Snaps Rack ( re-post)

Thanks to MAZ Blanko and for this free drum rack that gives us what is basically the final word on finger snaps.

They're really well done.  Snaps and hand claps are some of the hardest sounds to record acoustically because they have such a sharp attack and they're so short.  

It's easy to overload the mic, scrittch the digital level too hot, get too much background noise, kill the transients by mistake, whomp an air blast across the mic capsule, not hit enough level at all, or do twenty other things wrong including actually swatting the mic itself! 

None of that happened in this rack and it makes me super happy that they recorded the snaps using an array of microphones.  My favorite part is that they labelled the sample files with the name of the mic they used to record it.

You can run through the sounds and really hear the difference between mics -- some familiar ones, some standards, some unusual ones and some really nice stereo pairs, as well as an iphone mic.  

Check this out, play the sounds and read the mic name on the sample file in the rack.  Think about dynamic vs. condensor, mono vs. stereo, close-miked and room tone as you listen to the snaps.  There's a gold mine in this session if you are curious about mics.

Now let's hear what they actually sound like.  In this soundcloud track you will hear all 200 snaps before the first drop.  Every time the rhythm pattern loops, it enters a new section of the drum rack.  You'll hear it loop on those three slow hits before it goes back into the fast sequence.

The rack macros are set up with useful stuff like EQ's and reverb.  I especially dig the Notch filter; it's mapped from 2kHz up to 18kHz -- this is incredibly important for sounds like snaps because you KNOW one of them is going to have a chirping click right where it hurts your ears.  Notch is so good, it's like having sunglasses for a really bright day outside.

For built-in dynamics the snaps are mapped to note velocity, and the samples come matched perfectly to match each other in volume, so you can use them right away without compressing them.  

Personally I would've included more dynamics processing and left the reverb out of the rack, because I wanted to compress and squeeze a little more juice out of the full group of sounds when I was using the whole rack in a song.  But the way they did it makes sense if you are pulling out only one or two snaps to add into a drum submix.  No big deal.

The last super-smartie move pATCHES did is to give us a Pitch knob in the macros, so you can easily fit the snaps into the feel of your music.  This is really helpful when you are using one big fat loud snap layered in with a snare drum.  To make it really click, you need to adjust the pitch you know.  It's not like you can grow smaller fingers when you want to tune your own snap.  

Biotech aside, here's the link to download the rack; this goes to so they can see your lovely mouse-clicks trafficking through their site.


nice one pATCHES!  Thanks for a great freebie.

-Steve Knots

Steve Knots

Thanks for your visit! If you're new here, check out the session lessons. They're the most exciting new way to learn sound design, composition and mixdown techniques for electronic music production in Ableton Live. -Steve