Snare Trap - history

Moderator: D-Rainger

Snare Trap - history

Postby D-Rainger » Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:11 am

We wanted to make a beatbox that had limited options - but was easy to use, and made cool, useful sounds and rhythms.

I think that because programming-based equipment can do almost anything, designers are tempted to present the user with options to do, well, almost anything. And there are lots that do that amazingly well; I've used some - and really loved them.

However there's a lot to be said for limitations... I wonder how many times someone's regular amazing bit of gear has broken down, and they've been forced to go back to their previous - more basic - set-up, and have suddenly produced some of their best music for ages! Limitations are directions for your creativity, pointing it towards your next hit record....

But the Snare Trap actually started in a different way. The very first Drone Rainger pedal had a white noise burst effect in it - which was made by doing a little circuit bending of the delay chip inside, so it came from that chip INCREDIBLY loudly - and its volume could only be controlled by turning down the delay level. Which was a drag, frankly.
So I swapped it out for the current 'pitch up' variation (which matches the 'pitch down' one).

A bunch of people missed the white noise burst though, so when lockdown started I thought it could be a quick project to work on. There would be a big pad you hit to make it happen, plus with some nice filtering on it, and some echo - it could be a fun, odd thing! Actually, surely it'd be possible to switch the white noise into a short snare-type sound... Kind of like a 1980s Clap Trap thing, but with snare instead - a 'Snare Trap'!

Various people at RFX commented on this, and we realised if there was a user-programmable rhythm thing happening that would be good too - more useful. So using our Deep Space Pulsar tap-tempo - which puts out a 4-to-the-bar pulse - I made it so the snare sound would be on the '2' and the '4'. I got a simple bass drum together for the '1' and the '3', and with delay on the snare it sounded great!

But actually, hi-hat would be good too. So that happened, then the ability to move the second bass drum to wherever you want, and to take out the on-beat hi-hat. Then - as lots of people only have one input socket on their amp - having an input socket on the pedal to plug your instrument into. Then sidechaining. Then external trigger sockets for the individual sounds...
This pedal was the very definition of 'feature creep'!!!

I know we didn't actually start off with the 'beatbox' target in mind - but that soon became the aim. The 'snare hit' aspect of the pad didn't make it through, but the name stuck - and it still did the white noise burst, like a drum fill.

What we've ended up with is interesting sounds, with limitations - but some great flexibility and shortcuts, that goes on a pedalboard, or on a small space on your table-top. It's a rhythmic sketch pad. Control it on the floor with your foot, or trigger it with a modular synth.

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Re: Snare Trap - history

Postby Chankgeez » Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:15 pm

I mean, how can you really go wrong with white noise bursts? :rock:
psychic vampire. wrote:The important take away from this thread: Taoism and Ring Modulators go together?
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Re: Snare Trap - history

Postby coldbrightsunlight » Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:38 pm

It's interesting to hear that development story! Definitely an interesting pedal that seems to sit in a unique space

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