Hey! It’s k-pizza with PML again, and in this tutorial I’ll show you the most basic elements every trap beat must have.
1. 808 Bass
It’s very common to call long bass notes 808s in trap. That’s basically what they are - either in synthesised or audio form. Most of the time, they play the root notes of your chord progression. Make sure to throw some distortion after it if you want to fatten it up even more. The 808 most likely will be sidechained to the kick - to give the kick more space.
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This element is required to make the 808 start with a bang. Usually it will be very short and distorted. Place it exactly at the beginning of every bass note and sidechain it to the bass for a guaranteed „wow“ effect.
3. Snare + Snare Rolls
The snare usually hits at the middle (3/4) of every bar. I like to layer different snare types to get a unique sound. You can use claps and other sounds to get creative with it! The most popular snare is probably the Young Chop snare.
Snare rolls are a couple of fast snare hits just before the end of the bar. I like to use Arpeggiator in Ableton and set it to 1/16 for an easy way of making those.
4. Hihat Rolls
Most trap beats have a hihat hit every 1/8 of the bar with occasional faster parts. For hihats, I also like to use Arpeggiator - so that I don’t have to insert the notes on my own. After setting its rate to 1/8 I like to automate the rate knob to get faster variations.
Trap is known for the famous „Hey“ chants every 1/4 of each bar. Get creative with this and find your own crazy chants to put into your tracks. A good example is Desiigner’s „Panda“ - the „rrah“ chants are now his trademark!
I hope this article helps you to get started in making this genre! Make sure to see my tutorial on making one of my own trap beats from scratch if you want to see the process in depth.
Happy trap beat making!
Check out this article for the top 10 most popular VST synths!
I’m a music maker who likes to share his experiences with other producers. I regularly show up with tutorials, articles & project files at PML.
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