How To Make A Drum Kit (Ultimate Guide!)


Make Your Own Drum Kit

How to Build a Hip Hop Drum Kit That Sounds Incredible

The music industry has transformed so much in the past few decades, and it has done so with drum kits!


The genre has influenced countless artists in so many ways, and it is no wonder why. 


Hip-hop’s beat-heavy nature has served as the perfect entryway for producers to make a name for themselves.



6 Easy Steps To Create your own Drum Pack

We need some step-by-step instruction!


How to create a drum kit in 6 simple steps:

  1. Establish a vision before making drum kit
  2. Acquire a decent microphone to record the drums
  3. Find a good drummer (optional)

  4. EQ each drum sample to perfection

  5. Compress your samples into a zip file
  6. Get a cover art for your drum kit

Ready to make your own drum kit?


With the right combinations of hardware, cymbals, and kits, you can construct a hip-hop drum kit that sounds amazing. 


In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about how to build a drum kit that sounds incredible.


I'll be discussing the components you need to the essential tips for success.




What to consider when building a drum kit

When building a hip hop drum kit, there are a number of things you need to consider. 


Firstly, you need to keep in mind the skill level of your drummer. 


If they are beginners, don’t expect the best sample of all time.


You also need to remember that different drum components produce different sounds.


As you will see in the following section, there are a number of different components you can use to produce a wide range of sounds for your kit.

Step #1. Establish a vision For The drum

Start by breaking down the type of music you are playing.


If you are playing hip-hop, then you likely have a lot of kick-based sounds. 


As such, it is important to have a kick that's powerful enough to keep up with the high-speed nature of the genre, and has a good sound.



Rock, Pop and Hip Hop don't use the same drums.

Similarly, with a lot of hip-hop drumming being based around snares, you need to have a snare drum that has enough weight to keep up, depending depending on genre.


If you are looking for more of a jazz-sampled drum sound, it is important to get toms that can support the sound you are going for. 


Snares typically have a lot of high-end frequencies, which can sound dull when paired with a tom, so toms will give you a much more interesting sound.



Types of drum sounds you need in your drum kit

Now there is no drum kits without good samples.


Here are the essentials for a proper sounding drum kit:

  • Cymbals

  • Kick Drum

  • Toms

  • Loops (optional)
  • Bass drum
  • 808s
  • Snare
  • Hi-hat

Creating a Drum Kit


You can use other components, but they are less necessary.

Just because your drum has a gong stick…


Doesn't mean you need it.



The essential cymbals for a great kit

The cymbals are the most important components in a drum kit. 


Not only do they give your kit its unique sound, but they are also the first thing people notice when listening to a drum kit.


When choosing the cymbal for your kit, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:

  1. Drum cadence when recording

  2. Distance from instrument when recording 

  3. Recording Sample rate


Sample rate matter for all samples.


On the flip side, cadence and distance only really matters when creating drum loops in the kit.




The perfect kick drum for a killer kit

The kick drum is one of the most important components in a hip-hop drum kit. 


Out ion the drum set, aside for bass drum this is the most essential.


If you do not have a powerful kick, your kit will be incomplete.


Out of all the drums in your own drum set, kick and bass drum are most essential.


The most durable kicks are these hybrid-drum kick drums. 


Hybrid-drum kick drums have a plastic shell and a nylon

drumhead, which is great for when you are playing on any type of surface.


The nylon drumhead is what gives the kick its punchy sound, while the plastic shell is durable and can withstand a lot of abuse.


These sound amazing, and can be easily recorded.


For a good example check out the Kanye West Drum Kits.


The essential toms for a punchy kit

The toms are just as important as the cymbals for a great kit!

Toms make the drum set complete.


When people think about great drum kits, they typically think about the cymbals and kick, but do not put enough thought into the toms.


The toms are what give a kit its punchy sound, so if the toms are not punchy enough, the kit will sound dull.


The best toms for a punchy kit are the crash cymbals. 


You want to record toms with different microphones.


Floor tom requires different sound design than a deeper bass sound.




