Dubstep Snare Thread


I always had problems with crafting an awesome punchy snare.

Recently I’ve been using a following method:

  • start a track,
  • put in random place holder drums (using the drum rack of Ableton),
  • after done with sound design & stuff find samples that fit better,
  • put in like 3-5 snare samples,
  • EQ them: 1 transient, 1 tail and the rest is to craft a custom body for the snare,
  • compress them together,
  • slight EQ if needed,
  • snare done.

Than I use multi-band sidechaining on the pre-master track to make the drums fit much better.

  • have a track with a short white noise audio file where the (kick and) snare hits and mute it,
  • put in an effect rack,
  • put 3 multi-band compressors solod on the high, mid and low frequencies,
  • put in Abletons compressor after every one of them and turn on sidechaning,
  • have the white noise as the input for the sidechain.

After that you can add how much you want each frequency ranges to be sidechained by the noise making the snare/drums much louder and fit for the track the way you want it. This is great because you can also customize the frequency ranges.

If you don’t want to use compression do the same thing but instead of compressors use a volume shaper like Xfers LFOTool and have them triggered by a midi note on every (kick and) snare hit.

(Also use slight panning on the body of the snare to make the it sound more stereo.)

I hope this helps.


Great tips, layering is key for snares!

definitely going to toy around with the multiband sidechaining technique, thanks


I hate my snares most of the time. I realize most of them sound shit because I have shit samples, but just wondering how Danny Scrilla and Krome made this nicely sounding snare. Probably a nice sample to start from but what the heck. The tune in question starts at 3.37.


IME all the multiband side chaining, over the top layering and processing results in a gross smeary mess. The power of drums generally is based on its context within a mix. Phase coherency is a major factor in the perceived power of a sound. The more layers and filters/eq you add, the more you screw with the phase. Simpler is almost always better for sounds you want to have a lot of impact. You should never do any process just because people say that is how to do things. Every sound and mix is going to be different. And for minimizing the effects of eq on phase, use wide gentle boosts and narrow cuts. Putting a big tight q boost around 200hz is just going to sound ringy, and with a linear phase eq the transient smearing is even worse.


Yeah, I never ever boost when EQ-ing. I learned that it’s always better to roll of gently. But I still layer a ton. Thanks for the input. Have to start sample digging again. :slight_smile:


I think one good sample is better than 3 things stacked on top of each other


sounds like a nice rimshot sample, it just works well with the rest of the track


agreed for dubstep snares but i feel like trap snares are almost always layered. Thoughts?


I feel like my best snares come with compression. Typically I’ll compress the transients at 30ms to get the body and punch of the drum but It can definitely be overdone into distorted overcompression.


Oh btw, I found a nice sample, it was a perc-y sample and it sounds nearly the same as in the Like Thunder tune when pitched up a bit. Was working on a tune and just noticed that haha


“,it definitely doesn’t sound in time,and the reason being is because of all the group delay incurred by the higpass filtering during the mixing stage and PA systems already have an insane amount of group delay because of the sheer size of the cabinet (and not forgetting the room)so it is literally just the additional SPL’s making up for all of those deficiencies”

Lol what

I know this is an old ass reply but wtf, all EDM is highpass filter madness but that doesn’t make it sound out of time, you can literally drag one of those track into your daw and see that it is perfectly in time


the danny scrilla and kromestar stuff is so fucking good, their styles compliment each other so well


not that it really matters that much for some garbage brostep tune but they were prob referencing how non-linear EQ’s work and the phasing issues they can create



You’d have to stack hundreds maybe thousands of the same filter to actually hear the latency


ya, im not rly arguing for the point, just saying thats prob what he’s referencing, ya dig?


yeah yeah i feel you, just thought it was funny how far they went to try to find something wrong with brostep lol, didn’t need to go that deep


I change the way I do things often, but this method is my most current. I’ll use a temporary generic snare sample, and then I build my snare for the song once i have a majority of the song finished. I’ll watch the song play through a spectral analyzer and look for pockets in the frequency spectrum where i can have my snare sit. A snare sound for each pocket I want to fill, layered. Then I’ll eq the rest of the song (everything but the snare) to duck those designated snare freqs if needed (this helps a lot with busy songs). I don’t boost bc i’m choosing each layer of the snare to fill a specific pocket in the freq range, so i just turn the volume of each layer up/down to obtain the desired effect. each snare sample i’m layering will typically peak where I need it to, and not really take up much more room than that in the freq range. this procedure provides the most freedom i feel, may not work for everyone, and i’ll probably be doing it differently a few years from now.


It is an old ass post.considering you think i am talking about an actual time delay means a lot of what i said went over your head,so "wtf lol"right back at ya.go read up on speaker design and filter papers…then you’ll grasp what i meant by "group delay"its 2018 and Zomboy’s stuff still sounds like harsh,mushy,crap with out of phase subs and shrill top end on big PA systems for the very reason i outligned in that original post (over zealous use of highpass filtering)you need to manage (keyword) low mids in tunes with a high crest factor if you don’t want them to fall apart on systems other than your laptop speakers (phase be a finnicky bitch),nobody said you had to totally murder them or vanquish them with higher order minimum phase filters ( see Noisia for examples of "managing"the low mids and not killing them with filters)Zomboy and people who follow him as an example of a "quality"mixdown obviously missed the memo

By the way…if you are going to be condescending in future,at least make sure you know for certain what the fuck you are talking about (it helps anyway) :slight_smile:



idk but im pretty sure this whole sort of thing is why producing dubstep is the most boring and nerdy shit ever lol