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Pryda Snare: How To Make One And Where To Download!

Pryda Snare: How To Make One And Where To Download!
Only a few samples have truly revolutionized the world of electronic music, and the Pryda snare is one of them.

If you don’t recall what the sample sounds like, here’s a quick reminder.



Sounds familiar, right?

So how did this reverb-washed snare drum become so influential?

The answer is straightforward: it’s easy to recognise, simple, and effective.

And if you want to incorporate this legendary sound into your production, it only takes a few steps.

Follow them and you'll have your very own Pryda Snare in no time, ready to use in your next production!

But first let’s explore the history of the famous sample to discover its origins.


History Of The Pryda Snare And How It Got Famous


It was early 2009 when Eric Sheridan Prydz, aka Pryda, released one of his most iconic tracks: “Miami to Atlanta”.



This is the tune that gave birth to the infectious Pryda Snare.

Driven by the lush, 8-bit vibey chords and festival anthem features, the snare featured in this track is truly what made it so legendary!

Just imagine listening to this tune for the first time in it’s prime. Hearing that huge snare right before the drop just makes you want to jump up and down!

You probably wouldn’t have been able to figure out how it was created at that time. But the funny thing is, sometimes some of the most legendary sounds in dance music are incredibly simple.

This is definitely the case with the Pryda snare. The perfect Pryda snare really relies on just two things: reverb and compression.

Pryda used these two techniques in a new creative way that gave his snares a life of their own. This snare is so unique sounding that it’s almost like if it was “breathing”. This characteristic trait is what became the trademark of the sound.

Evolution Of The Pryda Snare


It’s always hard to say for a fact whether someone was the first to do something or not.

In this case, we cannot be certain that Eric Prydz was the first artist to use the snare in such a way, but he is definitely the one who brought it into the spotlight.

Pryda made it so versatile that it became a foundation for many different styles of EDM.

But it doesn’t stop there. Do you remember the rise of Big-Room House at the end of 2011/early 2012?

Well, the snare was heavily sampled in that genre. That’s where the controversies started to emerge.

At that time, the snare appeared in tracks from trendsetting artists such as Swedish House Mafia, Knife Party’s (Antidote), Hardwell’s remix of Krewella (Alive), and Nicky Romero’s (Toulouse).

It also appeared afterwards in some of the biggest festival anthems like Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s Wakanda, W&W’s The Code and D# Flat, TJR’s Ode To Oi, Dada Life’s Born To Rage, and many more.

Even Martin Garrix's "Animals" includes the famous Pryda Snare, as you can clearly hear over the course of the drop at minute 2:00.

I’m sure you can think of many more tracks that use a similar snare as well!

Controversy


Naturally, since many tracks contain this characteristic snare, the critics started to spread.

What probably caused the backlash was how monotonous Big Room House sounded, with most productions sounding very similar to each other.

This is a critique that still haunts Big Room House lovers to this day.

The swedish duo Daleri decided to expose this problem in a brilliant parody containing 15 drops from tracks in the beatport Top 100 from that year.

However, the best joke of this problem came from the parody site Bazzfeed, when they published an article called “Eric Prydz sues over 1,000 EDM artists in World's Largest Ever Copyright Lawsuit over 'Pryda Snare' sample”.

It certainly did fool some people because of how relevant the situation was at the time!

Use In Other Genres


Critics aside, the snare itself was revolutionary. Its powerful character made this snare fitting for many other genres.

For example, many Dubstep producers use huge snares drenched in reverb that cut out as soon as the next kick hits.

A recent track that reminded us of this technique is Flux Pavilion x NGHTMRE feat. Jamie Lewis “Feel Your Love”.

Notice how the fill right before the drop ends with a washed out snare!

Also, the snare used during the drop reminds us a lot of the Pryda snare, with a 909 character and a huge reverb tail.

Now that you know where this iconic snare came from, it’s time to figure out how to make your own!


How To Make A Pryda Snare


Original Sample


The source sample is believed to be the snare of the iconic Roland TR-909 Drum Machine.

Roland TR 909 1.20.2014

This analog drum machine was launched in 1983, 3 years after its predecessor, the TR-808, which played a crucial role in the development of electronic music.

And both the 808 and the 909 were fundamental drum machines for the development of hip-hop and the rise of dance music.

Some of the artists that used elements from this drum machine are Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, Radiohead, The Prodigy, and many more.

Unfortunately, if you want to get your hands on one, you’re out of luck.

