This comparison is an absolute cause for debate. It’s a very interesting animal to dissect, so let’s get right to it.  There is a huge difference between someone who makes beats and a producer.  Although a lot of beat makers will tell you that they are producers, the truth is that it takes more than making a beat to be a producer.  I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Just because you’re at the airport, doesn’t mean you’re an airplane.”  The same principle applies to production.  Just because you put a beat together, doesn’t mean you’re a producer.  Here are the major differences between a beat maker and a producer.

I. Composing

Producers take their time thinking about:

  1. Progressions
  2. Intros
  3. Hooks
  4. Pre-hooks
  5. Bridges
  6. Endings
  7. Who the track is for (artists)

Beat Makers take their time thinking about:

  1. The drums being loud
  2. What other instruments to put
  3. How quickly can I show this to someone?
  4. The intro can be the hook, ending, verses, etc.

II. Cohesiveness


  1. Listen the beat over and over to ensure that all the elements fit within the context of the track.
  2. If a certain instrument doesn’t fit they will modify it or take that instrument out.
  3. Take time with their drums to ensure that everything, up to the sound of the high hat, fits into the track.
  4. Understand the body of work and know where the climaxes are and where the low points are.

Beat makers

  1. Worry about the beat being good to them regardless of elements fitting or not.
  2. If they like an element they will keep it as is, regardless of how it sounds with everything else.
  3. Pick a kick, snare or clap, whatever high-hat and create their drums without analyzing how it fits.  Or they just go with the first drums they like.
  4. Don’t worry about climax, or low points.  They rather make the beat the same from beginning to end.  Sometimes with some small changes.

III. Mixing


  1. Don’t like showing raw material.  They wait to show artists until it is 100% complete.  (Unless the artists insist)
  2. Will listen to the instrumental in the car, on their iPods, on the computer, in the house stereo, on a small cd player, anywhere and everywhere.  This is so they can get a better idea of the mix.
  3. Understand:
  • EQ
  • Compressing
  • Panning
  • Reverb
  • Grouping
  • Filters
  • Frequency
  • Gate
  • Limiter
  • Any other mixing tool

Beat Makers  

  1. Will show their beat to anyone even if its just drums.
  2. Hear their beat once on their computer and think its ready to go.
  3. Are confused when you talk to them about frequencies, compressors, etc.

IV. Artist Relationships


  1. Value the relationship with their artists.
  2. Communicate with the artist and understand that the paying artist has a say in the beat making process.
  3. Takes the artists into consideration when creating a beat.  They think about what are the artist’s strong points and weak points and try to produce something that the artist can feel comfortable with.
  4. Honors all contracts, agreements, etc.

Beat Makers

  1. Will give their beats to whoever comes along.
  2. They don’t communicate with the artist they work with and do everything their own way.
  3. When creating a beat, they will make the beat however they like and not worry about what the artist can and cannot do.
  4. Will not honor agreements or dead lines.

There are other factors as well, such as equipment and software.  However, I wanted to discuss the technical aspect of producing.   I also wanted to add that producers usually have an idea about music theory or know a little bit about how music is put together (although there are some exceptions).

Not everything that shines is gold.  Not anyone who makes a beat is a producer.

Beat makers make beats.  Producers produce songs. Working together with the artist is one of the many differences between a producer and a beat maker. Do you have anymore points to add to this? kindly leave a comment below.

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