Processing a Snare to fit in with a Ripped Drum Break

Using drum replacement software to rip a snare drum from a commercial drum beat and then creating new snares using a string of dynamics!

Beat Construction


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Layering drum sounds and drum beats is nothing new. However, what is new are the tools we have available that helps us to get creative with drum layering projects.

If you are like me, a poor drummer, then you will appreciate how hard it is to create your own drum beats that carry your specific style. It’s not just about getting the right timing in place for the beat, it’s about selecting the right combination of sounds that add to the beat and make it stand out above the competition. I, sadly, am poor at getting a really good groove together but am quite proficient at marrying sounds together to form a solid and interesting drum kit to be used in beat productions. The ability to take a commercial drum break and remove the individual drum sounds from it and replace it with your own custom sounds is a huge step forward for people like me who are not proficient at laying down a groove. I can use the existing commercial groove but with my own sounds.

Drum replacement software are the rage for beat makers nowadays. The ability to remove drum sounds from an existing drum beat is extremely attractive to producers who want to be original and unique in their drum beat creations but lack the skills to lay down a drum beat effectively. Not only can individual sounds be removed from a drum break but we can now manipulate the drum breaks themselves and create completely new drum grooves and textures from existing content. We can now mash (combine) two drum breaks together to create a new break and we can alter any part of either or  both breaks to suit our needs. We can achieve this in a number of way but the most elegant approach is to use dedicated drum replacement software.

In the video I use two commercial drum breaks: Ice Box by Timbaland and Leavin’ by Timbaland. I use drum replacement software, and in this tutorial I am using WaveMachine Labs Drumagog, to replace all the sounds within both drum beats. I explain how to use Drumagog making sure to cover all the available parameters. I then show you how to use effects and dynamics to further shape both the drum sounds and the drum beats. I show you how to create a single drum break from two existing commercial drum breaks making sure to explain the process step by step.

Plugins used in this video:

WaveMachine Labs Drumagog

iZotope Vinyl

FabFilter Pro L

Eventide UltraReverb

Boz Digital Labs Manic Compressor

Topics covered in this video are:

  • Understanding the Snare’s Characteristics
  • Mashing Snares
  • Using Reverb
  • Using Vinyl Effects
  • Using Dynamic Limiters
  • EQ Pre and Post
  • Signal Path Structuring
  • Advanced Compression Techniques
  • Colour and Transparency
  • Transient Control
  • Layering