Making drums sound dusty

I want to share an interesting trick for mixing dusty drum sounds, perfect for genres like Lo-Fi, UK Garage, and Boom Bap. In this video, I delve into how I transform ordinary drum tracks into something with more character, bringing them to life with an authentic, vintage touch.

My Parallel Drum Rack Approach

I use a parallel drum rack to separate the dry and wet signals. Focusing on the wet signal, I initially turn off the reverb to demonstrate the impact of the changes. The key to my technique is the use of noise generators, for which I prefer two erosions in Ableton. These aren’t just any noise generators; they infuse a layer of textured noise into the original drum sound, adding that crucial dusty quality.

Creativity with Noise Generators

This is where you can let your creativity shine. While I offer a starting point, feel free to experiment with various noise generators or different types. The goal is to add a unique layer of noise to the original sound.

Color and Squash for Texture

I drive the noisy sound hard using Console 7 Cascade by Airwindows (you can use a saturator too, I just like how straightforward it is). This step is crucial for adding color, volume, and squash, extracting all the noisy details for later careful mixing.

Selective EQ for the Right Texture

I then employ two channel EQs to cut out the lows (you can use whatever EQ, actually), focusing the crunchy sound on the mid-range and high end. This selective EQing ensures that the kick drum remains unaffected while still imparting some crunchiness to the rest of the drum kit.

Sidechain Compression for Refined Control

A sidechain compressor, responding to the kick drum, is key to controlling the crunchiness. This allows me to dampen the kick's harshness while retaining its presence in the rest of the kit. The dry/wet mix is crucial here for achieving the perfect balance.


My technique for making drums sound dusty is all about embracing creative audio processing. By skillfully  and creatively manipulating noise generation, coloration, EQ, and compression, you can transform standard drum tracks into rich, textured soundscapes, imbuing your music with the essence of Lo-Fi and UK Garage.


Featured products

Charts Bundle
Charts Bundle
Sale price€45,00 EUR Regular price€60,00 EUR
Tips Bundle
Tips Bundle
Sale price€25,00 EUR Regular price€40,00 EUR