Sure, people dance to the kick (most of the time), but that back and forth groove is snare city.
If you’ve spent hours crafting the perfect kick drum to help power your beats, don’t limp out with an amateur snare. Your beats deserve so much better!
This article explores every possible snare you could desire.
From natural snares for those working with live instruments (or those wanting to inject a real feel to their synthetic beats), to processed machine-like drums, there’s a snare in this article to give your beat that extra leg up the ladder.
Below is a short list of the snare drum samples we talk about in this article. Scroll down for more details or click for audio demos.
- Analog Snares
- Modern Trap Snares
- Line of Legends
- EDM Snares & Claps
- Dubstep Snares
- Paperskins Snare Toolkit
- Classic 80’s Snares
1. Modern Samples – Analog Snares
What do you get if you cross eleven different snare drums, in three different recording environments, with a team of forward-thinking recording engineers? Analog Snares from Modern Samples.
Comprising of 7 different microphones, capturing 7 different qualities of each snare drum, using various pieces of vintage and modern recording gear, Analog Snares is a high-quality collection of samples. Post recording, the snares were edited and sent through an analog chain using various pieces of outboard hardware. Whether it’s the spank of the API compressor, or the silk of the EMI EQ, each step of the process is greeted by impeccable equipment. With sound quality the number one priority, no corners have been cut to bring you this pack.
Analog Snares is 440 snare samples organized into 7 folders. These folders are Clean, Dirty, Game Over, Layered, Punch and Click, Rimshots and Textures. Each folder contains samples of varying velocity, with each particular folder tailoring to a specific sound.
Clean comprises of blends of the top and bottom microphones, sprinkled with delicate amounts of EQ and compression. The rawest of the collection, for the tweak head or those desiring a natural sounding snare.
Dirty is 99 samples of the vintage Neumann U67 tube microphone that was used as a mono overhead. During mixing, the U67 was sent aggressively through the Chandler EMI TG1 Limiter. Post-compression, these snares were sent through API op-amps for even more coloration. Ideal for those seeking more grit and spank from a snare.
Game Over is the result of a pseudo-random science experiment. With various blends and mixes of microphone configurations and processing, Game Over combines the natural tonal differences between microphones with drum machine layers for even more flavor and texture. Ideal for those who crave big epic sounding snares.
Layered is a more reserved and regimented Game Over. It embodies the same idea but just less “epic”. A melding of close microphones with drum machine samples, Layered cuts through the densest mixes.
Punch and Click is a randomization of all the recordings sent through the Chandler EMI TG1 Limiter on FULL compression mode. This mixing style has maximized the punch and click of each snare. Need more attack? It’s in this folder.
Rimshots admittedly isn’t the most accurate sounding rim shots you’ve ever heard. But the team at Modern Samples thought they added some variety and texture to the pack, so they left them in.
The final folder is Textures, which is intended as a background layer for your primary snare sound to help add some ambiance or depth to the sound without having to reach for a digital reverb. Combinations of room mics, overheads, tambourines and light drum machine sound combine to sound softer than a regular snare. Mix with your primary snare, and feel your snare lift out of the track.
Analog Snares is an exhaustive collection of snare drums that combine versatility with incredible sound quality. Ideal for those working with live instruments, as Clean can help fix a crappy snare recording, though the other folders can juice it up further. This collection crosses genres with Game Over, Layered and Textures, fusing drum machine sounds you’d hear in Trap, Hip-Hop and RnB with straight-ahead Rock snares. This pack belongs in every beat makers collection.
2. Modern Samples – Modern Trap Snares
Modern Trap Snares is a collection of 113 unique plug and play snares, recorded from analog drum machines. As the name suggests, these sounds are ideal for any Trap producer. These samples traverse genre with the In The Box and Out The Box processing, as well as careful layering of other drum samples.
The processing makes Modern Trap Snares perfect for Trap, Hip Hop and other genres requiring an aggressive snare sound.
The base layer of the sample was recorded through API op-amps. This ensured the original drum machine was captured as natural as possible. Once the base layer was recorded, drum machine snares and live samples were thrown into the mix. A unique drum kit allowing Trap Snares to leap out from the usual flavors.
Each snare has been mixed aggressively to bring you snappy, punchy and bright sounds. Exactly what you would expect from a trap snare.
The snare samples were mixed using both analog hardware and digital software. The Chandler EMI TG1 Limiter was used to add punch and smack to each snare, with the Curve Bender and BAX EQs both adding silk and weight. Running samples through analog circuitry adds a richness often missing in sample packs. With the popularity of trap soaring, Modern Trap Snares is a perfect sample pack for any producer trying to stay current. Perfect those demanding the best trap samples out there.
3. Real Drum Samples – Line of Legends
If you want to be the best, you’ve got to be using the best. This pack is used by the producers behind Michael Jackson, Pink, and Rihanna. If you’re looking to use what those at the top of their game are, this is a pretty good place to start.
Line of Legends is a collection of premium drum samples brought to you by Real Drum Samples.
50+ piercing hard hitting snares, 50+ competition shattering claps and 20+ smooth, high-definition finger snaps are the “snariest” offerings from Line of Legends. These sounds are brought to you using the classic SSL 4000G+ console, with each sound EQ’d and Compressed to ensure the most impact for your sounds.
These snare drum samples are ideal for those desiring a more synthetic sound. The snares hit hard, and are very mainstream radio sounding.
