punchy snares

djdevz

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#1
right i know this has probably been asked a thousand times...but

how do you make a nice punchy snare, and make it sit nicely in the mix?

ive tried looking around forums, tried getting different samples and messed around loads on logic but its not sounding tight.

any tips, pointers etc would be really helpful.

heres a clip ive been working on as an example..bear in mind ive done no variation in the drum pattern

https://soundcloud.com/djdevz%2Fsnare-issues
 

kama

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#3
I've been experimenting lately with something I've felt very strongly against in the past: Having a compressor on the master. If applied sparingly (2:1 at max), it can really bring out the transients in a mix - for example, bussing your main kick and snare and just boosting that a few dB over what sounds good without the comp, and then when you hit the right attack and release on the compressor it really cuts through the snare and kick. Doesn't work on all mixdowns (then I go for drum buss compression usually), but with something that isn't as busy like no reeces or massive pads or what have you, it does actually work.

I don't know what a mastering engineer would feel about this but I tend to like the sound anyway. Also it's easy to just export a version without the compression if the ME wants to do it himself.
 

djdevz

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#5
nice one lucid, these are the sorta samples im after....i need 2 learn a lil bit more about compression though, right now its just random messing around on the plugin lol.

@kama hmm sounds like something that i object to doing as well..why cant the compressor be on the drum channel, wont that give the same effect?
 

sam the dnb man

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#6
I group all my snares to a bus. Once I have the sound I want I will make an AUX strip with a channel EQ and a compressor.
On the EQ I will increase it at 200HZ to add some punch and at about a 1000HZ to make it 'snap'.
On the compressor I will put the threshold at around -25db and the ratio at 4 : 1 :1 .
The attack will be at about 10 MS and the release always varies.

However this is a basic guidline its always different and it depends entirely on the samples you have used ect.
Play around with the AUX level untill you get the desired effect.

Also to add abit of 'space' to your snare get a clap sound. Hi pass it at say 400HZ. Add a bitcrusher but don't do any downsampling, put the resoloution upto 24Bit. Add say 7.5 DB on the drive.
Pan it to the right then.....

Create another track and pan it to the right. Load up a different clap sound then do the same as before.
Bus these two together and add a reverb plug in and tweak it to how you desire.

Don't assign this to the snare bus but assing it to the main drum mix bus.
I set out my drums like this.

Kick - Bus 1
Hi Hats - Bus 2
Snare - Bus 3
Overheads (Crash Cybals, Rides ect) - Bus 4
All of these busses will be grouped to bus 5.
I will tend to have a bus for ambient drum sounds grouped to bus 6 then routed to bus 5.
 

kama

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#8
@kama hmm sounds like something that i object to doing as well..why cant the compressor be on the drum channel, wont that give the same effect?
Well, in short, no.

See when you have a compressor on the master, everything in your tune will of course be affected by it. Pads, bass, synths, whatever. If you compress a drum buss, the compressor will only affect the drums, naturally.

On the master things are a little different. You can really push sounds to get them on top, so this won't really work with other than you main snare and kick, since it can drown out everything else. But when you set the timing controls proper, you'll get a real pumping going on with the beats, sort of like sidechaining everything else to the main beats, but in a much more subtle manner.
 

Dj Methodist

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#9
I use parallel comp on my drums everytime, and send both channels to another buss to become the drum master. this eneables me to automate and control the whole drum mix easily.

Then for the snares, I will send them all again to another buss and put a Bit crusher on, the the out to 0dB and then compress with a touch of EQ if needed
 

sam the dnb man

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#10
I find with the bitcrusher you lose a lot of definition of the lower end, it will sound louder but on a big system it will lose its punch.
Its best just to add an aux strip with a bitcrusher and adjust the volume untill you get the sound you want.


Also it can affect the transient detail and make snares sound slightly off beat when applied to the dry signal. Some settings on bitcrushers increase the attack.
 

RUSSLA

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#11
In logic you can add the Overdrive plugin to the snares, which allows you to increase the snare in the mix without actually added more gain to it.. Very affective way of pulling it thru. Set the drive to 0.5-1.5db until it sounds nice and then the gain at 0db - Try that along with the above suggestions ;) This also works for kicks too!
 
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