Back in the early 1970s, old school DJs began using a number of pauses (part of funk or jazz songs where music “breaks” and only plays a part of rhythm) which creates something fun to do. DJ will mix it with turntables; switch from break to break, creating a continuous loop known as breakbeat.
Kurtis Blow was one of the first artists to use a digital sampler to make recordings. Samplers and sequencers really let the samples and beats of the drum to mix creatively stretch vinyl sound capabilities only … these my friends gave birth to real hip hop production.
Roland TR-808 aka 808 was introduced in 1980, one of the earliest forms of advanced music production technology … it paved the way. Your E-SP-12 then came out in 1985 which allowed 2.5 seconds of recording time. At the beginning of the hip hop recording time on this device was mainly used for sample drum loops. Followed by SP-1200, the Akai MPC60 came out in 1988, capable of taking a sample of 12 seconds … the first MPC to enter the market.
Public Enemy Bomb Squad revolutionized the design and structure of hip hop beats by combining several samples per song and putting several pauses with a drum machine. Thanks to the group that brought us Fight The Power classic, the beat of hip hop was brought to new creative heights which opened the idea to use several knock samples and go beyond repetitive loops. This new sound in modern hip hop allows tracks to contain sound sequences for these verses and other sequences for hooks … new days for Hip Hop Production.
The latest version of MPC was released on the Mid-90 and continues to improve itself every year with more advanced features and flexibility. MPC combines drum machines, a longer sample size and an onboard sequencer. Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy and his production team pushed the envelope with a new style in which all notes were sampled, opposed to only short pieces. Another big step in production, this gave birth to turning old classic schools into new school hits. With the evolution of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), software programmers can now write applications that can record and play back notes played by a musician. But another big step in the evolution of hip hop production and music technology in general.
Today technology has evolved in such a way that the need for most heavy and expensive equipment has been replaced by computer software. The $ 20 program now allows vocals to be recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered while tapping can be made from the start. Anyone can produce recordings today and with advances on social media and video sharing websites like YouTube, you can switch from your Momma cellar to a multimillion-dollar studio that produces the best beats in the business.