Posted on 03. Mar, 2016 by Daniel Duskin (Record Producer, Mixing & Mastering Engineer) in RecordingThis is part of a series on getting a professional snare sound without samples.
The attack of the drum is largely defined by the way the drum is struck, and any compression that is added during the recording or mixing & mastering chain—I’ll discuss compression in #2.
Generally speaking, it’s usually best to try and strike the drum directly in the middle of the top head. This should evenly distribute the burst wave as it travels across the head to the outer perimeter, giving a stronger attack, and a cleaner sustain as well.
Try to lift your drumstick up off the snare immediately after striking the drum. If you hold the stick against the snare after you strike it, you will reduce the attack and the tone.
If you want to obtain insane amounts of attack and pop, it’s usually recommended to play rim-shot. This means that the side of the stick is hitting the rim of the drum as closely as possible to the exact moment that the tip of the stick hits the middle of the head. The sound and volume can be quite extreme when playing rim shot—which makes it perfect for certain styles.
Playing rim shot becomes very easy with a little practice.
The Type Of Drumstick You Use Matters
Generally, smaller drumsticks will give you a brighter and softer sound. Larger drumsticks will generally give you more punch, power, and volume.
Plastic tipped sticks will give the drum a brighter attack, and wooden tipped sticks will give the drum a bolder and more weighted sound (beefier, or fatter).