hi-hat mic, whats good, and what placement?

Discussion in 'Hi-Hats' started by ric-flections, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Hi guys,

    this is my first topic and would like to know a good mic for the hi-hat. As you have probable heard in today's music, the hi-hat seems to be a little more enphasized in the mix (depending on the genre) and i just want to know of a good mic that will sound good close up and what placement would be good for it?

    i also need to know of a good overhead mic that will pick up the hi-hat. I have a drummer who uses the hi-hat a lot and it sounds very good. It almost seems to be his trademark so i have lately been in the market for a mic that will help me accent this in the mix with little EQ needed.

    looking forward to your sugestions!
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Figure 8 Mics are nice for the rejection. I use a few diffrent mics for this. I like the APEX 460 on the hat.
  3. Thanks man! that mic fits the budget perfectly, but im gonna do some more research before i buy.

    speaking of budget.... im willing to spend $300 but it also has to be versital.
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    You want versatile, you get a SM57.
    The thing about versatile is that:

    If it does multiple things, it'll do them okay but nothing spectacularly.
    If it specialises, it'll do it great but won't be useful.
  5. simman

    simman Active Member

    Rarely find the need to mic hi hats since overheads generally pick up more than enough. However, if necessary first choice is a (ribbon) figure 8. The nulls help unwanted bleed and the ribbon helps tame harshness of the hats.
  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Altought this was 7 yo thread, what you say is interesting.
    Which ribbon mic would you use and for what musical style do you thing this would be appropriate ?
    Also, how different a ribbon would be different from carving out the harshness with an EQ ?
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    It's not easy to blend ribbons with condensers or dynamics when used as close mics on any instrument, since they are velocity-sensitive and not pressure-sensitive, and so their output is inherently 90 degrees out of phase with the other two types. It's for this reason that you can't make an M-S pair out of a cardioid condenser M mic and a fig-8 ribbon S mic.

    However, you can often get away with using ribbons as drum overheads since they are usually sufficiently separated in distance from the other kit mics. It's something I would consider if I'm recording in a high, good acoustic environment and I'm looking for a particularly smooth sound from a kit. More suited to jazz drumming than to rock.
    audiokid likes this.
  8. simman

    simman Active Member

    7yo wow! OK so I'm a little late to the dance. :)

    Last part first - IMO the best EQ is no EQ. Now that's not saying I don't use EQ (nothing is perfect) but The less carving the better if you ask me for a host of reasons.

    I find that ribbons "natural sound" lends itself to less carving although it might need a little bump in the high end. All depends on the song, mic, blend with over heads, etc.

    1st Choice of ribbon is a Royer 121 but I've gotten good results with a cheap modified Apex 205 or a fat head.
  9. simman

    simman Active Member

    This maybe ture and brings up a good point. Phase can always be an issue especially with multiple mics on a single source (considering the entire kit as a single source - although this is debatable). I always check phase by flipping individual polarity on every mic to hear the difference irrespective of how a mic or mics are pointed.

    However I have found phase less (or no more) of an issue in the instance of micing a hi hat.
  10. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Flipping polarity (180 degrees) won't cure a 90 degree difference.
  11. simman

    simman Active Member

    Didn't suggest it would - I simply ment it to suggest I checked phase between all mics. .

    That being said, I would contend that in the OP's scenario the 90° doesn't much matter and I don't agree with the suggestion that using various types of mics (i.e., dynamic, condenser, ribbon) on drums is anymore of an issue than using a ribbon and a 57 combo to mic a guitar amp.
    audiokid likes this.
  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I might give my 2 cents even tho, I'm not an expert.

    As soon as you use more than 1 mic on a Drumkit (more than 1 instrument), you WILL have phasing issues.
    Does those issues prevent you from having a good sound or not ? Depends on how bad the issues are. The trick is to minimise the damage.

    Flipping phase will reveil problems but not all issues. There is many phase monitors available, plugins and hardware but in the end the summing sound is the priority.

    If I mic a Guitar cab and move around the mics until it sounds good for the song, phases won't mather at the end if the sound is right to me...

    Actually you may use phases to tweak/Eq a sound and some phase issue may be acceptable when both signal end up panned hard left and right...

    So it's not all black or white !! ;)
  13. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    For hihats I like an SM81 a couple of feet above the kit. I usually label it "OH right".
  14. simman

    simman Active Member

  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Most of the time, I rely on the OH's to grab the HH, as I feel it generally provides more "silk" - and depth - than a mono direct mic does - which, my own experience, I've most always ended up pulling the direct mic track down so much, that I'd probably have been better off not direct miking it to begin with.

    But, context is everything, and it depends entirely on the style, the type of hi hats, the mic(s) used, the room... and the player. If I'm recording a "basher" on a rock style track, any direct miking used on HH pretty much always ends up not being used; as the OH's are usually plenty - but if the style is lighter, where the part is more intricate and played with more finesse, then a direct mic on the hat can work great.

    FWIW, my fave HH mics were KM's or 414's. I can't recall having used a ribbon as a direct mic for HH before, although I've used them quite a bit as room/ambient mics for the sound of the whole kit in the room.
  16. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Yes, most of the time, overheads are enough to get a good HiHat sound, but if you have the extra mic and the extra input why not use a direct mic on it anyway? The worst that will happen, you won't use it in the mix.. ;)
  17. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    For reggae I would probably use a close mic on the hihat.
    audiokid and pcrecord like this.
  18. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    A hihat mic often can be used to add definition to the sound in the overheads with filters and things like a transient designer. Just to add subtle things. It's also good for parts when the drummer is playing ride and playing 8ths or 16ths with left foot as they sometimes don't get picked up well by the overheads as much.
    pcrecord likes this.

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