How to make a trap beat
Make your own trap beat online with Soundation — the easy-to-use trap beat maker. Use ready-to-go instrument presets, samples, and loops produced for trap music.
What is a trap beat?
Developed roughly 20 years ago in the Southern United States as a hip hop subgenre, trap music is known for its dark, aggressive beats. Exploding in popularity in the last half-decade, trap is commonly infused into genres like EDM, pop, and R&B.
The beats are kept simple without a lot of instruments, intricate melodies, or crazy arrangements. Analyze and learn from your favorite beats, but also experiment to find your own voice and separate yourself from the crowd.
Trap is heavily characterized by its use of sounds from the Roland TR-808 drum machine, especially the kick, snare, clap, and hi-hat. Over the years, these sounds have evolved to sound more modern and aggressive.
You can find these, or any other sounds, in the Soundation Sound library. If you’re new to music production, you could start with audio loops. Go to the Fiery trap beats sample pack in the library and search for ”beat” to find drum loops.
- Fiery trap beats
If you want to create your own drum patterns, you can go to Virtual instruments and search for ”trap” to find the trap drum kit, or search ”808” to find more pure TR-808 kits.
Trap drum pattern
The tempos of trap beats are usually at around 70 BPM but feel free to experiment. There is a super common trap beat pattern that is a good starting point that you can adjust to taste.
When dividing a bar into fours, the kick will fall on beat 1, in-between 2-3, and in-between 3-4.
The snare will fall on beats 2 and 4 and then you can throw in some extra ghost notes with lower intensity.
The hi-hats play 16th notes and you can insert faster notes wherever you want to get the iconic rattling sound.
- Trap drum beat
The bass drum of the TR-808, when adjusted and processed, will become more of a tonal bass instrument. The sound typically known as an ”808” is perhaps the most popular type of electronic bass sound in modern music and an essential element in trap music. Find this sound in Soundation by searching ”808” in either the Fiery trap beats sample pack for audio loops, or in Virtual instruments if you want to come up with your own bassline.
It’s very common for the kick and bass to play the exact same rhythm. This way, they become a package where the kick provides the impact and the bass provides the body.
- Trap 808 bass
Trap chords and melody
Piano, synths, keys, pads, strings, brass, bells are all prevalent instruments for trap chords and melodies. Experiment with the sounds to find your unique palette.
Stick to minor keys for a dark and moody sound. Keep it simple with 1-2 minor or diminished chords. Turn the chords into arpeggios for more of a rhythmic and melodic flair.
Find pre-made trap chord MIDI clips under MIDI chord progressions in the library, just search ”trap chords”.
- Trap chords and melody
Sampling is also a common way to get your melodic ideas in trap. This is when you take an audio snippet from somewhere and incorporate it into your beat. For this workflow, you can import audio files or use more audio loops in the Fiery trap beats sample pack.
Effects for trap beats
Spice up your sound design by adding some audio effects. Distortion is great for adding aggression and making something poke out of the mix more. A classic production technique is to add distortion to the bass which will make it more audible on small speakers.
The Filter effect with the lowpass setting will contrastingly mellow out a sound and make it darker. This will also make the sound blend into the background more. This is something that is used a lot in Drake’s beats to give them that chill underwater feel.
For more atmosphere and depth, you can add Reverb and Delay. Adding these echo effects to pads and keys will make them sound more ambient and flowing.