How to Enhance Weak Sounding Snare Drums: StudioRack Unchained

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Learn how to transform weak sounding snare drum tracks into strong hits for making an impact in any style of production. Producer and mixer Billy Bush (Garbage, Jack Bugg) shows you how, using his custom “BB Snare” mixing chain for StudioRack.

"BB Snare" is included as a preset in the free StudioRack plugin chainer.

Mixing snare drums isn't always smooth sailing. There are many factors to consider: bleed level, tonal presentation, transient attack, and dynamics. Get any of these stages wrong and your song may lack impact; get it right and your mix will have bags of personality.

Combining a plethora of EQ, dynamics and effects, The “BB Snare” StudioRack preset is an excellent toolkit for helping you achieve snares that not only hit right but sound right in a mix.

The plugins featured in this chain include CLA MixHub for gate and EQ, Abbey Road RS56 Passive EQ, Abbey Road Saturator, SSL G-Master Buss Compressor, Berzerk distortion, Smack Attack for trasnient shaping, dbx 160, L1 Ultramaximizer, Renaissance Reverb and GTR3 Stomps.

In this episode of StudioRack Unchained, Billy demonstrates how his preset sounds in the context of mixing a side stick track. Billy also walks you through how he set up each of StudioRack’s 8 macros for controlling a variety of controls in his favorite Waves plugins.

Billy Bush about his 'BB Snare’ StudioRack Chain

“I crafted this preset specifically for snares, but it isn't limited to that. You can also use this on any type of percussive instrument – claps, sticks, finger clicks, anything with a pronounced transient that you need to be able to control in a mix.”

“For me, this preset is a snare drum mixing swiss army knife, as it contains everything I typically reach for in a mix, all within one easy to use package.”

studiorack Billy Bush Preset

 

‘BB Snare’ – Macro Controls

  1. GATE: CLA MixHub Gate section controlling threshold, range and hold
  2. WEIGHT: CLA MixHub LMF and LF boosts + bass gain in Abbey Road RS56
  3. BITE: Abbey Road RS56 treble range boost + parallel split for saturation multiband split chain
  4. ATTACK: Attack control in Smack Attack
  5. LENGTH: Sustain control in Smack Attack
  6. SMACK: Parallel split with dbx and L1
  7. DUB: LadyD GTR3 Stomps
  8. VB 1/VB 2: Controls two Renaissance reverbs (short and long rooms)

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