The 80`s of the 20th century brought a lot of new and exciting moments in the music scene. It was the age of ridiculous excess, with everything from loud metal guitar riffs to drum sounds. This was especially true for drums. You’ve probably heard it before: a snare erupts with an exhalation-like reverb before abruptly cutting off. This is known as gated reverb, and it was widely used in pop and dance music in the 1980s. Everything sounded larger and better right away. Recently, the sound of the 1980s has resurfaced in the shape of a music genre known as Synth Wave. And those renowned sounding drums can be heard in many contemporary tracks. In the next tutorial, we will show you how to make a huge 80’s snare drum with a few simple tricks.

Further, in our Soundbridge: DAW, we have prepared a short sequence containing the essential elements like kick drum, snare drum, hi-hats and bassline. Let us hear how it sounds unprocessed.

This is a picture of my full mix without any processing, taken before the making of the 80`s snare drum.
~Full Mix – Unprocessed

Since kick and snare drum will be our main point of interest, we will start by listening to the snare drum solo.

~Snare Drum – Unprocessed

The first thing to do would be to choose a reverb and place it on the snare drum channel effect rack. For this purpose, we have chosen the ValhallaRoom by ValhallaDSP as our reverb effect. In addition, we want our drum to sound very large so to do this we will dial a pretty long decay time, a fair amount of pre-delay, and mix parameter set to 50 %. Let us hear how that sounds.

Snare Drum Processed with Reverb

This is a picture of the reverb effect that I used as an effect to make the 80`s snare drum.
~Snare Drum – Processed With Reverb

Moreover, the next step would be to place a compressor after the reverb effect in order to control the dynamics of our drum and for better control of the reverb tail as well. As an effect of choice, we will use SoundBridge`s native compressor effect.

This is a picture of the compressor effect that I used as an effect to make the 80`s snare drum.
~Snare Drum – Processed With Reverb and Compressor

Last, and maybe the most important effect in our chain, would be the gate effect. Moreover, the gating effect is actually helping us to make that signature 80’s sounding snare drum by sharply ending the reverb tail. Again, we have chosen the Noise Gate effect from the Soundbridge native plugins collection.

This is a picture of the gate effect I used as an effect to make the 80`s snare drum.
~Snare Drum – Processed With Reverb, Compressor, and Gate Effects

Furthermore, we will use the same process chain for our kick drum and toms but with slightly different reverb, compressor, and gate effect parameters. Finally, let us hear how our sequence sounds unprocessed and then with drums processed in the 80s style.

~Full Mix – Unprocessed
~Full Mix – Processed Drums
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