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Expansion Before Compression on Snare Drum [1-Minute Mix Tip]

Matt Weiss here with a one minute mix tip. Let’s say we have a snare drum and we want to fatten it up with some compression.


[snare with compression]

Sounds all well and good, but all of that reverb that’s inside the sample has suddenly just come up, and so while we do get a fatter tone, unfortunately, we’re also getting a lot more room tone, which will seem to sink the snare back in the stereo field.

So let’s say we want to get that extra fat sound, but we don’t want that room tone coming up. Well, we can place an expander in front of our compressor in our insert chain, and we can kill that last little bit of release, so we end up with a fatter sounding snare, but a dry sounding snare.



Ready? Before and after.

[snare, before and after expansion]

This is a great technique if we’re doing some sound design for our production, if we’re getting into a Hip Hop or an EDM type of record. If you want to learn more, check out

Alright guys, until next time.


Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss

Matthew Weiss is the recordist and mixer for multi-platinum artist Akon, and boasts a Grammy nomination for Jazz & Spellemann Award for Best Rock album. Matthew has mixed for a host of star musicians including Akon, SisQo, Ozuna, Sonny Digital, Uri Caine, Dizzee Rascal, Arrested Development and 9th Wonder. Get in touch:

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