All my instruments are samples. I 'm really good at the composing parts, but its the mixing and programing I'm not to good at.

Would I have to be really good with eq and compression.I use samples so most of the stuff is already compressed. What about synthesis. I find there's no need cuz I always find the sound I'm looking for cuz I have so many stock sounds. I'm okay with programing effects.

I'm confused as to what a Producer has to know and what a sound engineer has to know.
producing is comming up with the ideas for the recording the engineer does the recording you don't have to know how to mix (def helps though) start producing every music, find what you like from each genre and start combining it with hip hop, a good producer loves every style of music, and can incoroprate it into their project
Will if you already know about synths and programming thats a good thing.

Cartharsis already mentioned about it, but to elaborate - in Hip-hop and especially dance, the producer usually does all the "music", like the backing and especially the beats. Can't really imagine 50 Cent hits up protools, I think the rappers mostly stick to rapping.

If i were you I would just look up some things on the internet, find out about breaks, and the 808 drum machine (used alot in hip-hop). Things like that.
Actually, most of the artists write their beats with an MPC or something, then bring it into the studio and give 'em to the producer to work their magic with. This is also where you need to know the difference between rap and hip-hop. In hip hop, the artists almost always make the beats and stuff (like T-Pain etc.) and with rap they usually get someone else to do it for them (like Dre, who Eminem uses now). There are ALWAYS exceptions.

You should practice taking beats from other people and crafting them into full songs. Learn how to use an MPC, that's the ESSENTIAL tool in this business. Apple's Logic is a great DAW for hip hop/rap and Ableton Live can be great too. You'll work closely with an engineer who will mix and (possibly) master the stuff for you, so don't worry too much about that stuff, just know how your samples will sound with certain effects and EQ settings.

Also, the 808 drum machine isn't used often at all, but its samples are. The machine itself is very hard to come by, but the samples are widely used in most beat software and MPC machines etc. Practice tweaking each sample to make totally new sounds. Buy awesome headphones too, you can't live without that. And a midi keyboard with pads! Then you'll be set.
Telecaster - SG - Jaguar
Princeton Reverb, Extra Reverb
P-Bass - Mustang Bass
Apogee Duet 2 - Ableton Suite
Last edited by Sid McCall at Jul 13, 2009,