Best Drum Kits for FL Studios
FL Studios allows professional and amateur musicians to remix sounds and experiment with their own music production software. If you are a drummer seeking to incorporate your personal tracks, there are plenty of platforms that offer versatile capabilities to suit your melodic style.
What are the best drum kits of FL Studios? The best drum kits that are FL-Compatible include:
Your music is only as good as the instrument clips you select to remix it. There are thousands of unique sounds and effects that can add an entirely new dimension of feeling to your music. Use this guide to understand the basic features of each digital drum kits distribution platform, how to download your favorite drum kits, rookie mistakes to avoid within FL Studios, and much more!
Best Drum Kits for FL Studios
FL Studio has been around for over two decades and has offered a music environment that is accessible by the masses. Formerly known as FruityLoops, this software has made a complex artform considerably easier and less time-consuming.
Any drum kit that you select to upload will fall into two categories of instrument file types, including:
- Sample Players – An audio recording of individual instrument samples
- Software Synthesizers – Use an internal engine to synthesis pre-existing sounds
You can select either of these. Your job as the music producer will be to remix these into new variations. There are no rules in music mixing, which is why you can have such fun determining the right drum kit for the orientation and ‘sound’ you are seeking.
It is important to know that all of your drum kits will be downloaded as .WAV files, which is formatting that is compatible with FL Studios. There are dozens of websites that offer free sound files and drum kit downloads. You can use any of these as long as the data is downloadable as a -.WAV format.
The best websites to discover unique drum kits and tracks include the following:
Loopcloud is one of the best music platforms in the industry. Offering the perk of a free trial period, as well as many free options to choose from (even after the trial period), Loopcloud gives you time to experiment and discover your style at your pace.
The highlights of Loopcloud are:
- Free 1GB download upon downloading the free trial
- Offers you 150 samples per week without the requirement of a subscription
- You will run this as a plug-in track which syncs with your DAW-oriented system
- Offers thousands of sounds to choose from (not only drums)
- Offers sample matching and sample-library system to manage all samples
- The newest version (version 4) provides more amenities and increased efficiency compared to past versions.
- The free setting can offer you time to gain familiarity
- Offers ‘Loop Editor,’ which allows you to remix before exporting to DAW
- Known as a very sleek and easy-to-use platform for instrument samples.
Splice is another top-contender in the music track industry. Used by thousands of music producers, this is another cloud-based software that is known for its undeniable convenience.
The highlights of Splice are:
- Adapts and accommodates to most DAW software
- Much faster than typical samples (that are not cloud-based)
- Enormous library to choose from with hundreds of thousands of soundbites.
- Access to a platform used by professional producers
- Offers a monthly fee (as compared to paying per-download or per-sound, which can add up quickly).
- Thousands of drum kits to choose from
As another distributor of instrument kits, WA Production offers great samples with free and paid options. Known to offer high-quality drum kits, their drum department is particularly well-used by producers.
The highlights of WA Production are:
- Reptuation of offering high-quality content
- Ranked 7 out of 17 for Best in Music Store.
- Unique packages that are not solely one instrument, but sometimes expand to an entire genre of drum kits to download as one pre-arranged package.
- Quite affordable compared to the competition, offering free options if you don’t mind less usability. Option to pay if you’d prefer more usability.
- Noted for friendly customer service and reputable support
- Known by users for its outstanding plug-ins and packs
- These well-rated plug-ins allow you to edit the samples with various techniques and styles
- Easy on your computer’s CPU. WA Production won’t dominate your storage or overwhelm your computer system.
#4 Live School
Based out of Australia, Live School is a platform that not only offers you drum kits to shop but also teaches you how to produce music.
As a shoppable store as well as an online school, Live School is a great starting place for those learning how to produce music.
The highlights of Live School are:
- School and sound-store all-in-one
- Offers 45-day Free Trial (with no obligation)
- Available as an annual subscription
- Easy-to-use (the sign-up process is remarked as being a bit difficult, but reviewers describe no trouble later on once they are in the program)
Many of these sample sites will be named in ways that sound similar to ‘FL Studios.’ This is seen with Function Loops, which was named to closely align with FL Studios former name of ‘FruityLoops.’
