How to write Cinematic BeatsHello Composers, Mike here. Do you want to write Orchestral Hip Hop, or perhaps you want to call it Cinematic Beats? =)

Music mainly focused on an urban beat, but with lots of orchestral sounds and influences.

Watch my Video here, where I will show you behind the scenes of a complete composition, what sounds I used, and so on.

Next, let’s listen to a couple of live examples of music compositions in this style! =)

Mikael Baggström – The Grit of the City

My creative vision for this track was to blend the grit, dirt and hardcore style of the city, with an epic heroic and orchestral vibe. Like Batman pumping iron in order to save the world! =)

I started with an old school hip hop drum kit, with some added distorted acoustic drums, and a heavy focus on the brass section. I then opened up the music more in the breakdown with a lush string arrangement. I also used several sounds from the VST plugin Heat Up 3 to add even more of an urban touch to the track.

David Michael Tardy – The Grit of the City

David’s description: This composition is titled “NATIONS” and my intention for this piece was to translate the power of the Native American Nations uniting, especially since I am part Lakota Sioux. I am spent 3 months in Standing Rock, when all of the injustice and craziness was going on there when we were simply trying to protect sacred waters and sacred lands.

My greatest memory of that time was pulling into the Sacred Stone Camp and seeing all of the flags of the Nations together, blowing in the wind, in same direction. It was a time that even tribes that had been enemies for centuries had set aside differences and come together to fight against what was right and just. So, I feel this piece of music is symbolic of seeing all of those flags.

The libraries used for this piece: Red Room Audio’s Stomps & Claps, EXS 24 Synth, Heavyocity, Gravity, Q Up Arts Voices of Native America, Sample Hero’s Native American War Drum, Keep Forest Atlantica, Metropolis Ark 1.



Mike Whi – Psyched

Mike’s Description: I always liked making beats on Kontakt’s free Urban beats kits, but never had a many opportunities to make a track from those kits. When playing my midi keyboard there’s something fixating about punching the kick while tapping the hi-hat of an urban kit.

You start to immediately feel the power and groove. Adding a few simple staccato strings really adds a layer of depth and drama. I used a variety of EW Hollywood strings.

The track started with the bass line, however. I picked the first or second pluck I found in Strobe 2, and just dropped a little pulsing rhythm down over couple bars.

Finally, I used another instance of Strobe to get a synth for the background. Oh, and of course there had to be that classic high pitched plucky lead sound thrown in.

Sometimes the vision for a song doesn’t reveal itself until I find an image that seems fitting and then reflect on how the image fits. I imagine a bunch of cyberpunks kickin back—waiting till the hour strikes—then their plan to turn the city around unfolds. They have a relaxed sense of strength and hope. Even though things will get dirty, they’re prepared and know they will tear down the corruption that’s been dominating the place.

Now take Action!

I always recommend you to take action, to learn from doing, experimenting, and creating. So go ahead and compose a new track in the style of “Orchestral Hip Hop”. =)


My name is Mikael “Mike” Baggström, and I am a composer, sound designer, artist, video creator, coffee lover, and true nerd…

PS. I want to invite ALL OF YOU to join the most amazing community for composers…in the world! Join Here – 100% Free