How to layer hip hop drums
Drums are arguably the most important element to consider when creating a hip hop track. While the groove is essential, the sound of your drums can separate you strongly from the sea of producers.
To achieve your very own sound, you won’t get far without layering. Layering is the technique of stacking sounds to create a new sound.
To get things started, play out some drums using samples you like.
Depending on what you aim for, try to find cool top sounds for your kick, snare & HiHat. I like to have a raw, vintage feel to my drums so I layered it with an old school drum break.
I seperated the drums with a sampler and let the sounds of the break play the same pattern as the one I programmed earlier.
The way you mix your layers is all up to you. Usually EQing and compression work best to hit the mark.
In my case I used heavy saturation to flatten the dynamics and crisp the drums.
Try playing around with using unusual sounds or self-recorded foley sounds. The more you refine your own sounds and style, the less chance anyone will be able to copy it – so don’t be afraid to branch out and get unique.