Pink noise is perceived by the human ear as evenly loud across the entire frequency range. For this reason, it's a good idea to emphasize the snare ambience sound.
The fundamental range for the snare drum is between 100 Hz and 250 Hz. By boosting this range we can make it sound fuller. In addition, we'll dampen the low mids at around 500 Hz a bit. The actual snare sound (rattling wires) is around 5 kHz and more presence can be added by raising the highs at around 8 kHz. This frequency range also affects the skin sound.
Here are some EQ recommendations for the snare drum:
Subbass range below 85 Hz: LoCut
Fundamental range 150 Hz: +5dB
Mid scoop 500 Hz: -4dB
Snare 5 kHz: Trigger pink noise
Present highs 8 kHz: +4dB
Tip: To add more attack to the snare sound you can boost the signal at around 1.5 kHz. When doing this keep in mind that this frequency range between 1 kHz and 2 kHz can drown out any other instruments in the mix, so don't overdo it.
And here is how you can trigger the pink noise to simulate a full snare sound:
Step 1: In the "Effects" menu open the waveform generator and set the waveform to "pink noise".
Step 2: In the following dialog you can specify in which folder the generated audio file should be saved.
The pink noise will now appear as an object in your project.
Step 3: Create a new track with the name "Pink Noise" and drag the generated waveform object into it.
Now you will here continuous pink noise on the track. However, we only want to hear this when the snare signal is present to give the impression of a snare ambience. To set this up you can use a sidechain-compatible gate effect to trigger the pink noise.
Step 4: Load the advanced dynamics into the plug-in slot of the pink noise track.
Step 5: In the "Effect" dialog activate the sidechain input and "Track 04: Snare".
With this setting the pink noise will be triggered by the kick signal.
Step 6: In "Advanced Dynamics" select the "Gate" preset and switch to "Gate & Limiter" mode. The "Reaction" parameter should be set to "Peak". Setting the gate level to -22 dB means that the signal will only be allowed through when the snare hit has sufficient volume. For our example the best results can be achieved with an Attack Time of 3.5 ms and a Release Time of 45.7 ms. The parameter setting "Soft: 18" ensures a soft transition of the sound from gated to not gated.
Step 7: You can use the channel fader of the pink noise track to define how much "ambience" your snare signal should have.
Step 8: Adjust the noise signal using the EQ to give the snare ambience the perfect sound. In our example we'll boost the frequencies around 5.5 kHz and 2 kHz.
Next time we'll take a close look at the EQ possibilities for toms, hi-hat, overheads and room recordings.
Until then, we hope you have fun creating the optimal snare sound with the EQ.
Your Samplitude Team