Adding Snare Drum Production to a Ballad Mix

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Adding Snare Drum Production to a Ballad Mix

Hey, what’s up guys?

David Glenn for,,
and my new site is

Today, I want to show you how I’ve added production
to a song that I’m mixing, and I say production,

it’s a snare.

Don’t let me try to take too much away from
the producer himself, but he’s a friend of

mine, so it’s okay.

Anyways, we’re adding a snare, and I’m going
to pull it from the loop.

So I’m going to dive right in, I’m going to
show you a couple of tools I’m using, and

how we’re using some effects sends too to
give the track a little bit more of a ballad-y


It’s a ballad, the loop came to me dry, so
it’s my job to create that ambiance and get

that working.

Here we go.

I’m going to play a snippet of it, and then
we’ll bypass what I’ve done so we can hear

before and after, and then I’ll walk you through
the processing and my thought process of what’s

going on, so.

Here we go.

[song plays]


So, what I did is I added this snare.

I’m going to mute it now and play just the
loop, just a couple seconds here and we’ll

hear the difference.

[song plays]


So, just adding a snare, adding a little bit
of reverb to it.

A couple of different types.

Let’s go over that.

So, the first thing that I did to achieve
this was I went in here and I took a snippet,

used Shift+Tab to Transient, and found that
snare that was in the loop originally, and

I broke it up, and then I pulled it down to
a new track.

I created a new stereo track, and then split
it so it was just mono, so now I have a mono

snare that came from the sample, and here’s
what the snare sounded like.

Let’s bypass this stuff – just coming from
the loop, this is what that snare is.

[snare plays]


I’m going to bump that volume up a little
bit for you guys.

[snare plays]


So, I didn’t mind that, but I already had
that sound in the loop, and it didn’t have

much of a defined…

I don’t know, not crack.

It was lacking a little bit of oomph, and
so I thought, “hey, let me pan this one

to the right,” and you can see I pushed
that out to the right a little bit, and let

me pull in one of my own.

So, what I did, is I pulled open Trigger,
I put that snare manually throughout the track,

and you can see all those right there, and
what I did is I went to my library, pulled

in one from the “That Sound” library called
“Tight Snare,” and I got that from the

future kit that they’ve got over there.

Go check out “”This
sounds like this.

I’ll select it and loop it real quick.

[snare plays]


And then, I threw that through some reverb.

[snare plays with reverb]

You can hear that decaying.

One more time.

[snare plays with reverb]


And then I felt like it could use a little
bit more of a raw kind of vibe, so I put it

through the Ocean Way and the short room.

You could use kind of a studio sound to get

[snare plays with Ocean Way reverb]


Without the long verb.

[snare plays without long reverb]

Mute it.

[snare plays, no reverb]

Back in.

[snare plays with Ocean Way reverb]

And then the trail.

[snare plays with all reverb]


So, now I felt like I wanted a little bit
– in the mix, I felt like it had this nice

little articulate poke, but I wanted it to
have a little bit more oomph, so I went to

my new best friend, Slate Digital’s VMR, and
I pulled open – you could do this with any

1176, I’ve got the Neve module just adding
a little bit of top end sheen, I’ve got this

free module called Revival that I’m using
to oomph it up.

Really adding a little bit of clarity.

Really, this is just me getting used to this.

I think I had this for 24 hours at this point,
so just trying to mess with it, fill it out.

My favorite part of VMR at this point is having
this mix knob that I’m lacking on some of

my other 1176 emulations, but let’s hear what
we’ve got going on.

Let’s bypass the whole thing, and then we’ll
put it in.

[snare plays without VMR, then with]


So, under the hood, what do we have going

It’s a 4:1 ratio, we’ve got the input driving
for quite a bit of compression, but then I’ve

got the mix knob dialed back all the way to

Let’s turn these off and hear just that so
you can get a feel for what this is doing.

Here’s 100%.

[snare plays with 1176 emulation, 100% mix]

Yeah, so it’s smashing it.

So we’re loosing the transient.

We’re not getting any of the attack.

So then I bring that back…

[snare plays, 34% mix]

Now I’m getting kind of the best of both worlds.

Getting a little bit more of the smack from
it, and I’m getting the transient, and it

sounds pretty cool to me.

So trial and error.

Test out attack and release times, have some
fun with that.

Really will help you to learn compression,
and then the mix knob is amazing.

Moving on to the Neve, it’s just pushing up
the high shelf a little bit, a little bit

of 3k, just to kind of brighten it up.

Before and after.

[snare plays, before and after Neve emulation]


And then this one really helps it out.

I’m really digging this shimmer.

Using that quite a bit.

Let’s hear that before and after.

[snare plays, before and after Revival Shimmer]

There’s more than just Shimmer going on there.

I really dig this one.

This one is free, I covered that in a tutorial.

Go check out

You can download Revival.

That one to me has got some character to it.

Really digging that.

That’s the snare.

Let’s hear it before my processing and after
one more time.

Here’s the loop when it comes in.



And then with it.

[music plays with processing]

And then, something I did, this was before
I made this tutorial in the other session,

I was working on this song, and I automated
the ginormous hall that I’ve got setup here,

and I’ve got it to where it triggers a longer

I automated the reverb so whenever everything
comes back into the mix, the first hit is

like, you hear “here,” but then the second
hit is a “paaaaaah” with a longer decay

time, so it creates a vibe.

A shorter, and then a longer sustain.

Anyways, David Glenn,

Hope you dig that.

Don’t be afraid to take these loops, take
little snippets of it, copy them down, get

creative with it.

You can do this with kicks, snares, shakers,
anything like that.

Check out,

Feel free to like, subscribe, we appreciate
you for it.

Comment below if you liked this, if you want
to see more like this, feel free.

Hit me up,

Thanks guys!

Adding Snare Drum Production to a Ballad Mix

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A tutorial on adding some snare drum production while mixing a ballad.

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Tutorials on mixing, mastering and producing music in Pro Tools with plugins from Waves, FabFilter, SoundToys, Softube, Sonnox, PSP, Slate Digital and more. Learn how to mix using EQ, compression and effects like reverb, delay, saturation and distortion on vocals, drums, guitar, bass and more.

Adding Snare Drum Production to a Ballad Mix

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Adding Snare Drum Production to a Ballad Mix

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