Snare Drums That Pop – Try This Processing

If you’re trying to get that extra “pop” in your snare drum, but are coming up short with all of the compression, EQ, and reverb techniques you know, you might want to give this little tip a shot.

It’s not very hard to do, but it’ll be sure to give you that extra impact you’re searching for on your snare track.

First thing you’ll need to do is duplicate your snare track. Leave your original snare track pretty much how it is, (maybe slight compression/EQ), and start working on your duplicated track.

Apply a gate to your duplicated track. Set the threshold so that only a short “blip” of the snare is heard on each hit. It should sound “chopped off” a bit, and not necessarily very good by itself.

Then, compress it slightly. Shoot for around 3 dB of gain reduction.

Here’s the magic plug-in – a transient shaper. If you don’t have one, you should consider getting one. My favorite is the Native Instruments Transient Master plug-in.

[wc_box color=”primary” text_align=”left”][wc_heading type=”h1″ title=”A transient shaper allows you to control attack, and sustain of a signal.” text_align=”left”][/wc_box]

This type of effect allows you to change the “attack” of the signal, as well as the “sustain.” Set both the attack and sustain pretty high. This will create a very big, punchy sound for your snare.

Then, turn the duplicated track all the way down. Apply any necessary effects to your original snare drum.

Start blending in the duplicated track and hear your snare drum come to life! You won’t need much, just a little bit to make your snare shine through the mix!

3 thoughts on “Snare Drums That Pop – Try This Processing”

  1. Thanks for the great tip. I always appreciate MPPT’s assistance and advice. Would you recommend a similar approach for a kick drum?


    Mitchell P

    • Thanks Mitchell! And yes – it can definitely work well on kick. However, before trying this, I would try layering a different kick that has a good amount of “attack” to it on top of your original kick. Sometimes this technique can make your kick sound a bit too “pointy” in the midrange. However, if you scoop out some of the mid frequencies on the doubled track, you should be good!

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