The Difference Between A Music Producer & A Beat Maker

The Difference Between A Music Producer & A Beat Maker

This comparison is an absolute cause for debate. It's a very interesting animal to dissect, so let's get right to it.
To me, a "beat maker" is someone who creates "beats". Nowadays, it's usually done on some type of computer. A beat machine (like an MPC or sampling keyboard) is the same thing. They are just pieces of hardware with their own internal CPU systems. So for the sake of argument, let's just say that 99% of modern music is done on a system that contains an internal CPU (yes, the Game Of Thrones intro theme song was entirely done on a computer. Crazy, huh?)
So what exactly does it mean to "make beats"? Believe it or not, most non-music-making people still don't quite understand what it is, which is totally ok. Here's a brief explanation of what "making beats" means: Think of it like a "one man band". The "beat maker" is literally composing a full piece of music. They are "playing" the drums (or "programming"), keyboards, instruments, various sounds, percussion, you name it. Sometimes, they take other pieces of music that already exist and "manipulate" them into brand new beats (in other words, "sampling"). All of this is done on a computer (most of the time, with just a keyboard hooked up to it).
Making beats is awesome. It's a skill. It's addicting. There's so many ways to express yourself. So many palettes, colors, sounds to choose from. It's like being a modern day classical composer, minus the paper, sheet music and feather tipped ink pen. It's 2016. We use computers. And software programs. Lot's of them. Almost too many to choose from. It's a skill that requires creativity AND technical know-how.
Ok. Cool.
So, what is a "music producer" then?
Well, in my opinion, a "music producer" is someone who produces music (surprise!). The definition of "produce" is to "make or manufacture from components or raw materials". In this case, our components are music chords, drums, instrument riffs and anything we can manipulate to produce "sound", which ultimately we like to call a "song", or "music".
So the argument becomes "Well, if I make beats, aren't I 'producing music'? And doesn't that qualify me to be considered a 'music producer'?". 
In 2016, the answer is yes.
Why is the answer yes? Because music is different now. The music consuming public loves anything that's good. A lot of good music nowadays doesn't necessarily have to contain vocals. There are pieces of music out there that were created with a laptop and headphones by people who are simply "making beats". It's 2016. Sh!t is different now.
I think the true argument here is the argument of "What else can you do beyond just making a beat?". Can you write lyrics? Can you compose vocal melodies? Can you play any instruments? Can you manifest song concepts and give purpose to a song? Do you have the skills to commit to the totality of creating a full song, with other people involved (vocalists, musicians, other composers, etc). Are you a leader? Do you know how to inspire other creatives while collaborating?
All of these questions have to do with one thing, and one thing only. The production of a song. Taking raw material and producing an audible collection of sound that provides satisfaction to the human being listening to it, usually lasting a few minutes, with hopes that they will love it, play it over and over, become inspired by it and hopefully remember that very moment in their life when they first heard it.
That's all this stuff really is at the end of the day.
Making beats is awesome. Producing music is awesome. It's all labels that either offend you, or stroke your ego. Having the skill set to do more or less is entirely up to you. Your process of how you "produce music" is also entirely up to you. Who gives a sh!t anyway. 
You produce stuff. From scratch. For the world to consume. That idea alone is pretty damn cool if you ask me.
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Dope read bRo, respek!


Similar to what Atay said: Being younger, I think a lot of my generation bent the term of what an actual music producer is. I personally wanted to take initiative, so I enrolled to Sae Miami Institute, and through out my semesters the classes and the vibe there really shows you the difference between a beat maker and a music producer. The school has a separate section with midi labs, which were individual rooms students would book time for to create their tracks, usually on a Daw that was provided on the computer. Then you had the main rooms like the SSL, Icon, O2r, and Toft room, which were more for live recording and piecing that full idea together. So for me being able to have friends and classmates that were either Beat makers, DJ’s ,Vocalist,Instrumentalist,etc.I would be in the midi room on a Monday, create at least 70-85% of the track then I’d book the toft on a Wed and have a bass player and vocalist come in and finish the track. Then I had the classmates that would throw a basic drum kit together( 808,K, Snr, Clp, HH) a few digital synths and called it a beat, which in that case I’d call a beat maker.To most that might be either or and as illmind said: both are made from scratch, and I’ll do a track either way depending on what resources are available. So for me I think it’s more about the creativity. Some tracks just can’t be replicated live the same way in my opinion also. For an example I’d say drill music( Chiraq type) Or what I’d call Atlanta Trap( 808 mafia type influence) should stay programmed in a Daw but when you use actual hardware or instrumentalist and more in your production like (!llmind, Cardiak, S1, Flying Lotus,etc.) I think that’s what gives them that niche and a sound of authenticity with anything they make because everything isn’t always digital, but to me personally I’d say both are music producers especially if your incorporating more to the song like the concept vocals, etc.

DEion a

Illmind youre that dude… I wish i hadnt lost all my beats last year, i wouldvE loved For you to criticize it… I’m getting back to iT though, and i know that mine will stand out.


This is Has been the point ive been trying to make. So many attempt to discredit those whY make beats as if theyre less then a “music producer” hearing this has INSPIRED me to keep going harder. I think people get to caught up in titles. We are all creatives and Producers but to hear “industrY” people coNtinue to discredit “beatmakers” its Fucked up honestly. That doesnt motivate any of us to do better. So Thank you illmind for Posting this. It means alot


So interesting to hear your opinion on this. As a younger person i Never realLy Thought to consider the Difference.

I would love to chat with you some time and pick your brain.


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