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Hi hats
Old 28th March 2013
Hi hats

Hi Michael!

Do you have any tips for getting hi hat parts nicely recorded? Apart from working with the drummer to naturally balance the kit, what about loud, smashy hi-hats? Hats have always seemed to be a problem at one time or another for me. Thanks in advance! Darrick
Old 28th March 2013
Michael Beinhorn
fexurbis's Avatar


There are many ways to get around this apart from instructing the drummer to emphasize the hats less when he's playing. Not all drummers are quick to adapt such a radical change, so the next thing is to work on sonics.

Sometimes, a combination of baffling the hihat, creating some separation between hihat and snare (generally a piece of foam/deadening material between snare mics and hihat), micing the entire kit with mics which won't emphasize brightness as much, deadening the hihat itself (a piece or two of tape), changing the hats to something less bright or more appropriate to the drummers style of playing, etc.

In some cases, it can help to treat the hihat as an overdub and not initially record it with the rest of the kit.
Old 29th March 2013
Lives for gear

Can you tell us any songs you've done that you have done overdubbed hats? As a drummer I always find that interesting.
Old 29th March 2013
That's the thing. I've attempted in the past to get a drummer to suddenly change how he's playing, in order to get something that works...and he couldn't do it. It was too difficult of a change...

Definitely some good ideas to keep in mind.
Old 30th March 2013
Michael Beinhorn
fexurbis's Avatar

Yes- not many drummers can handle changing their approach to playing, unless they're very good.

We overdubbed hats (and the rest of the cymbals) on the Mew recording "And the Glass-handed Kites". Their drummer Silas is an excellent player, and he was able to re-acclimate himself in a short amount of time.
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