Trap music has come a long way over the past decade, growing from its quiet Southern origins to a global phenomenon. Producers like Drumma Boy, Metro Boomin, and Lex Luger played a significant role in popularizing the unique trap drum style.
Interestingly, the term “trap” originated from the concept of a “trap house” drug operation, and in the early days, references to drug dealing and the trap lifestyle were sporadically present in rap.
However, for a long time, the style didn’t have a sound.
When T.I.’s Trap Musik hit shelves in 2003, was a groundbreaking moment for the trap genre.
Later on, artists like Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy helped shape and popularize the distinct sound of trap music. By 2013, artists from Katy Perry to Kanye West began embracing the genre’s distinct characteristics: the dark and mellow synths, heavy-hitting 808 basslines, and, of course, trap drum patterns.
The question is, how in the world do these music producers get their trap drums to sound so good?
In this guide, I’ll take you through the importance of finding the right drum samples for making trap beats and explore a few popular songs that draw from the trap sound.
Choosing Good Trap Drums from a Sample Library – Beat Production Ultimate Trap Bundle
Getting good trap drums starts with finding the right sample library. Your starting point begins with using high quality trap drum samples.
Trap music has a distinct sound characterized by its hard-hitting drum sounds. No amount of mixing can turn poorly-chosen samples into something that stands up to what the top trap producers in the game are making.
Having the right combination of punchy kicks, snappy snares, and tight hi-hats, all of which sound great when mixed together, can elevate your track’s energy levels and make your trap beats stand out.
Thankfully, you have access to the Ultimate Trap Bundle here at BeatProduction.net.
Our sample pack has got you covered with all the different sounds you need to create that chart-topping trap hit.
The struggle of finding the right sounds is real. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you, curating a massive bundle that brings together our top-selling trap sample packs into a single product.
You get access to eight of our top trap drum kits, including:
- The Complete Trap Kit Enhanced Edition
- Trapped in Omnisphere
- Soul Trap MIDI Drum Patterns
- Trap Ghosts Drum Kit Enhanced Edition
- Future Trap Sample Pack
- Infinite Trap Vol. 3
- Infinite Trap Vol. 2
- Infinite Trap Vol. 1
These kits are compatible with any DAW, whether you’re dropping them in to FL Studio, a Kong Kit, or Ableton Live, this pack includes every sound selection you need for a killer trap drum kit. It also includes on-shots of our best samples, drum loops, percussion samples, and new MIDI tracks so you can easily create your own hi hat rolls or chop up loops for an interesting effect.
Let’s take a look at a few of the tracks that inspired our sample packs.
“XO TOUR Llif3” by Lil Uzi Vert:
Lil Uzi Vert is like a character straight out of a cartoon, fully embracing the image and sound with his anime-inspired album covers and quirky trap beats. Even so, he’s able to add depth to his music production with darkness and intensity, much of which comes from his production.
In “XO TOUR Llif3,” he taps into the same kind of numb, reckless vibe made popular by Future.
The 155 BPM trap drum pattern features a relatively steady, deep, and punchy kick drum pattern on the downbeat to keep the pulse driving forward. It features some snappy drums and some more subtle sound design in the background. The snare drum hits on the third beat of each bar, providing your standard, steady offbeat emphasis.
What we really love about this track are the hi-hats. Not only do they have the same rapid, syncopated feel as your standard trap beat, filling in the gaps between the kick and snare, but they also have some cool pitch changes throughout.
The producer, TM88, offsets the hard-hitting complex drum patterns with a slightly trippy minor key sample, aiding Uzi’s casual attitude and dreamlike style.
“SICKO MODE” by Travis Scott ft. Drake
“Sicko Mode” featuring Drake has become the star attraction of Scott’s repertoire, offering a wild rhythmic rollercoaster with sudden twists and turns.
Travis brought together a team of producers (Tay Keith, Cubeatz, OZ, and Hit-Boy) to contribute their own unique sound to this chaotic track. The song starts off slow, with Drake ad-libbing over a cinematic organ intro and some building snare effects.
