Originally Posted by 131242313424
So I'm trying to make some west coast beats but they're not sounding up to my standards.
Any pointers would be helpful.What kind of sounds and percussion should I use? What tempo/swing? What kind of mood am I trying to conjure? etc.
your probably gonna get a bit of flaming for the way you posted your question lol..no worries.
West Coast beats...hmm in terms of staple sounds not really too many but there are some sounds that have become almost synonymous with west coast instrumentals.
First one is the west coast whistle, g funk whistle or whatever the kids are calling it these days but it's safe to say that that is a big part of the west coast kind of vibe I think. Heavy synthesizer use, usually many of the tracks have some type of moogy synths going on.
Another one is usually some sort of deep bass guitar, umm other various synths usually sound similar to the whistle I mentioned earlier. Arguably since the whole Dr Dre g funk movement it can be said that pianos with a certain types of EQ to them can be included. Unlike a lot of genres west coast tracks usually don't have to much percussion going on other than the basic snare, hat, clap and kick. DISCLAIMER: These sounds do not make a beat west coast, they are simply sounds that are often present in many west coast beats.
Tempo for these tracks is usually around the 88 - 95 bpm mark, though some of the tracks with a kind of break beat drum pattern are a little faster (e.g. NWA Straight outta compton).
Safe to say though I think the best way to learn west coast music is to listen to it extensively, more so than instruments the main characteristic of west coast instrumentals is a certain feel. Most west coast instrumentals just end up making the listener feel a certain way and more so pervades specific instruments. The instruments so to speak are more often than not a vehicle to convey the west coast vibe rather than being an absolute necessity to make a west coast beat.
Just my 0.02
Tracks you might want to check out though you probably know them.
Gin and Juice - Snoop Dogg
Who am I - Snoop Dogg
Still Dre - Dr Dre
Return of the Mack - Mark Morrison
Return of the Mack - Mann
Kush - Dr Dre
Eazy E - Real Compton G's
Basically any song from NWA, Eazy E, Nate Dogg, Waren G or Ice Cube
Lots and Lots of 2 pac songs
Lots of Cypress hill songs
True Player - Notrious B.I.G.
I'm sure there are a ton more than I am listing but you will get my point when you check those out.