In this article, I’ll give you 3 easy tips for better trap beats that you can use to produce your HipHop projects without hassle.
Trap is the most dominant genre of our time. Hip Hop charts are filled with 808s and even most pop instrumentals are based on trap beats.
Since trap beats seem rather simple compared to EDM productions for example, many producers think that they’re easy to make. You just need a melody, an 808 bass, a snappy clap and some closed hats. But that is easier said than done!
Here are 3 tips for better trap beats:
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Tip 1: Pick the right sounds from the beginning
I see a lot of upcoming producers using just any kick, any hat or any clap, but if you want to really get it right you need to compare MANY DIFFERENT drum shots until you finally find one that sits perfectly in your mix. Therefore having a big sample library is very important!
You can find plenty of trap sample packs online and if you don’t want to spend any money you’ll even find tons of free stuff like this kit for example. If your sample folder isn’t big enough yet I’d recommend downloading some new packs right now.
Once you have saved them on your drive you can go through them one-by-one and copy your favorite one shots to your own custom sample pack.
Make sure to add sub folders named “Kicks”, “Snares”, “Claps” so every sample has its own dedicated place.
Next time you start a new beat you can go straight to your favorite sounds and don’t need to go through all the different packs again.
Tip 2: Groove is everything
Since you have a great selection of drum sounds it’s time to work on your drum placements until your beats flow naturally and force listeners to bounce with their heads.
Listen to your beat over and over again and try to change every small “groove mistake” until everything flows perfectly.
When you’re happy with the flow stop working on the beat and don’t listen to it for at least a whole day.
Next time you open up the project file you’ll either know exactly which elements need some additional work or you’re still happy with the result.
If you don’t have “talent” for coming up with nice drum patterns you can try to recreate the MIDIs from some of your favorite songs, just to analyse what other beat makers are doing.
You certainly shouldn’t publish remakes of other beats as your own compositions, but you can use them to analyze the habits of other producers and start to create your own style.
Tip 3: Get the levels right
The last “mistake” a lot of producers make is that they don’t mix their beats very well.
Here is some good news: If your drum selection is already on point you usually don’t need to add any effects to them.
Just make sure that the volume of every track is right by comparing your own beat to professional productions.
Are the hats too low in volume or is your 808 bass too loud? Get all of the levels right and your beat should sound decent.
If one element (the kick for example) stil doesn’t sound perfect I’d simply switch up the sample. Don’t be afraid to compare dozens of different one shots.
Sometimes I load up to a hundred sounds into a single drum rack and go through them until I find the perfect match for my arrangement.
If you get all of those 3 things right your beats should already sound pretty good.
Compose an interesting melody, start adding a beat with your favorite drum samples, work on the groove until everything flows perfectly, adjust the levels and if the beat still doesn’t sound perfect try to change some of the one shots.
Share this article in your social channels. It will help others to get better trap beats.
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Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.