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How do I make this processed acoustic snare sound?

Hi everyone :D! I was very fortunate to find this forum while searching for drum mixing tutorials.

Sorry to bother you with a vst question but hope you could offer some advice on how I can achieve this particular snare/kick sound.

I am currently using the vst EZ Drummer Toontrack EZX Metal Machine. I am trying to re-create this kind of snare impact heard in the following demos (which also uses the same drum vst according to the author/composer) but cannot figure out how to get the snares and kicks to become as fat, heavy, and weighted even when I applied a great deal of compression and parallel processing.



Hope you won't mind advising on how I could eq/compress the snare/kicks to achieve a similar type of weight and thickness/snap/punch in the following examples.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read. Any ideas, suggestions, etc, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks and best regards!


pcrecord Wed, 05/04/2016 - 18:08
I think it's not in the compression.
Giving that you find the right sample, that kind of sound is often the sum of different reverbs (short room(s) and longer reverbs)
Also, many use layering (2 or 3 snare sound layered on top of each other.

A personal note, they do not sound accoustic to me ;)

DonnyThompson Wed, 05/04/2016 - 23:06
sbssucks, post: 438277, member: 49845 wrote: even when I applied a great deal of compression and parallel processing.
define your "parallel processing" ... EQ? More Gain Reduction? Reverb?

"Weight" and "Thickness" on a snare is usually obtained by EQ, and generally resides in the 220 -300 hz range. "Snap" is around 2k or so, with "crack" around 5k/6k.

Adding further compression to a sample that is probably already compressed to some degree is more apt to make the snare sound thinner, not thicker.

In what order are you running your processing chain? If you are staging compression first, GR detector circuits attack low end before other frequencies, unless you are using one with an HPF or side chained EQ that takes the lows out of the detection circuit.
Ratios, thresholds, attacks and releases will matter, too. If you are using a faster attack time, you'll take the transients out of the snare ( or kick, or toms) more than if you use a slower time and let those initial attack transients through.

sbssucks Thu, 05/05/2016 - 13:14
Hi everyone and thank you for all the replies :)

I'm still very raw when it comes to applying reverb so the gated reverb technique tutorial is a must try for me! With regards to parallel processing, I'm not sure if I'm doing this properly. I routed the same unaffected snare to 3 separate tracks (all 3 had the same signal chain: transient, eq, comp.)
On the first track I had some compression at 1.5:1 ratio with a 15 ms attack and a 100 ms release with threshold at around -8 db. I think it only reduced about .5-.75 db.
The second track I did a huge amount of comp at 5:1 ratio with 25 ms attack, 200 ms release, at -20 db threshold and it made a tight whacking sound so I added some of this track into the mix.
The 3rd track was for the reverb (something I'm very bad at applying). I only have one reverb plug-in (waves trueverb) so I picked the preset stadium setting because it had a small tail, then tried compressing at a 3:1 ratio to get it to have some kind of weight and snap.
Then I routed all 3 of these tracks to a snare bus and did some 1.5:1 ratio compression at -10 db with a 20 ms attack and 100 ms release.
Unfortunately, the sound was not nearly as thick, dense, and weighted as the examples. I can't seem to figure how he managed to get the sounds to be so tight. I also thought it sounded like there was a small bit of latency between the transient and body of the snare hit, making the snap even more prominent.

Hope you all could provide a little more insight into this.
Thank you so much for the help! It is greatly appreciated!
Best regards

sbssucks Fri, 05/06/2016 - 14:26
Hi Mr. Thompson and thank you for your reply.

Please find the following snare tracks below.

This was the default unedited sound from the 2 Toontrack Metal Machine snares I was going to use. The 1st 4 hits were at 100 velocity and the next 4 hits were done at 127 velocity.


This was the processed version for the 7"x14" Tama snare I decided to use.


Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this. I really appreciate the advice!
Best regards and have a great weekend!