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How to Enhance a Drum Mix by Isolating Snare Drum Ghost Notes

Drum Mixing Tip: Isolating Snare Drum Ghost Notes
Drum Mixing Tip: Isolating Snare Drum Ghost Notes
Hey, what’s up guys! David Glenn back for and

In this video I’m going to walk you through how I separate snare drum ghost notes and treat them, so I can blend them up in the mix and give the drummer back some of that character that he intended when he played the parts.

I’ve got a pop/rock gospel track and I’m going to hit play so you guys can hear what I’m talking about. If you don’t know what ghost notes are, they’re those notes in between snare hits where he’s dragging on the snare, typically like 16th notes. It just gives it a nice character and feel, kind of a strong back beat to give the drum some vibe. So, let’s hit play and we’ll listen to what I’ve done and then I’ll take it away and see how empty it feels.



Yeah, for sure. So, now I’m going to mute it and and then I want you to listen, and kind of listen to what’s missing.


Right? So, yeah man, those need to be in there. A little tip that I’m using for a trick that I’m using is to go in and copy all of the parts where the drummer is ghosting and drag them to a new track.

Now, in this video — this song — I’ve taken and used Slate Digital Trigger. Most of the time I’m using the snare bottom mic but in this video, I actually wanted to recreate the ghosting sound with a snare. Let’s see! And then what I did is I set the maximum range, the maximum velocity for this snare at 69 for the MIDI. And what that’s going to do, it’s going to make it where that snare won’t hit any harder than that velocity. Pretty simple stuff. Nothing earth-shattering about this tip, but once again listen. I just want you guys to pay attention to when it’s gone and then actually I’m going to boost it up a little bit. I’ll have it out and then I’ll bring it in.


and then back in.


Yeah, right? So, man for me it feels like a drum kit then. If we’re using samples, we’re replacing the drums, or in this case we’re blending the drums, I want to hear those ghost notes. So, hopefully that will help you guys get some of those ghost notes back in. If you’re using a similar technique, feel free to write me at david[at]

I also want to show you the API 550 that I’m throwing on just a little bit more high end in to that one, so you can treat it with some distortion, you can do all kinds of stuff with it. Maybe put a little slap delay on it and give a little vibe stuff you can do to it. But, short and sweet, show you how to separate the ghost notes and add some life back into those drums.


David Glenn

David Glenn is a producer/engineer/musician based out of Orlando, FL. Credits include: Pablo Villatoro, Blanca Callahan (Group 1 Crew), Aimee Allen, and more. Learn more and get in touch at