The code of the beat.

One Key to Customizing Drum Sounds


When it Comes to Drum Customization, Continuity Remains Is Paramount


For Part the “Customizing Drum Sounds” series, I thought it would be a great idea to share my response to my friend and fellow beatmaker (and one of the most respected members of The BeatTips Community), dKelloway.

Here’s dKelloway (AKA “DK”) comments and questions:

“ok so i dig in the crates, sample 2 different kicks from 2 vinyl records (in mono), ran it though a dj mixer, then brought it to my pc via zip disk. Then, I added compression, eq, and reverb and I ended up with the custom kick sound heard in the attachment. I am using FL Studio to edit my drum sounds when i’m not using the MPC. I tried soloing the drum hit and recording it into edison and they don’t sound like they do during my beat. Say I want to use this kick again and mess with the pitch and whatnot for another beat how can I use it without having to go through the whole process of layering eq’ing and compression again with the 2 drum sounds?”

My Response

dk, question… If you now have an MPC, why are you not using it as your fundamental “drums provider?” Most of my drum sounds come from my Akai S950; the rest come from my MPC 4000. But the point is: the sounds come from the same “family.” When you customize your sounds to work with your MPC, there’s NO WAY they’ll ever sound the “same” in a software environment…and that’s aside from the compression/sound quality loss issues.

Another thing. You know I stress customization; however, customize your drum sounds within a reasonable manner. That is to say, don’t get too complicated! Drums are fundamental, so the idea is to develop some continuity with your drum sounds, as it will develop continuity to your overall sound. For instance, I’ve used drum sounds from my Roland Fantom S and from Reason (software). BUT… I sample the sounds into my Akai S950 and/or my Akai MPC 4000!

The BeatTips Manual by Sa’id.
“The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education.”

The BeatTips Manual by Sa’id.
“The most trusted source for information on beatmaking and hip hop/rap music education.”

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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual