was rubbish but never to my least I’ve progressed to “quite good” now hahaha 😂 😂 😂 Love ya humorous dancing and good vibes man! Makes me feel normal!

A fellow student

Hi All - I just completed my first album - I would really appreciate any feedback you may have.


Your right about keeping open labeling and intentional random sounds to choose from. I like that.

Niyi A.

Definitely all about having fun and channeling this into creativity. Great energy in this one.

Steven P.

Wow! I have Cubase, Studio One, and Logic. Love all of them for different reasons. Ableton looks like a lot of fun though. Going to have to buy that now too; lol!

Quentin B.

The program isn't as popular as it used to be, but I'm using Propellerheads Reason 10, it's got a lot great tools in it.

Quentin B.

It's been nice to see Tims process so far but I was really hoping for something more basic in the beginning. Like, how to arrange the song, how many bars for intro, verse, chorus, picking the right bpm. Part of where I'm stuck as a producer is that I can make a nice loop, but I don't know how to flesh that out into a song structure, so I get stuck. And because of being stuck there, I'm not sure how to flesh out the song more or more importantly how to flesh it out in each section to be fresh and still cohesive.