Sample and Hold: Making Emo Trap With Creator
Welcome to Sample and Hold, the series on the LANDR Blog where we highlight one unique crate-digging session and the digger’s gold we came back with using Selector—the world’s first AI sample recommendation tool
Last week LANDR launched the beta version of Creator, LANDR’s new online beat making tool that makes it super easy to match any sample’s key or BPM right within the LANDR samples marketplace.
It’s a really cool tool and it’s free to use, so I’ll use this edition of Sample and Hold to show how Creator helped me find and match the perfect samples for an emo trap track.
If you haven’t tried Creator yet, I highly suggest taking a look at it. Here’s a video that shows how it works.
Starter Sample: Juice Wrld Type Pad 150
To find my first sample I went straight to this new curated collection from LANDR Samples called 60 Second Beats.
It’s a handpicked selection of starter samples that are full of juicy ideas just begging to be explored.
I was immediately drawn to this Juice WRLD type sample, it’s a brooding pad with melancholic flutes fluttering around an A minor chord.
Juice WRLD is well known for being an emo-rap auteur, so I think this sample is a great starting point for creating an emo trap beat.
Not surprisingly it uses a minor key, so I’ll be thinking about that as I choose my next samples.
Even though Creator can convert a sample from major to minor, which is pretty amazing.
Selection one: FRNMY_2_130bpm ReversedMelody
When I hit the Selector button on the Juice WRLD type sample the first sample it returned to me what this spooky reversed melody sample.
Reversed audio almost always produces a sound that’s interesting to the human ear.
It’s a trippy effect that’s been used since psychedelic rockers started using it prominently in the 60s.
Today, you hear it used in many trap and pop tracks.
It’s a haunting sound that lies in a kind of outer-worldly uncanny valley.
This sample seems to be a reversed synth pad that uses an F# minor chord.
Even though this chord is different from my starter sample I’ll use Creator to match the pitch of my samples once I have all the samples I need for my track.
Selection two: LAST HOPE BPM 175-Space Rhodes
Next up in my Selector session is this spaced out Rhodes sample.
I like this sample because it’s significantly more bright than the samples I used earlier.
The timbre of the classic Rhodes sound uses higher frequencies than the other samples I’ve used so far, so I think it will sit nicely in my mix without much EQ.
I envision this sample will soar nicely when I combine it with the other samples I’ve chosen so far.
We’ve written about the classic Fender Rhodes sound in other Sample and Hold articles, it’s a very cool instrument that consistently makes its way into music of all genres.
Selection three: 75 BPM – Fm – Idle Lament – Guitar – Rhythm 5
The acoustic guitar is an instrument you’ll often hear in emo trap tracks. Just listen to your favorite Juice WRLD track and I’m sure it’ll make an appearance.
It makes sense, the acoustic guitar is an incredibly expressive instrument and was a focal point in almost all early emo and pop-punk music.
This acoustic guitar loop that Selector recommended to me based on the Rhodes sample fits perfectly into the emo music canon.
It’s plenty expressive, especially with the wistful minor key it uses.
This is definitely the kind sample an emo trap producer is looking for.
I’ll use this part in the B section of my track and keep the Rhodes sample in the A section, since the two parts are overwhelming when played together.
Selection four: UT3_Pad_Filter_Up_133_Gm_Dry
For my last sample choice, I went with this rising pad section that features a really interesting sounding synth pad.
I love this kind of synth tone, it reminds me of the vintage Yamaha CS-70M that Boards of Canada used in their electronic music.
The whiny whirr of the CS-70M produces a pretty melancholic feeling that I think goes well with the overall vibe I want in this emo trap track.
Here’s a video that showcases what the CS-70M can do.
This sample is also a riser sample, meaning that a filter is opening up as the sample progresses to give it a rising feeling.
It’s the perfect sample to use as a build-up into a chorus section.
I think I’ll pair it with the Rhodes sample and use it to build into the chorus where I’ll use the guitar sample.
Putting it all together
Working with Creator is really cool because I don’t have to worry about the key or BPM for any of the samples I chose.
Creator did all the matching and processing for me, so all I had to do was download the processed samples and throw them into my Digitakt sampler.
I also have Cassius Jay’s incredible sample pack ready to go on my Digitakt, so programming a drum part with authentic trap samples and hard-hitting 808s was super easy.
Once I had the samples in my Digitakt, I put some effects on them and arranged my triggers.
Of course, I mastered my track with LANDR Mastering once it was recorded.
Here’s what I made.
Alex Lavoie works as a staff writer at LANDR by day and moonlights as a drummer for folk-rock outfit The Painters.
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