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Trap music is on the rise, and with it, eager producers are ready to release their unique sound into the world of rap and EDM trap music. One of the main aspects that will take your music from the recording studio to large music platforms, is how well you mix and master it.
Mixing and mastering a Trap song can be exceptionally different from other genres. It requires greater attention to detail in some areas and knowing what parts of the song to focus on. We’re here to show you what those areas are and what to specifically look for, and tweak, in your tracks.
So what’s the quick answer on how to mix and master trap beats?
Focus on the low end (200 Hz range) and don’t be afraid to use saturation, overdrive, and bass enhancers to get that deep trap sound. It’s usually best to keep the tempo between 130 and 150 BPM but there’s a lot of flexibility there.
But there’s more to it than that so let’s take a deeper look at what you need to know about mixing and mastering the perfect trap beat.
Important Aspects Of Mixing Trap
Before we get into the details of what to look for, you should be aware of some aspects of trap music that contrast with regular track mixing.
In most tracks, you would coordinate the low end in mixing, meaning that you make sure the bass and kick complement each other. That’s not the case when it comes to this trap; instead, you want the bass to be the kick…hard.
Another thing to take note of is that Trap has a negotiable tempo. You’ll notice that there is a mixture of large, slow pulses, sub-rhythms, and fast hi-hats and snare rolls that all differ according to the track.
So, when setting up the ambiance in a mix the style and setting options are relevant to the tempo.
Now let’s get started on the two most important elements to consider.
1. The Low End
It should be no surprise that the first thing you’ll want to focus on is the low end.
To achieve a quality trap mix you need to have a massive low end. You want the kick to be loud, but not too loud to mask everything else; the challenge is finding the balance of the kick and the rest of the song without losing the “loudness” the kick brings. These mixing effects below are important to help make your kick sound louder than it actually is.
Saturation And Overdrive
These techniques create a harmonic tone that is important to the kick. Not only will this give the kick more presence in the mix, but it will also give it character and texture. This video does a great job showing you how you can more saturation in your drum patterns and it’s a awesome technique to apply to Trap beats:
Add Bass Enhancers
to create sub-harmonic content based on the source sound. Software is available to use online that will give your track the added bass you need. As you already know, Trap is all about the bass so it’s hard to go wrong here.
Focus On The 200 Hz Range
This range will give your average kick drum a good amount of punch. By layering the kick under the 808 and extending the 200hz range you are getting a sound that resembles a super punchy 808.
To achieve a solid rhythm in your trap beat you want to aim for a unified reverb that never seems to step on any of the elements. To achieve this you want to break the elements down into their sub-rhythms and add adjustments correspondingly.
On elements that move faster, put shorter reverbs, and for elements that move slower add longer reverbs and delays. You want to make sure that the reverbs all blend together smoothly and sound cohesive. With those techniques, you will successfully get a unified reverb.
What Gives Trap Its Unique Sound?
An important part of producing, mixing, and mastering, is what aspects place your song in the Trap genre- and not find yourself accidentally making glitch hop or hardstyle. Whether you’re creating a fire rap track or a head-banging EDM song, including these key elements will make it a 100% pure trap beat that anyone will love.
In Trap, as we stated above, the kick is the bass. In other words, the kick drum acts as both itself and the bass instrument. You absolutely need a heavy kick before you can ever call a track trap.
Often widely varied, the tempo is negotiable but an important part of Trap music. This is usually going to be about 130 to 150 BPM but it can very. However, if you’re not sure then start here.
To make the sound heavy and dramatic the synth elements are layered up. In doing so, not only is the sound electrifying but also makes the song powerful and unique.
As you might have noticed earlier in the article, rhythm is very important in mixing and mastering Trap. Like tempo, rhythm is negotiable and varies depending on the sound. For example, the rhythm is usually straight but sometimes there will be poly-rhythmic elements that will overlay a triplet feel over the eighth notes.
If you’re looking for one word to define the elements of a trap beat, then contrasting could be one of them. The whole point of the genre is based on how a song can go from one element to the next with a drastic but smooth sound change.
Focused Pitched Drums
The drums tend to be amply focused sounds, usually 808s and 909s.
With these elements and what we recommended focusing on above, you should be able to mix and master with confidence knowing exactly what to look for.