Original TR-909s are very rare and hard to find nowadays. If you’re lucky enough to find one, the resale price could be over $3,000/$4,000!

But don’t worry, we provided you with a list of free TR-909 emulators at the end of the article. These are absolutely free and emulate the exact sounds as the original!


Example Inside A DAW


Now that you know what kind of sample you need, let’s recreate the world famous Pryda Snare!

For this example, we will only be using Ableton stock plugins.

If you don’t use Ableton, don’t worry. You can also apply these same steps and principles to any other DAW of your likes.

There’s two ways of achieving this:

The first step for both processes is to pick the right sample (which we already covered). A 909 sample is prefered, but you can pick any snare that is snappy, carries a solid mid-low end (around 200 Hz), and has a distinct tail.

First Option


In this case we used the “Snare-909-Tune8-s” sample, which comes with all versions of Ableton.

pryda snare-ableton browser

The first way consists of creating a return channel and applying all the reverb processing on that separate channel, while keeping the original snare untouched.

cymatics-pryda snare-01

This first option allows you to keep the punch of the snare more intact and gives you more control over the end result.

On the snare channel, make sure you apply the EQ right away to low-cut any unwanted frequencies below 150/200 hz that might interfere with the kick and bass.

cymatics-pryda snare-eq8

Also make sure to send the full signal of the snare channel into the return track.

On the return channel, insert a Hall or Plate Reverb which tend to work better on snares. This is because they have a bigger “in your face” presence.

For this example, the Ableton Stock Reverb will do the trick.

Apply a 3-4 seconds decay time to taste (you can go higher to make it even bigger), and a 100% wet signal.

In this case, we automated the Decay time starting at 3 seconds and ending at 6 seconds.

To automate, click on any parameter. You’ll see a dotted red line appearing on the track where that plug-in is inserted. That’s where you can draw in your automation. Click on the + button to give it its own lane.

cymatics-pryda snare-automation

After you’ve achieved the desired effect, insert a compressor (either the default Ableton Compressor or a Glue Compressor).

Proceed to apply a low threshold until you reach about 5-7 dB of gain reduction, a slow attack (so the transient comes through), a medium/long release, and a 4:1 ratio. Applying compression with these settings after the reverb makes the decay of the reverb come to life.

Don’t forget to bring the output gain back up to match the initial volume before compression.

If you’re using a Glue Compressor, we recommend turning on the soft clipping featured to add extra character and avoid clipping. In this case, we left the standard settings of the Glue Compressor and only adjusted the Threshold and Makeup while turning on the Soft Clip.

cymatics-pryda snare-compression

Now you can apply a saturator to give the sample subtle drive and a different tone/color. In this case we used the “Hot Tubes” preset of the Ableton Saturator, which clearly enhances the character and grit of the sound.

cymatics-pryda snare-saturator

But you still need to apply an EQ to the return channel. This is necessary to low-cut any unwanted frequencies that might muddy up the mix. For reverbs, we recommend cutting out frequencies below 150 hz.

cymatics-pryda snare-eq8 02

Now create a new audio track, set it to “resampling,” arm the track to enable recording, and record the output of both channels together.

cymatics-pryda snare-resampling

Lastly, cut off the unwanted tail. Alternatively, you can reverse the tail you cut out to create a swoosh effect when layered with the snare.

cymatics-pryda snare-tail

Second Option


In this case we will apply a reverb directly to the audio track. Preferably a Hall or Plate reverb, just like the first option.

We will use the Ableton Stock Reverb once again for this second option.

Apply again a 3-4 second decay time to taste (you can go higher to make it even bigger), and start with a 50% wet signal so that the original punch of the snare is not lost.

cymatics-pryda snare-reverb

This time we will automate, directly on the audio track, the wet parameter so that it increases as soon as the snare hits. This allows you to achieve the “breathing” effect we talked about above.

To automate, click on any parameter and you’ll see a dotted red line appearing on the track where that plug-in is inserted. That’s where you can draw in your automation. Click on the + button to give it its own lane.

cymatics-pryda snare-automation 02

Alternatively, you can also automate the decay time and increase it. In this case we automated the wet signal from 50% to 100% and the Decay starting at 3 seconds ending at 6 seconds.

cymatics-pryda snare-automation 03

After you achieve the desired effect, insert a Compressor (either the default Ableton Compressor or the Glue Compressor).

Proceed to lower the threshold until you reach about 5-7 dB of gain reduction, and once again, apply a slow attack (so the initial transient of the snare comes through and is not lost), a medium/long release, and a 4:1 ratio.

