Today’s video tutorial is all about how to make a phat snare using EQ and compression. If you haven’t done so, then please take a moment to subscribe to my youtube channel so that you don’t miss out any upcoming video tuts.
Here’s a quick lowdown of what the video is all about. Scroll to the bottom for the video.
Snare Drum EQ & Compression Tips
Even though different genres my require different settings this guide will help you learn how to find problem frequencies and how to help the snare cut through the mix. It could be metal or blues you’ll learn the fundamentals of making a phat snare drum.
This is also a concise guide so it doesn’t matter what software or plugin you’re using, the same principles apply. Let’s get started:
Low-end Cut: To make space for the kick and bass I created a cut around 80Hz. This will also create more headroom for the entire mix, if needed and it will also remove rumble.
Body & Phatness: Then I created a boost at the 150Hz range to add some weight and phatness to thicken up the snare drum.
Boxiness: I also created a cut in the 500Hz range to remove some boxiness and mud. If your snare sounds too thin you might want to do the opposite.
Attack: To help the snare cut through and become more present in the mix I created a boost around the 3kHz range to bring up its attack.
Air: Then finally a high shelf boost around 10kHz to add some air and brightness. In the video I said attack, that’s a mistake 😉
For the compression settings, I simply used a fast attack and release time with a small ratio of around 3:1. There’s also some parallel compression to mix the dry and affected signal.
After adding the compressor I realized that the snare had a very long tail which I didn’t like so I had to cut it out using a gate plugin.
Then to spice things up I added a reverb. After watching the video you may ask yourself why I used 2 equalizers instead of one. I used one eq for subtractive eq and another to do additive eq.
I prefer to cut unwanted frequencies before compression to clean the sound then boost frequencies after compression. This technique works really well when you’re mixing live music. If you have a specific frequency problem with a live snare try using a multiband comp or dynamic eq on that frequency to fix the problem.
Watch the video below for a more detailed and visual tutorial. see you again tomorrow with another great music production tutorial.