Snare Drum Re-Amping: How to do it

In this blog I’ll write a bit about the technique called ”Snaredrum re-amping”.

Snare drum re-amping is the re-recording of the bottomsnares of a snaredrum.
I’ve also started a youtube channel and the first video is on this exact topic, which explains it all with audio and video examples:

Play Video

Reasons to do snaredrum reamping:

There can be several reasons you want to do this, here are a few of them :

  • You want to have more snares sound to the overall snaredrum sound and for some reason with mixing alone it isn’t happening
  • It was recorded without a bottom snare and you want it in the mix
  • The tracks you were given to mix didn’t have a snarebottom microphone and you
    feel you need it.
  • The original bottom snare sound isn’t sounding good

Snare drum re-amping setup:

The actual reamping is done by putting a snaredrum sound through a speaker and let that sound trigger the snares of a snaredrum.

The way I do it is as follows: 
I put a floormonitor on the floor and make sure the top is flat.
This makes it easier to put a snare on it. 
I choose a snaredrum which will be fitting for the sounds. 
Since we only want to record the bottom snare sound, we place the snare upside
down on the floor monitor. 
The DAW is playing back a snare sound through this monitorspeaker.
And this sound will trigger the snares of the snaredrum, which you’ll then record with a microphone.

If you play with the volume of the speaker, you can change the sound of the reamped snares.
You can get tonalities ranging from subtle, short and gentle to loud and agressive with long sustain.

DAW Routing with external EFX:

In my DAW of choice, Cubase, you can use external plugins.
These plugins work like a normal vst plugin with a send and return, which you can insert on audio tracks or use as a send effect. The difference is, that these plugins send the audio to a hardware unit and the audio coming back from the hardware unit will be played back on an audio track. I use such a plugin to send the audio form cubase to the floormonitor for re-amping.

My re-amping setup in Cubase like is this:

I make a duplicate of the original snare, insert the reamp hardware efx plugin on it, and create a new track to record the reamped snare. The return of the plugin won’t be used by me in this case because I don’t want to reamp the snare every time when i work in the mix. I do it once and use the recorded re-amp snare in the mix. Works much faster.

Re-amp adjustments:

You can adjust the way the re-amped snare reacts by twealing the original snare sound going to the monitor.

If the snare has a long sustain, the re-amped snare can buzz too much. Usually i add a gate to the audio going to the monitor.
I don’t gate the re-amped snare, I want that to be as ideal as possible when re-recording with the microphone.
You can eq the original snare going to the monitor to change the responds, or compress it to have a more even re-amped snare etc.

Depending on the track and the snare used for the reamping on the monitor, I tend to tune the tune the re-amped snare a bit to match the tone of the original snare.

So that’s it for this episode. I hope this gave you an idea on how snare re-amping works  and how it can work for you.
Please subscribe to the channel and until the next blog!



Marlon Wolterink

Marlon Wolterink