Today I want to share how to buy drum kits for FL Studio.
If you’re new, be very careful when searching for the best drum samples to make beats because you’ll be marketed to very hard. There’s no standards for selling drum kits, if you don’t know what to look for, you can be buying JUNK!
This video breaks down advanced drum kit topics like formats (audio containers), sample rates, bit-depth, and a walkthrough of one of my favorite drum kits, Xclusive-Audio’s DRUM BUNDLE TRIO.
The only true way to make beats is using one-shot drum samples, not construction kits, or pre-made drum loops. (Unless of course, you’re “sampling”, which is an art, and requires lots of skill, in addition to original compositions).
Let me break down what producers should look for when they’re ready to buy their first drum sample pack.
Before Buying a Sample Pack:
As a music producer, you should have a custom music folder set up.
You must APPROVE anything going into your custom music folder, otherwise you’ll end up with missing files, and be come very unorganized.
If you’re new, please read close, as this is what happens (in this order):
- You find out you need drum samples
- You learn drum samples can be free or paid
- You download tons of free drum packs
- Your beatmaking starts to improve..
- You realize the difference between a good vs bad sound pack..
- You delete your bad sound packs..
- YOUR OLD PROJECTS HAVE MISSING FILES..
I will guide you step-by-step how to buy high-quality drum samples to make beats in FL Studio, stay organized, and ultimately, keep your beatmaking fun and professional for the long-term.
What are One-Shot Drum Samples?
One-shot drum samples are what music producers use to make custom drum loops from scratch in a Step Sequencer.
They are individually recorded audio files which could be kick drums, snares, claps, hi-hats, bongos, shakers, tambourines, you name it!
Premium sound kit vendors are extremely good at what they do when it comes to making sound kits and designing industry-leading kick drums, and claps that have such emotion.
It was hard finding good sound kit vendors in my early years. This is why I confidently recommend the sounds I do. Once you find good sounds, you instantly realize how much EASIER beatmaking becomes..
What to Look for in High-Quality Drum Samples?
In my SAFE SPOTS Drum Loop Training (free article), I teach there’s two things producers must have when it comes to their sounds:
A good drum kit contains both VARIETY and QUALITY, like I discussed in the video, but you’ll find that’s not always easy to find.
Let’s break down VARIETY and QUALITY to help you find the best drum kits for FL Studio:
QUALITY in Drum Samples
It’s pretty obvious you want to have quality sounds, but what makes a quality drum sample?
Did you know audio quality standards haven’t changed in over 40 years? In other words, if someone comes out with a new drum kit telling you, “It’s better because it’s new”, it’s not true because CD quality has been the standard for over 40 years now!!! The “style” of sounds can change because “music genres” can change.. but not the quality 🙂
Now the word quality for drum samples is a bit obscure.. but when you have quality drum samples, here’s what happens:
- They hit amazingly hard
- They make beatmaking WAY easier
- They make mixing much faster
- You can produce results more consistently
Sometimes a drum kit can have quality sounds as a “standard”, but the sound designer wasn’t the best, and the sounds are really hard to use to make powerful beats.
But in general, here’s what I look for when it comes to QUALITY in your drum kits:
- .WAV 16-Bit 44.1kHz (at least)
- No unwanted background noise, hiss, or distortion
- Not too many effects pre-applied
- Hit hard, and suit your style
You’d be surprised, but it’s really hard to find a good drum kit that checks these boxes.. and once you find them, you’ll instantly know the difference of a good drum kit to a poor quality drum kit!
Okay, that covers QUALITY.. let’s move onto VARIETY when it comes to our drum kits.
VARIETY in Drum Samples
While QUALITY is very important, a good producer knows VARIETY is even more important, because we can always use our effects like EQ, Compression, and Reverb to enhance a poor-quality sound.
When we talk about VARIETY, I’m talking about:
- the amount of sounds a drum kit has, and
- the versatility of that drum kit
When buying drum samples, there’s no standard for pricing and the amount of sounds you get, or even how it should be organized..
VARIETY is what differentiates the REALLY GOOD sound designers from the average.
An Example of Variety
Let’s further discuss VARIETY..
When we talk about a Kick Drum.. there’s not just one-style of drum.