Step #2. Select A Microphone To Record Drum Samples

Chances are you want your drums to sound good…


It can be tricky making drum kits without a solid microphone. 


Getting a good snare sample is hard enough... Imagine that with a crappy mic!


Investing in a good microphone can make your drumming far more accurate. 


We’re going to look at our top 5 drum mics, and what makes them so special. 



5 best microphones for recording drum kits

Now you need a microphone to record your custom drum kit samples.


5 Best Microphones to record drums:

  1. Beyerdynamic DT-12

  2. Shure SM-57

  3. AKG C 1000

  4. Yamaha Pro Audio AD-H5

  5. Blue Spark Electro-Voice RE20


But first, here are the best practices to recording bass drum samples:

If you’re microphone gain is too quiet, you won’t be able to capture any good sound. 


As you get louder, you may start to lose some of the subtleties of your kit. 


This is why it’s important to record again with different microphones and settings.


Finally, make sure you’re playing cleanly.


If you’re getting a lot of unwanted noise, try insulating the room or recording in a different location.


A noisey sample is a crap sample in my eyes.


A clean drum performance will make for great-sounding drums.


Here are the 5 best microphones to record drums:


Do you make good music?
Submit your song, if I like it then I'll add it to my Spotify playlist.

Which Microphones Are Best For Recording Drums?

Before we get into the different types of drum microphones…


It’s worth understanding what a drum mic is.


A drum mic is a microphone that’s used on drums, typically in the recording studio. These are designed to pick low frequency dynamic sounds a drum makes.


A drum mic can be one of the following:


Type of Mic Benefit
Shotgun Mic Picks up sound from an angle. Great recording mic for acoustic instruments, guitars and vocals.
Dynamic Mic Designed for picking up  large open sounds, such as drums.
Condenser Mic a more advanced mic that picks up a lot more detail than a dynamic mic.


Recording an instrument is more technical than vocal tracks.


Metal bands pay THOUSANDS of dollars in studio time to record their instruments properly.


I'm not saying you'll have to pay this huge price to get your snare right...


But be ready to sign some expensive purchases if you plan to record drum samples that can be heard around the world.


Of course, you can borrow from a friend!


Once you’ve got your drum mic it’s time to put it to use. 


Getting the most out of your drum mic starts with setting it up correctly. 


You can't record instruments the same way you record a vocal track.


Make sure your drum kit is positioned close to you, but slightly off-center. 


This means you’ll capture the sound of the whole kit.


Just note: Cymbal, snare, and bass drum samples must be recorded differently.




#1. Beyerdynamic DT-12

Beyerdynamic have done a lot for the world of recording, and the DT-12 is another example of this. 


Weighing in at just over 1.5 pounds, it’s one of the lightest drum mic on the market. 


This makes it easy to transport, and it’s not too heavy to hold for long periods either.


This mic is very sensitive, with a sound-to-noise ratio of 94dB. 


This means it’s very easy to pick up even the subtlest sounds. 


Drums have a low frequency spectrum, so this is ideal mainly for percussions.


With a frequency response of 18Hz to 18kHz, you’re covering a wide range of frequencies.


This means you can easily capture all of the low end and the high end of your drum kit.


The DT-12 is a condenser mic, so it needs power to run. 


This is supplied via a 12-volt phantom power connector, which is included in the box.


Some of the samples in the Free Metro Boomin Drum Kit were recorded with this mic.



#2. Shure SM-57

The Shure SM-57 is the most sold and reviewed drum mic on this list. 


It’s a legendary mic that’s been in use for more than 50 years.


The SM-57 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic. 


This means it uses a large membrane to capture sound, which gives it a smooth sound quality. 


It has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, and can capture a wide range of frequencies.


As you’d expect from a mic of this quality, it comes with a quality case. 


This keeps all of your gear safe, and it’s also easy to carry around. 


With a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, it has a wide frequency range. 


This means it can capture all the frequencies of your drum kit.


The SM-57 is a dynamic mic, so it needs power to run.


