**CHALLENGE CLOSED** Maxsta Beat Challenge - MCs & VOCALISTS - Win £500 Studio Credit

MCs & Vocalists: Grime producer Maxsta has given us an original beat for you to shell/sing over. Get creative and put a verse/chorus/whatever you want on it! Best one wins £500 // $500 // €500 studio credit, two runners up will get £100 // $100 // €100 credit each.

Important bits:

  • Download Maxsta’s beat here.
  • Final entries should be uploaded to SoundCloud and published to this thread (simply paste the link).
  • Don’t worry if you’re at your mum’s for the holidays and you can only record something on your phone! This is about raw talent, not the best vocal production.
  • Closing date is Sunday 31st January.
  • Finally, as you work, feel free to post your works in progress on the competition thread for feedback from other members and Pirate staff.

Maxsta is one of our favourite producers on the scene today (and an ice cold MC himself) - we can’t wait to see what you all come up with.


Yes yes yes and a happy new year! My entry for this very nice beat, really enjoyed this tempo and tone.

I went very political on this so I’ve pasted the lyrics below so you can check them out. Two things to note:

  1. Lyrics were written before the events of yesterday in Washington. Let’s just say I could have a couple more things to say about that
  2. Following the excellent advice on tuning your vocals from @Pirate_Gareth (thank you) this is my very novice attempt at recording vocals so apologies if the vocal line isn’t sounding pro yet and if you got any tips to tweak it I’m all ears! Definitely a WIP

Cheers and thanks for listening :microphone: :slightly_smiling_face:


Now I’m a roll a six to start like I’m beginning on the hustle

With this thing I must impart - put some spinach in my arm muscle

Don’t get - the insular mindset - empires dead - still some of these english wanna start trouble

The rise of the right that denied your rights which relies on the self appointed indigenous types

With little grip on history save the bits where we pick fights and

Even then they can’t pick who won the victory right

But that’s beside the point that disappointments a cabriolet

  • from the top down - a cabinet cavalcade

Of corrupt capital contracts cascading and what now they

Placed narratives created to attract shame

Amongst a population that’s twisted up tight

Like wet dinner towels this business now it didn’t sound right

Too Busy infighting with ourselves to sit up and fight the ones

Who Demonise the few for standing up for a few more rights

People excuse their own illegitimacy they sport to

Parrot conspiracy shoehorning factual equivalency

And that synergy’s a perfect storm

For every prefect of a certain form number born

Infer scorn on the classes quoting Aesop

Pointing fingers at people fleeing all the bombs that WE dropped

The biggest ignorance is shouted from the treetops we’re

All pissing in the wind and didn’t notice the breeze stopped

And it don’t stop just cos 45 ain’t in office and

BJ and Rees Mogg are only labelled incompetent

Nothing changes till we reverse this whole system

That sustains by diverting the blame from its cronyism

While this - stereotypical shit - is thrown at our walls or various bits of us all to see what’ll stick

Just a typical political trick to swing the focus from their reticence to assist those most at risk

And i dont accept we can’t accept each other for being

United in our witness of this shit - we’re all seeing

  • The beginning of the rebel
  • Into the eye of the storm
  • And they thinking that we’ll settle but we’ll never settle - we rely on us all

love the lyricism and the content finding these comps through using the rooms in my band who write mainly real life politically reflective songs built into a story driven fictional narrative i love any music that has a political stance. lyricism was well thought out and had a good message i liked it for the most part.
i feel like your mic channel could do with a few things doing to it to rid the popping your experiencing when pronouncing your Bs and Ps and the more poppy sounding bits it will help you to maintain the volume of your vocal while not having the pops disguising the backing track. if you add a gate to try and rid some of the louder breathing noises and a hpf on your equaliser to remove all the low end then have a fiddle with the low end next to the hpf to a point where it feels like singing those tones doesn’t pop you have to find that area yourself for each vocalist and sometimes each of your own vocal performances i usualy have my HPF start at around 80 hz then i have my low frequency down by between 6 and 8 db at 107 hz really helps remove a lot of the low end will stop the popping peaks then you can then restore volume using a compressor and de ess it if your software has a de ess function i like to aadd a really short plate vocal reverb really dry to add a bit of thickness as well if those things have removed that you can play about with echo and stuff like that but it always feels like overkill for the style that i do. i know the comp says its not about production quality but you asked for tips lol. finally get used to mic distances and how that affects the sound the mic will produce being further from the mic allows for more projection with less risk off peaks and pops closer gives a much thicker sound but you have to be careful about producing too much of a sound. hope this helps

Have you hear of a streamer called greek god x you sound just like him you must be from the same place.

