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How to Use Mono AND Stereo Drum Reverbs for More Depth

A common drum mixing problem is dealing with the snare getting buried in the mix.

There’s that thin line you have to find that sits somewhere between being “buried in the mix” and then sounding like it’s “on top of the mix.”

Sometimes you can fix this problem the mix, but I have an alternative that I like to use.

Use a Snare-Stretch Reverb

This is something I show you in detail inside the videos in the Drum Mix Toolkit but I’ll give you the basics of it here.

Whenever I need a thicker snare that sounds more powerful and dominating in the mix without making it sound like I glued it on top with a weird sample I use this technique.

Here’s what you do:

  1. After mixing your drums and adding a nice reverb, maybe some parallel compression and other sweetening to the mix, turn to the snare drum.
  2. Send the snare drum to a really short mono reverb. 0.3 seconds is a good rule of thumb. It’s not really long enough to become a separate reverb, but it’s not short enough to sound like a weird echo.
  3. EQ that reverb and cut the lows and the highs to make it fit better.
  4. Blend that reverb underneath the snare to add extra thickness. Usually, that extra thickness gives it the presence it needs in the mix without being too overbearing and loud.

This reverb shouldn’t be acting as the reverb that gives your drums space or depth. Use a different stereo reverb for that.

All the extra mono reverb does is give the snare some extra dimension in the mix, some power to cut through and a slightly different sound to make it stand out in the mix.

Get More Tips in the Drum Mix Toolkit

That’s just a tiny tip to get you started. If you want to take advantage of all the different drum mixing techniques I’ve learned, researched, used and created over the last decade go grab the Drum Mix Toolkit today.

I’m extremely proud of the amount of tools and techniques I give you in there, and for such a low introductory price it’s a steal!

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About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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