Snares, witdth, and depth

I suck at reverberating snares. Something is always off. It is a big weak point. My snares sound better, thanks to Au5 & Keota’s tutorials, but the reverb part sucks. Each time I have too much of a frequency I can’t remove, the reverb will not have the right tone, it looks like I can’t get it to sing.

I don’t understand how great producers add depth, character and width to their snares. Tips really appreciated.

Maybe I miss some basic principles ?

Try playing around with the pre-delay on your reverb, if you haven’t already. Basically set up a bus with your reverb plug on it and set up a send from your snares channel to it. Start out with a small room size setting and a lot of pre-delay and set your reverb wet setting to 100%, then play with the room size / pre-delay settings on your reverb, making the room size bigger and the pre-delay shorter, as you turn down the wet setting…you should get what you’re looking for.

Hope this helps.

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Try using a different reverb. When you want to get rid of reverb frequencies eq them out on raw snare and not on reverberation. Also when listening to great producers maybe just check how much of loudness across its spectrum the snare has in comparison to other elements that fill the stage, how much of room they take comparing to maximal loudness…
Pitching the snare to take an ideal array of sound space
And using better snare samples, because shit is never pure enough

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This is going to be a tough one to answer without knowing what genre of music are you making.

There are so many approaches that are specific to style.

For example, I’m working on a project that is reliant on acoustic drums largely, but there is a bit of a throwback component in the aesthetic, so I go to a plate reverb and I return the reverb to the drum bus to get some heavy parallel compression w an 1176 (plugin - slow attack and release). The cumulative nature of the processing creates a sound of its own, especially in how the cymbals sound. That said having the snare and the verb compressed w the entire drum bus sounds way different than The snare on its own.

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Yeah, I try to use Ableton’s Reverb only these days (I’m focusing on Live’s native plugins).
Because I know this is possible for it so sound really good on other sounds. But with snares, I never succeed to get the right frequency into the reverb. It always takes the wrong frequencies. … I’m just thinking that maybe it is impossible to get a good snare reverb out of this ?


Thanks. I’ll run a spectrum analyzer on some tracks I like, I never did this before. It can help.

I don’t use snare samples unless I do some 808 shit, I make my own snares since a few months. It feels better, even if I don’t know how to 100% integrate the snare into the track .

Lately I use NI’s Flair on a send with a preset I made, it adds a phased out tail and it’s good for the snare. Also a Decapitator to stimulate low-end or high-end. It gets better, but I’m not there yet. Waves RVox is also really good.


Neuro-inspired electronic music, I make snares by generating components with a few Operators and I glue the whole thing with a lot of resampling. I like my snares now, which is the first time, but they still need more magic to really shine. I use acoustic snares sometimes to make ghost notes but I’m a dip shit to mix them.

I never did parallel compression / parallel distortion. I should, I was busy for months with normal compression, bass designing and harmonics generation/distortion. Next is parallel compression I guess


Sorry, I don’t use Live…never really have to any great extent, but maybe somebody who reads this might be able to suggest something specific to the Live Reverb unit. All reverb plugs/units are basically the same, in that they do what they do…but the difference is in how they do it. Some will label have unique features that others don’t, but they still come with the core feature-set that all others do, though they might give those features different names on their interface.

Anyway, I hope you get this sorted out and I also hope you’ll post back here if and when you do find something that works for you. What I suggested above will work, but looking at the Live Reverb UI, I guessing you will have to play around with the settings to get it to do it. Not too sure why it’s giving you the wrong frequencies…I mean, you obviously know how to use the reverb unit in Live. Could it have something to do with the fact you’re building the snares up yourself from other sounds? Is it picking up something from one of those sounds that’s causing the problem? I’m not sure if you are layering everything in Live and then applying Reverb, or importing a file you pre-built into the mix.

If you’re layering everything in Live to make the snares, try bouncing everything down to one audio file and then import it back into the mix and try the reverb on it then…there might be something that’s causing an issue if they’re all separate files, though I doubt that would really sort things out for you. You might have better luck analyzing the before and after versions of the file/files you’re using for the snares to see if and where any issues are standing out.

I’m suggesting all of this blind, as…like I said…I’m not really sure about Live, but working on the assumption its reverb is like any other out there. Sorry I can’t be of more help. :roll_eyes:

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Thanks. I use this reverb a lot but I think it just lacks depth with snares. I will try another reverb and other tricks to reach a better sound.

I have no issues for other sounds, I always find the right tweaks, it just doesn’t work for snares. It’s like it is reverberating the wrong frequencies (the hit instead of the body, or the wrong harmonic, each time, even while using a send + EQ).

To make my snares, I do one step at a time, first I have a basic sine with a hit and some noise, I shape, I resample, I clip, I compress, I resample, and sometimes I reverb then I resample and I cut the tail afterwards. But it’s like… Do you record stuff ? It’s like I have a good bass tom, a good mic, and there’s just no way of making the thing sound right ^^

So I’ll try another reverb, which is not bad. I tend to be a bit obsessive with things I use.

Fix envelope, tail usually is cranky with what you get away with as many samples have reverb on them. Make sure its nicely centered and not weird stereo image.

EQ hard on nice parts, into a dist, tame eq after, remove low and high end a bit. Works for all layers really, bottom, mid, highs. Can send this new channel and add final touches, no reverb though or similar.

Reverb after processing. Buss the reverb always for max control here you can do anything to it. Put it on mono left. Do same for a right channel clone reverb and work from there. Gives lot of control, no worries about disting or bitcrushing as it is mono.

You might want a low, mid and even high source if you really wanna control the space off it. EQ a lot on each part to get most off it.

Put it all in one channel and add some mild control fx, comp, focus eq. All this works well for short room reverb feel, don’t over do the reverb here.

You can have a long reverb on all of this now and put it on an own channel to mix with the more ambient side of the track.

If you sample is clean and well EQed to start with and you like as is. Just send it to reverb buss and put on a preset that works. Double up on this and treat bottom and highs separately.

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They have better recordings.

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@HotRodnCakeRecipes I never thought I could make 2 reverb busses. Nice, I’ll try ! I learned a lot last months, now i begin to see the results of one year of headaches on mixing x)

So, taming is better after a dist ? I always hesitate on the order.

Eq, Dry wet combo Reverb, distortion, more dry wet reverb combo, eq, slam limiter, and gate the noise release tail.

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So I tried a lot of things and I found some balance in a 3 layer bus :

  • 1 Operator snare following a Au5 tutorial
  • 1 metal acoustic snare tail with distortion for harmonics
  • 1 clap 100% wet for some room

–> a bit of soft clipping and some tweaking and I’m good

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