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really rough vocal due to having a bit of a head cold for the last 4 days but also going through a crisis confidence in that ive listened to this so many times that i can’t be objective and tell if its just steaming dog toffee so some tips would be awesome



Back When I was 17 I started getting high like

it was escapism I didn’t like my own life alright

And now I’m 34 I spent half of my whole time

Hazey lazy mighta got myself a little crazy.

But I won’t steal your thunder

I would never shun ya.

Cos we all come unsundered

end up down under

Don’t wonder.

Don’t fall out with your self boy

You’ll soon feel brand new

It’s just another Thursday

Thrice the strength to see you through

It’s sublime when your finding

Letters to you reminding

Funerals for old friends lost in time rewinding

Definining and shining we’re vibin

Fell like we’re weightless were flying

Were stuck on a desperate island

Hoping for someone to find us.

Back to present tense in my defence This years relented

So much shit has happened all of us have been prevented

From maintaining social health and strength through mental wealth

Socially distanced rules persistent mind is in remission

But I won’t steal your thunder

And I would never shun ya

Cos we all come unsunderred

And end up Down under

Don’t wonder.

Save your scissors for some thing else but skin this time.

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@atalenoire Mate, thank you so much for all this, massively appreciate you taking the time to write all that. Thank you for the comments on the lyricism, it’s nice to get that kinda feedback from likeminded peeps. Yeah I’m actually spoken word poet as well as an MC and I tend to do a lot of political stuff or topical social commentary, so a lot of my creative work has that kinda angle.

Would love to hear some of your political stuff mate. Not heard of greek god x, just had a listen yeah I can hear that lol. I’m from Bristol but lived for the last 20 years in London so I guess my accent is a mix of the two.

Main thing thanks for the vocal tips man, I certainly did ask and you delivered! MASSIVELY useful I’m going to apply your recommendations and come back

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Feeling this, lyrics run deep to what we’re all going through I like that

“Were stuck on a desperate island / Hoping for someone to find us” - LOVE that couplet
“Socially distanced rules persistent mind is in remission” - likewise, great line

the tone of your singing sits very nicely on this beat, there’s a casualness that flows on the beat well while the subject matter is somewhat conversely introspective, nice juxtaposition

It’s not so much political in like we’re calling people out but the story is very reflective and seeks inspiration from real life events. But it’s based in a world run by extremes from the left and right working together to create mass confusion and control everything but it’s based in a more mystical type of world.

Where there were spirits called watchers one who controlled nature (his name is vinous and he’s been captured by the kachina and corrupted to helvinius as they realised if they controlled the capability to grow things they could basically control the planet) spirit of empathy (ethris) who binds with the main protagonist phineus dark after being trapped in a scroll able to see everything but help no one but she binds with him at his upgrade ceremony to the highest echelon of the kachina army and it helps him break his army programming and remember who he was when he was younger and joins the resistance as there major weapon as he can transmit a single message with ethris and change the complexion of the whole planet but independent radio and tv has been outlawed and All internet is censored so getting that message out becomes an issue. There are many other watchers but they’ve been trapped in ancient scrolls as well and will be revealed when we write more songs and write more of the story some are good and some are evil.

This is a rough recording from a practice but it’s called aftermath and it’s kinda about after the resistance think they have taken out the worst controllers a much worse hidden enemy is revealed that seizes power.


Sick mate, I love that. Must be honest I didn’t expect that style of rock but it works so well for the story. I love these kind of creative works, this narrative is very well thought out, I can recognise shades of all sorts of sci-fi films and those kinds of stories in there

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My entry for this one, love for the opportunity, check it out.


