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The Best Drum Samples, One-shots, And Loops

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a top-producer on the Hot 100 that doesn’t have a stack of well-curated drums that every young producer wants, and every seasoned producer wants to create. Drums are a sonic trademark of some of the most lauded producers in history, from Rick Rubin to Phil Collins, drums can make, break, or detract from a song.

Now we all know that sound selection is really all in the ear of the beholder, but for the purpose of this listicle, my criteria for choosing the “best drum samples” will rest squarely upon the originality, quality, and universal usability of the average of samples within a pack, because at the end of the day, you will you use what you will use, and I will choose what I choose

1. Decap – Drums the Knock Vol. 3

Ideal For: Modern Sound

When it comes to some of the best modern drum samples, there is really only one name sound designer that comes to mind, and that’s Decap. Mass-native, New Yorker turned San Franciscan Decap has a truly interesting ear, his drums have always hit a bit differently, and a lot better than any of the competitors in his field.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 157 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Hard-hitting sound
  • 21 snare
  • 24 hats
  • 22 claps
  • Male vocals (heys, ohs, etc)

It’s not just the quality of Decap’s drum samples, it’s his sonic perspective as a sound designer, and a big part of his self-named “Future Knock” production style, which is also the namesake of his label which he releases his own work under.

Released in 2016, the very first volume of Drums that Knock came out after years of DECAP building an immense YouTube following showing his expertise as a sonic mastermind, and in the 4 years and 8 volumes that have followed in the Drums that Knock series, his sounds have appeared in hits from Jay-Z, Logic, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Lauv, Diplo and Camilla Cabello.

With a dramatic amount of crossover appeal, DECAP’s Drums that Knock series have physically crossed over from the digital to the physical with a custom installment for Akai’s MPC Touch, X and Live series’ and also debuted in Serato’s fledgling DAW Serato Studio. With some many volumes of Drums that Knock to choose from, a personal and fan favorite is volume 3.

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2. KSHMR – Sounds of KSHMR Vol.1

Ideal For: Hard hitting tracks

Though KSHMR, real name Niles Hollowell-Dhar, has recently spun off his work with Splice to create the newly minted Dharma Studio, at one point of his career, Niles was one-half of the most coveted new pop producers in the world as a part of the hybrid hyphy-pop duo, the Cataracs. While in the Catarac’s Niles broke through as a producer and songwriter by helming Far East Movement’s breakthrough hit Like a G6, which included a hook interpolation of Dev’s Booty Bounce, which he also produced and wrote.

Though the Cataracs’ made major waves with hits for Snoop Dogg (for Prince Harry), 50 Cent, the New Boyz, Enrique Iglesias, and of course Dev, the groups split in 2012 pushed Niles into a hit record with Selena Gomez, and a rebrand into KSHMR.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 361 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Deep, ambient & punchy
  • 46 snares
  • 48 kicks
  • 39 fills

As KSHMR, Niles ghost-produced for some of the biggest DJs in the world and soon became a force to be reckoned in his own right. KSHMR’s first flat-credit Splice-exclusive, Sounds of KSHMR, was a game-changer and showed the super-producer turned EDM heavy-hitter into a sound design darling.

Though equally or sometimes better than the previous volumes, the two that came after have been plagued with baggage and claims of plagiarism, but I digress.

Each one of the three volumes of Sounds of KSHMR has some of the best drum samples, regardless of the more creative drum one-shots acting as time capsules into the respective years each was made, Sounds of KSHMR Vol. 1 not only includes some of the best drum samples, the whole pack acts as a modern starter pack for producers from a range of genres, with each following volume continuing to modernize and expand, the Sounds of KSHMR are a necessary addition to every producer’s arsenal, just like a good t-shirt is to everyone’s wardrobe.

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3. Getter Samples N Stuff

Ideal For: Versatility, Bass, Dubstep

Bass music enthusiast, and a true child of the internet, Getter is a Cali-born DJ/producer that has both been signed to outfits by both Skrillex and Datsik, if you don’t know who the latter is, you’ve got a little bit of time, Google. As one of the earlier DJs to become a Vine-star alongside then-unknown Dillon Francis, Getter’s story makes sense for someone born in the 90s.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 103 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Bright, sharp & versatile
  • 7 snares
  • 7 kicks
  • 18 vocals

His relationship with MySpace famous turned real-famous Skrillex, mixed with the understated beauty of his sound design paired with Getter’s own unapologetically brash break, makes for his standpoint on drums something that’s not for everyone but doesn’t bar the sounds in his debut Splice-collaboration to be lauded as some of the best drum samples for bass music, dubstep, and your weirder dance music outfits.

