I talked to Pyrit about his work as a beat producer, how he started, what software he uses, and how he integrates the Tonaly app into his workflow.
Hi Pyrit, thank you for taking the time to give us an insight into your workflow. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been building beats? What are your main projects?
Peace, thanks for the interview. My name is Pyrit, I'm from Virginia, USA. I've been into music my entire life, and my first exposure to making beats would have to be the drum-pads on the Casio Rapman keyboard I got for Christmas in 1994.
Ever since the first time I played a triad over a kick and snare, my path was fixed (haha). I found Fruity Loops 3.0 (FL Studio) on the internet 4-5 years later, and I've been using it almost daily ever since.
I've been producing professionally for about ten years, primarily working on projects from the Hip-hop Artist "Canibus". I've also provided production for many other Artists, with some of the more well-known being "Kxng Crooked" ("Crooked I), "Chino XL", "Ras Kass", "Krayzie Bone" (of Bone Thugs and Harmony), "Rappin 4Tay", and many more. It's been an honor and a privilege to work with all of them.
How do you start making a beat? Do you have a fixed routine?
Lately, I've been working with some really dope loop-makers and sound designers. It's next to impossible for me to NOT want to make beats with the sounds I have. I've been starting tracks with theirs and my loops a LOT.
How do you structure a beat?
I'm also a Vocal/Rap Artist myself, so I generally structure beats the same way I would if I were recording to it.
ABAB and the like, which is one of the reasons I really enjoy Tonaly. It lets me analyze a lot of really well-known pop songs to see what structure those Artists used and get ideas.
Do you usually have a concrete idea, or do you just start producing? What do you do when you have no inspiration?
When I'm not working with, or producing for, a specific Artist, I try to think outside of the box as often as I can and try new styles or sounds.
Playing around with chords and the song library in Tonaly, I've made music in genres I probably never would have otherwise.
Do you know how the beat should sound before you start? Dark or happy? Or does that clarifies during the production?
Generally, that depends on if the track is for myself or another Artist.
If it's for them, I want them to describe to me exactly what's in their head (for their song). If it's for me, I make what's in my own.
Often a great idea pops to mind when you're away from the computer. What do you do when a good idea hits you on the bus?
I honestly use the Voice Memo feature on my phone a TON. Everything from humming melodies to singing lyrics into it.
I've even exported the audio from it and synced it over the track once I was home to help me finish writing the song.
That's why I really found, and loved, Tonaly in the first place. The 'Export MIDI' feature makes everything I make in the app easily portable to my DAW, and the sky's the limit from there.
What software do you use? Do you have some useful tips?
I've tried pretty much every DAW, and I just cook up the fastest in FL Studio. I can make beats in 10-20 minutes in it, at this point. Ease of use is one of the biggest enablers of creativity.
Yeah! I've actually got a couple hundred or so "Producer Tips" in my "Instagram Highlights" @PyritMusic, and the vast majority of them are tips for using FL.
Stuff like how to Time-stretch your MIDI in the Piano Roll (select it all as an even number of bars, 2, 4, 8, etc. Hold ⇧⌥ click the arrow ⬌ at the far right side of the notes, and drag to a doubled or halved length). The real cheat codes. FL Studio users, you're welcome...
Do you also use hardware to generate sounds, or is everything digital?
I will use literally anything I can get my hands on. I even have ordered random instruments from "Wish" just to sample them and make beats with the samples.
One time, I sampled thunder in a thunderstorm to make a percussion loop. I sampled that Casio Rapman I told you about at some point, and recently I added it into a new Virtual Instrument I'm developing. Coming soon.
Do you play an instrument yourself?
From 4th-7th grade, I took Orchestra and Band classes in school and learned how to play the Viola, the Clarinet, and a couple of others, but most of that is gone these days.
I just play stuff by ear on instruments now, and I'm best with my MIDI Piano.
Any last tips or advice for other beatmakers?
Understand the value of collaborating. Sometimes the insight you gain from working with others or learning from them is priceless.
And check out Pyrit Music for the newest beat I made using Tonaly, Infinit Vibes VST, and 808 Machine VST and download the MIDI Chord Progression I created in the app, exported and used to make the beat for free.
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