Most consider Function Loops to offer a music producer everything they could possibly need.
The highlights of Function Loops are:
- Free options within the website, plenty of free samples to choose from if you don’t want to pay.
- An incredibly large library
- Known for high-quality packages and many genres to shop
- Allows customizable vocals to be incorporated
- Vocals recorded for your track are available for commercial use, meaning that you don’t have to pay for royalties. Be aware that the commercial-use option will have a slightly higher price tag than standard vocals that are not customized to your track.
Another top mixing website, there is a vast selection of royalty-free samples.
The highlights of Looperman are:
- Exceptionally large library of commercially-available mixes, tracks, and kits
- Available instrument kits for drums and countless other instruments
- Community-driven which means that unique samples are always being added and shared
- Many free options to choose from
- RouteNote states that they have 67,000 samples currently and still growing
This is another excellent option that allows music producers options for plenty of free kits to play with.
The highlights of Samplephonics are:
- Drum kits which are mostly free
- Sample packs which can be reused
- SliceMachine feature, which will splice together your .WAV files.
- Known for offering many sales throughout the year to reduce rates on higher-priced sample packages.
- Construction kits for drumming that is applicable to Bandcamp and most other zip-able files
How Will You Upload the Drum Kits?
Now that you know the best platforms to shop drum kits on, once you’ve experimented with the sounds and tonal qualities that you prefer most, you will need to upload these files into FL Studios.
A few essential components to understand first are that:
- FL Studio has channels. Each of these channels will be filled with one instrument plug-in.
- Use the Mixer track routing to alter the settings on that specific track.
The steps to move these instrument plug-ins to your FL Studio are as follows:
- Select your preferred drum kit from any FL Studio compatible software.
- Go to your Library within FL Studios.
- Click, ‘Options,’ then ‘File Settings,’ to then, ‘Browse Extra Search Directories. This will allow you to search through and preview your sounds in the browser.
- Search for your newly downloaded drum kit and simply click + drag it into your sequencer.
Easy as that!
Once you have uploaded your chosen tonalities, you can study and toggle with the FL Studio components such as:
- The Latency – there will be a pre-set latency per-plugin instrument, so you may have to toggle the speeds around through the settings.
- The Channel Rack – This is where you will layer sounds and interface your instruments together as a solidified track.
- Mixing – How you will compound these audio samples on top of each other and arrange our clips.
Other Ways to Upload New Instruments
A few other methods for auto-routing the instrument into its proper placement is to:
- Go to your browser > Search under ‘Plug-in Preset,’ or ‘Samples/Loops’ > Drop it from here.
- Click the (+) to Add a new channel to your channel rack. This adds room for the track to be layered. Route the track to the Master Mixer.
- Go under ‘Menu,’ > Click ‘Add’ > Add new Track
- Double click the Plugin Picker (you can also press F8 while in FL Studios to short-cut this) drag and drop your desired track.
- Replace the channel by opening options through a right click on the ‘Channel,’ button > Click ‘Replace’ > Add in your preferred channel.
Understanding Your Sample Pack Libraries
Another factor to comprehend for long-term music production – is to determine which kind of sample library packs you prefer to utilize.
Your two options for library packs are:
- Sample Libraries – Traditional and a bit outdated at this point, but often the most popular option.
- Cloud-Based Sample Libraries – Utilized by Loopcloud and Splice, a few qualities that differentiated cloud-based samples from traditional ones are:
- They integrate with DAW software
- Allows for increased convenience for importing and exporting files
- Allows you to select individual tracks instead of an entire pack of samples
- Allows various loop stations, which means that you are free to edit before even opening in your workstation.
- Many describe these files as the most adaptable to add more flexibility to your workflow
- Backed by cloud-software, which means it is backed up with data security and disaster recovery.
You can choose either file types as they’re both designed for FL Studios; however, you will notice the world making a conscious effort to integrate into our cloud-based models for increased efficiency and security.
Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
There’s no secret about FL Studios being a complex system. With most producers making mistakes to learn and grow, you can begin a step ahead of the rest by learning about these errors and how to avoid them.
