How !llmind made “March” – Video tutorial review

What’s up MM fam? It’s your guy D-ski The Illeagle back with another review from the blap master !llmind as he once again takes us “Behind the Curtain” (pun intended). In this tutorial !llmind shows us the breakdown of his beat “March” from his 1st Boom Trap beat tape. The video is 43 mins long and covers topics such as sound selection, song arrangement, time stretch, the elements of a boom trap beat, chopping breaks and many other techniques. The dope thing about these tutorial/ behind the curtain videos is that they allow us to see the reasons techniques were used as well as a first hand perspective of those techniques being applied. Beginners will greatly benefit from watching !llmind deconstruct this track. Protools users will learn several tips about using default plugins that come loaded in the DAW. These techniques can of course be used universally across most DAWs.


!llmind shows how he starts building a Boom Trap beat by selecting, chopping and manipulating a break beat(in this case a marching drum sample) then adding each layer of the beat around that new break. Another dope thing about this type of tutorial is the fact that we not only get to see some of the instruments !llmind uses, such as the reFX Vanguard and Battery 3, but also how he uses them along with little tricks within each.


It’s also very interesting that he “prints” his midi tracks to audio, to keep his sessions midi free. Doing this method keeps multiple midi notations from taxing your system while you build the beat. !llmind records his vst instruments on each midi channel directly to audio. Some DAWs even have the ability to export audio from an instrument track (midi) to a new audio track in a single click. I guess its all based on your personal preference and your DAWs capability whether you choose to employ this technique and commit to audio early on, or save your midi based vst instrument takes for referring back to later. Its certainly interesting watching !llmind make each tweak, such as delay or distortion via D16’s Decimort which adds texture and builds a certain character in his tracks. Its techniques such as these that separates the “pros” from the “beginners”. One of my favorite parts of the video is when !llmind shows us how he chopped a fire alarm effect in sequence with the break(which is actually a sound from an S1 kit, although he had momentarily forgotten during the video). That part is pretty freaking ill, and again, these little details take a beat from “average” to “standout”. Overall all these little tips add up to creating polish for those that are new to the beat making game. There are even refresher tips for pros that have been making music a while.


One HUGE suggestion I have for !llmind or anyone else making videos that serve to teach or breakdown audio content is to make sure you capture high quality audio content. Most screen capture applications on Mac or PC provide the option to also capture the “system audio”. Recording a low-fi version of the audio, as !llmind has done, diminishes the over all quality of these video tutorials. Hearing the comparisons between wet/dry or enabled/bypassed signals is VERY difficult to make out due to the low-fi nature of the recording. Because of this we miss the most important part of this tutorial which is hearing everything that’s going on. There are many video/screen capture programs such as Screenflick, Camtasia , etc., that capture your systems video as well as system audio so what you essentially get is a presentation or video tutorial. If you enable your mic within these programs then you can do voice overs. It should be noted that for many Mac programs you might need a program like Soundflower, which allows applications to route audio into other applications.


Despite the low quality of the audio there are plenty of great things that can be learned from this tutorial, such as seeing the techniques that were used in creating a track in the Boom Trap genre. The price tag on this one is only $9.99, so be sure to check out this tutorial as well as his others over at The Drum Broker. Until next time, Peace!


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