Derived from the circuits of ‘80s Japanese drum machines and processed through the music studios of Atlanta, the lurching, jittery trap sound has become one of contemporary music’s staples. Providing the cadence and tone for much of what we recognize as the modern club sound, trap and its descendants now provide the default musical accompaniment for everything from movie trailers to insurance commercials and fashion runways.
In addition to polished, punchy drum sounds and one-hits, there are evocative melodic lines and liquid bass loops from notable partners, including producer Snipe Young (pictured), as well as sample supplier supremes YNK and MVP Loops. Native Instruments has queued up some of the best toolkits for trap production from Sounds.com, speaking to the people behind the packs to see what goes into making them hum.
Urban Legacy XXL
A solid choice for “desert island” Sounds.com releases, MVP Loops’ Urban Legacy XXL pack could supply a stranded producer with all the components they need for many years of beat-making. The pack contains over 11 thousand samples, ranging from drums and one-hits to full bass and melodic phrases, as well as hi-hats for days.
“It’s a huge product with a treasure trove of material that can easily spark new productions fast,” MVP Loops tells us. “It’s one of my favorites.” The product was developed over a two-year period, and the team continued adding to it as music styles changed over time. “My favorite sounds in the pack are the melodic synth loops and the snares. These were run through several really cool pieces of outboard gear, so they have a distinctive sound that just pops out of a record without you having to do a lot of tweaking.”
Snipe Young’s credits run deep, from Lil Jon, E-40, and perhaps most notably much of Nikki Minaj’s musical output. Young’s Trapmosphere release, a Sounds.com exclusive, sounds like a bunch of A-sides waiting to get made.
“I wanted to create vibes that would strike inspiration being familiar, yet still feel different,” says Young. “I decided to paint melodies that would give you the ‘trap’ vibe, but make them feel atmospheric as well.”
The lush bass and melodic lines here are brimming with atmosphere, and everything hovers between 125 and 135 bpm. “The atmospheric vibe tied the pack together,” Young continues. “Whether it was reverse reverb, slap delay, or a totally washed sound, those things created a space that enforced the continuity of it all. Most of the music today is all about the vibe, and with this mixture I figured the vibe could be pre-set from the loop, and the rest would be a cakewalk.”
The Trappin Dead
Among the most respected sample suppliers around, YNK’s Sounds.com-exclusive pack The Trappin Dead provides the basis for staggering, rat-a-tat-tat club music. Full of punchy drums and speaker-tipping basslines, YNK’s sounds are all over music from the likes of Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, and Young Jeezy, among many others.
“We tried to get a unique blend of lo-fi grime and hi-depth sharpness to create tracks that have an eeriness to them,” YNK told us. “For our synth work, we often use an Alesis Micron Synthesizer — it’s a lot simpler to use than the other complex hardware boards. And Omnisphere 2 is our go-to VST — it has so many rich pads and distorted synths that help to create a atmosphere in tracks that you just can’t find with other VSTs.”
Within the wide world of trap music, these packs are broad and encompassing, empowering a wide variety of styles and approaches. And really, they’re just the tip of the iceberg — when you’re done, let Sounds.com’s intelligent recommendation engine lead you through its vast ocean of trap content.