Best reverb for gated snaredrums?


I experimenting with various reverbs for a gated snare effect. Tried a lot, but as result I am now still using ambience (sadly I have no the original freeware version with a GUI anymore :( bram Magnus removed it from web after selling it to Steinberg - anyone maybe? ). But ambience seems to produce such a tight sound that it almost sounds like a noise generator.

While it sounds ok on monitor speakers, it does sound ugly on cheap speakers e.g. like iPad’s. I think listening with a high pass speaker is generally a very good test for shaping transients and snares.

What plugins are your favourites for this purpose? Maybe I do not it up right, are there any parameters that I should focus?

For shorter gated reverbs you might try a convolution plugin.

You inspired me to try it out for myself. (attached file)
I found out that the mpreverb sounds >>painful<< when the
room setting is low. Damn… :rolleyes:

I must agree to esp81 - try some IRs instead of an algorithm
reverb. When it sounds cheap you mean noisy? I think EQing
sounds terrible. You could try to put a verb on a snare with a
massive body but cut highs and layer it with a crisp snare or clap.

Which genre are you doing, Jurek?


By the way: (Depends on your taste) I use Softubes Dynamite
on most of my (single) drums for distortion, compression, gating, limiting, ducking,
keying…I think i should mention it here on this “gated reverb snare”-thread
because it is kind of “made for this shhhht”. Smack the hell outta it! Sadly external
sidechaining is not possible yet…

Hey, thanks for your ideas and suggestions!

I didn’t think about convolution while staying in Renoise until now, only in Logic, since it’s bundled there. Don’t know why :)/>
Will try convolution later and your example. I make synthwave and “ambient/ dark synthwave”. Everything sounds fine, but the snare - it sounds so cheap.

So do you never eq-ing the reverb at all? But before reverb, I think that eq-ing is an essential for a snappy snaredrum, isn’t it?

BTW. some guys use a normal reverb and then gate it. My problem with a gate is that it’s AR-curve is not precise enough.

When we talk about ‘naturality’… Sure, I filter the signal before it enters the reverb. I prefer a
6db/oct filter. (bx_cleansweep is my choice) If thats not enough thats what the ‘damp’ parameter
is for.

Do you equalize the reverb? I would rather work on the source than on the reflection. But if its
an aux for one special track its another thing. Maybe I want to hear the 1kHz ‘Sizzle’ at the
source but not at the reverb. Or its a flanged-hall>pitched delay-special effect. Then I would
cut&boost it. There should not be any rules.

Anyway - I experienced when its a ROOM, not a plate or special effect, the brain is very
sensitive. I can equalize the hell out of a synth but natural sounds like voices, acoustic
instruments and even a reverb of a synthetic snare has to be treated more carefully…

Matthew Herbert once said in an interview: You can make a table sound like a bass. Maybe
it would take hours or two weeks. But why? It already sounds like a table!

Best wishes

  1. bus out your reverb, 100% wet (i.e. mpReverb in a send track)
  2. use a Multiband Send, keep the original signal, send only the frequencies you want reverberated.
  3. It’s not merely what you use, it’s how you use it.

Mushen that seems to be a quite clever approach since I could reuse the reverb e.g. for toms too. Nautilus, thanks for sharing your experience,

IMO quite difficult for snares, they do need a substantial bass amount in the reverb to sound forceful, but if it’s too much, it quickly sounds chavvy. And if it’s too much treble, it will sound cheap.

Hi Jurek,

what about using notch or steep bell filters to cut out the “cheap” frequencies in the
snares highs? You could cut them out while tighten the snare with parallel compression,
bringing the lows and highs to balance. Thats what I would do.

Do you synthesize your snares yourself or are you using samples? Its a big advantage
for me to have control over the filtered noise top and the smack bottom while mixing it
to the rest of the track.


I love Valhalla Ubermod for those sounds.
Tbh it does pretty much any time based effect really really well.
You gotta get stuck into the parameters though.

Why do you guys need a plugin for convolving? Won’t the convolver do the trick?

Some people don’t trust the Renoise convolver because its output is different and more CPU intensive compared to other convolvers using the same IR file.
I’m not sure how these other convolver plugins process the IR internally and if the other convolvers are using 64-bit processing but i can easily guess 32-bit vs 64-bit makes quite a difference .

Yes R’s convolver takes a lot of CPU here, others take only a fraction of this, since IR calculation isn’t so intensive as far asI know because precalculation is done a lot.

Yea I’ve noticed the cpu hit myself. I’m also really disappointed you can’t load impulse files from the wavetable and use pattern commands on them…that would have made the convolver truly unique.

To me it sounds very nice, but i’m not familiar with othe convolution plugins.
The cpu load isn’t that bad here (64bit), but according to taktik i managed to explode the doofers by adding another convolver, so i don’t know. :lol:

There are free ones too:
SIR1 for windows
LAConvolver for mac