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Mixing Pop with David Glenn [Snare Drum Excerpt]

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Mixing Pop with David Glenn [Snare Drum Excerpt]
Mixing Pop with David Glenn [Snare Drum Excerpt] - youtube Video
[kick drum]

Brings it forward, cleans it up a bit. And then in the track, let’s see if we just use the one they sent us…


So there you go. Tight, punchy kick in the verse, and that second one complimented it nicely. Brought forward the kick a little bit, got some more attack to it. It’s a little bit of a roomier sound. Kind of cool. A little bit different for a Pop track.

Moving on to the snare drum. So let’s see, do I want to talk about the snare or the claps? We’ll go ahead and hit the snare. We’ll go track by track so I don’t forget anything. Nothing worse than you pay or you get a tutorial course and they forget some of the tracks, so we’ve got snare.


Gosh, I love that. It sounds incredible. Okay, so here’s with nothing on it.

[snare, flat]

And in the context…


Can’t hear it. Maybe a little bit unfair not to boost the gain a bit, but Pusher is going to do that. Again, clarified transient, one of my favorite presets. Very rarely do I even tweak that preset. I just love what it does. It brings it forward a bit.

[snare with Pusher]

Here’s with it. Without it.

[snare without Pusher]

It’s softer, more round. Forward. A little more point.

Then we’ve got the SSL Channel, got some top end. We’ve got some 1kHz or so boosting that, and then we’ve got a little bit of 1.5, just trying to open this up and clean it up a bit. Sit it in the mix better. Much darker, more round.


Again, just got to bring the mid-range forward on that so that it cuts through.

It’s a snare, we’re going to make sure it sits on top, and then Alloy 2. Remember, I mentioned I would’ve used Neutron, but no slam to Alloy 2 necessarily, it was still a great multi-band transient designer. I just used it as a single band in this case, but boosting attack like crazy, cutting sustain, and that before…

[snare, before Alloy 2]

This is going to be pretty dramatic. After.

[snare, after Alloy 2]


[snare, before Alloy 2]

Kind of flubby. After.

[snare, after Alloy 2]

Much more crisp. Love that. Going to sit on top a lot better. Here, let’s show — I even went further, I put Attacker on. Really just wanted this to smack on top of the mix. Here, we’ll show it before and after. With Attacker, here’s no Attacker.

[snare, no SPL Attacker]

With it.

[snare with SPL Attacker]

Love that. And then the difference between the before and after should be pretty dramatic…

[snare, before and after processing]

I think that sounds great. I think that sounds a lot better, and in the context of the mix, I’ll be fair, I’ll push this up, but let’s uh…

[mix, before snare processing]

Okay, so you’ve heard that, now let’s put it back and put the plugins in.

[mix, after snare processing]

Maybe you don’t say better. Just different, but it was a different that I liked, and I thought it was better, so pretty sweet. More transient to the snare. I love that.

Let’s look at this snare fill and see what we did to that. Just a little SSL Channel. We’ve got some top end, bringing it forward, some mid-range, 1.5kHz is coming forward more. Without this, the sound was given to us…

[snare fill]

Got to sit that on top. Not really using this a whole ton in the mix, but…


I remember keeping this low, because I get a little bit — [laughs] aurally claustrophobic. You know, sound, aural. Things just — it’s too much, it bothers me pretty quickly, so I remember, not a bad sound having it in the mix, but it was giving me a little bit of the heeby jeebies having so much going on there.


Next up, now that I’ve weirded everybody out, we’ve got these Dubstep snares, and I did nothing to them.

[dubstep snares, then full mix]

And again, I didn’t really feel the need to push those up too loud. We had the claps that were doing that, and I just kind of left those alone. Didn’t really do anything to push those forward. We had enough going on.

Again, claps, nothing going on here. Just put them in the mix.


Those could’ve been a little bit louder, but we had enough to work through. We’re not really missing that in the context of the overall song.

Next up, I had these claps, and I just used the gate. You can see, mix is at zero percent. Tighten this up a bit. Let’s hear that with no Trigger.


Okay. Much tighter, right? Got some top end and that’s it.

But that Trigger right there, that gate.


Yeah. Makes a big difference. So — excuse me — Trigger is my favorite gate. FabFilter makes an incredible gate. I just, for some reason, Trigger just seems to work really great on drums. I throw it on, slap the mix to zero percent, and then just mess with the release time. The hold, maybe sometimes, but really just set release, and it works great. It’s my favorite one.

So then we’ve got the toms. I loved what these did to the track. Let me bypass all of what we had going on, no verb, and let’s hear the original file.


Okay, so you can see I’ve done some automation here. Let’s blow this one up a little bit. Zoom in. If you’ve got those files, again, for the toms. Then you can see I’ve got some pan automation. So on the right side of the pan, I’ve brought the right side over to the left, and then we’re gradually throwing that to the right.


And then for the left side, I’ve started it left. Hard left, and then pulled it to the right side. So we’ve got a gradual shift from left to right.

Cool. First up on the plugin chain, we’ve got this Studer A-800. The reason why I threw it through Blue Cats Patchwork here. This allows you to throw a bunch of plugins to chain together, and then it gives you a mix knob. The Studer doesn’t come with a mix knob, so I just ran it through Blue Cat, and then I’ve got access to a mix knob here, and I’ve only used 25% of this blend here, but I remember this being pretty sweet.

I’ve cranked the input like crazy and let’s see what we’ve got. Was this the — this is probably the Effects Cassette Deck preset from within the Studer, but let’s check this out. Here’s no parallel Studer.


Nice and pretty.

[toms with Studer]

Got the grit, right? Now we’ve got the distortion. A little bit of temper to it. Then we’ve got the SSL, where we’ve boosted a ton of top. 8kHz, 1.5kHz, and we’re even giving it some round bottom end. 150 or so. That with no SSL.

[toms, no SSL]

With it.

[toms, with SSL]

Wow. Love that. Pushes it forward, and then the Pultec. It looks like I gave it some bottom for some reason, and let’s hear that.

[toms with and without Pultec]

Sounds good. Then we sent it to a verb. I’ve got this it’s called New Verb because I have all of my verbs in the template, I just said “New Verb” because I knew I would recognize it right away. We’ve got the AMS from — excuse me, the RMX 16, the AMS RMX 16 from Universal Audio. I found a preset, clap short plate, and I put it on the toms.

[toms with reverb]

Pretty crazy in solo. You can see I EQ’d that. Took out some of the bottom from the verb. Just wanted it to kind of be a splat of mid-range verb, and then I even sent that verb to an atmospheric Hall, which is my Lexicon 224 down here at the bottom of my template, and I think it’s that one. It’s the second one here at atmospheric Hall with the preset. Actually, that’s not a preset, it’s just mid-range and top. Not too much bottom decay, and I’ve EQ’d that to remove the low mids, the bottom, and then even the super top stuff.

So we’re creating a nice little splash there for the toms. Pretty fitting with some of the other elements we had going on, and so once again, without anything.

[toms, dry]

In context of the track…


It’s a pretty weak transitional element without our processing.


Just needed some aggression, needed that to come forward, put our processing back.


And just a little bit goes a long way. Pulls that back on top of the mix. It serves a purpose now. We can feel it and hear it, helps us get to that next section.

Moving on, we’ve got a hi-hat, and not much done to the hi-hat, just an SSL Channel.


David Glenn

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

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