7 Must Know Reggaeton Production Facts
1-Although the beats programming in reggaeton can sound deceptively simple, the character is all in the sounds. Listen to the latest reggaeton tracks and pick your sounds to match. The main beats should be raw with a variety of snares, the bass deep, with the remainder of the instrumentation carrying the latino flavor. Common instruments used in reggaeton tracks include flamenco guitar, harpsichord, strings, timpani and just about anything percussive sounding.
2-Your track should make the dance floor shake, so dial up a good solid sub-bass sound, filtering out any unwanted higher frequencies.
3-Keep the structure simple. Most tracks work in eight-bar sections, with an instrumental intro and middle section. Build up two different eight-bar sections and alternate between them. This creates the feel that the dj is slamming between different backing tracks - a technique that you'll often hear in dancehall. With rapping filling up alot of the space, try to keep these sections free from clutter, making the beats loud and proud.
4-You wont find many hi-hat parts on reggaeton tracks, but that doesnt mean there's any lack of short percussive sounds. For a cutting sound, try a basic square-wave with a tiny decay. Alternatively, go for an electro cowbell or some timbales. Program quick patterns in 16ths and 32nds.
5-Switching between different eight-bar sections creates interest, but you still need to mark the changes with some fills. Rather than using sampled fills, program your own from the sounds you're already using.
6-Musically, many reggaeton tracks sound quite Latino. With the sub-bass adding weight to the track, you'll need to mark the harmonic content with something more audible. Double up the bass part with other sounds, like marcato strings, synth strings or even a bright trance-type lead sound.
7-Reggaeton thrives on drops. The best time to nail these is when your tracks nearly finished. For the most impact, cut almost everything for an eighth-note. One of the most effective drops is at the top of the bar: take everything out except the bass, then bring it all back in on the first snare hit.
Looking for a Reggaeton Video Tutorial?
I scoured the internet for hours trying to find a decent one and they were all crap! My suggestion: Follow these tips from above, listen to your favorite reggaeton music and go from there.
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