Drums - Processing - Snare Drum

Video Created by JOEL CAMERON - Transcribed by TOM BOWSER

REMINDER: Verify and monitor EQ changes while the track is in the mix.

Use subtractive EQ to reduce/remove what you don't want to hear. Remember that when you reduce you give the channel/track greater headroom if you need or want to increase level at the fader.

Remember to work with the Q of the frequencies you are cutting or boosting to further tailor the sound. The Q of a filter is how sharp the curve is at the center frequency. It dictates how large an area of the frequency spectrum is affected by the filter. With a narrower Q your cuts/boosts affect fewer adjacent frequencies. The Q control is the top knob of the 3 controls in the filter section of the Pro Tools EQ 3 4-Band used in this tutorial. I drew a red rectangle around the Q control in the image below.

Pro Tools EQ 3 4-Band showing the low mid, mid, high mid, high frequency filters.

Top Snare Microphone:

  • Reduce/roll off lows from around 100Hz to see if you hear the attack of the drum more clearly. Next listen to the the low mids to see if you need to reduce in that range at around 300 Hz. Reduce then sweep to find the area you want to affect. Begin with a reduction of around 3 and up to 6dB.
  • Consider adding a little attack to the snare by increasing the gain of the filter at around 8 kHz own to 7 kHz.
  • Monitor both top and bottom snare mics while making adjustments so you can hear how treating one affects the blend with the other.

Bottom Snare Microphone:

The relationship of things within the mix will change as you begin to bring in more elements, as you begin to process more things for example, processing overheads and room mics. Overhead and room mics or other drums that are not gated or processed will hear the other drums differently. How they are treated will affect the sound of the drums that have already been processed. You may need to go back and readjust, blend drums that were processed in previous/earlier steps.

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