But just as you start to settle into the groove, it swiftly switches to the next beat, using a heavily-distorted kick, crispy hi-hats, and a hollow-sounding snare sample, all acting as the foundation for your standard minor trap sample. This track features a range of hip hop beats, exploring a variety of different ways to use a trap drum sound.
Of course, it doesn’t stop there. The next instrumental delivers a cleaner bounce that makes up for the abrupt shift. At the very end, the tempo slows down even further, delivering a fat, neo-soul-style drum groove akin to old-school, east coast boom-bap beats.
Throughout the song, you also hear plenty of additional percussive elements and rhythmic variations.
It’s important to note that no matter what part of the song you’re in, the hi-hats are often fast-paced and syncopated, adding a bit more complexity to the groove. The pattern’s versatility allows for different sections of the song to have distinct drum feels, keeping it engaging for the listener.
“Mask Off” by Future
“Mask Off” was Future’s biggest hit to date when it hit back in 2017, sitting high on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a whopping 15 weeks as of now. It just goes to show that the combination of a sparse drum groove and a flute-infused sample can create enough of a vibe to propel someone to stardom.
But what’s impressive is how efficient the drum production is. The kick drum, in particular, has plenty of space in the mix without any competing elements, allowing it to shine.
And let’s talk about that kick drum for a second
I have to imagine the producer went all out with compression and saturation on your run-of-the-mill 808 samples to get that ultra-sustained sound and rich mid-range harmonics. Not only does the 808 serve as the bass note, but it also gets pitch-shifted to create a bass line that perfectly fits the track
Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
The clap sound sits perfectly with the high hat 8th notes and snare rolls. It may be the perfect trap drum beat.
The openness of the arrangement also works in favor of Future’s rapping style.
The snares in this track are the least minimalistic, hitting on the on and off beats to create a bit more interest, while the sparse and syncopated hi-hats leave space for the flute to shine.
If you love these sounds be sure to check out our Trap Bundle – especially the Trap Ghosts kit!
“HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar
The production on Kendric’s DAMN is nothing short of exceptional, and with Mike WiLL Made-It at the helm, “HUMBLE” boasts a hard-hitting sonic landscape that perfectly complements Kendrick’s commanding delivery.
Right out of the gate, the beat grabs you with the hard-hitting kick drum, setting the tone for the entire song. With the use of the minimalistic low-end piano sample, the drums have a chance to shine through.
The snare hits on the second and fourth beats, giving you that classic hip-hop feel, while the crispy hi-hats move between closed and open to make the beat feel more realistic.
What’s unique about the track is that the rhythmic foundation extends beyond the drums.
One of the standout features of the track is the inventive use of vocal samples. The repeated line “sit down, be humble” serves as a powerful, rhythmic motif throughout the song. Even with a few samples in the song, everything feels skillfully integrated into the beat.
It’s also worth paying attention to the even more subtle nuances, such as the strategic use of panning and layering (ex. the clap on the sane), which create a sense of dimension.
“Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane
“Black Beatles” draws the perfect line between trap and pop. Produced by the legendary Mike WiLL Made-It, the track boasts his signature energetic drum patterns and atmospheric instrumentation, it’s the drum programming on “Black Beatles” that I find top-notch.
You get incredibly punchy kick drums that provide a strong backbone to the beat, hitting on the on and off beats to make the groove more interesting.
The snare drums are crisp and well-placed (as you’d expect from Mike WiLL Made-It), adding a syncopated sense of rhythm. The way the snares are placed throughout each bar is pretty common these days. It’s a great way to enhance a song’s overall bounce.
Lastly, you get the rapid hi-hats, which are tightly woven throughout the main drums to add an extra layer of energy and maintain the pace from start to finish.
Top all of that off with the memorable guitar riff and the pulsating bassline, sporadic hand claps, and vocal samples, and you get a head-nodding and groove-inducing foundation for Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane to vibe over.Shop Now