Build Your Own Library of Hip Hop Drum Samples

This articles features videos and audio examples to show you a quick and easy way to build your own drum sample library.

We show you how to bounce down once shots from a loop in your DAW.

We also demostrate how to organize your files and then load those into your sampler.

How to Record Drums
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How to Build Your Own Hip Hop Drum Library

Author: David Hogan
Published: Sept 2011

Drum WAV Samples

In the Hip Hop world drums are everything.  They can make or break a song.  A bangin’ kick and snare combo is the driving force behind a Hip Hop hit. 

As a producer this means you need easy access to quality drum sounds in your productions, especially if you plan to be efficient. 

If you like to spend hour upon hour digging through thousands of drum sounds then this article is probably not for you, but if you’re looking to invest some time to maximize your workflow here is one great way to do it. 

Start building your own drum libraries

The first thing you have to know is where to look for quality drums to sample.      

Here are some of those options:

  • 1) Sampling from old records
    Be aware of copyright infringement issues
  • 2) Purchase a pre-constructed drum library
    These often come pre-formatted for most major DAW samplers  
  • 3) Create your own samples and sound kits
    This allows you to customize sounds and kits to your liking and build your very own libraries
  • 4) Record Your Own Real Drums
    This option is the most hard work but can be very rewarding. Read our article on How to Record Drums
EXS-24 In this workshop we’ll focus on option 3, creating our own samples and learning how to organize them neatly on our computer and in Logic Pro. 

Organization is extremely important as you will be building and adding to these sound banks throughout your life as a producer.

It’s also important to note that this does require some work and commitment, but it will save you a lot of time in the sound selection aspect of your productions by allowing you to catalogue your best drums sounds for quick and easy access.

Creating 1-shots from loops.

Our loop packs are a great place to look for quality drum samples. These loops are created and mixed by industry professionals to bang hard and cut thru the mix.  By creating your own 1-shots from these loops you can then re-sequence these quality sounds and create your own groove.

If you work with Reason you’re in luck as we provide the Rex2 files for all of the loops in our products.  These Rex2 files come pre formatted for the Dr.Rex engine and give you the ability to either play the loop in its original sequence or access the individual hit points of that sequence via your midi keyboard.  In effect, you don’t have to bounce down the samples in the manner I describe later in this article.

The most efficient way to build your own drum library is to create and organize your samples/1-shots into .wav files.  Once you have extracted 1 shots from these loops, bounced them down to .wav files and organized them into folders you have now converted them into a universal format (wav) that is accepted by every major sampler.   No matter what DAW you’re using you can access these sounds when needed.

With that being said, lets take a look at a quick video on how to create 1-shots from a loop.

As you can see creating 1-shots is not a hard thing to do.  The order of operations is simple: find the sound you like, zoom in and setup your markers, and bounce the 1-shot down to your desktop as a 24-bit wave file.  Repeat this process.

Note:  If you’re using older hardware samplers in a lot of your work you might want to bounce your 1-shots into 16-bit waves as a lot of them don’t accept 24-bit.

Organize your Files & Folders

After bouncing down your 1-shots you will need to learn how to organize and maintain your libraries – here is how I do it.

'1-shots' is about the only word in this article you will hear mentioned more times than organization.  When organizing your sounds on your computer think of an umbrella like structure.  Your designated drive is the very tip of the umbrella.  Just below that is your master/housing folder.  Within that master folder you have many sub folders of your different kits and in those kits live all of your sounds and samples. Organizing your files neatly will save you a lot of time and headaches.

Load Your Drum Samples into EXS24

Now that most of the hard work is done – it’s time to load our samples into Logic Pro. 

Just to show you there is an end result.. Here are a two southern Hip Hop loops that I created using my own drum libraries.  I threw these together rather quickly, but nonetheless these are the types of things you can do with your own 1-shot sounds banks.


This is a great way to be resourceful and catalog some great drum sounds in the process.   There is some work involved, but I’ve learned hard work makes you appreciate things.  Take pride in your craft and start creating your own drum libraries. 

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