Sampled and Synthesized Snare Tips

I use 808 and 909 emulations for all things drums in everything I do, but I almost always feel like I’m settling on my snare. I’ve been talking with some other people recently and I’m not the only person struggling with this in particular, so maybe there’s actually some good ideas out there we’re missing. I’m happy to try out any tips you guys are willing to share for any kinds of electronic snare sounds, because I have 2 projects now where I am at my wit’s end to come up with a good snare sound. Right now, I just want to throw some of your ideas at my mix and see what sticks.

Try playing with layering different snare sounds (tons of tutorials on YouTube, if you need). Try playing with EQ and compression (both on track or parallel / NY compression). Try playing with effects (reverb, delay, saturation, but not only). You can also find a few tips here:

bitcrusher/distortion, touch of reverb, a low order phaser in mono, some eq, and comb over the transient with an envelope in addition to some other stuff, also might wanna use a transient shaper to make it pop more and layer it with other sounds

One of the E 2’s saving graces are the drum and percussion samples, and the fact it’s easy to put them in the right key and pitch them. The FX can be a bit limiting, but I have outboard units if needed. So to me the most important thing is to have the key right first. This makes it easier. Then pitch it to where I want it to sit. Then FX would depend on genre really, but I like to use plate or gated/reverse gated reverb a lot, cos I’m an Eighties Queen.

Do you think its because youre not open to having different sounding snares? Imo its fine if you like a certain sound and always go with that

If not and you actively want a differemt sounding snare then just get hold of a big old sample pack and you cam go through them at your leisure

I agree that layering and EQing (including dynamic EQing) and compressing (including multiband compression) the layers and the complete snare can go a long way. What I also love to do with snares and all drum sounds, really, is to just put a multiband transient shaper on it such Newfangled Punctuate or the Neutron transient shaper and go crazy with that. A frequency-dependent reverb such as Pro-R with soft and short ambience-like settings applied to single layers or the complete snare can also help a lot with drum sounds, but this has to be applied caerfully ^^

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1 are you over thinking your snare!
Will anyone actually notice? As long as it’s mixed in well?

2 layering is key imo. Even rock mix engineers layer different drum sounds, mic placements, add samples etc. So no reason you shouldn’t.

As a trick too, one used to do a lot with mpcs, time stretch and reverse a clap, trim a bit off either end, to make it fit properly, then layer that as a part of your snare, give a lofi non linear reverb effect without using reverb.

+1 on this, I use bitcrushers and verbs on my snares, but only just a touch. Not that they are probably any good really, but they sound nicer to me. FWIW the Samples from Mars guys have their whole drum samples out for 39bucks right now and there are shedloads of snares in there if you want to expand your sample library.

I don’t even know how I got in this thread…my phone is topic dialing me I guess…

I will add this since I don’t see it mentioned specifically. The one component of the snare drum i try to think of are the snares themselves. It’s the wire mesh looking thing stretched across the bottom. Which you might try to emulate by layering some white noise and some adsr to whatever snare samples/synthing you’re using. Probably some pitching as well.

I actually didn’t know about this until my brother’s drummer buddy showed me one time.

Honestly, I’ve got like a half dozen go-to Gold Baby 909 snares that have already been processed and hit hard enough for the kind of music I make. I usually don’t stray from those. I will add some of my own processing (usually very light) I will play with the amp envelope to the snare to fit into the groove. Unless you are making a genre that absolutely calls for it, and this is pure opinion, I’d just stay away from 808 snares.

Also MONO, then pan or whatever if you need shit in stereo. For drums mono, mono, mono.

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