The most commonly-made mistakes be FL Studio novices are:
- Ignoring the Level Ceiling – This is a volume cap on your sounds, anything exceeding this cap will cause audio-distortions. Essentially – if you blast the beat too loud, you are minimizing its tonal quality and strength. Imagine a rock concert that is harder to decipher in person because it’s louder than your typical stereo.
Another important factor is that the sound may appear fine within FL Studios (as a 32 bit depth file that adapts to FL Studios’ scalar amplitude system); however, once downloaded into a smaller file size (of about 16-32 bit depth) the sounds can become even more distorted.
How to Fix: Turn the samples down to moderate levels and don’t allow them to turn bright red. This is the warning sign that FL Studios will give to avoid distorting your mixes.
Keep this in mind while mixing and don’t allow any one channel or track to outperform the rest. This can lead to Fuzzy audio that is unclear and samples that are turned to their maximum loudness (not fun for your listeners).
- Making Dormant Arrangements – Your music should tell a story, moving upwards in notes and back down, leading us on a chronological crescendo of growing sounds. If your beat is stagnant throughout, this will lead to a boring track.
How to Fix: Surprise your listeners. Do this by arranging your tracks and channels into unique orders that even surprise you. Build tensions and incorporate bridges (which will link common-toned ‘chapters’ of your song such as the first verse to the chorus).
- Failing to Optimize Exports Properly – Many will work for months on a song, only to rush the exporting process in excitement. To export the highest possible quality of your file, do your hard work justice by taking this step seriously.
How to Fix: The steps to care for your finished file properly are to:
- Go to ‘Project Type,’ > Then, ‘Full Song’ > Click, ‘Leave Reminder’
- Go to ‘Wav Bit Depth > Click ‘WAV’ > Click 24-bit (32 is the largest and you don’t want the file to expand too far and distort as covered in the ‘ignoring the level ceiling’ tip).
- Go to ‘Quality’ > select ‘512.’ > Click ‘Enable HQ for All Plug-ins’
- Disable the ‘Max Polyphony’ when you are utilizing a file size under 24-bits. If doing so, enable the ‘Dithering,’ setting too.
Save Separate Files as You Work
If you plan to distribute and sell your music, there will be a long process to go through that could involve edits of your original track. Don’t flatten it into a final product that can’t be edited apart again. You should be able to take out individual instruments, which you can’t do if you flatten the entire file without saving back-up copies.
This means saving each of these separately:
- Your vocal track
- The drum kits and percussions
- The guitar loops
Or any other classification that helps you to keep things separate as you work. For example:
- Vocals mixed with guitar only
- Vocals mixed with drums only
- Electric overtone and without, etc.
This extra step in the process will give you the future-flexibility to:
- Lower certain sounds and instruments
- Tinker with each individual audio elements
- Reinvent your original tracks
Final Tips for FL Studio Drumming Success
A few final words of wisdom are:
- Determine Your Genre First – This will make it easier to shop for sounds on these drum kits and sound distribution platforms. Decide if you are looking for Trap beats, EDM, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, or whatever drum patterns suite your music. This will lead you to sounds that are more closely aligned with your genre, so get specific.
- Find the Right Drum Kit – Select a package that suits your genre and offers you enough drum versatility for the price. You should choose a drum kit that offers multiple variations of each sound (hi-hats, snares, bases, 808s, etc.) and a drum kit with many sample loops to choose from.
- Experiment with File Sizes – You can try 32-bit, but this will often be rejected due to the ceiling level being too high for long-term security and adaptability. 16-bit will be the minimum requirement for most distribution platforms or CD production. 24-bit is a sweet spot, but these can vary depending on the song and finished product.
- Don’t Forget Royalties – Most files are royalty-free; however, you should always confirm this unless you don’t mind paying them. You will notice that the best sounds are often at a higher price. This is typical and shouldn’t be a surprise, so expect to pay more if you prefer the most highly-rated sounds.
- Be Patient with Yourself – DAW files are complex, and it will take time to master FL Studios. Although it is hard to struggle at first, there is a reason that professionals use FL Studios to make high-quality records. If you commit to learning the software and forgiving yourself for mistakes, you will eventually arrive at making music you will be deeply proud of.
All of these websites combined offer hundreds of thousands of drum kits and instruments to experiment with. FL Studios does operate at a fee, but if you’re ready to practice with their Free Trial on their website.