Is compressing the drum samples really necessary?

The vast majority of people are interested in compressing their snare drum samples, which is why they ask this question. Audio engineers use the compressor to alter dynamics by reducing the volume of stronger sections while increasing the volume of quieter ones. Compressors can be employed alone or as part of a bigger chain running throughout the mix.
When mixing music, why would you need to use a compressor on each track? Unless you’re trying to regulate really loud peaks from a single drum, it’s usually not essential (say for example, if you recorded your snare track with too much proximity effect).

This question is probably better asked on a music production forum (but will likely devolve into a flame war, depending on the community! :joy:)

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Usually adding a compressor to drum sounds can make them feel louder and punchier - by controlling the dynamics of the sound over time you can alter the tone of the sound, as well as how it fits in with other elements. But you wouldn’t put one on every track, just the ones you think need them.

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I like to think it makes your snare smaller but still stick out :slight_smile: Handy when you’ve got a lot going on in a track and don’t want the snare to be the star of the show.

However - if you’ve got a sample to start with you can just use the envelopes on your sampler to get the same sort of effect!

really depends on the exact compressor settings. a popular method for drums is parallel compression with a sharp ratio and threshold way down, then you control the length of the transient with attack and set release to the time it takes to come back up for the next hit. then you dial in dry/wet to make it more natural again. it increases the punch, the ploppyness of the signal and enables you to mix the snare further into the background while still kinda cutting through the mix. the snare loses body that way tho so you have to be careful.

the other way around you could try to smash the snare with super low attack- and release times but more cautious threshold and ratio. that way you’d use the compressor less as a dynamics tool and more as some sort of thickener, similiar to the way you’d use saturation. ofc that brings up the body of the snare and also some noise, so it can get pretty wishy-washy if you overdo it.

moral of the story: put compressors everywhere, try different settings and you’ll often find something that can be useful at times.