Using Linear Phase EQ on Snares

In this tutorial video below (one example from our Breaking Beats course), I want to show you how to  use linear phase EQ on snare drums, to colour them differently to using a regular EQ plugin.

I learned about this technique from the interview I did with MakO on the podcast.

In that interview, MakO explained how he uses linear phase EQ (specifically FabFilter Pro Q) to EQ his snare drums. The video below explains how to do this and the effects it has on your snare sound.

It is important that you change the defaul ‘zero latency’ setting to either medium, high or maximum latency in order to achieve this effect

There are several reasons why he does this.

1.) Using linear phase on different snare layers prevents smearing that can happen when you layer and EQ different snares over each other.

2.) There is a subtle different in the way your snare will sound. It is almost as if you are EQing ‘underneath the snare instead of down on top of it’ as MakO explains. You get a very nice sounding snare from doing this. To test this, EQ you snare using medium, high or maximum latency, then change the setting to zero latency and compare the difference.

3.) This effect makes your snares sound as though they are ‘breathing’

4.) Using linear EQ creates a very short and quiet pre-echo just before your snare hits, adding to the breathing effect (this is quite hard to hear most of the time). You can then render your snare to audio and edit the audio clip to shape the pre-echo shorter. I must emphasize that this technique cannot always be heard.

Click here to learn more about the breaking beats course if you found this tutorial helpful. There are 37 other tutorials in the course that will teach you a huge amount of techniques for drum sound design and beat programming. Many of these techniques are things I have learned from producers I have interviewed in the podcast.