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4. Boi 1DA – Bare Sounds for Your Head

Ideal For: Urban & Modern Pop

Regardless of how you feel about Drake, the one thing you can say about him is that he reps his city, and he reps his city hard. With his initially Toronto focused-OVO collective, Drake highlighted 2 of the most-inventive in R&B/hip-hop producers in recent history, one being the incomparable Noah “40” Shebib and the other being Boi 1DA.

While 40 has left an indelible mark on melodic HipHop styles and Future R&B with his atmospheric sonic perspective, Boi-1da has made a larger splash by branching far past his day job as one of the in-house producer’s for Drake’s OVO Sound.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 216 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Bright, sharp & versatile
  • 35 snares
  • 34 kicks
  • 18 claps

Boi-1da, or Mathew Samuels if your his mom, has an illustrious catalog of work, with some of the biggest names in all of music, including being hand-picked for Dr. Dre’s long-awaited, repeatedly leaked, Detox, but truly made a real name for himself as one of the few architects of Drake’s unmistakable sound with Best I Ever had and being a part of the core team of his sophomore effort, Take Care, alongside The Weeknd and 40.

When it comes to what makes Boi-1da’s Bare Sounds for Your Head special is because these sounds aren’t heavily treated or over-processed, they are creative enough to be must-haves and clean enough to be some of the best drum samples for “urban” or modern-pop producer.

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5. josh pan x Gill Chang – the Childhood Series

Ideal For: Unique Sounds

Gill Chang’s work has an amazing atmospheric style that harkens to early Noah “40” Shebib productions for Drake, the difference between the two producers really comes to what they both do in regards to the space they create in their production styles, and when it comes to Chang he fills it halfway up with percussive elements.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 236 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Perspective altering, in and out of focus
  • 11 snares
  • 14 fills
  • 23 kicks
  • 12 claps

Gill’s (trademark-pending) “slaps” may not work for every producer or even every genre, but they are a fun treat for the ears regardless of if you’ll ever use them, and if you make your drum fills by, there’s a great chance that checking out Gill’s work with Unison Audio or the many volumes of his collaborative Splice-exclusive Childhood series with josh pan will work wonders for you.

Though Chang may have the bigger name, the Childhood series wouldn’t be possible without his childhood friend josh pan, and that’s exactly what you get from their Childhood series, a set of the best drum samples from their years of collaborating as both friends and professionals. There may be 3 amazing volumes of this collection, but as they say, nothing beats the original.

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6. Lex Luger – The Sequel

Ideal For: Modern Rap

During the second wave of the litany knockoff producer sample packs, the first being brought on by Modern Beats which included classics like the Timbaland focused Timbalicious Drums, the Dr.Dre focused Dre-mendous Drum Samples, and the Neptunes focused Neptunian Drumz, Lex Lugar was in a league of his own with the number of clone kits that would rival a Star Wars prequel or sequel.

In the case of Lex Lugar’s third sample pack, and second collaboration with Splice, the Sequel is better than the original, and his debut Smoke Out Kit with Producer Grind.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 244 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Sci-fi sound, clean
  • 46 snares
  • 72 kicks
  • 32 hats

What makes The Sequel better than its predecessors is the quality and breadth of some of the best trap drum samples that you can find. Where packs like things found in the Childhood series by josh pan x Gill Chang may at times feel at odds or incongruent from sound to sound — The Sequel drum samples sonically all sit in the same general space, making them tailored perfectly for both an expert to bend to their will or for a novice to not over clutter a production.

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7. Medasin – Microdese 1 – 2.5, Omega and Irene

Ideal For: EDM

Medasin is the wunderkind of the EDM world, it’s not that he’s the youngest producer to breakthrough in a very very big way, it’s the fact that he broke through with an inventive style that is generally all his own in a genre that was in its infancy; that matched by his output and quality make him a force to be reckoned with, but also a highlight.

So when Medasin appeared as one of the early producers to create a Splice-exclusive sample pack, I was excited to see what fruit that would bear; a lot of amazing producers have sample packs, most of them don’t give you the secret sauce that you want.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 143 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • EDM infused, bright
  • 25 snares
  • 14 kicks
  • 10 hats

The great thing about Medasin’s early Microdose packs at the time of their original releases was that the expectations were basically non-existent or the content, because of the infancy of Splice itself and Medasin’s limited catalog, with no real look behind the curtains of his sound design prowess.

