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Digital Witness

by St Vincent

There’s something magical about a good sample–based stomp beat like this, where a four–to–the–floor kick-drum beat is combined with a heavy backbeat snare sample. What can be misleading to anyone trying to recreate these timbres, however, is that the snare comes across as being subjectively much rounder and thicker in the mix than it really is, simply because it’s normally heard in combination with the kick. Fortunately, though, the helpful kick–drum drop at 2:27–2:36 in this mix gives an objective insight into the true nature of the snare sample: while it certainly has a significant low mid–range pitched component giving it some weight around 170Hz, that frequency is very tightly damped to avoid muddiness, and otherwise the noisier components of the sample are focused much more into the two or three spectral octaves above.