Recently, I posted about some of my favorite sample resources. Of course, in making a great hip hop track, drums are just as important as samples, if not more. Searching for the perfect drum kit or just some new sounds to switch up your style? Then fasten your seat belts and prepare for a wild ride through the world of drum kits and samples!
General Drum Sample Sites/Resources
I’ll start with a few sites that I have consistently found great drum kits on, all of them being great resources with a pretty wide variety of sounds.
Thesample.net has a great variety of free kits, varying from dubstep to hip hop sounds. This is one of the best organized sites for drum kits I’ve found, and there are free downloads available of everything.
If you don’t use reddit, don’t underestimate the power of crowdsourcing your search for drum sounds. The drum kits subreddit has been where I’ve found some of my favorite kits, and even some of the sites in this list. The ability to sort links by popularity is great, and comments let you know if a kit is worth the download or not.
I’ve found some great kits on this site, and I like the wide variety of resources it pulls samples from. The site is easy to navigate and frequently updated, making it a great option for those looking for some experimental sounds.
Looking for a quick link to a huge number of samples? Then this is probably one of your best bets. I have probably explored around 10% of what this collection offers and have found some great sounds, and the sheer volume of samples available makes this a great collection just to browse through. Be aware, however, that more doesn’t always equate to better, and that this huge a volume of samples can be a little overwhelming.
Just like the 40gb kit, there are almost too many samples in this collection. However, a collection this size guarantees that you can find some sounds that have rarely been used, and is the virtual equivalent of finding a basement full of records to look through.
Specific Producer Drum Kits
Looking for a sound reminiscent of one producer specifically? I’ve collected some of the producer kits I’ve found to be most reliable here.
As one of the hottest producers around right now, Boi-1da has some great sounds at his disposal. Looking to emulate the dark and deep drums of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late ? Then this is the resource for you.
Although he may feel his drums “are his Achilles heel” (an interesting interview in the link as well), there’s no denying that Kanye’s sound is one of the most imitated out there.
Maybach Music Group has some of the most lush production out there in popular hip hop, and this kit makes many of those sounds available to the DIY producer for free.
As one of the most legendary producers of all time, you probably want to take a look at the gritty drums of RZA. Making some classic boom-bap rap? Then this is the kit for you!
Flying Lotus might be my favorite producer out there, and if you’re into alternative hip hop or instrumental hip hop, his sound is one of the best out there. This kit has an abundance of claps, snare, and weird sounds to use in your productions.
In the past few years, Metroboomin has become one of the most sought after producers out there, and for good reason. His drums are tight and very trap influenced, so if you’re looking to emulate the current Atlanta sound, this kit is a great option.
The OVO sound is one of the most popular out there currently, and has a great spacey, dark sound to it. This kit could help you become the next Drake!
Mike Will has been creating new trends and defining the sound of hip hop and pop production for years now, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a link to one of his drum kits.
Songs to Chop
Another approach to drum sampling worth mentioning is finding a song with some great drum parts, and chopping it up to make your own drum samples. While this is a little more time consuming, it will help you hone your craft as a producer, and find sounds that may never have been used before.
I thought I’d mention a few albums that I’ve had good luck with, but this method can be applied to almost any song where you hear some drums you like.
A great album I’ve found is Flyd The Locsmif’s “Free Drumz Skit” . At just $1, it’s probably one of the best deals (outside of free) that you’ll find for such a volume and great selection of drum sounds.
Another method is to find a drummer you like, and sample their songs. One I’d suggest starting with is Bernard Purdie since he’s a legend. I like this method because you can get some of the same sounds and grooves as professional drummers, and it teaches you how to better manipulate samples and sounds.
A few VSTs
VSTs are also a great option, since they integrate a whole instrument into your DAW of choice. There are thousands of options out there, but a few great sites are http://illformed.org/ and http://www.dskmusic.com/category/vsti-all . Both sites have plenty of free options available, with some fantastic sounds. For more free kits and VSTs, I’d reccommend doing some searching on Reddit drumkits and looking around the sites that I’ve linked to.
Getting some great drum samples can really bring your production to the next level, and inspire the creativity to pursue new, innovative sounds. With these resources, you should be well on your way to producing your own tracks with killer drums.