This is supplied via a 9-volt battery, which is included in the box.

#3. AKG C 1000

AKG is another recording legend, and the C-1000 is another great option.


It’s a large-diaphragm condenser mic, which means it uses a large membrane to pick up sound. 


This gives it a very smooth sound, with a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz.


This mic can capture a wide range of frequencies.


It comes with a protective travel case. 


It’s a little heavy, weighing 1.6 pounds. 


This is because it’s made of metal, and it means it’s more durable than other mics.


The C-1000 has a lab report stating it will withstand a 300-foot drop onto concrete!


Recording bass drum and deep bass sound will be a breeze.


This is a good sign that it’s more durable than other mics.


If you want a dynamic mic, it needs power. 


This is supplied via a 9-volt battery, which is included in the box.




#4. Yamaha Pro Audio AD-H5

The Yamaha Pro Audio AD-H5 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic.


It’s very similar to the Shure SM-57, with a few key differences.


It’s a little less expensive than the Shure, but it’s still a huge mic.


It has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, and can capture a wide range of frequencies.


This comes with a quality gig bag. 


It’s a little heavy, weighing 1.9 pounds. 


Modern music artists use this, so it's great for capturing the deepest sound.


This is because it’s made of metal, and it means it’s more durable than other mics. 


Ithas a lab report stating it will withstand a 300-foot drop onto concrete.


The AD-H5 is a dynamic mic, so it needs power. 


This is supplied via a 9-volt battery, which is included in the box.

#5. Blue Spark Electro-Voice RE20

The Blue Spark Electro-Voice RE20 is the most affordable mic on this list.


This large-diaphragm condenser mic has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, and can capture a wide range of frequencies.


It’s a little less expensive than the Shure and Yamaha, but it’s still a quality mic. 


It has a lab report stating it will withstand a 300-foot drop onto concrete.


The RE20 is a dynamic mic, so it needs power.


If you have a drum set you can make your own drum kit with just this microphone.


This is supplied via a 12-volt phantom power connector, which is included in the box.



Step #3. Find a Qualified Drummer

Looking for a session drummer to record your drum kit? 


If so, you’ve come to the right place. 


Drumming is an integral part of almost every type of music.


From rock to country, pop to hip-hop, and everything in between, drummers play a key role in every song.


It’s essential to have a session drummer available for recording your drum sounds. 


That said, finding the right drummer can be difficult.


This is especially the case if you’re just getting started.


Luckily, we’ve got some tips on how to find a session drummer. 




What you need to know before finding a drummer

Drums are an essential part of making music. 


However, they’re also a fickle bunch. 


While most people can learn to play drums well enough to get by, it takes a special person to make a career out of it. 


That’s why it’s important to do your research before finding a drummer.


Finding a drummer isn’t as simple as clicking a few buttons online. 


You have to be careful when choosing someone. 


You want to get the best possible drummer for the job, so they can execute well.


If you don’t, you could end up with someone who isn’t suitable for your needs, causing you a headache and wasted resourcrs. 


After all, not all drummers are created equal.


Best Advice When Hiring a session drummer

Hiring a session drummer is a great way to get started with making drum kits.


Often, session drummers are available for hire. 


They help you record your own sound with their drum set.


You can find them online, at music festivals, and other events. 


3 Ways to Find a Drummer



How to Find a Session drummer online

There are a few different ways to find a session drummer. 


First, you can find available drummers online. They’ll often be listed in social media channels, or on music networking apps like Vampr or Twitter. You can even find them through your local music community.


If you’re looking for someone specific, you can also try posting your job on music forums.


There are dozens of these online. 


You can also post your job on Reddit or other communities that focus on music.




5 Best Websites to find a session drummer

Top find a session drummer - you'll need the best online resources.


Here they are:


5 Best websites to find a session drummer:


Wesbite Reviews
Fiverr Many options, fast turnaround and good prices!
Airgigs Trusted brand, highest quality.
Twine FM Smaller assortment of drummers.
SoundBetter Quick turaround, very reliable 
Stefan Loebus Lots of experience, very skilled.


