Skrillex on finding that perfect drum sound

I don’t want to be mysterious (and) of course I’m not giving away anything either—part of the fun of being a producer is having your own sound. But for me, the drums are simple. It’s all about the three pieces that make a really nice drum sound. You need a nice transient in the beginning, and then the note around the 200-hertz frequency that gives it that boof, and then a tail, which can be anything. I usually start with a 909 and compress it to get the harmonics of that 200-hertz note, and then take maybe one or two really good-sounding locked drum samples that don’t conflict with any of the harmonics in the 909. You want to tune it at about 200, and shave off a lot of that stuff above 200, and then you have this live-sounding hybrid 909. Then you take a clap or a china [sound] and shelve it off super high, and add some reverb to it and then print it as one. Balance it while you print it, and then you re-compress it from there and you have a snare drum.

There’s one thing about audio too. I think the biggest piece of advice I can give anybody about audio is don’t pretend to be a snob. — Skrillex, iZotope