The Amazing ’70s Snare Drum Trick

151 You’ll need: Small guitar amp Snare drum Noise gate Reamp (if you got it) You’ll get: A clean, crispy snap from the snare wires that can be mixed with the original snare drum track for that vintage sound. Here’s how you do it: Send a recorded snare drum track to a noise gate, and set the gate so it
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151

You’ll need: Small guitar amp

  • Snare drum
  • Noise gate
  • Reamp (if you got it)

You’ll get: A clean, crispy snap from the snare wires that can be mixed with the original snare drum track for that vintage sound.

Here’s how you do it: Send a recorded snare drum track to a noise gate, and set the gate so it opens with the snare hit only; then set the release as quick as possible.

From the noise gate, send the signal out to a guitar amp. A reamp device would be helpful, as the signal will then be at the proper impedance, but in a pinch you can run a long cable out to the amp. Just be careful with the amp input volume, as the signal will be very hot.

Next, place the guitar amp on its back, facing up. Then place the snare upside down on top of the guitar amp with the snare wires facing out. Adjust the amp volume so that the gated snare signal is loud enough to trigger the snare wires. The gated snare sound, running through the guitar amp, will “hit” the snare and sound like it’s being played.

Mic the upside down snare. A good starting point is about three feet away.

Bring the miked snare signal back into your mixing board and blend it with the original sound. This should give you a dry, tight ’70s snare sound.

You can also try compressing the miked sound, or running just that track through a reverb send, or if your room is big enough, move the mic back to catch the room sound. If you have a way of reversing the phase, you might want to play with that also.