Layer with a sequenced gospel clap and you’ve got yourself a build-up Macklemore would be proud of. Can you create an R&B smash without finger snaps? Maybe, but why would you? Experiment by layering the snares and claps, with “every other beat” finger snaps and stand shoulder to shoulder with Imagine Dragons. A great collection of snares and “snare like” samples (the rest of the pack is lit, too).
4. Freaky Loops – EDM Snares & Claps
Have you been trawling the internet for hours, days, weeks or months looking for the perfect collection of electronic style snares and claps for your beat? Freakyloops presents to you EDM Snares & Claps.
A collection of 205 hard hitting snares, this EDM sample pack is essential for anybody working with EDM, Electro, Electro House and Progressive House.
You’ve picked the perfect kick for your new track, and sequenced one hell of a four on the floor. The next step toward the phattest groove the dancefloor has heard is that snare clap combo.
This high-quality collection of samples will help you get there. Whether it’s crisp and crunchy, dirty and phat or tight and hard, EDM Snares & Claps can help take your beat to the next dimension.
As well as 205 snares, this collection provides:
- 20 bonus loops & samples
- 45 clap layer snares
- 30 dynamic snares
- 30 dynamic claps
- 30 impact claps
- 30 impact snares
- 30 short impact snares
- 10 FX snares plus 8 drum loops
- 3 FX fills
- 2 bass loops
- 2 synth loops
- 1 clap loop
- 1 snare fill
- 1 impact
- 1 reverse
- and 1 vox.
A real swiss army knife collection of electronic downbeats and a complete must have for anybody in the EDM space.
5. Freaky Loops – Dubstep Snares
Dubstep Snares from FreakyLoops is a killer collection of 200 snare samples, destined to transform your dubstep, drum n bass, glitch hop and electro-break beats with the drop of a sample.
A great starter point for any producer lusting over amazing sounding electro snares. Dubstep Snares brings production-ready sounds to your beats. Whether it’s crisp and crunchy, dirty and phat or tight and hard, there’s a snare in this pack to suit.
Those punchy, deep snares you’ve heard used and abused by the likes of Skrillex, Nero, Krewella and more can all be found within this collection.
If you’re working in electronic music, this really is a must-have collection. Not that this is the only genre these snares will work for. The same phat, punchy, deep snare in dubstep can be heard tucked under rock snares. Contemporary pop music seems to flick between trap and electronic music (both influenced by each other), with the likes of Diplo and Skrillex never too far from the top 40. If you can’t beat them, join them, and with Dubstep Snares you’re joining one hell of a high-quality collection of snares.
6. Wave Alchemy – Paperskins Snare Toolkit
If early hip hop snares are your thing, Paperskins Snare Toolkit by Wave Alchemy is the sample pack for you. Consisting of a total 633 24-bit snare samples, Paperskins Snare Toolkit has designed a collection of filthy snares and layering tools.
The 633 samples can be divided into three specific shapes. Slappers, fluffers, and suckers.
Slappers are Punchy, tight and transient rich, processed and shaped to enhance the ‘slap’ of the sound.
Fluffers are papery and powerful sounding processed and treated to enhance the ‘body’ of the sound.
Suckers are reversed snare drums which have been processed and envelope-shaped, ideal for layering underneath or before other snare samples to provide complexity or extra ‘suck’.
There have been no compromises when it comes to capturing the vibe of these samples. Each sound was recorded through an all analog chain, including the abuse of an Akai S1000 sampler, for maximum crunch adding a papery sizzle to the sounds.
These samples are by no means “cute”, and ideal for those desiring more grit and chunk from their snares. Ideal for hip hop, drum and bass and house. The tonal variations in this pack alone are worth the investment, with the layering of slappers, fluffers, and suckers creating unique snare sounds.
7. Zenhiser – Classic 80’s Snares
When it comes to iconic snares, very few surpass those of the 1980s. Yes, I’m hearing “Born In The USA” too. Zenhiser presents Classic 80’s Snares, a collection of 200 high-quality snare drums straight from the 1980s.
The pack is full of warm reverb-rich sounds, digital drum machine hits, snappy snares and monstrous clap snare combos. Whether it’s the talkback manipulation of Phil Collins’s snares, the saturated snare sound dominating the USA or the British obsessed reverse reverbs. Zenhiser has taken all the heavy lifting out of it for you, using these popular techniques to provide you with Classic 80s Snares.
Perfect for those wanting an 80s throwback and just as useful for anybody making synthetic, electronic music due to the richness of these synthetic snares. With the resurgence of the 80s influence on music, this snare sample pack is essential for anybody creating music. Whether you’re trying to craft the next M83, The Weeknd, Chvrches or The 1975 rival track, all artists have a similar thread in spite of their genre differences – the 80s snare!
Whether it’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, Superstitious or just down and out Crazy, each of the previous songs all has the same “sit up and listen” snare drum. As soon as that snare hits, you know it’s time to groove, and as such, you can’t be skimping on your snare drum samples.
This article covers a range of snares, so if you’re after more gentle, natural snares or the offensively over processed 80s WHACK, there’s a pack here for you. As always visit the sites, listen to the examples and think about what they could do for you.
Just because the snare sounds “real” and would suit a rock track, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be the perfect layer in your trap beat. Just because the snare is from a 1980s drum machine, doesn’t mean it can’t have a place in a track made almost 40 years after the machines birth. Keep an open mind, keep curious and keep making good music.