• Sammy

What's That Snare?

DW Snare Drum

I'm the first to admit I love my snare drum! It sounds amazing, and it's also my favourite part of the mix on the EP. The snare itself is a DW Performance chrome dipped steel 5.5" x 14" snare. From the moment I first hit it at Cranbourne Music I fell in love with it, and had to have it! Luckily I had my good wife's blessing!

But so much more goes into that amazing snare sound on your favourite album (which is hopefully mine :-) ) than just the drum itself. So I thought I'd explore all the touch points that affect that sound before it hits your ear. Note: on my EP it's all natural goodness! No samples are used.

So here is my list (this is the recipe that makes the cake) that makes up that sound;

- The stick I used

- The actual drum shell (This is the DW Performance chrome dipped snare)

- The top head I chose

- The bottom head I chose

- The way I tuned it

- The dampening on the drum head (I use an "O" ring)

- The snare wires I chose (Thank you Puresound)

- How tight I set the wires

- The microphone I chose for the top of the drum

- The positioning of that microphone

- The microphone I chose for underneath the drum

- The positioning of that microphone

- The bleed from the other microphones also in the room

- The room itself

- The hardware gate I used (not the thing at the end of your driveway :-) )

- The pre-amps and converters I used

- The EQ I chose and its settings on top and bottom mics

- The compressor I chose on top and bottom mics (an 1176 blackface if you're interested) and its settings

- The drum bus compressor (I mix all the drum mics together in a sub-mix and crush it)

- The compressor on on the master bus

- The EQ I add to the master bus

- The mastering multi-band compressor

- The mastering EQ's (there's a couple for colour)

- The mastering limiter

- Your player (maybe an iPhone)

- Your EQ settings

- Your amp

- Your headphones

This giant ingredients list all affects the sound that you hear, however there is one final special secret ingredient that you cannot emulate or replicate and that is "The way the drummer hit the drum" :-)



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