Next, bring the output gain back up to match the initial volume before compression.

If you’re using a Glue Compressor, turn on the soft clipping feature to add extra character and avoid clipping. Just like for the first option, we left the standard settings of the Glue Compressor and only adjusted the Threshold and Makeup while turning on the Soft Clip.

cymatics-pryda snare-compression 02

Now you can apply a saturator to give the sample a subtle drive and a different color. Just like in Option 1, we used the “Hot Tubes” preset of the Ableton Saturator which enhances the character and grit of the sound.

cymatics-pryda snare-saturation 02

To wrap things up, add an EQ to low-cut any unwanted frequencies below 150/200 hz that might interfere with the kick and bass.

We recommend turning on the audition mode feature (headphones icon on the EQ Eight). This allows you to hear just the selected frequency on the selected EQ filter when you click on it.

This way you can make sure you are not taking away any essential frequencies out of the snare.

cymatics-pryda snare-eq8 03

Now freeze and flatten (or resample) the processed snare and cut off the unwanted tail. You can reverse the tail you cut out to create a swoosh effect when layered with the snare.

cymatics-pryda snare-freeze

How To Make It Unique


What we just outlined are the classic steps to make a “Pryda Snare”. In order to make it unique and fitting to your own style, though, you can apply a series of other processes and plug-ins.

Here are a few ideas:

    • Use a phaser to give the reverb tail some movement and variation throughout the track.



    • Be creative with saturation. Every saturation/distortion plug-in has a different sound/character. You can try applying it on a return channel, band pass the frequencies that add a specific color to the original sample, and blend them in to taste.



    • OTT compressors (which stands for Over The Top Compression) work wonders with reverbs. Placed after the reverb, they bring out the tail of the reverb in a crisp and ethereal way. You can either use the OTT setting from the Ableton Multiband Compressor, or download Xfer Records’ OTT Plug-In at this link.



    • Try using other samples that are not 909s and apply the same processing. Layering other samples and foley sounds can also result in unique reverb tails!



    • Layering the snare with a clap can also lead to a punchier and “fatter” snare.


Where To Download


Visit our Free Downloads Vault and download 5 Pryda style snares. You can find the download at the bottom of the "Sample Packs" tab.

 

We created these snares using the techniques shown in this article!


Want to make your own Pryda Snares? Finding the right samples to create the perfect Pryda Snare can be difficult, but luckily we’ve done all the work for you! Below we’ve included the perfect 909 samples to create your own Pryda Snare. All you have to do is process them like you just learned, and you should have your very own Pryda Snare!

Ableton Stock Samples by Ableton


The “Snare-909-Tune8-s” sample which comes with all versions of Ableton is a great starting point to create a Pryda Snare! It is also the one we used in the tutorial above.

EDM Drums by Producer Spot


This free download includes all the elements you need to make great sounding drums for your next EDM hit. To achieve the Pryda Snare we suggest starting with edm-snare-01, 02 or 05, but there’s many more 909 inspired punchy snares in the pack.

Mini 909 - TR-909 Emulator by Monade Sounds


This easy and intuitive plug-in uses pristine TR-909 samples recorded at 24bit, 44.1 khz. All you have to do is select the snare and adjust the parameters to your preference.

XoX Drums For Kontact by Autodafe


This Kontact instrument is a drum machine, based off the legendary Roland Drum Machines of the series 606, 707, 808, and 909.

If you don’t want to go through the whole process of creating a Pryda Snare, we’ve also included some resources to find the perfect pre-made snares. That way you can just drag and drop them directly into your project file!

EDM Essentials Vol.1 by Vengeance


Another trustworthy source for quality samples is Vengeance. It is hard to find a producer who doesn’t own a Vengeance sample pack.

The EDM essentials Vol.1 has many “Pryda Style” snares ready to drag and drop in your tracks! Even in the demo video you can hear the pre-drop snare at 0:38 and also used as fill during the drop.

Festival House / Ultra Festival Kits by Function Loops


Function Loops has two great packs which include the Pryda Snare. Festival House and Ultra Festival Kits. You can find them under the file name “Snare_Pryda” and they’re very affordable!


Conclusion


The Pryda Snare is one of the most legendary percussive hits in dance music. Even though it’s origins are in house, you’ll find variations of it in future bass, dubstep, or any other genre of dance music.

If you follow the steps that we provided you with in this article,you’ll be making your own Pryda Snares in no time!

What are your thoughts on the Pryda Snare? Have you used it in any of your own productions?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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