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Tips for recording a high hat...

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by KeithBMI, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. You can hear it on our MySpace... under "I Got My Soul"

    It's impossible to make it sound good. The snare mic picks up the "tick" from the stick hitting the high hat... but we can't get anything else. In other songs, it gets very "ticky" and doesn't sound like a high hat at all.

    Is it our cheap mics? (He bought a 7 piece from Nady)

    Should I move the overhead mic closer to it? We can't seem to get the "ring" that you get in real life. If you have a high hat near you... go close it and give it a smack... you'll understand what I'm talking about. :D
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Change the placement of the snare mic. You may want to look at the response diagram. Treble is not picked up much from the back end and side of a cardiod mic, so put the area where the high hat is hit in the dead spot. Also, point the high hat mic away from the rest of the kit. If you aren't micing the high hat, you should. The most important parts of a kit are the high hats, snare and bass. From there it goes ride, crashes and toms.

    Spend some money and get some sm 57s. Those are some of the best mics for snares. They even work for cymbals. Also, the drum kit doesn't seem to have much "UMPH". I hear the sizzle of the snare, and that's it. The whole kit needs a bit more beef.
  3. DemoKing


    Apr 19, 2006
    57's suck for snare because their rejection is terrible. In other words, they get lots of hat and make it sound like trebly ****. If the snare is one of those incredibly loud ear exploding tight ones that is 5 times as loud as the rest of the kit, you dont have to worry so much about it, but thats rarely the case. A mic with a tighter pattern and better off axis response will serve you much better. If you use a 57, or any other mic for that matter, get it out over the snare as far as you can, with the hats in about the 120 degree area from the front. THe mic is going to pick up the most from the very front and the very rear. Kind of angle it to the side some. I have good luck with the Sennheisers. Much better mics with better properties all around. If you can afford a 441 (and your drummer wont hit it) the rejection is so awesome its not even funny. Barely gets any hats at all. The 57s will sound better if you boil out the transformer and bypass it though.
    As far as micing hats, I've been doing something new lately thats been working great (when the drummers can handle it) I've been micing the hats and ride, and close micing everything else and also using a room mic pretty far back, and having them play without hitting cymbals. After we are done tracking, I re-mic the cymbals with either a pair of overheads, or if they only have 2 or 3, I put a mic on each one, and then have them listen through the songs and put cymbals everywhere they want them. This works well for the following reasons:
    1) I can compress and eq the snot out of all teh drums wihout having cymbals in my toms and snare. If yo uare a fan of adding distortion to your snare, you'll learn really quick what happens when you have too much cymbal bleed.
    2) I can mess with the cymbal effects and placement without having the drums in the cymbals
    3) I can focus on getting a better cymbal sound wihout worrying about how the drums sound through the overheads.
    4) Having a mic on the hats gives me more control and a much better click sound.
    Also, you can take something like drumkit from hell superior, and trigger all the cymbals and have some bomb sounding cymbals instead of micing them. If you have a midi keyoard and that program, its really easy. Play the song, press the keys as needed.
    On micing the hats... doing it towards the edge gives a really washed out bassy kind of sound. Eck. Try micing towards the bell of the hats, straight down and pretty close, and then angle it towards the center (but away from the snare)of the hats but still closer to the bell. Play and record for 30 seconds. Listen. Move it around. Do it again, and again, until it sounds good. Its hit or miss, take the time to place them all right and listen to them. Its a luzery you can afford if yo uare doing it yourself. Why skimp on placement?
    Also, make sure the drummer doesnt have the hats too wide open when they are open. They should BARELY open just a little bit when they are wide open. Just enough to sizzle and sound good. Even a half inch is too much. They should barely open, or they'll record like ****.
    Good luck!
  4. charic


    Apr 17, 2006
    Ok, im a sound engineer and this is my preffered method...
    Your snare mic needs to be as close to the skin of the snare as possible but point the tail end of the mic AWAY from the hi-hat as most mics pic up a bit from behind aswell. Also to actually record the hi-hat you want to use a mic a bit like an AKG C1000, as close as you can too the hat as it will go while open and being hit as u can get it without it bein in danger of being knocked. I would advise renting and AKG C1000 for the Hi-Hat and a Shure Sm57 for the snare.

    Good luck
  5. DemoKing


    Apr 19, 2006
    No offense, but I wouldnt use an AKG c1000 fo anything other than a hammer or doorstop :)
    But thats just me. There are better mics for the money, including stuff from the Studio PRojects B series, which are cheap. In fact, the C4's are very good for hats ride and cymbals, and come in a matched pair for about $260 or so I think. They sound damned nice with a good preamp.

    The problem with micing a snare, really, is that the best sounding place to put the mic is always in the way of the drummer. Never fails.
  6. charic


    Apr 17, 2006
  7. Skit1

    Skit1 Guest

    Jul 2, 2004
    Have you tried gateing the track?
    You might be able to get rid of some of the unwanted noise that way.

    Failing that, re-record with a different mic placement.
  8. ric1312

    ric1312 Banned

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    I may be reading this wrong, but part of the problem is that you don't like, "tick," the high hat is putting in?

    You are getting the tick from how he is playing the high hat.

    Just about any mic thats going to sound good, to mic the snare will also pick up the tick because that sound is easily picked up.

    If you want to get rid of the tick, tell the drummer to play the high hat with the the side of the stick instead of the tip. It also depends on the type of high hat and if he has it open or closed. But, playing with the side of the stick instead will be the easiest way to get rid of the tick.

    That or just have him not play the high hat and play the drum parts seperate onto seperate tracks. Major pain in the ass, but some do it.

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