EQ Snare Drum

EQ Snare Drum

How to EQ the Snare Drum

The Magic Frequencies

Dad bought me a toy drum one Christmas, and I eventually destroyed it. I wanted a real drum and he bought me a snare drum. Dad continued to buy me one drum after the other.“

- Keith Thibodeaux

And this is how you need to approach mixing the drums. You have to equalize each drum individually, but still pay attention to the whole (drum) mix.

This time I'll talk about how to EQ the snare drum. It is often as loudly mixed as the vocals and gives swing to a song – in short, it makes people move and dance.

This applies to any genre – Hip Hop, Rock, Techno, Heavy Metal, Funk, Pop and so on.

Again, the tips mentioned in this post are just guidelines.

Magic Frequencies:

1) Start with a High-Pass filter, which begins cutting at 75-100 Hz. It makes room for kick drum and bass.

2) You can enhance the body of a snare, which is the part that make you dance, by boosting the frequency range around 120-400 Hz. Keep in mind that the range between 100 and 200 Hz is used for kick drum and bass.

It depends on what you want to achieve. I, personally, start boosting not lower than 200 Hz. Boosting 200-350 Hz can make the mix more transparent. But sometimes the contrary is the case, that's why you need to experiment with different settings.

3) If you want to give your snare drum more attack, boost between 900 Hz – 2 kHz.

Choose a small Q-Factor to make room for other instruments. This is why it's important not to boost to much, because a lot of instruments compete in this range.

4) Put your snare in the foreground by boosting it around 5 kHz. Be careful not to overdo it, because this range can tire the listener's ear.

5) Lastly, you may want your snare sounding brilliant to let it really shine. You can accomplish this by boosting the 6-10 kHz spectrum. I mostly use a high-shelf filter, but sometimes it leads to problems because it can overcast the Hi-hat. In that case, just use the band pass filter.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways how to EQ the snare drum. By using the EQ properly you can enhance the sound of the snare, but sadly also worsen it by doing it wrong.

Thank you for reading!