When it comes to finding the best drum samples that Medasin has to offer, there are a few different ways too look at it, you could base things on the readiest to use future bass drum samples from the Microdose volumes, or you can opt for a more congruent ready-to-wear type sounds found in his Irene kit, and if neither of these are your style, Medasin’s Omega collection has a little of the two previous series’ tidied up and polished for modern releases.

If none of those drums fit your fancy, Medasin’s Overdose series teams him up with some of today’s biggest underground heroes to make fully unique collections in genres that Medasin doesn’t always live in.

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8. Louis Futon – Pretty Cool Sounds Vol.1 & 2

Ideal For: R&B

Future Beat impresario Louis Futon has a lot to be happy about, he’s been a mainstay on Apple’s A-list Pop for several years, he killed his first headlining tour, and his debut EP got some pretty phenomenal praise.

From being a part of ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective. his collaborations with groups like RKCB and Opia, all the way to his official remix work with the likes of G-Eazy, Mos Def, and Goldliink, Louis Futon has a unique perspective that brings the R&B leaning Future Bass sub-genre to a polish that is typically reserved for the likes of Katraynada.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 147 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Clean and piercing, full of soul
  • 18 snares
  • 21 kicks
  • 16 hats

Futon’s Pretty Cool Sounds collections act as companion pieces, working seamlessly together as one, but still substantial on their own, ending up creating some of the best drum samples for R&B leaning Future Bass producers, but also working well as clean drums, that can really work for any Future Pop or Future Soul outfit.

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9. KRANE – Vol 3

Ideal For: Future Bass

You can’t make a list about the best drum sample, include things from Splice, and not include KRANE, the creators of the most popular new snare in the world, the Propane Bamboo Snare, from their first release.

Though the Bamboo Snare is probably played out by now, the creation of a snare that is now iconic beyond it’s originally intended Future Bass audience is both a feat to be amazed by, while also showing the power of a la carte curating to finding the best drum samples. Since I would never just recommend every jump into volume one of the KRANE series, let’s skip ahead to volume 3.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 135 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Future bass, loud
  • 34 snares
  • 29 kicks
  • 8 hats

The best thing about the KRANE series’ samples are that each volume builds upon the last, but not in a way that makes you need the entirety of each volume since they are both expansions and evolutions of the sounds that have come before it.

With that being said, diving into a KRANE pack can have the problem of leaning a bit too far into someone else signature sound, a good producer can make almost anything their own, but with these sounds being so heavily geared towards Future Bass, finding your footing in someone else’s shoes may be a little harder than some of the other drum samples in this list.

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10. Southside – I Invented Trap

Ideal For: Trap

No, Southside did not invent Trap, but his I invented Trap sample pack is a consummate trap pack that features some of the best drum samples for straight-up Trap production.

He very well may have helmed the sound and style of what today’s modern Trap style is, though Lex Luger may take issue with the overall statement, and in the larger scope so would Lil Jon and Mannie Fresh.

Regardless of his paternal status to Trap production, Southside is the boss at 808 Mafia, and his credits are immense, even if generally unknown to the larger world of “mainstream” music.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 285 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Future bass, loud
  • 23 snares
  • 64 kicks
  • 53 hats

The thing that makes Southside’s kit good has nothing to do with the originality of the kit itself because, at a certain point, trap is trap, but it is the almost flawless quality of the pack itself.

Now while someone like Southside can work on name and craftsmanship alone, these drums are for people who know what to do with them, otherwise, you’re just gonna have a pretty standard trap beat, it’ll sound generally luxe, but you’re going to have to take it further, cause they’re no gimmicky sounds here, and used wrong, it’ll just sound basic.

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11. Jay Dilla – The Fantastic Sounds of Jay Dee AKA J Dilla

Ideal For: LoFi Hip Hop

There are many things to be said of a king, much less the king of the MPC, his chops are iconic, his unquantified precision is unmatched, and his legacy is untouchable.

We crate dig because of him, we wanna chop our samples like him, and for years we wanted his samples, and with the blessing of his mother, Splice has them.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 118 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • LoFi, relaxed & laid back
  • 22 snares
  • 31 kicks
  • 22 hats

This iconic pack of sounds is hands down the very best drum samples for LoFi HipHop and a must-have for generations of current and future Boom Bap producers.

