Layering Snares

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#1
Hi.

I am having trouble layering my snares. Whenever I try layering snares, it sounds very dull. When layering, have a 2 snare samples: one is for the punch, and the other is for the crisp (high freq). I lowpass the first snare (the punch) in 600 hz, and highpass the second snare (the crisp) in 600 hz. The results sounds very dull.

I was wondering why is this happening? Unless I am layering the snare wrong, because that is how I layer my kicks. I also think it is the sample that causing it to be dull... I don't know.
 

Mania

i fukin wot m8
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#2
This happens because a lot of the punch of the Lower snare exists in the higher frequencies, and when you cut everything above 600 (which is really low), you're getting rid of a lot of energy. Having a straight split works for kicks (I used to do it and i gave me good results), but not very well for snares.
Lowpass it maybe around 5k, or not at all if it sounds good unfiltered.
A lot of layered snares have sometimes zero processing on each individual layer, and basic stacking is fine. To get a punchy snare the first thing i'd do is make sure the waveforms of the snares are in-phase so they hit nicely.

Also, adding more layers will help get a fatter snare sound. A lot of top producers (plus myself) tend to use between 4 and 6 snare layers when making the main snare for a break.
 
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#3
This happens because a lot of the punch of the Lower snare exists in the higher frequencies, and when you cut everything above 600 (which is really low), you're getting rid of a lot of energy. Having a straight split works for kicks (I used to do it and i gave me good results), but not very well for snares.
Lowpass it maybe around 5k, or not at all if it sounds good unfiltered.
A lot of layered snares have sometimes zero processing on each individual layer, and basic stacking is fine. To get a punchy snare the first thing i'd do is make sure the waveforms of the snares are in-phase so they hit nicely.

Also, adding more layers will help get a fatter snare sound. A lot of top producers (plus myself) tend to use between 4 and 6 snare layers when making the main snare for a break.
Thanks for the help! So I don't have to split frequencies for each snare sample to layer them. Awesome

Now I have one question.... you mentioned:
To get a punchy snare the first thing i'd do is make sure the waveforms of the snares are in-phase so they hit nicely.
What if the snare samples aren't in-phase, is it possible to make this in-phase with each other? Is there a plugin exist in the interwebs?
 
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#8
With FL you can double click the audio clip and there's a button in the precomputed effects that says "Reverse polarity", which will flip the phase. Should work, I think.

Also, if you're layering snares, I assume the punchy snare doesn't have enough high frequencies right? If that's the case you shouldn't really need to lowpass the punchy snare, just highpass the crisp one and adjust the volume so that it's not to harsh.
 
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#9
Make sure snares are in tune (might need to pitch one or the other until they sound good together)
Compression + Transient Shapers get sexy snares

Alternative way of going about things...
I like to use 1 good punchy snare sample and then boost it... then add a synthetic snare plus some white noise (and usual compression, reverb, transients etc)
 
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#10
Step 1: Get a proper snare sound! The less work is key and ideal here! You want to do as little work as possible on the individual snare sounds, or any sounds... It makes no sense to sit there for hours working on something that ends up being crap.. been there done that! :)

Step 2: Layer your sounds and when you cut them off dont just cut it off super sharp, make it a smooth cutoff at wherever you see fit!

Step 3: Place limiter on top of your entire snares! Now go into your individual snare sounds and Eq them up, and do whatever you need to do with them! but just small changes should be needed to get whatever final result you want. Big changes just take the sound out of its natural state.

Step 4: Compress properly! meaning just bring the threshold to the peak of the sound, but never too much... Adjust all parameters within compressor, such as your ratio of how tight you want the compressor to compress your sound! Then adjust the limiter gain to get it maximum and flush at 0db, and as maximum as possible but dont do it too much!

Ill video a tutorial, i'm sure this writeup and others help helped, but nothing beats a good video tutorial! :D
 

cele

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#11
why would you want your snare to peak at 0db? This takes away basically all the space in the mix and is very tune dependent, also if you want a sharp punchy snare you don't really need a compressor because you'd kill the transients with it (which is what makes the snare sharp and punchy)

I personally rarely filter my snare, I highpass them at the end of the chain and do some surgical eqing
also I layer anywhere from 1-10 snares, or even more if it sounds good, you just need to take into account that you won't get a minimal kind of snare from that but one with a large body and often a lot of punch, the number depends on what kind of snare you want, just mess around a bit
 

bhksamples

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#13
Try this, Rarr has mentioned it already, at first layer the snares only by pitching each ( up or down) until they get glued, without effecting each individual with an eq. Once you get them glued ( if both together give a clean snap ) this way, you can start to effect each individual. But don't effect to much otherwise you will end up again in a dull sound. Less is more ;)
 
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#15
compressing and limiting is bad only if you dont know what you are doing. otherwise it actually does bring your sounds out just that much more that you need sometimes! lolol! but you can screw it up. For the sound purist i understand cause you want the sound as pure as possible. But please dont forget transparency in limiters in the first place. Thats an extra bit of space right there, and if you compress right your sound is actually much fatter! but still within proper dynamics! :p
 

lostnthesound

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#17
Without repeating what's been said, it should be noted that tuning your snares is extremely crucial when layering.

Personally, if a song is in Amin then I try to tune my snares to either Am, C and/or E so that they're all harmonically balanced.

I tread lightly with compressing the snare bus, just touch of the ol' Cytomic Glue does the trick and prior to compression I usually thrown in a light bit of overdrive with the ratio of drive & output offsetting one another (ex. Drive = +6, Output = -6). This way your not so much adding volume but some nice subtle transients to help punch the mix. As soon as I'm happy with how the layered snare sounds, I bounce it down and keep moving forward...otherwise you'll be listening to the the same thing for the next two hours tweaking away and end up with something that sounds like shit.
 

Dugg Funnie

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#18
imo, it all starts with top-notch samples. I pretty regularly go through samples I know I probably won't use and clean them out. Keeps the juices flowing and the sample collection at an essential level minimum. If you know all your samples are quality then you can literally just play them at the same time (I use FL so I'll layer between 2-4 snares and just send them all to the same mix channel and dial in a tiny bit of compression and whatever EQ may or may not be needed) without needing to do much of anything else.
 

RUSSLA

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#19
^ Yeah been feeling this a lot, with the snare samples that are now available you don't even need to layer sometimes. Multiband-saturation can work wonders on a beefy snare
 
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