Reverse Engineering Snare Drum Sounds

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
This has always been a fun thing to do and is a very practical skill to have, particularly if you're working with producers/artists who are requesting tones based on reference tracks. It also makes for great practice with ear training and tuning.

Cody and I decided to put together an episode that overviews our methodology for recreating a certain sound and we pulled together three distinctly different snare tones from three recordings from different decades:
https://youtu.be/Nu2V_KlAppw

We chose "One Headlight" by the Wallflowers, "Vultures" by John Mayer (love Steve Jordan's deep snare sound on this track!), and "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson.

While we don't ever use EQ/compression/reverb on the drum sounds in this series, I did experiment a bit with some post production mixing later on (just for fun and again, more practice) and managed to get quite close (especially considering the fact that we were just using a C414 and an SM57 (we did have a D112 on the kick but that wasn't really contributing to the snare sound).

Anyone else experimented with this before?
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
Ha! It's incredible what those drums are capable of and the price makes them a total steal. I got that one for $150 locally and traded it to Cody because I found another one in absolutely pristine condition with original heads, wires, case, and key for $125 on Craigslist.

I thought it made for an interesting juxtaposition- the 60's Acrolite, worth ~$250, and the 00's Craviotto, worth $1200+.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
My career is based as much on sounds as playing & programming, so you're barking right up my tree here! Let me also say that I got about 3 min into the clip and then started skipping around, and everything said is valid (Ben, you're that good!)

Bermuda
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
My career is based as much on sounds as playing & programming, so you're barking right up my tree here! Let me also say that I got about 3 min into the clip and then started skipping around, and everything said is valid (Ben, you're that good!)

Bermuda
Thanks so much! We really have a blast with this stuff. Cody gets to apply it much more on a practical side as a working drummer but I love diving into this stuff just as much - used to do it a ton when experimenting with drumhead development at Evans.

Cheers!
 
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