See how the pros handle the critical balance between the bass and drums. Learn where, when, why, and how EQ should be used on virtually any instrument. Become proficient in tailoring just the right effect for each particular mixing situation. And master the key to fat and punchy sounding mixes: compression. Tune in every Thursday for a new tip!
- The Abbey Road Studios reverb trick
- Secrets to a powerful and punchy mix
- Using compression like NYC pros
- Listening tips and tricks used by the world's best mixers
- How Van Halen gets their guitar sound
- Making vocals shine
- Adding excitement to boring pad tracks
- Setting up your mix to get the best results in the least amount of time
Skill Level Beginner
- [Voiceover] There are times when you want that snare drum to just explode out of the speakers. There's a way to get that done that you probably never thought about. First of all, let's listen to the track and then we'll add in the exploding snare trick. (music with drum beat) Pretty dry, sounds pretty good. Listen to the snare by itself. (snare drum plays) So now what we're going to do is add delay and you can see I have a delay channel right here, that I've already inserted.
And now what I'm going to do is go to the delay time and set it to somewhere between 100 and 120 milliseconds. Somewhere in there, maybe even higher. Time it to the track, so we'll go to 100. 100 is actually time to the track so that's pretty good. We don't need to do anything else. Now this is on bus 10 so let's a little of bus 10 to it. (drum beat plays) Listen to the track.
(music with drum beat) You can hear it sounds a little thicker. Nothing dramatic though. Now we're going to go to the second part of this though. We're going to add a reverb, a fairly short reverb. In this case I have a chamber. This is a lexicon chamber and we're going to set it to about a second or less. And of course we can add some pre-delay and now we're going to send the delay, the output of the delay into our chamber.
So our chamber is 19 to 20. Now let's listen. (drum beat plays) And now we're going to add also a little bit from our other channels as well, our other snare channels. (drum beat with music plays) And you can hear what happened.
It sounds really big and really natural. It explodes because there's that little delay there, it's the delay that really makes this happen. As soon as we mute it, all of a sudden it sounds not as interesting. So once again, I'm going to play it without the effect and then we'll put the exploding snare trick in. (music without snare delay) Of course you can actually change this by changing the delay time as well.
So if we go to well let's say 150 milliseconds or so, you'll hear that it does change a bit. (music with snare delay) It's a little bit bigger, a little wider. And let's go to 180 just so you can hear the difference. (music with delayed snare beat) You have to choose what works best in the track but it's usually somewhere between 100 milliseconds and well 180 to 200, and usually I find 100 to 120 works about right but again whatever works in the track is great.
To make your snare drum seem to explode out of the track, first create a dedicated delay channel just for the snare. Set the time delay to somewhere between 100 to 200 milliseconds, timed to the pulse of the track. Now send only some of the bottom snare channel to the delay using an aux. You should be able to hear the snare thicken from the slap. Use an aux to send some of the top mic channel, the bottom mic channel and the delay channel to the drum reverb. Make sure that the drum reverb is set to a decay time of one second or less.