@Brighty fair play on your first attempt at recording vocals yourself but I’m afraid I’d have to echo @atalenoire comments about your PLosives…they are pretty extreme.

You can reduce and even remove plosives with some clever eq and wave editing but it’s time consuming and not really what you should be spending your time on after recording a good take.

Some attention to mic placement and distance from the source is essential.

If you don’t have a pop shield, definitely purchase one as they’re cheap enough. If you’re in a hurry to record and can’t wait for the delivery man you could try constructing one from a clothes hanger and a pair of tights, if someone you live with is prepared to donate them of course!.

If you’re using a condenser mic you can try singing off axis (i.e. singing past the side of the mic not aiming at the center of the capsule). Since condensers are so sensitive it will pick up your vocal just fine.

Similarly you can try tilting the mic at about 30-45 degrees backwards so the air pressure from the plossive sounds aren’t hitting the capsule directly.

Singing away from the mic is great and will also reduce unwanted proximity effect (which is an increase of bass frequency the closer the source is to the microphone).

I know it might be a tough pill to swallow but the vocal recording you have here would take a hell of a lot of editing and manipulating to get rid of the popping sounds and you’d already be compromising on the fidelity of the recording making it more difficult to get to sit in the mix, so unfortunately my one recommendation here is a re-record. :frowning:

If you do a couple of test runs with different variations of what I mentioned above hopefully you can find a good sweet spot to record your vocals without the dreaded P’snB’s interrupting your flow!


LOL @Pirate_Gareth don’t worry about tough pills, I’ve swallowed a fair few in my time, I’m pretty good at it :wink: :crazy_face:

No seriously this is awesome thank you. I have zero issue with re-recording. In all honesty my reasons for entering this comp are two-fold. One I love writing new lyrics to beats, just enjoy the challenge as a writer, but two, I was hoping to get some feedback on vocal recording from all you lovely people. Quite frankly the only way I learn is to do something shite and then for someone who knows what they’re talking about to tell me where I’m going wrong!

I have a pop shield on order as I’m aware from @atalenoire’s advice the popping is too much, I haven’t yet invested in a condenser but that search is very active right now. I thought I’d see how far I can get with the performance mic I have (which is a bit like an SM58) and experiment firstly with distances and positioning as you suggest, get a feel for those parameters, then when I get the condenser I can really get a tangible measure on what difference the actual mic is making

So again thank you so much for the very valuable advice, will re-record. I’ll leave this up as my competition entry for now as the deadline is approaching

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Hey everyone, we’ve had some brilliant entries on this so far - keep them coming! I know some of you have been unable to download Maxsta’s beat in the past few days but the link has now been updated.

Remember, competition closes end of January!

Lovely, i’m seeing many entries as soundcloud links but are there any other forms of media in which we can upload our entries?

Pretty sure you can just upload a track to google drive or what ever it’s called if it’s a quality thing. If it’s a privacy thing you can upload it to soundcloud as a private link and no one can find it without that link that you post here.

SoundCloud tends to embed on the forum the best (you can share a private link too). But if you’d rather not share to SC, that’s absolutely fine! You can share a link to a platform of your choice. Good luck with it!

Hi everyone, hope you’re well and keeping sane in lockdown III.

My submission for the beat challenge, more of a freestyle as i couldn’t do layerings and things easily where I am at the minute. Was fun to do something a bit different though , thanks Pirate :slight_smile: .


Hey everyone,

Here’s my entry. Really enjoyed having a go at this one, not usually the type of beat I would write to but it’s always fun to try something new and Maxsta is dopeeeeee so great to have the opportunity to work with his production. Hope you enjoy :upside_down_face:


Really enjoyed this take on the beat- you have found melodies in the track i didn’t even know ere there aha.

Hey! here’s my entry, uploaded to my private soundcloud but my professional account is @karnagekills for anyone interested! x
I typically go for darker beats, my genre is mainly drill/ grime… but this was definitely fun!

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