Unlike certain artist packs, there is nothing in this collection that isn’t from the late J Dilla’s personal collection, ripped from his MPC, or from his crates themselves. With the resurgence of Triphop in the form of LoFi, this pack came out just-in-time to inspire a wave of music that will keep up studying, relaxed and hopefully get us through any quarantine we may have to go through.

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12. krs. – Build a Vybz Drum Kit

Ideal For: Soca

Krs. Is a well respected Jamaican producer, who is all about bringing the vibe and slick riddims, Not to be confused with Hip-Hop royalty KRS-one, Krs. embodies the smooth laidback-feel the world has come to associate the Caribbean with.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 207 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Absolute vibes
  • 21 snares
  • 20 kicks
  • 25 hats

The drums in Krs.’ debut Splice compilation comes with succinct rachetable hiatus for that dotted triplet, bendable 808s for that dancehall flavor and crisp hits that gain his first entry into the sample world a seat at the table for the best drum samples for creating some something perfect for the Soca scene.

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13. Capsun 4:20 Smokers Kit 2

Ideal For: Urban / Hip Hop

I’m unsure where Capsun came from, but he has been a mainstay in the sample pack world for nearly a decade.

The special think about Capsun and his team’s sample design is more so about its unique qualities while remaining a head above the rest.

When it comes to what you should expect from Capsun Pro Audio packs, that really depends on the release itself, but as far as the 4:20 Smoke Kit goes, it’s a perfect blend of what everyone who was a part of this pack does, and when it comes to who was integral to crafting this pack, there’s a big round of applause that needs to go to Julez Jadon and SVRN, two of the biggest name in urban drum kit design before the age of sample subscription services.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 268 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Hazy ambiance, Fluid
  • 26 snares
  • 12 kicks
  • 56 hats

Capsun’s 4:20 Smokers Kit 2 brings back the dream team for the original while raising the quality and creativity levels, while also revisiting some necessary mainstays and modernizing them.

Get this sample pack.

14. Oliver – Power Tools

Ideal For: Funk & Disco

Though this kit is in no particular order, it always seemed fitting to end this collection of the best drum samples with Oliver’s Power Tools. Oliver is a Neurofunk, new wave, disco outfit that has worked with alt-pop icons like Beck, Chromeo and more.

Though the group split in late 2019, there very well may have been the backbone of a lot of Dua Lipa’s new Future Nostalgia record.

What’s In The Sample Pack:

  • 790 Samples, Loops, & One-hits
  • Funky, disco vibes
  • 90 snares
  • 62 kicks
  • 27 hats

Now if you’ve been a Splice user for a long time, you know that Chromeo released their first sample pack early last year, but that pack is far more about the “Chromeo” sound, and it includes drums that you would have to do a bit more treatment to do get you desired outcome, as opposed to Power Tools being ready to go with that taught disco feel.

Despite Oliver’s purely referential material, Power Tools includes the best disco drum samples I’ve ever heard in my life, and weirdly enough, I’ve heard a lot, this pack is fully original while also being ripped directly from the past. Everything in this pack drum wise is handled with care and from the Wonder Woman to the Weeknd, this pack seems to be ready for what a good chunk of 2020, even the future, has to throw at it.

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Compare Top Drum Sample Packs

Sample PackIdeal ForSample Count
Decap – Drums the Knock Vol. 3Modern Sound157
KSHMR – Sounds of KSHMR Vol.1Hard Hitting Tracks361
Getter Samples N StuffBass, Dubstep103
Boi 1DA – Bare Sounds for Your HeadUrban & Modern Pop216
josh pan x Gill Chang – the Childhood SeriesUnique Sounds236
Lex Luger – The SequelModern Rap244
Medasin – Microdese 1 – 2.5, Omega and IreneEDM143
Louis Futon – Pretty Cool Sounds Vol.1 & 2R&B147
KRANE – Vol 3Future Bass135
Southside – I Invented TrapTrap285
Jay Dilla – The Fantastic Sounds of Jay Dee AKA J DillaLoFi Hip Hop118
krs. – Build a Vybz Drum KitSoca207
Capsun 4:20 Smokers Kit 2Urban / Hip Hop268
Oliver – Power ToolsFunk & Disco790
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