Ski Beatz: Unique techniques

Ski Beatz is a producer who's worked with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop, including Jay Z, Mos Def, AZ, Foxy Brown, Lil' Kim and Camp Lo.

He showed us how he makes a track, and we were impressed and surprised by how he does it. He has an unusual technique for beatmaking which is extremely fast and fluid. Watch the movie to see him in action.

For anyone who can't watch the movie, or if you're having trouble following what he's doing, here's how he does it:

  • Ski Beatz uses Warp Markers as slicing point markers. He listens to a song he's going to sample, with only the first Warp Marker in place.
  • When he hears parts he wants to use, he creates a Warp Marker. Generally, he adds about 10-15 Warp Markers to a song, totally unrelated to Live's tempo--the metronome is off at this point.
  • Once he's done adding the Warp Markers, he right-clicks (PC)/Ctrl-clicks (Mac) on the audio file and selects the "Slice to MIDI Track" command.
  • Then he chooses the Warp Marker setting, and his custom slicing preset. Download this here.
  • Ski now has all the points he wants to trigger chromatically laid out on his keyboard. He plays his samples, and while he's playing with one hand, he hits the "Tap Tempo" button on the APC40 to set the tempo.
  • Finally, he turns on the metronome and triggers an empty clip slot to record into.

Ski Beatz has even given us his slicing preset to give to you. You can download it below. Simply unzip and drag it into your library in Live (Library > Defaults > Slicing) to use it. Please note that this preset requires Sampler.

Ski Beatz slicing preset (requires Sampler)

Thanks very much to Ski Beatz. You can find out more about the man and his music on the official Ski Beatz MySpace page.