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The SECRET SAUCE Behind TRAVIS SCOTT'S Beats

travis scott wondagurl Feb 07, 2023
 
 

CHOPPING THE SAMPLE

 
Wondagurl is a legend when it comes to flipping samples.
 
A lot of her best productions were actually made using samples.
 
One of my favorite examples is Uptown, which she made for Travis Scott and A$Ap Ferg.
 
I really did want to go for that kind of vibe too, so I searched on Tracklib for a foreign sample and eventually found a sample on Tracklib, my favorite place to find old records to use in my beats. 
 
Then I opened up the sample in Edison and cut parts out of the sample to make an 8 bar section that looped.
 
I condensed this 8 bar section into one audio file by rendering my entire playlist to Wav and opened this loop in Fruity Slicer. I selected the 1 beat slicing option; to be real with you, I never use a different one. And I also turned up the attack so that the chops would fade in better without any clicking or popping in between each.
 
Then, I got to work laying down my chops (at some point, I increased the tempo from 91 BPM to 122 BPM)
 
Something to note: Whenever you change your tempo while using the Fruity Slicer, your chops won't stretch with the tempo. You'll have to use this time shift slider in the Slicer to manually adjust the stretch of your chops.
 
 
 
 

DRUMS

 
I approached these drums in a pretty unique way. I'll do my best to explain this, because I really think what I came up with will help you capture Wodnagurl's bounce.
 
So, for the first part of my drum programing, I did something that I refer to as "Click Theory." I noticed that Wondagurl's new style of production makes really good use of percs, especially rim snares or any kind of drum that makes a sort of click sound.
 
I call it "Click Theory" because whenever I beat box, I make a clicking sound with my mouth to imitate the snares and percs. The goal is to have these clicking drum sounds drive the bounce of your beat.
 
So, let me talk you through how I did this here. You can also watch the video above for a more detailed explanation. 
 
First, I laid down a rim perc to use as my main snare. I added this double hit at every other snare, because that's the pattern I was beat boxing.
   
Next, I added a second rim snare and used it to make a fill.  I also panned these using the note panning in the piano roll.
   
Then, I used one more rim to do some bounce snares. And used yet another rim to fill in basically the rest of the bounce snare spots.
   
The thing that Wondagurl does to really bring "click theory" to the next level is mix it with more traditional sounding trap snares. But, she'll place these snare in unconventional spots since most of the bounce snare spots have already been taken by the "clicks" And I think this is what really gives her beats that unique bounce because it's just so uncommon to hear snares programmed like that and it makes for a more interesting listening experience.
 

 
 
 

THE SPACING CONCEPT

 
Wondagurl doesn't make simple beats. Her production is usually filled with many interesting elements and layers. Yet, her beats never sound cluttered.
 
This is because she programs every thing with the concept of spacing in mind. Spacing in your drum programming will add bounce to your beats by allowing there to be certain areas where most, if not all, the drums stop playing within your pattern.
 
One of the best ways to use spacing is with your hi hat programing. Gone are the days of the straight up 2-step pattern, we just don't hear many people getting away with it, and I certainly don't hear it much in Wondagurl's newer stuff.
 
A strategy I like to use is filling out a full 2 step hi hat pattern and then coming in to mute certain notes until I come up with something I like. Check out the video above to see an example of how I did this by using different hi hat samples to program various patterns and rolls into a dope eight-bar sequence.
   
I added some rolls too, because I wanted to keep things interesting.
 
 

 

HEAVY DRUMS

 
Perhaps the most noticeable part of Wondagurl's production is her hard hitting kicks and 808s. Even though her 808s seem complicated, a lot of the time, she's really just working off of the root note.
 
I've also noticed that Wondagurl doesn't use OD amounts of notes when programming her 808s either, i think mostly because it'd defeat the entire purpose of spacing in the first place. It really is more about where she's placing the notes and the bounce she's creating as she does.
 
As you can see in the above video, the 808 pattern I made for this beat works almost entirely off the root note. 
 
Oh, and lastly I laid down this kick.
 

 

BONUS TIP: SOFT CLIPPING

 
So, here's a really helpful tip for making Wondagurl type beats. If you want your drums to hit harder, specifically your kick and 808, just level all your sounds like normal, but try to leave a lot of head room.
 
Then, just turn up your 808 and kick.
 
There's literally no special trick other than that for getting your drums to smack hard. Just level every thing cleanly, and then push up the volumes of everything you want to stand out.
 
Something I've found that helps a lot is if you add a soft clipper to your master after you've leveled everything and then push your kick and 808 into the clipper.
 

See the video above for a more detailed explanation of how and why this will improve your beats.  


ADD MELODY MAKING TO YOUR ARSENAL!

Now that you know how to chop samples like Travis Scott, the next thing you need to do is learn how to make your own melodies like him from scratch. Here's a dope post that will show you just how to do that!

 
 

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