Thursday, April 30, 2009

Snare Drum

So now we need a snare or a clap on the second beat of your track.
Try layering multiple snares or claps to get a phater sound. Once you think you have a awesome snare sound, bounce it down and save that snare.
Ok, before you bounce it down, you mite want to tidy it up a bit. First you don't need any lows so cut below 80-100hz on all of your snares. Snare drums get that body around 200hz so you may want to boost there, but only if it needs it. You also get warmth around 2000hz and clarity around 6000-8000hz.
Be careful where you boost your snares because you may find that other instruments will cover the same frequency spectrum, which will mean that the two sounds will be fighting against each other to come through, which will lead to mudiness and loss of clarity.
Also watch your levels. You don't want any clipping (red lining).

Once you think you have eqed it to a reasonable standard, group all snares to your snare group.
Like the kick drum, add a compressor to stick all your snares together. Just use your ears again and capture the initial hit without compression and compress the body of the sound.
Once you are happy with it, you can add other fx on top to make it even beefier. You could try a vintage warmer or even adding a little bit of distortion (I mean little!!!). Distorions just add extra harmonics to the sound.
Anyways just try things out. It's good to be creative. Just be aware that it is in mono.
Just before you save it, chuck a spectrum analyser on it and see where it peaks. If it's peaking around the 200hz mark, your pretty much there. Another good habit is using the spectrum analyser to see where things are most prominent. Do it to your entire tracks and compare them to pro tracks and see where their frequencies are prominent and where it dips.
Now you should have a pretty good snare. If you are happy with it, bounce it down and save it under a new snare.

The eqing tips will differ on the style of music it is, so keep that in mind. If you are going to have a kick drum under your snare, then you will not want it fighting with each other, so boosting 200hz may not be a good idea. Once again, I can't stress to you the importance of comparing your sounds to proffessional tracks. Listen and try and figure out why they sound so good and what areas your sound is lacking.

Hope that helps. Any Q's, just leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them.


  1. Thanks for these tutorials; they are very helpful. Any chance you could think about doing one on mixing a kick drum and bass?

  2. Hy very helpful indeed, thanks ! Any chance in doing one on layered kick drums + equing and compression of them

  3. such a nice blog. very easy to go through, yet still well written and covers the essential things.. but why did you stop? :(

  4. In this post very nicely describe all information about sounds to professional tracks and also compare your voice. You have given awesome info regarding Snare drums get that body.