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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Snare Processing With a Harmonic Exciter

Hey everyone, Want to share a cool trick I learnt to get a massive snare drum sound. This involves some mid / side processing and the use of a harmonic exciter. First up is to get a good drum sound going. I usually go for two to three layers, as follows.

Layer one should be a nice low, weighty sound to fill out the bottom end of the snare.

Layer two is where the action happens so to speak, it's the main crack and punch of the snare.

Layer three is your top end noise and tail.

This last layer is what I want to concentrate on today. Copy this layer so that you have two versions of the same layer. In the first version, add a copy of Ableton's EQ Eight or a similar such plugin like FabFilter ProQ if you are in another DAW. Create a node and set it's stereo placement to be on the side only, then highpass or lowpass all of this information out of the signal. You can then add a boost to the mid only if you like, I find around 600Hz give or take tends to work. Next repeat this process, only this time on the second version and instead of removing the side information from the signal, do the opposite and remove the mid information. Again you can add a boost, I find a higher boost works best for the side signal, say 2000 to 3000 Hz.

You now have independent control over the mid and side portions of your snare.

You might find that you need to play with the volume, and (using a transient designer or similar tool) adjust the sustain and decay portions of each signal. Once you are happy with the relationship between the two layers, now add a harmonic exciter to the side signal only. You may now have to readjust the volume relationship between the two layers. However, you should have a nice, bright and wide snare that at the same time retains all of its focus and energy.

Hope you found that useful. Cheers.

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