How to make a trap beat

Trap has become the forefront of modern hip hop. Travis Scott, Lil Skies and Lil Pump are prime examples of trap as a mainstream genre in the modern day. Follow these five easy steps to cook up a trap beat of your own.

1

Select your tempo

Sit at around 130BPM - 150BPM. If in doubt, go on the faster side. You can activate the click via the button with the metronome icon at the top of the interface, to the left of the Serato Studio logo.

Select your tempo
2

Layer in chords and melodies

Choose a chord progression that sounds dark and menacing - an easy way to achieve this is using a minor key. Use a pad synth, such as the “Anime Pad” in Serato Studio to give it some texture, then add a plucky topline melody over the top to give it some energy - one of the “Xylophone” samples will be perfect.

Layer in chords and melodies
3

Add drums and 808s

Big kicks, snappy snares and claps, and crazy hi hats. This is the part that you can get really creative with. Click the ‘Make Beats’ drop down menu above the sequencer if you’re stuck, and you can customize them from there. Once you’ve finished your drums, add an 808 in line with the kicks to give the beat some low-end bass.

Add drums and 808s
4

Add samples and FX

FX are widely used in trap music - add a vocal sample, glass breaking, doors slamming - let your mind run wild. You can also use a compressor to manipulate your drums to sound unique from each other and stand out - compressing your snare drums is a great place to start.

Add samples and FX
5

The mix down

Make sure everything is sitting at a good volume and no single element is too overpowering. You want it to come across as one package, not multiple layers competing for attention - how that looks is up to you, it’s your beat!

The mix down
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