Trap music started out as a subgenre of Hip Hop in the late 1990s. Later on, some characteristic elements of this style made their way into electronic dance and mainstream pop music.
When it comes to trap beats, the first things that are important are the hi hat rolls and super low bass drums.
Most of the sounds used in this genre originate from drum machines such as the Roland TR-808. While clap and hi hat sounds are taken directly from the drum machines, the bass drums are often layered with a low bass synthesizer. This adds more character and a lot of low end.
When you want to recreate those beats on an acoustic drum kit, you are confronted with various problems. The hi hat sounds are super short and very bright. So instead of a hi hat, a small stack might suit your needs even better.
The characteristic clap snare sounds can be created by placing a splash cymbal on your regular snare or checking out other materials in order to build your own “clap machine“, like the one shown in the video.
For the bass drum you need to decide if you want to imitate the short TR-808 bass drum sound or also the layered sub bass. To fulfill both purposes we used a small 18“ kick drum as well as a 24“. The bigger bass drum provides the low end just like the bass synthesizer would.
Now go ahead and experiment with your own sound ideas! Do you have any go to sounds when it comes to trap drumming? Make sure to let us know in the comments!