when i listen to the snare drum solo, it is tight, dry and up front, but with the rest of the music on, it is far in the back. any tips to get i in your face?
Try carving a hole out of the rest of the mix, or the culprits that are masking the snare.
Use a an EQ, and with a tight ‘Q’ scan down the frequency spectrum boosting individual frequencies of the snare drum until you find some frequencies that are important to the snare.
Note down these important frequencies and subtract them from the whole mix or the individual culprit instruments. If you want to get fancy you could use a mid/side EQ to do this and only subtract from the Mid.
As above but add parallel compression. I usually have a number of parallel groups going for different parts of the mix. I usually create a group track with a compressor inserted and name it SnareIIComp. Then I go to the snare drum sends and connect it to SnareIIComp. I then set the compressor’s threshold to about -6db and adjust the makeup to taste. If you are using a stereo channel it helps to use a compressor that can do dual mono. You get a lot of perceived loudness without overloading the stereo out - it’s quite magical. You can apply this method to other channel groups.
By far in the back, Do you mean it’s not loud enough or the position is perceived to change?
The other post replies are addressing loudness and frequency which are big factors in a mix however if a snare is dry and up front , adding more music tracks won’t push it to the back in terms of spatial positioning , but a lack of tactical panning and tactical depth positioning of all instruments of your mix might result in it being to crowded and the snare is lost.
It helps to have some dry mono tracks ( guitars, bass and mono synths ) dead center or slightly off center to reduce stereo clutter, balance stereo tracks, this adds an amazing amount of field to work with. I like to put the snare around r 10 to r25 and it will sit well, cut right through my mono bass guitars and synths, everything else is in stereo.
I mean that the position is perceived to change.
I must admit, that my panning skills are limited. I simply do not know, what to do. Everything is in the middle, which I assume is making my snare drown in the mix. My bass line is in stereo from birth. How do I change it to mono? Maybe a newbie question. I am low skilled, when it comes to panning…
Rumlee I have a few acoustic instruments and a focus rite mono preamp with mono in tracks set up in Cubase, I also have some Moog gear running mono into cubase, that’s gives me the mono option. I really prefer that all bass tracks be in mono it can give you the boom without hogging the dynamic field, in other words nothing takes up more space than a stereo bass with reverb…If your purely using vst, then set up some mono in tracks and route some of your vst to mono tracks, I think that would help get separation.
For stereo tracks ( and mono ) Panning can be a matter of taste and preference so just try positioning your tracks at different spots in the field, you should start to hear better separation.
Use the pan automation for mid and or for the audio tracks.
And finally if you listen to a lot of streaming music, start listening for where instruments are panned, and how reverb is not used, dry tracks ( or with a room reverb ) make all the difference, I have noticed a lot of new indie pop bands are recording very dry vocals ( in comparison to lady Gaga for example ) and it’s sounds brilliant, authentic that way.
All the other suggestions are good and should be part of the plan. But a compressor with a side chain input may be just the ticket. Every time the snare hits it will compress the other tracks a bit. The snare becomes the trigger for the compressor. This will make a space for the snare. This is a slightly advanced technique so take your time, experiment, listen and read the manual.
I would do compression (side chaining, but this is 2 complicated to explain here and there are threads enough which explain this in detail) and have little distortion (tube preamp fx, distortion) to have it cut through the mix.
However all suggestions can make your snare cut through the mix, try different combinations and experiment.
Try using a limiter on the snare - something with a very fast attack and release time.