That low pitched Lo-Fi snare sound!

In this article you will learn and understand which steps you need to take to get that lofi snare sound with both a real snare and with a snare sample by using effects and processing.

In the video below you will see everything with soundexamples as well. 

Both real snare and snare sample need to be pitched or tuned down to get that fat low pitched sound.
With a sample it’s pretty easy, just transpose the audio 

snare sample transpose

With a real snare it get’s more involved and you need to manually detune the snaredrum head with a tuning key.
Make sure the snare head sounds at the same pitch with every screw.

snaredrum head tuning

After both sample and real snare are detuned, you will notice the sound is still pretty open.
So for that Lofi snare sound you need to dampen or muffle both.
Use a simple cloth or whatever you have at hand which can dampen nicely for the real snare, dampen to taste and make sure it doesn’t move.
I use some tape for that.


snare damping cloth tape

For the sample, you need to apply a low pass filter with. Any eq you have will do.
Set the filter to below that of the snare rattle. 

snare sample low pass filter

Convincing Lofi Snare Sound

Now, the snare sample, in comparison to the real snare, needs a few things to make it convincing.
First of is the attack. Due to the lowpass, there’s a lack of attack and the length of teh sound needs to be shorter. 
Use a envelope filter, a stock one in your DAW will be fine, to add attack and reduce the sustain or release a bit.

envelope attack release

There’s still one thing missing from the sample, and that is natural snare rattle. Detuned snarerattle sounds weird and you need to add it somehow. Another sample can work, but I prefer to use the FREE Wavesfactory Snarebuzz plugin.
Get it here:

wavesfactory snarebuzz

I prefer to use snare 05, and you can adjust the length of the snare rattle easily with this plugin. Adjust to taste. 
Of course on a real snare you also need to adjust how tight or loose the snares are for the best sound.

Now you understand why you need to do the steps described in this article to get THAT low pitched, lofi snare sound. 
Have fun creating!