Snare Reverb – The Best Snare Reverb Settings to Use

Using reverb on your snare has a number of benefits and can be used a number of ways. Let’s talk about why producers use snare reverb and more importantly the best snare reverb settings to dial into your mix.

Why Use Snare Reverb

As I mentioned in my audio panning guide and more specifically my drum panning guide, as a general rule you want to keep the snare panned right up the middle. The snare is one of the most important components of your mix and by keeping it up the middle it acts like an anchor along with the kick for driving the rhythm.

Using a bit of reverb on your snare can help give it more presence in the mix in two ways: width and sustain/decay.

The width aspect simply gives your snare a little more size in the mix. While this isn’t necessary, giving the snare a little more width via some snare reverb draws a little more attention to it and gives it a bit more dominion in the mix.

The sustain/decay benefit of snare reverb gives you a little more of that natural decay of the snare’s tail. Depending on how and where the snare was recorded, the tail can be non-existent and the snare can disappear as quickly as its audio transients do.

Now let’s talk about how to use it and the best snare reverb settings to dial in.

Snare Reverb Settings

Normally when I’m dealing with reverbs I like to use the as sends via Aux/Return tracks rather than an insert. This lets me set up two different reverbs on average for the entire mix and blend some wetness into different tracks with different rates via the send knobs. The benefit of everything using the same reverbs for every track in your mix is that you get the sense that everything is existing in the same space.

With snare reverb oftentimes I make an exception, typically creating a specific reverb just for the snare.

snare reverb

Because we’re only using this specific reverb for this one track, we can use it as an insert and just use the wet/dry knob on the reverb itself at a relatively low setting to give us a taste of that width and sustain from the reverb without losing the clarity of the snare itself.

I prefer to create an Audio Effect Rack in my DAW of choice, Ableton Live. This allows me to split any track into a multi-out setup so I can process the same track in entirely different ways as inserts while maintaining the “dry” version of the track.

It’s similar to creating an Aux/Return track to blend in the level, so in this case I would set the Wet/Dry to 100% wet. Let’s go over the remaining snare reverb settings.

Snare Reverb Pre-delay

The pre-delay sets the time before the reverb is heard. It keeps your transients (see what are transients) clean while creating some nice separation for the delay itself.

I recommend a snare reverb pre-delay of 10-20ms to hit that sweet spot.


This is the main setting on most reverbs and controls how long the reflection lasts.

Setting this too short negates the desired sustain of the reverb. Setting this too long steps on the next snare hit.

While you can sync this to the tempo of your song to keep the decay from lasting too long, my usual go-to for snare reverb decay time is around .5 seconds.

This generally works as a sweet spot and a nice compromise in that pocket of adding sustain without being too washy or cloudy.


In the above graphic, I’m using the FabFilter Pro-R2, my favorite versatile, multipurpose reverb. You can adjust the sound of the reverb itself with distance, brightness, and character settings. Essentially this adjusts the proximity/depth and color of the reverb.

We can further sculpt this via the EQ which I’ll talk about in a minute, but I prefer a lighter reflection, and that’s represented with these settings.


The width determines how much stereo width that reverb occupies. This will depend entirely on how busy your existing stereo field is. In a less cluttered mix you can get away with closer to 100%. Some reverbs like FabFilter’s go beyond 100% at which point they begin to shift the focus for the reverb away from the center and more exclusively to the sides which can help in giving your dry snare more dominion over the middle.

EQ Filters

Lastly, I always recommend that you EQ reverb to keep it from creating or contributing to a muddy mix.

The Abbey Road Reverb Trick is a tried and true method used to filter out low-mid frequencies below 600Hz and the higher frequencies above 6k.

Snare Reverb Tips

  • Snare reverb works well to create width and added sustain to your snare, giving it more size and presence in your mix.
  • Aim for a decay time of .5 seconds to get the benefits of the reverb without stepping on subsequent snare hits. You can also sync it to the tempo of your song at quarter notes, half notes, etc.
  • Set the snare reverb predelay setting between 10-20ms to keep some space between the dry and wet instances.
  • Adjust the color of the reverb to be relatively bright and clean.
  • Adjust width to taste depending on the stereo availability of your mix. When applicable, set this above 100% to clear the reverb out from the center.
  • EQ your reverb, filtering below and above 600-6000Hz, respectively, to keep that snare reverb clean.

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