808 Drums are essential to any track and can be the difference between a good and a great track. The best 808’s are clear and punchy, adding a bit of oomph to the record. Getting the most out of the drum sample, tuning, and layering of the drum’s sound is essential.
1. Pick a Sample
Explore the internet and find some drum and 808 sample packs. You can either buy them or download them from your favorite artist. You want a sample that has clarity and is punchy. The more the sample adds to the mix the better.
You may want to find a sample that fits well with your track. Try out different samples with your beat pattern before selecting one. You may find that one is better than another.
Once your sample selection is on point, we can go ahead and tune the 808.
2. Tune Your 808 Drum
Pitch and note help determine how you should tune your 808. Harmonizing your drum beat with the rest of the song can make the sound of your drums jive better with the overall track. Experiment with different settings in your DAW (Digital Audio Workspace) to find the right notes.
Find the key of your song and drum pattern to make sure your song is in order. Tune the key to the note of the drum waveform to ground the song and notes in it’s right place.
Layering the 808 beat to the rest of the track is the next step.
3. Layer Your 808 Drum
To sustain the low-end boom of the 808, layer the drum with a kick. The high end crispness of the kick drum will bring out the lows of the 808. Find a frequency and note that works for your track, to maximize your 808.
The hard part about this is finding the right mix so the two drums don’t interfere with each other’s sound. Mix and match frequencies and settings in your DAW to find the perfect combination.
Employ these tips to find the right sound for your 808!
For more tips and suggestions on the ins and outs of recording studios visit our Bay Eight blog.