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Old October 19th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
Daller
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how to get a good hi-hat sound?

well, i know every mix is different, but maybe some of you guys could give me some advices how i can get a good sounding hi-hat.


- where should i put the mic's when i'm recording?
- which frequencies should i cut/boost?
- and should i use compression or not?


i really hope some of you guys can help me
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
timislegend
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fatso is a great solution for recording hi hat.

also:





notice the 121 at an angle... this is pretty common and will result in a defined 'choppy' sound.

Last edited by timislegend : October 19th, 2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It has to be an actual good sounding hat to start with. Try keep it to 13 or 14", and make sure it has a good trashy sound that doesn't cut or emphasize one frequency range a lot. If you get one that does this AND is loud, then you're screwed... your whole drum recording is screwed.

I normally have an SDC above the hat, pointing away from it (and the kit) on an angle. This is to minimize spill and get the hats from an area where they will sound relatively smooth. The closer you go to the sides the more of the turbulence/harsh stuff you tend to get. As always if you have an assistant just get them to sweep it around till it sounds about right.

In the mix it really depends on the hat. I usually treat it much like OHs. Filter a lot of the lows, maybe not brighten too much but rather pick a frequency to emphasize and boost it for clarity. If it conflicts with the vocal watch the 2 to 4k range. The OHs should provide the brightness and air. The direct hat mic should be used for intelligibility. Some medium attack compression is alright here.

Here be one I prepared earlier:



You can just barely make out the mic there.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
The Unavoidable
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I just like to emphasize how important the HH actually is. With a good sounding hihat it's really hard to get it wrong IMO. Like Ermz said, not overly large and make sure that it doesn't eat up the whole high end. If you just can't get it right with a drummer, then go to a music store and rent a pair or something. (Though I guess they might not rent out cymbals. W/e)
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Took me a few seconds to find the hi-hat mic in that picture there Ermz, clever trick. I'll try that out.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
Daller
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thanks Ermz, you really gave me a idea how it works, but there's another question left: at which frequencies should i cut the lows/highs?

i always cut the lows at about 500 Hz and the highs around 17 kHz. is that good or are there better frequencies to do that?
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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there's really nothing at 17k, all your boosting is noise, try some where around 10 to start.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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He said cut, not boost.

Daller, if you're talking about high passing and low passing, there shouldn't be any reason to LP the hats period. If they are overly bright hats and you happen to be using a really bright mic, then maybe shelf the highs down a couple dB starting at whatever frequency they begin to sound harsh at (but only if they sound harsh within the context of the mix).
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
Maamar Huq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrivalry View Post
there's really nothing at 17k except for hiss. However a certain amount of hiss is necessary for maintaining air. Boost them if you need to.
Fixed
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daller View Post
thanks Ermz, you really gave me a idea how it works, but there's another question left: at which frequencies should i cut the lows/highs?

i always cut the lows at about 500 Hz and the highs around 17 kHz. is that good or are there better frequencies to do that?
Depends entirely on how the hat mic is interacting with the overheads and the rest of your mix.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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use a decent hi hat - whichever one you go for will depend on the band and style of music. for general hats, i really like aax stage hats.

decent mic well placed in a decent enough room will sound really good - any other processing you do should be dependent on the session.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 06:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
gabriel g.
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good hats. Thats it.

You normaly dont need a hat mic in most cases because the OH mics pic it up.

Realy the more you do to the hats the worse they sound
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Old October 20th, 2010, 07:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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good hats. Thats it.

You normaly dont need a hat mic in most cases because the OH mics pic it up.

Realy the more you do to the hats the worse they sound
exactly - the kind of questions the OP is asking should TOTALLY depend on the source. only EQ/compress/de-ess if there is a problem with it. dont do it for the sake of it, or because thats what other people do. LISTEN to the source and adjust what needs adjusting in your opinion.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Fixed
With a decent mic in a decent room, chances are most people aren't working in those circumstances, in which case it would be better to allow the room and overheads to carry the air of the tracks.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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exactly - the kind of questions the OP is asking should TOTALLY depend on the source. only EQ/compress/de-ess if there is a problem with it. dont do it for the sake of it, or because thats what other people do. LISTEN to the source and adjust what needs adjusting in your opinion.

+1. True in almost any audio situation.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Cymbals are the one bit of the kit where cheating is Nigh on impossible, so you really need good Hihats.
Anything zil or sabian that costs a decent ammount of money and isnt tiny will do.
Use whatever mic you have left, and face it isolating the rest of the kit.
I like to go from the top, the bottom is too murky, and the side is too 'wooshy'
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I only really use the hh mic to aid in positioning it in the stereo image. Manually cut and fade it. High passed, go through and find the annoying honky freqs, I always find a few between 700-1.2 and then suck them out. Usually a slight shelf around 8, but not too much as I like the air in the ohs. As ermz said, you have to decide how you want the hats to interact with the mid/highs of the ohs.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 12:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
Maamar Huq
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With a decent mic in a decent room, chances are most people aren't working in those circumstances, in which case it would be better to allow the room and overheads to carry the air of the tracks.
I completely agree but it also depends on context. When we're talking about smashed up radio rock or modern metal this isn't exactly the case.
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