How to Make Awesome Trap Drum Loops in 5 Easy Steps
Trap music is a genre of hip hop that originated in the Southern United States in the early 1990s. It is characterized by aggressive lyrics, heavy bass, and fast-paced drum patterns. Trap drum loops are one of the most important elements of trap music, as they create the rhythm and energy of the track.
If you want to make your own trap drum loops, you don’t need expensive equipment or software. You can use any digital audio workstation (DAW) that supports MIDI and audio editing, such as FL Studio, Ableton Live, or Logic Pro. In this article, we will show you how to make awesome trap drum loops in 5 easy steps.
Step 1: Choose a Tempo and Time Signature
The first step is to choose a tempo and time signature for your trap drum loop. The tempo is the speed of the music, measured in beats per minute (BPM). The time signature is the number of beats in a measure, usually written as a fraction. For example, 4/4 means four beats per measure, and each beat is a quarter note.
Trap music typically has a fast tempo, ranging from 120 to 180 BPM. However, you can experiment with different tempos to suit your style and mood. The most common time signature for trap music is 4/4, but you can also use other time signatures, such as 3/4 or 6/8.
To set the tempo and time signature in your DAW, look for the metronome or transport controls. You can usually adjust the tempo by dragging a slider or typing a number. You can also change the time signature by selecting it from a menu or clicking on a button.
Step 2: Create a Basic Drum Pattern
The next step is to create a basic drum pattern for your trap drum loop. A drum pattern is a sequence of drum sounds that repeats throughout the track. You can use any drum sounds you like, but the most common ones for trap music are kick, snare, hi-hat, and cymbal.
To create a basic drum pattern in your DAW, you need to use a MIDI editor or a drum machine plugin. A MIDI editor is a tool that allows you to draw notes on a grid that represents the pitch and timing of the sounds. A drum machine plugin is a software instrument that emulates a hardware drum machine, such as the Roland TR-808 or TR-909.
Whichever tool you use, you need to assign each drum sound to a different MIDI note or pad. Then, you can start drawing or triggering the notes according to the rhythm you want. A simple way to create a basic drum pattern is to follow this formula:
- Kick on the first beat of every measure
- Snare on the third beat of every measure
- Hi-hat on every eighth note
- Cymbal on every fourth beat of every measure
This formula will give you a basic 4/4 trap drum pattern that sounds like this:
Kick | Snare | Hi-hat | Cymbal X | | X | | X | X | X | | X | X | X | X |
Step 3: Add Variation and Swing
The third step is to add variation and swing to your trap drum loop. Variation means changing some of the notes or sounds in your drum pattern to make it more interesting and dynamic. Swing means shifting some of the notes slightly off the grid to make it more groovy and human.
To add variation to your trap drum loop, you can try these techniques:
- Change the velocity or volume of some of the notes to create accents and contrasts
- Add extra kicks or snares in between the main beats to create fills and rolls
- Use different hi-hat sounds or patterns to create open and closed hi-hats
- Add other percussion sounds, such as claps, snaps, shakers, or tambourines
- Use effects, such as reverb, delay, distortion, or filter, to modify some of the sounds