Use these sites today and get drumming! ☝️



Finding a drummer at a gig

Another option is to look for a session drummer at a local show.


Google “rock events near me” and you’ll see a list of potential drummers.


There are a few things you need to keep in mind when doing this.


First, remember to be respectful of the musician you ask.


You don’t want to use them for free, but you also don’t want to ask for something too big.


Modern music artists are happy to network, which is a bonus,

There are a number of Live Musician Websites (LMWs) that let you find a live performer near you.


These can be a great way to find a drummer. 


However, you have to be careful when choosing someone. It’s easy to get scammed on these sites.


The challenge of finding a good drummer

You have to be careful when choosing a drummer.


Finding a drummer can be challenging. In many ways, it’s a guessing game. 


You never really know what kind of person will be available for hire at any given moment. 


Just make sure to do your research. 


Really, if you can rent your own drum set then half of your issues are gone.


Once you’ve found a few potential candidates, you can also look through local listings to find someone specific.


You just need to do your research and be diligent. 


With a little luck, you’ll find the perfect drummer in no time!



he most important quality To Look For In a drummer

Whether you’re hiring them or not, you need to look for the right qualities in a drummer.


There’s no one right way to do it, but there are some general traits you want to look for. 


These will help you find the right drummer for your drum kits...


First, you need someone who can play well. 


If they can’t, you may as well close up shop.


Next, you want someone has decent people skil.


Even if the person you hire can play well, if they’re a narcissist then it won’t cut it in the long run.


Creating a custom drum kit is not easy, so you'll need somebody on the same wave as you.


Finally, you want someone who is affordable. 


If you’re just starting out, hiring a drummer can get expensive. 


Unless you have your own drum set, you may have to fork over a few dollars.


That’s why you want to make sure you find someone affordable, and once your drum kits to sell at higher volume you can afford a higher-ticket drummer.


Now, let's get recording!




No Drummer? Record samples with household instruments

Sometimes you can even use household items like wooden spoons to make different sounds!


Really, any piece of wood can become an instrument if you record it loud enough.


There's no hard-fast rules for recording an instrument.



With proper sound design, even household items can sound better than large drum sets.


Once you’ve got your drums positioned correctly, you’ll want to make sure your kit is loud. 


Start with a medium-volume setting and work your way up.


Now, let's get you a nice microphone to record your bass drum!


Best tips for recording drum instruments with a microphone

Drum mics are an important part of your drum kit. 


They can help you play accurately and capture the full sound of your kit. 


There are many types and brands of drum mic, but these 5 are the best.


Run drums through an EQ chain.


Not all drum recordings are equal.


You must consider the size of the room that you’re recording in. 


If you’re recording in a small room, you will want to boost frequencies so that they are not lost in the acoustics. 


Depending on the room, you could boost the low-end frequencies to help the kit cut through the speakers. 


This will help it to sound more vibrant and exciting. 


On the other hand, if you’re recording in a large room, you will want to reduce the low frequencies as they can sometimes be too much for the audience to handle.


You can also use EQ to create a specific tone!



Step #4. How to EQ Drum Samples Effectively

Free EQ VST plugins


You don’t want to make your producer go into work-mode to use your drum kits. 


Ideally you want the samples to sound professional from the get-go so you may have to EQ some of the drums yourself.


In today’s fast-paced music industry, recordings need to be crisp, clean and uncluttered. 


If a track lacks these qualities, it will be dismissed by an audience looking for original and inspiring music. 


4 Easy Ways To to EQ your drums

What do you need to know before you EQ drum samples?


The three components of a great drum sound are tension, attack and decay. You can’t change one without affecting the others. 


For example, an over-tightened snare drum will result in a harsh, screechy sound. 


You can, however, change one of the other two components to create a more professional and realistic sound. 


Let me show you!


Here are the 4 Best Methods to EQ your drums properly:

  1. Boost the lower frequencies
  2. Boost the higher frequencies
  3. Apply compression on the sample
  4. Add reverb to the drum


Here are the steps in more detail:




Method #1. Boost the lower frequencies

You need to be careful when recording the low end.