You can have SHORT-TAILED KICKS.. as well as LONG-TAILED KICKS..
What about 808’s.. what about BOOM kicks?
And.. this all changes depending on music genre!
Within dance music, you have TONS of different kick drum styles:
It can get complicated, right?
So, when you’re buying a drum kit, you have to know:
- What style of music are you making?
- Does that drum kit provide you versatility in the genre?
And that’s why it gets tricky, because it’s time consuming, and it’s really hard to find good sound designers for your particular genre.
So in short, VARIETY allows you to have all the different styles of one-shot drum samples for that music genre.
Usually a single drum kit won’t give this to you.. it gets you started, but the combination of your drum kit findings will make your custom music folder a producer tool box you’re desiring to create.
Where to Find the Best Drum Kits for Beatmaking?
Okay, if you’d like to stop here, I’ll give you some quick links..
That was a lot of knowledge to take in, but below you’ll find more advanced information about drum kits, which doesn’t really matter in the real world, but it’s nice to know.
Here’s those links:
Just a heads up, that SAFE SPOTS Drum Loop Training Book has a bundle, where you can get the course, book, and Drum Bundle TRIO sounds.. learn about the SAFE SPOTS Bundle >>
So in short, a good drum kit should be laid out like this:
- Short-Tailed Drums
- Long-Tailed Drums
If a company organizes like this, it makes it REALLY EASY to know where your sounds are.
Sometimes they just do basic like Drums, Claps, Snares, Hi-Hats, which is fine, but when dealing with sounds like Closed Hi-Hats and Open Hi-Hats, they are very different sounds, and I like them in their own folders.
Third-Party Drum Kit vs. Stock Sounds in FL Studio?
My answer here may not be what you think.
It’s not that stock sounds are bad.. it’s just that third-party sounds typically sound better.
Third-party kick drums often hit harder, the claps/snares cut through the mix nicer, and often make mixing/mastering easier.
So I’d say yes, third-party sounds are better.. if you’ve purchased high-quality drum kits..
But.. as we discussed, just because you have a third-party drum kit, doesn’t mean it’s high-quality.. this information is only for a high-quality drum kit of what I’ve taught you!
What File Formats Should You Buy Sounds In.. .WAV, .MP3, .FLAC?
.WAV file format has been the standard in music production for years.
When you buy sounds, you want individual one-shot drum samples in .WAV format.
The .WAV files can be either 16-bit or 24-bit bit-depth. (There is a difference, but your listener’s music will probably be .MP3, which is a “lossy audio codecs”.. so the end result will be close to the same anyway).
Lossless means very high-quality, lossy means information is removed to make the file-format smaller. (A .WAV song could be 50MB, whereas a .MP3 128kbps song could be 2MB.. 25x the size!)
The difference of 16-Bit to 24-Bit is what we call the noise floor of the recording signal.
24-bit gives a lower noise floor, which means there will be less noise in the audio recording.
16-bit’s noise floor is more noticeable, however, the difference is negligible once all your instruments play together as the listener only hears the music.. (think about it.. with all the music you’ve heard to over the years.. did you ever hear the “noise floor”? 🙂)
What Sample Rate for Drum Samples?
More technical than what I want to get in this article, but the sample rate we listen to music in is often 44.1kHz (44,100Hz).
There’s lots of discussion and pseudo-science here because humans can only hear up to 20,000Hz..
However, when dealing with certain advanced topics like filters and distortion, “oversampling” can be used in our plugins to reduce unwanted artifacts..
If you record in a higher sample rate, you can record higher frequencies, but again, can we really hear it? Some people say they can, and there’s a “huge difference”..
You can look into the audio theory called the Nyquest Theorm for more information about sample rates, which gets VERY complex.
There’s a huge difference between “audio science nerds” and “beatmakers”.
Beatmakers want to get results, audio science nerds love to know the what, why, how, and anything else about that topic.
As a beatmaker, we just want to make sure we’re getting the highest quality sound, not breaking any BAD rules, and keep progressing, right?
To recap.. I like to purchase one-shot drum samples in .WAV format, either 16-bit or 24-bit bit-depth, and 44.1kHz.
Construction Kits, MIDI Packs, and Pre-Made Drums Loops IS NOT BEATMAKING!
I tell students all the time, the true reward of beatmaking is making your own music from scratch with one-shot drum samples and creating your own melodies..GratuiTous
In recent years, there’s three things that have become very popular for new producers (which are not good for the music production industry as whole, in my opinion):
- Pre-Made Drum Loops
- MIDI Packs
- Construction Kits
I’ll cover each in a moment.. but get ready for a strong opinion here.
In this life we admire those who have worked hard, and have a natural gift at something.. like making music, drawing, painting, or creating cool inventions.
Then.. there are tools that “make it look like you can do something”, but you really can’t..
For example.. training wheels on a bike make a little child look like they can ride a bike, but take the training wheels off, and they aren’t able to ride without them!
Or.. steroids at the gym.. they allow you to lift heavier weights, make you look bigger, or make you run faster, but are banned in the real world when it comes to competitions.
Pre-Made Loops and MIDI Packs are like training wheels or steroids..
People want to make music, but never truly learn to make their own music..
I think you are cheating yourself as a music producer from experiencing the true rewarding feeling of making your own music by using pre-made loops and MIDI Packs.. learning to make beats from scratch is hard, but once you learn it, you will be so proud you took off the training wheels.GratuiTous
Here’s how those things work, in case you’re new, and you want to make sure you buy good drum samples.
Are MIDI Packs Making Beats?
MIDI Packs are more popular for melodies, but I’ll address it here.
A MIDI Pack is a file you drag into the Piano Roll which instantly gives you chords and notes of a melody.
Remember, in this industry there is COPYRIGHT.
Just because the seller of the MIDI Pack says it’s “royalty-free”, doesn’t mean you won’t be red-flagged from streaming services like Spotify when another person uses the loop, too..
Pre-Made Drum Loops Take No Skill!
Too often you see FL Studio tutorials where they are using pre-made drum loops.
In other words, someone literally drags in an audio file, which contains the whole drum loop.
Then.. they may “stretch” this drum loop to fit their tempo..
First, this requires no beatmaking skills WHATSOEVER..
Second, any time you “stretch” audio, you reduce its quality..
Third, how can someone think this is making beats?
Construction kits have continued in popularity over the years.
A Construction Kit is typically a product you purchase that was someone else’s song.. they have given you the loops, and maybe a couple one-shot drum samples, to use in your own songs..
If you can guess, this teaches you very little about being a music producer, and you may be using a loop that someone else is using in their music, too!
The first few years of music production are hard because you have to learn all these different aspects, but it’s worth it in the end.. you will be able to take the training wheels off, and soar as a producer!
It’s your money, do what you want with it. If you want to truly learn to make beats, then you can join the platform.GratuiTous
The Best Websites to Buy Drum Kits for Beats:
I’ve purchased good and bad sound kits.. It’s the worst when you buy something and it doesn’t meet up to your expectations.
Over my years, I’ve found my favorite sound kit vendors, as well as reached out to a few to bring you guys special discounts only through my drum kit shop.
The drum kits in my shop are must-haves, and are exactly what I have described makes a good drum kit.
How Do Producers Make Good Drum Loops?
Because of these high-quality sounds, the sounds enable producers to make their music fast, and with very high-quality.
They first decide on a TEMPO, then drag one-shot drum samples to build their drum loops in a Step Sequencer.
There’s a lot that goes into a drum loop, and if you’d like to learn, you should read my SAFE SPOTS book and video course! It will teach you how to make a good drum loop in FL Studio!
SAFE SPOTS will teach you how to make awesome drum loops, break down the terminology, learn about the different sounds of a drum loop and where to use them, and provides EXAMPLE DRUM LOOPS to study with! (If you have the Xclusive-Audio Drum Bundle TRIO sounds, you will learn much better in the book.)
Don’t forget about my SAFE SPOTS Bundle here >>
Conclusion: Buying the Best Drum Samples for FL Studio
I hope that helps you to buy high quality drum samples.
There’s nothing worse than using low-quality sounds.
Remember, before bringing sounds into your custom music folder, make sure you’ve tested and approved them. It will allow you to be very organized for the long-term as a producer, with NO MISSING FILES!
Want the best drum loop experience? Try these links:
If you have any questions, please use my contact form!