BLENDING SNARES! yay! or not so much.... thoughts...


Mar 5, 2008
Cincinnati, Ohio
So, I was wondering. Blending snares. I know how I do it. How do you do it?

Here's how I do it:

Real snare track:
duplicate it a few times and just drumagog over the duplicated track until it gets all the hits (need to do some gain automating and such here to get it right usually) then print each one to track. from there I'll take all the snare samples and pitch them to all be the same pitch as one another (I just do it by ear until it sounds right? probably doing it wrong, then print them into one track with my mega sample (lets not forget to make sure all the transients line up here before printing!) Also before printing this mega track you can do small things such as hp/lp certain samples and viola! MEGA SNARE!

Midi snare track:
SAME thing, EXCEPT! I'll duplicate the midi track for the snare and set each to trigger via superior/slate/drumagog then print each to track, then print those to mega track.

both ways I end up with only 1 snare track as I hate trying to mix a jillion snare tracks at once and my computer hates me when I do.

NOW FOAR MY QUESTIONS! (whichever you answer number plz =P )
1. do you do anything different, if so how?
2. how do you go about fixing all those ugly ugly smeared transients before bouncing to mega sample?
3. how are you guys going about pitching your snares?
4. for those of you using the samples from the alesis, ala sneap/adam d/colin (you know, that cool fat city snare sample and those others) how are you placing them in? I just made a .gog out of the singular sample and trigger it, but I can never get it to blend tastefully..
I always pitch to the real snare of course just by using my ears.
I also pretty much do blending the same way as you but I can't express how important it is for everyone to be printing their snares/replacements. When you do you start to realize how out of phase most samples are from each other (slate to superior to 3rd party like JS and so on) They just never line up perfectly straight out of replacement for me in PT
Yeah lining samples up by hand absolutely sucks, its half the reason while I'll end up sticking to either samples I've made myself so that I know they'll line up, or just using slate or just using truth samples. I know its lazy but when you have a deadline and for some reason they'll not only trigger slightly out of phase but each hit will be off by a different amount, suddenly you're spending 3 - 4 hours aligning drums.
Not sure if anyone has tried this approach, what I do is use melodyne to detect the snare hits,I extract the midi from the melodyne audio and use the midi to trigger a vst drum.
I'm using studio one
how does one tell if a sample is out of phase from another? also when you find out how do you put it back in phase? all I do when lining up is go in by hand and slip edit them so that they all hit the same then go back in and listen to make sure they sound on
what I do is run the sample through an out on my zed and then run it back in so it gets some analogness too it from the pre-amp and eq's, after that you can clearly see that the transients are behind the original track from inherent latency from the plugin and from the few MS traveling out and back in, so all I do is pick the entire track and slide it back until it lines up with the original.
I usually don't do much blending, but that's only cause I'm a noob. I'd like to give it a real go, but can someone explain to me this business about transients not lining up? Maybe a picture might help? And suggest ways to fix transient issues? Thanks!
reversing phase on it wouldn't really help because it's only off by a few MS, you're better off just sliding it back and matching the transients.
Not sure if anyone has tried this approach, what I do is use melodyne to detect the snare hits,I extract the midi from the melodyne audio and use the midi to trigger a vst drum.
I'm using studio one

does this method work accurately with snare rolls?
@fenixdoido that is amazing!

Can't live without it. Before I have used IBP from UAD. But this one is ridicoulousy easy to set.
The best part of this plugin is that you are able to set what your "master" track is. exemple:
A: Snare 1--> Snare2 and 3 follow snare 1 to be phase accurate.
B: OH 1 -> OH2, kick, and Snare1 (and so Snare2 and 3) be in phase with OH.
Just amazing.
i don't like blending. instead of spending hours and hours trying to get certain samples in phase with eachother for each song and mixing them so that they actually complement eachother, i'll usually just spend a little extra time looking for that perfect sample that works with the song, or in fact perfecting the original snare drum i'm recording. working with mics, placement, tuning, trying differnet skins, muting with moon gel/duct tape to get that perfect sustain and so on.

if i was to blend a couple snares/kicks together, like if i wanted some of the original kit along with slates for a little more unique feel, i'd probably import some .wavs from each sampled drum in different velocities in a new project, phase align the samples that sound closest to eachother and pitching/eqing them to work together, then bouncing them all as .wavs but now i only got one sample to work with, make a gog and replace the tracks 100%.

also, i.e. if i was to make kick samples and i'm using in/out mics + subkick i wouldn't want to replace all the single mics (tracks) within the project with samples of "themselves" because they wouldn't trigger samples from the same hits which can and will sound weird, so i'd record all the mics in a project, mix them together, then make samples. and if i wanted to use some of the original recorded kick, good for slower parts with lots of dynamics, i'd use the same processing but within the project, bus/group all the tracks and record just one track with the group set as input, which also makes it easier to replace.