How to create a snare from any sound

Blogpost written by Tantu Beats. Read time: 5m.

Lately, while working on the successor to Tantu's Finest vol. 1, I've been looking into original ways to create drum sounds. Turns out it's pretty easy to create a crispy snare from basically any audio recording. So, how does one do it?

First of all, it's important to understand the basic buildingblocks of a snare. When looking at the frequency spectrum of a snare, you can see that a snare consists of 2 main parts: a 'bottom' and a 'top'.


The bottom part gives a snare it's 'oompfh'. It defines the snare's 'weight' and makes it sound either big or small. On the other part of the spectrum (literally), the top part gives a snare it's crisp, which can be thought of as giving it some character and making it stick out in your mix. Next, let me show you how you can record random objects and turn them into a snare of your liking.

Record a bottom

Choose an object that generates a boomy noise when you hit it. In this example, I took a random bucket on which I knocked.


Boost the bottom

The recording had some low frequencies in it - which are the only ones I need for the bottom - so I decided to filter out the high-end and boost the bottom frequency heavily till it was clearly audible as a single note.


Record a top

To add crisp, I recorded a paper back that I rumpled up. It made a high-pitched noisy sound that should work well as the top of the snare. You can use anything that makes a white-noise-like sound for this.


Shape the top

You want to give a proper shape to the snare. A fast transient and a tail that's not too long tend to work best. Pitch your top around and alter the envelope (attack, decay, release) into a shape that sounds best in combination with the bottom.


Add processing

Now that the bottom and the top work well together, group-process the two with saturation, compression, EQ or distortion. Your imagination is the limit. The bottom line here is to 'glue' the bottom and top together and give it that extra knock.


And that's it! No more need to resample an 808 snare for the millionth time. You just created your own snare and you're the only one in the world with this sound.

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