Before you get into making a trap beat the first thing that you must know is the main elements of trap beats that give them that hardcore, gangsta feel. You can start from a simple foundation of a few key elements before you start making these types of beats. Here are some elements that are very crucial in making trap beats and ultimately trying to get artists to buy trap beats.
THE 808’s – First and foremost the key ingredient that popular trap beats are known for is 808 sounds. 808 Kicks, Hi Hats, Toms, and Snares. These 808 sounds are the main sounds that give these beats that distinctive trap beat feel. Typically the 808 kicks are made to provide a good low frequency punch to emphasize the sub bass tails that almost every trap beat has. In the industry today, 808 toms are the most popular to use for drum fills. These toms are usually used just prior to the ending of the 4th bar to emphasize the transition or prior to the ending of the 8th bar. It really depends on the feel and the character of the beat and is really up to you. The tom fills are mainly used to give the beat a nice, fluent transition into a different part of the beat. Hot selling trap beats almost all the time have a 808 snare drum sound. This is a very crucial element of trap beats. Majority of the time, once it is laid on the track, it is then boosted by a basic “EQ”(Equalizer) that boosts the bandwidth, frequency on an average of about 200 hz and adjust the high-frequency pass somewhere between the 50 hz -120 hz range, depending mainly on the bass and the direction you are trying to go with it. When in doubt listen on different systems, positions, and volumes(Ex. Monitors, Headphones, Corner Of Your Room, Near and Far From Speakers, High,Mid, and Low Volumes). Your ears are and should be your most valued tool. Usually you can find these 808 sounds on the company website of the Digital Audio Workstation that you use Exclusive beats for sale.
DRIP EFFECTS – Another popular sound that is used a lot in trap beats are drip-like drop effects. Usually sounding very similar to a continuous water drop that starts at a high pitch and as the progression goes on it descends to a low pitch. These sounds, in most cases, are sampled sounds or a self-programmed synthesized effect that emulates a drop effect(very difficult to do if you are not already familiar with oscillators, wave sounds, filters, etc). This effect is most commonly used in intros, transition points, prior to a breakdown, etc.
CHANTS – These are a very commonly used, mainly in that “Crunk” type of music. But in the industry today, producers are using chants more in trap and dirty south type beats. Most of the time chants are samples and usually go something like “Hey… Hey… Hey… Hey”. These consistent chants sound best when they are hitting on the 2nd and 4th beat of a 4 bar measure. Usually on the hook, to add extra feel to it so the hook has a more powerful impact and impression on the listener. Again, depending on the flow and direction of the beat, placements of these chants may vary.
LEADS, SYNTHS, BASSES, ETC – These elements are key to getting a hard hitting trap beat. This part gives the beat its character and personality and is mainly part that makes the beat memorable. Its popular to have a synth lead pattern consisting of a simple 4 bar melody that switches between high or low octaves after every 4 bars. It is ideal to use this technique for the hook. But in some cases producers do use it on verses, depending on the complexity and progression of the melody. It is very popular to leave out the lead melody on the verses and leave the raw drum and bass lines while still utilizing the other elements. This technique mainly is used to bring out the vocals and give the vocalist most presence on the beat. By far, this part is the funnest part of making these trap beats because these synths and basses just give the beat that extra flame.
Ultimately at the end of the day, if you want to add other elements, by all means do it. The most important thing here is to experiment to open up the opportunity to grasp your own unique sound. But this is a different story if you have your trap beats for sale online. Artists, now days, tend to like beats that sound similar to the songs they hear on the radio. Anyways, this is a whole different subject on its own and is for a totally different article. This information shared here is strictly to help people get an idea of the elements of a trap beat and what types of sounds to use to effectively make one. Keep in mind that there is no law here that says you have to follow these steps or instructions. By all means, feel free to do your own thing.
On the flip side, the most important thing you must learn to do is to trust what you hear. Your ears don’t lie. Sometimes beats will start off one way and end up going in totally different direction. In some cases this is a good sign that your level of creativity is increasing.
Now the last thing I want to leave you with. A cool technique you may use to help keep your trap beats up to par, as far as fluidity and consistency. Its called the “TRIPLE F’s”. Which stands for “Flow”, “Finesse”, and “Fix”.
FLOW – First really listen and get the feel for the direction and flow of the beat. Then ask the questions “how is the flow of the instruments or instrumentation? melodies? chord progression?”
FINESSE – Then playback melodies, leads, drum beats, bass lines, and see if the finesse of these elements are exposed to its fullest potential. This step usually will point out notes, chords, instruments, effects that will need to be re-touched and adjusted.
FIX – Last step and final step here is to go back and fix the things that need to be fixed in order for the beat to have consistent flow and character.