The lowest frequencies in a drum kit are often the most muffled and unpleasant. This is because the drum head is damp and not producing enough surface area to resonate.


To help enhance these frequencies, place a high-pass filter at 60Hz. 


This will help to boost frequencies that are below this level while passing frequencies above this level.

You can also place a low-cut filter at 120Hz. 


This will help to cut frequencies above this level, giving you more control over the lower frequency range.



Method #2. Boost the higher frequencies

While it is important to keep the low frequencies controlled and boosted, you will also want to boost the higher frequencies in your kit. 


This is especially true if you want to cut through louder tracks.

To help boost these frequencies, place a low-shelf EQ filter at 2-3kHz. 


This is important for hi hat mixing, since hi hat sounds tend to peak.


This will help to boost the higher frequencies while still allowing the lower frequencies to pass through. 


You can also boost frequencies in the 5-9kHz range to help add clarity to your sound.


The higher end of the frequency spectrum needs love to, yo make the bass drum feel alive.


It's like packaging tape for the music.




Method #3. Add compression to tighten up the sound

How to Add Compression to Drums


Want to give your kick more punch?


One great way to help your drums cut through the mix is with compression. By applying compression to the kick, snare and hi-hat, you can help your drums punch through the mix. 


Place a compressor at the hi-hat and a limiter at the snare.


This will help to create a tighter sound and punch through the mix.


New drum sets are designed for live listening, so you'll have to start experimenting with the samples.


I'll be honest... The average snare and bass drum sounds like crap.


They sound like tin, and the only way to fix that is by compressing your own sound that's been cleanly recorded.





#4. Add reverb to develop a more realistic sound

How to Add Reverb to Drums


One of the best ways to create a more realistic sound is to add reverb. 


While it is ideal to record in a room and use room simulation software, you can also create the same sound in your DAW. Apply the reverb in small increments to not overshoot.


A drum sample on its own can become THAT much better!


Find samples that don't work, and fix it up.


(Especially your snare instruments!)


Bonus: Check out our huge 100 best Free Drum Kit downloads list - it's proven to be very valuable!


Be careful when using reverb

Think of reverb as packing tape for your own drum kit.


It's not the MAIN thing, but puts the deepest sounds together nicely.


Place the virtual room in a large space, such as a church or concert hall. 


You can then add a large amount of reverb to help you to sound more polished and professional. 


This will help to develop a more realistic sound, especially when playing your drums in an empty space.



Step #5. Compress your samples Into A Zip File

Now here is my absolute favorite part. 


To create a “kit” you need to put these samples into folders.


I’ve got the tools to help with that!


3 Best tools to compress audio files into zip files

  • Winrar (windows)

  • Compressor (Mac)

  • 7 Zip

  • WinZip (Pc)


Free Tools To Compress Drum Kit


Use any of these, they’re all free to use and 100% safe for your computer.


I recommend your put the bass drum and other drums in different sub-folders.


This makes it easy for the producer to find the elements they need to make trap beats.


Ideally, make a different folder for your loops too.


Making beats is a complex process, the more you can streamline the workflow then the more your clients will buy from you.


Once packaged, you just need a cover artwork for your drum kit.




Step #6. Create a cover art for your drum kit

Aesthetic Rap Covers

This is the easiest part of making a drum kit.


Your artwork is the packing tape of your project.


If you have never made a cover art, you can pay somebody on Fiverr to do it for you!


It’s very quick and easy.


How to make drum kit cover arts

If your drum kit is about a specific person (Drake type beat) you can create it yourself.


Best method to make drum kit cover arts:

  1. Download an image of person/aesthetic

  2. Upload image to Canva 

  3. Add text to image to label the drum kit

  4. Download the image from Canva

  5. Paste the image on top of a box template


Watch this video below where I show you how it's done! 👇



The cover should convey the kind of drum sounds in your drum sets.


Having the right cover can leads to more sales!


This video below shows you how it’s done.

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