What is the Difference Between a Beatmaker and a Producer?

    Beatmaker vs. Music Producer

    Music Producer vs. Beatmaker | What are the Differences?

    In today's day and age, the question above tends to leave people curious and possibly shocked that there is a difference between the two roles in the first place.

    The confusion is typically in the title of the two positions. In real-life situations, people may feel as though they can use "produce" and "make" interchangeably.

    So, is there even a difference in the music industry?

    Keep reading to find out!

    Table Of Contents

    Composing Music | Beatmaker

    In simple terms, a beatmaker will make the beat of a song. Pretty obvious based on the title, right?

    Say, for instance, a popular artist such as Ariana Grande is working on an album and a lot of beatmakers find this out.  

    With this in mind, they will create custom beats that they think Ariana might be interested in using for the new album. This isn't always the case; some beat creators make beats and display them on their social media platforms or beat-selling sites for sale.

    However, an experienced beat maker with the connections and insight is sure to let potential star musicians influence their beat styles.

    So, what does a "beat" entail?

    A beat maker will compose a full beat with chords, drums, guitars and maybe even a vocal top-line idea.

    While most beatmakers stick to making just the beat, others create a custom beat-making process that includes melodies, lyrics, and a vocal line for specific genres of music to accompany the beat.

    Now, not every beat is the same, so each track will differ with its chosen instruments.

    This all depends on the beat-maker’s creativity and in which direction they think the song should go. This will also include adding any FX, in addition to mixing the song to a certain extent so it doesn’t sound too stripped down of a demo.

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    Bringing in New Elements | Music Producer

    What is a Music Producer

    In general, a producer is a leader of musicians and artists, and they will create and sell musical ideas. They may even form an artist’s look and sound to develop a brand around an artist.

    A producer is the one who decides the direction of a project and will get it from where it is to where it needs to be. You can think of the music producer as a managerial role.

    The Producer will be in recording sessions and will hear something else that they think the song needs. It is the producer's job to hear something and make that sound come to life.

    This may include getting a guitarist to play a part over a verse or even a pianist to complete the idea the producer hears.

    The job of a producer is to put the whole idea of a track together while including the artists vision as well.

    It is extremely important for a producer to bring a creative vision to the artist and be as engaged and thrilled about it as possible.

    No artist with the end-goal of releasing their music is going to want to work with a music producer who isn’t as excited or immersed in the project as they are.

    Discover the best tips and secrets on how to learn music production quickly here.

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    Rearranging | Music Producer

    Beatmaker vs. Music Producer

    Let's revisit our Ariana Grande example for this section. This will tie in the differences between music producers and beatmakers. 

    Once the beat itself is ‘done’ and say, by chance, it got in the hands of Ariana’s producer, the producer will then express their take on the song and see what they think should change.

    Sometimes, the producer will like what they hear, and sometimes, they may think something in the structure needs to be added, rearranged, or even taken away.

    The producer has a vision for the project, and it is their job to execute that vision and help create an outstanding finished product. 

    The producer may intend on getting another vocalist on the track, so the song will need to contain more room for verses or even another chorus, etc.

    Rearranging the song happens quite often, so it’s best not to get too attached to the songs you make if you are making them for another artist.

    In short, how does the entire process bode for the beatmaker and music producer financially?

    While both music industry professions are integral in today's complex music climate, a producer will typically make more money than the beatmaker since a producer’s workload is much higher in order to complete a project. 

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    Start Creating

    Does this article help clear up the confusion between the roles of a beatmaker and producer?

    If not, leave your question in the comment section below, and we'll be sure to get you an answer as quickly as possible!

    Above all, remember this: both of these jobs are important in the songwriting process, so find which one you like and get to writing.

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    The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media offers an immersive Music Production and Audio for Media Associate Degree that will teach you the necessary skills and help you develop life-long music industry connections that will make a real difference and be invaluable as you embark on your career journey.

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    Dr. David Mitchell

    Dr. David Mitchell

    Dr. David Mitchell is an educator and published composer who writes for large and small ensembles, interactive electronics and electroacoustic music for performance as well as original scores for films, video games, promotional ads and corporate videos. His commercial work includes music for Hilton Hotels and The Coca Cola Company. His works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, Dr. Mitchell has won numerous competitions, including the Olin Parker Composition Competition, Southeastern Composers League Phillip Slate Composition Competition and The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble Composition Competition. Dr. Mitchell holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Music Composition and Theory, Master of Music Composition and a Bachelor Degree in Guitar Performance. He is an instructor and the Director of Education at The Atlanta Institute of Music and Media.