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.

I learned that anyone can learn and teach the technical side of music. But it takes a true artist, who loves and appreciates the gift God has given him, to teach how to feel music. Thank you Timbaland. I can't wait till I'm able to make people feel what I feel in music.

I had the MasterClass from Timbaland. In my worst Time I see the the Trailer on Instagram and I said "I must to see this". I love this MasterClass, because it help me for new Songs that I do. I learned much of making Sound with my mouth and making Sounds with Preset Sounds. Thank you Timbaland and Thank You MasterClass!!

Timbaland's class has helped be more open to explore different ideas and find musical ideas in random objects around me.

to keep going on what u love that what i learn form my class!!!!


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.

A fellow student

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.


batching sounds for a toolset & picking faves is genius. saves you from going through every sound for every button, plus gives you a way to quickly find sounds you like for other projects. interesting that there's a clear air for open communication between everyone in the studio. no "yes man" silliness & also no scathing "wtf are you doing" -- balanced ground of good vibes & constructive criticism. voicing what you think & taking things to heart, but not taking them personally. i like that. studio workflow's looking a lot more oriented to people skills than expected. might've taken years developing that awareness on my own. not even 3 full vids watching timbaland's workflow to catch it tho. maybs 45 min? amazing.

Chris R.

How is Timbaland even famous ??? He's just hitting random pads, and acting like he's some kid of genius.... If I sat my 2 year old down in front of a Push2 and let her mash down on keys randomly, would be a very similar result

Jose T.

My question is this...How exactly does Tim load up a drum rack? Is one just kicks, another one snares and so on? or does he just gather them all and throw them on the pads?

A fellow student

I enjoyed how the process is so honest, leveraging other experts to keeping pushing it forward with Tim owning the soul😁