The code of the beat.

BeatTips Readers Poll: Is Having a Signature Sound Important?


A Signature Sound, a Uniquely Identifiable Style and Sound, Goes a Long Way in Distinguishing Yourself


At some point, all beatmakers settle into a style and sound. No matter the methods, processes, or EMPIs (Electronic Music Production Instruments) that you use, you typically prioritize one style or sound. But from here, what comes next? That is, after you find the style and sound that fits you, do you simply work within it as is, with no attempts at furthering distinguishing your version of the style and sound, or do you aim for creating your own signature sound? Indeed, Do you think that having a signature sound is important?

I believe that crafting a unique style and sound should be the goal of every beatmaker. Otherwise, what’s the alternative? Knock-offs of other prominent beatmakers who have already developed their own signature sound? Thing is, being able to distinguish your beats from other beatmakers is critical to your ability to build your own music platform. Therefore, I believe that developing your own signature sound goes a long way in this regard.

Still, there are some people who believe that having a signature sound isn’t important at all (despite the fact that most, if not all, acclaimed recording artists of the twentieth century had one). For those who take this position, I’m not quite sure if their interpretation of “signature sound” is accurate. A signature sound is a uniquely identifiable Style and Sound, it’s a composite music style all one’s own. It can be made up of any number of things, subtle or obvious; and it contain a many distinguishable components like, a specific kind of drum style and sound, a certain type of arrangement, even a special kind of mix. Having a signature sound doesn’t mean having an inflexible approach to music. On the contrary, it means having a style and sound that’s situated within your own unique interpretation of the base style and sound that you’re working from. Whether your style is sample-based, non-sample-based, or hybrid, whether it’s boom bap, Southern bounce, or an eclectic mix of different styles, you can still carve out your own signature sound.

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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual