I want to talk to you today about very common questions I receive when it comes to buying sounds..
What to look for in drum kits, what file formats (audio containers) to get, as well as an in-depth walkthrough of one of my favorite drum kits, Xclusive-Audio’s DRUM BUNDLE TRIO.
This is a 30 minute video filled with incredibly valuable information that will give you the education to properly select the right sounds for you when it comes to your drum kits.
I also talk about why I like one-shot drum samples, rather than construction kits.
Let me break down what producers should be looking for in their drum kits when they are ready to buy some sounds.
What are One-Shot Drum Samples?
One-shot drum samples are what music producers use to make their drum loops.
They are individually recorded audio files that we as producers drag into a Step Sequencer, and make a full drum loop out of them!
These individual files 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. Everything from designing industry-leading kick drums, to claps that have such emotion.
In my experience, it was hard to find good sound kit vendors vs. bad sound kit vendors in my early years. This is why I can confidently recommend the sounds I do.
Remember, the goal behind a good drum kit is VARIETY and QUALITY, like I discuss in the video!:
Are Third-Party Sounds Better than Default 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.
The kick drums often hit harder, the claps/snares cut through the mix nicer, and they often make mixing/mastering a lot easier.
So I’d say yes, third-party sounds are better.. if you’ve purchased high-quality drum kits..
What File Formats Should You Buy Sounds In.. .WAV, .MP3, .FLAC?
.WAV has been the standard in music production for years, and I don’t see that changing for many years. (There’s always new file formats and ideas being introduced and talked about, but .WAV is what CD-Quality is! 16-Bit/44.1kHz.)
When you buy sounds, you want individual one-shot drum samples in .WAV format.
This can be either 16-bit or 24-bit bit-depth. There is a difference in between the two, but the end result your listener will actually listen to your music will probably be .MP3 or .OGG, which are “lossy audio codecs”, which means they are not as high-fidelity as .WAV.
The difference is just in the noise floor of the recording signal.
24-bit gives you a lower noise floor, which will allow you to capture more of the audio, and less of microphone noise, background environment noise, and give you a great one-shot drum sample.
16-bit’s noise floor is quite a bit less, however, the difference can be considered negligible to many in the industry, as just discussed regarding the audio format your listener will actually hear your music in.. (such as .MP3 which is a low-fidelity audio format.. but unnoticeable to the untrained ear!)
What About Sample Rate When Buying Drum Samples?
More technical than what I want to get in this article, but the sample rate you are looking for is either 44.1kHz (44,100Hz) or 48kHz (48,000Hz).
The difference is 48kHz is able to record higher frequencies…. but as we use the Nyquest Theorm, the audio our music has is a maximum of 21.05kHz or 24kHz.. and supposedly we as humans can only hear up to 20kHz.. which diminishes with age (or if you’ve experienced hearing damage!).
One fun-fact is that 48kHz is more popular in the film industry as it aligns with framerates better!
To recap.. you want to purchase your one-shot drum samples in .WAV format, in either 16-bit or 24-bit bit-depth, and 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
Should I Buy Construction Kits or MIDI Loops/MIDI Packs?
My answer here is that I think you are cheating yourself as a music producer if you are using premade audio loops, and thinking you are making your own music.
If you are dragging MIDI files into your program for melodies, using pre-programmed drum loops, or using pre-made loops without applying a significant change to them, I really don’t see a point in trying to learn how to make your own music!
However, Construction Kits have been on the rise in popularity in recent years, and I only speak out to this to let you be aware of your purchasing decision.
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!
Where Do I Buy High-Quality Drum Kits for my Beats?
I’ve purchased some 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 they drag individual one-shot drum samples to use as they build their drum loops.
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.)
How to Buy the Best Sounds for FL Studio
And so there you go!
I have told you what to look for to get the highest-quality in your one-shot drum samples.
16-Bit .WAV/44.1kHz is the minimum, but the argument to go higher quality such as 24-Bit .WAV/48kHz isn’t much of a difference if your listener is hearing your music through a 128kbps .MP3.. does that make sense?
In the video, I showed you how to install sounds in FL Studio, and told you why setting up a custom music folder is so important. (That link will lead you to my custom music folder in FL Studio course.)
If you have any questions, please use my contact form!