Drums are very important when it comes to pop, urban and EDM productions so it’s vital to make them sound amazing. Today’s productions seem to have wide sounding percussion elements. Definitely more so than they used to be.  You may think you need better samples to get that sound but today I am going to show you that it can be done with the samples you already have. Don’t believe me? Watch and learn. 

You can apply the following technique to an entire drum mix or individual elements. In the following tutorial I will take my stock 808 snare (Logic Pro X) and make it sound wider and beefier. Both effects combined will create a subtle yet cool effect that your listeners will love. Get ready to take your drum productions to the next level.

1. Apply a chorus effect to your instrument.

add chorus to get a wider sound

2. As per the image above, I have set my intensity at (40%) with a rate of 1.033Hz. This gives me a subtle yet wider sound. Adjust the intensity slider until you get the desired effect. A doubling effect may happen when the intensity is too high, so be sure to keep an ear out for that.

3. On this particular snare, the chorus effect seemed to soften the attack on the snare. Enter the Distortion plug-in. Distortion can work wonders on any and all drums. In this scenario we will use distortion to regain body and add beefiness to our snare.

make thick drums with distortion

4. I have set the Tone to 7000Hz to keep the snare original sound. Turn the Tone down to make something sound darker.

5. I also added some drive to add some grit to the 808 snare.

Thats it! Now we got a thick and wide snare. Play around and apply this technique to other instruments as well. You may be surprised with the results.

Watch the following step-by-step video and hear our snare get better as we apply chorus and distortion effects.