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Arts & Entertainment

Making a Beat: Manipulating Vocal Samples


Lesson time 09:20 min

Join Team Timbo in the studio as Tim’s co-producers Fede Vindver and Angel Lopez teach you how to imprint your signature sound on samples through effects and plug-ins.

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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See how beautiful that sound? - So that loops. Oh, that's actually-- I added this very cheesy a capella. MAN: (SINGING) You knew just what my soul needed. MAN: This is from a sample CD. - Wow. MAN: It's really bad. And I chopped it in the keyboard. So I chop it-- there's a function in Logic, which is what I use-- that it can chop every transient. So then I have-- [MUSIC PLAYING] Every note that this guy sang. MAN: Oh, well, I could do that on Aim To Slice. - Yeah, exactly. - Oh, okay. I just thought-- I though it was amazing. MAN: Nah. - But that is amazing. What made you take that-- well, take the man? MAN: Well, I just-- I wanted to have a rhythmic vocal thing. MAN: But what-- play the original. [MUSIC PLAYING] MAN: (SINGING) You knew just what my soul needed. MAN: Like, I wouldn't-- see, that's what makes everybody special. I would'nt've never thought to take that and put it on top of that. That just would've throwed me off. I would've went-- I was like, what is this man singing? MAN: But you saw the vision in him singing it. That's beautiful. MAN: Yeah, it's the raw material. And then you just-- [MUSIC PLAYING] So that's how he sounds. And then I just added a bunch of effects-- reverb. It's like a room-- delay. MAN: Woo! MAN: Compression. Side chain. And then, EQ. That's it, that's how you make it. MAN: So beautiful. - Crazy. MAN: And then there's one more sound. [MUSIC PLAYING] It's just an embellishment for the downbeat of the song. [MUSIC PLAYING] MAN: Yeah. That's a woo, right? MAN: Yeah. And it just comes on the one, every eight bars. MAN: With a delay on it? MAN: Yeah. MAN: Like a woo, it's perfect. MAN: And then there's another sound that comes here. [MUSIC PLAYING] MAN: To enhance the air of the woo. MAN: Yes, the transition. Exactly. - Perfect. MAN: I'll tell you where it goes in a minute. [MUSIC PLAYING] MAN: Woo. MAN: Just give it a little enhance. MAN: It just blend with the blum, blum. MAN: Exactly. MAN: Yeah, perfect. - And then we have the bass. Two different bases for section one. One is this. [MUSIC PLAYING] MAN: OOH, that's a flange on that? MAN: That's actually a filter on it. Sound good, like a phaser. It's almost like a phaser, a little bit. MAN: It's almost like it, yeah. [MUSIC PLAYING] This is the original sound. It's like a electric bass sample. And this sound is, what it's called, Form and Filter. It makes like a vocal sound, almost. Let's go wow. MAN: I know about that. MAN: Then after that, is a side chain-- to make it funky. Compression, on top of that. And then, I thought it was good to make it wider, so I widened it up a little bit with Guitar Rig. And then, underneath that, there's another layer with a deeper bass. So when you put them toge...

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.

This day has changed the course of my life. Sails to the winds, Thank you TeamTimbo from the bottom of my heart. Truly keeping the artAlive <3 As one candle can light another, so it can go to light millions beyond. #godSpeed I would love to Jam with yall Teambo if the paths cross in their time. so much love 4yall #ninjaneerz #teamTimbo = = 9704925949

Everything I was expecting and more. Thank you Masterclass

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

love the class, just got back into producing. this gave me the confidence to just be me and go for it.


A fellow student

How do you consolidate different sessions from Ableton and Logic on Pro Tools? What is the process? I would really appreciate your answer, it would be so useful for me. Thank you!

Carlo C.

Hi, I love vocal samples in song, so this exact lesson was really cool, but there are still things that I don't understand. Two of them I feel like are a "hole" in my understanding. - How do they manage the difference in key between the chords and the vocal samples? Are they already the same? Do they change the pitch? Or maybe it doesn't even really matter? - How is the process between splitting the samples on a slices and the final arrangement? Thanks, I hope you can help me with this little questions!

Mike E.

Using Effects on vocals can help make your beats unique. Typical effects that help are reverb, modulation, and delay. My teens that usually make beats use a lot of effects on vocals once they are sampling.

A fellow student

why would you sidechain an individual sound, what would that do? I understand side-chaining the kick into the bass/sub but I'm curious why

James M.

Haha god bless the guy whose "terrible" vocal got torn to pieces for this lesson. :)

A fellow student

up until this episode I hadnt recognized timbos humility, but he was stoked and acknowledged that everyone is special and his co-pros were pleased. awesome

sara H.

How can you make a vocal chopped on EX24 logic? Didn't know it was possible. Wish they could've at least tell us how is that process possible. I knew you could do it on Alchemy but not with any audio file on EX24.


Gave some of this a go on a couple tracks over live drums and I really like it. Letting "the speakers speak" is a good vibe.

A fellow student

Tim needs to lay off the reverb addiction!! His old stuff was better for being dryer imho. But there's a lot of that going on these days... Much love for the man though!


Da pdf really adds value, I have coproduced my first album n yet I'm learning great stuff about team work, technical n artistic crafting... Great value on this Masterclass! U can check my music out n let me know how I did here ;) (4 some reason I can't add the Yt link 2 my channel, please find PiskoMusic)