How to create your own Custom Hits for layering (plus a few free Hit samples)

Hey All,

Firstly, I hope we are well in this very difficult time. Im in the UK and everything starting to get quite scary. So I really hope you all are safe!

I thought id briefly share my process on how I create my own custom hits for layering and why I make them.

Before we get started, these are the Instrument libraries I’ve used to create this Hit, I’ve made sure theyre all libraries that you may have access to yourselves.

  • Action Strikes (Taikos, Cymbals)

*Damage (armageddon ensemble/Plastics ensemble)

  • Riser - Air Music Tech

  • FlowMotion - Waves

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, that hits are literally everywhere. We can buy commercial hits that do a job but often they’re either lost in the mix or they just aren’t exactly what you need. So we often have to make the type of hit that we want from scratch. this is great for either using on its own, or layering with other hits from libraries or even others I’ve made.Another reason to make your own hits is so that you sound unique and fresh. Anyone can use a library hit but no one else will have the hit that you made yourself.

As we start, let’s first take a quick look at a screenshot ive taken of a recent hit that I made for a project.

Here we can see all of the layers that i use in every hit that i make… The only other layer that I might include might be an organic sound that I’ve recorded myself… In this instance I chose not to include an organic element because I pre made my own downer in FlowMotion by Waves, which is a custom downer. Making it unique to myself.

  1. Pick Your Main Drum.
    This should be a fairly punchy low drum. the most important thing about this is just that the drum has the type of sound that you like.

  2. Make A Second Hit Out Of Your First Hit.
    Now that you have that primary hit, bounce it down, duplicate it and make the duplicate an octave lower. This will reinforce the low end and add more of that tone that you enjoyed from the first hit.

  3. You Guessed It, Find Another Drum.
    This drum should have a lot of attack to it, snares without the snare wire on are great for this, if you have one lying around then record that, if not it can be any type of drum, Taiko, Tom etc. The main two things to look for are is that its a higher pitched drum that is very punchy. If you want you can add a transient shaper for more attack on a drum you like if you don’t have one with a lot of punch, so don’t worry, there are always ways of doing things. Just like before you can bounce this down and make a lower version of the same drum to layer in if you want, this isn’t essential if you are layering it with other drums, but it can definitely help if you are looking to use it on its own.

  4. Let’s Add Some Top End Sizzle.
    Now simply add a nice cymbal that you like… Again, if you have a real cymbal then use a recording of that instead of a library one. I also made a version with a noise riser too, just so I had some versatility in my sound pallet. (instrument 3 is the main cymbal)

  5. Duplicate And Reverse Your Sizzle.
    so now make a copy and reverse your copied cymbal, then move it so that it finishes as the drums hit. Use the picture above for reference. As you can see, i have shortened mine and cut the end off and faded it in. this is just an artistic choice as I prefer to use other risers in my projects to add suspense, but go wild. There’s no wrong way to do this.

  6. Roll… On The Easiest Bit.
    make a short roll using toms and taikos.

  7. Optional.
    I added a downer thats soaked in reverb to make my downer more personal. You can record yourself slamming a door, make your own sub hit, create a cymbal sound with your mouth and reverb, or whatever you want to make it sound like you!
    This is the fun creative bit and I’m sure you’ll do fantastically at it!
    You can get really creative and experiment with this so literally, go wild with your ideas!

Now all you need to do is add a compressor and a limiter to the output to compress your file!

Well, thats all my tips on how to make your own custom hits. You can apply this to any type of hit, metallic hit, long rise hits, pop hits etc… It’s the same process with slightly different sounding components.

Here are the sound files for this hit, theres a few different versions. They will be there until the file disappears from --> “We Transfer”

Just one last thought. Iv’e made these hits slightly higher so that they cut through the mix, so they are perfect for layering and sitting with other percussion parts. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this written tutorial guys, cant wait to hear some of your own custom hits!

1 Like

I may have kept the click on in OMD or two of the hits. I’ll trip load them tomorrow to rectify them. I hadn’t realised when I’d bounced them :sweat_smile: oopsie!