Like I have said many times before...making beats is like breathing air to us at the DAILY DIGGERS HQ - it's something we HAVE to do.
After seeing DJ LEACY making beats on his S950 back in '89, I made it my mission to buy my first sampler. Despite messing around with Commodore 64 based software and hardware to make beats, I had no technical knowhow or experience of musical equipment, and nothing has changed there. Maybe this was obvious from my first purchase, an AKAI S01 sampler with a mere 15 seconds sampling time and no sequencing facility. At the time the units to buy were the S1000, but my budget didn't stretch to that.
I blundered my way through the first year of experimenting with beats, teaching myself how to use the unit - the damn manual may as well have been written in Chinese! One thing I realised fast is that other beatheads do not give away their secrets! And in a way I am glad they didn't as it taught me to practice hard and to get used to my machine and what it's capabilites were. By this method I also learnt my own capabilities, and how to improve those too. I will never be an equipment freak, but I know how I want my shit to sound, and I spend time before sampling the records to ensure volume levels are nice and the bass/treble levels are just where I want them to be in the mix. I guess that's my top tip! (and only one).
Here's a couple of vintage DAILY DIGGERS beats...